Thursday, September 30, 2010


I could write about a lot of meaningful things going on in our lives right now. I’ve actually started writing a number of posts about a variety of topics, but none made it to a publishable end. In the meantime, I’ve been “blog-tagged.” One of the mothers who was in Ethiopia with us last July, picking up her son Martin—a good friend of Andrew’s—has put forth some questions for me. You can check out her very beautiful and seriously funny blog here.

As for the questions…

1. How did you decide on your kids' names?
The first child to enter our family was Abigail Hope. We actually had two full girl names ready for her before she was born, but I couldn’t decide which one to use. I think, in my head, the other name fit with a dark-haired child. Partway through labor, our doctor started chuckling. Obviously, that gets your attention. What could possibly be funny?? She admitted that she was just surprised because she was seeing red-ish hair, and she always imagined what her patients babies would look like, and she hadn’t thought that our baby would have had red-ish hair. I wasn't in the mood for laughing right then, but, I think that was when I knew we would have an Abigail Hope.

When Abby was just under four months old, we traveled to Ukraine to pick up a long-awaited son. In the National Adoption Center in Kiev, we viewed, among many others, a profile for a sweet 2-year-old named Igor. His birthday was one day before our anniversary. We chose to pursue the adoption of that boy. After leaving the NAC meeting, we rushed to catch an overnight train to the city of Donetsk, where that child had been born. Neither Mike or I were in love with the name Igor, so, as the train clickety-clacked through the night, I brainstormed names. By morning, we had a plan. We wanted to offer Igor a name that was phonetically close to the only name he had ever known, so we stressed the EEE sound in Igor and added Ethan, using both names together for a while. We also maintained the “GOR” of his birth name by incorporating the middle name, Gregory. Our little prince became Ethan Gregory.

While anticipating the referral for child #3 and child #4, I did a lot of name research. I noted that we already had two children who could claim Biblical characters as namesakes. I also recognized that we might be referred an older child who was uncomfortable taking on a new name. When we received our referral of Abu and Desalegn, the name research went into full gear. We wanted to offer these boys a new English name, if they wanted, to symbolize their major transition in life. (And, frankly, I wasn’t sure I could keep my brain and tongue in order with an Abu and an Abby in the same house!) We also wanted to keep their Ethiopian names as part of their names, and to make sure that their names were not too difficult to pronounce. Finally, we settled on Andrew Jeremiah Abu and Jadon Desalegn (each, also, with their own Biblical references!), and the boys both seem to have really taken to their new names.

2. What is the one piece clothing you have had the longest and you can't bear to part with it?
I still pull out my “Northampton Konkrete Kids Wrestling” hoodie every now and then. Not every person can say that their high school wrestling team was ranked first in the nation. Thanks to hours and hours of watching my cousins, my brother, and countless other singlet-clad, muscle-bound teenagers grapple, I can also pull out some nifty moves to keep my three boys remembering to mind their mother :).

3. What is your favorite movie and why?
I like the movie Gattaca. It makes you think.

4. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Well, you know, this is a tough question. So far, in my life, I have lived in Pennsville, PA; Sussex, New Brunswick; Oshawa, ON; Brewer, ME; and Aylmer, QC. Each place had its own beauty and its own challenges. Certainly, we can say that we have met wonderful people in every place that we have lived. Besides those experiences, Mike and I grew up on opposite sides of the Can-US border, and we have drawn three children from Eastern Europe and Africa. I know that saying so belittles the question (which specifically states “in the world”), but the idea of “confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God” resonates strongly with me (Hebrews 11:10). And I’m pretty sure God’s city doesn’t require us to fill out any more immigration paperwork!

So there you have it! I think I’m supposed to come up with some other bloggers to tag with some new questions…but I’m going to plead ignorance. I’d love to hear your own responses to any of the above questions in your comments, though!!! And stay tuned. Another post will surely follow soon. If I can just figure out what to write…


Laura Fenske said...

#4 - Salem, Oregon was the answer I'm pretty sure you meant to put.

Andrea said...

#4 - Actually, I think she meant Bloomington, Indiana. ;0)

Thanks for playing along!