Thursday, November 5, 2015

What's in a name (A Thirst For Home)

I have read a few comments about our daughter's name and why we 'changed' it? 'Were we trying to erase her past?', one person wrote.  For a long time I didn't feel I needed to explain anything.  This was our personnel choice for our own reasons, but it keeps coming up so.....

I just wanted to put this out there.  We didn't change our daughter's name.  We love Alemitu for everything it represents and because it is beautiful just like her.  Her legal name is actually Alemitu Michael.  It is tradition for a child to take her father's name as a middle name.  This is what is written on all of her documents from Ethiopia, her American birth certificate and her passport.

She is well aware of this.  Eva is her nickname.  In no way were we attempting to erase her past.  I don't think we would have traveled back to the place of her birth three times creating a very solid connection to her mother, siblings and people from her community if that was our plan.

When I brought Eva home at the age of 2 1/2,  she didn't speak one word of English.  She was learning a new language and would eventually be attending school with a very unique story to share.  

With the new last name of Ieronimo and all of the mistaken spellings and mispronunciations she would endure, we thought shortening her first name would make her adjustment easier.  Alemitu comes with its own handful of mistaken spellings and mispronunciations.  

As for the book, it is fiction.  I took some creative liberties.  That is what writers do.  It is a made up story inspired by some real events. And my husband will tell you,  he would never wear an apron to grill!

Although I try like hell not to let it,  It hurts me so much when people question my motives without knowing anything about me or the events leading up to our adoption.  

All I can say is that I love my daughter,  I have embraced her culture,  I have worked very hard to keep a strong connection with her roots and family means everything to me.