How We Chose Our Children’s Names

How We Chose Our Children’s Names

Hi friends! I’m here today to talk about baby naming! I’ve loved the subject of baby names for as long as I can remember. Even as early as elementary school I can remember drawing photos of my imaginary (HUGE) family and giving them each names.

As fate would have it, I didn’t enter the world of motherhood until I was 35 years old, so yeah, I had plenty of time to acquire a very long list of beautiful and unique baby names. If I would have become a mother at age 20 or 25 or 30 (or honestly 31, 32, 33, 34 …) who knows what our kiddos would be called because I have changed favorite baby names throughout the years. So props to you if you’re one of those people who picked a baby name in high school and you still like it! I’m impressed.

Anyway, back to our story. Some of you may remember that we actually named Nova twice (lol) because after we knew we were adopting from China, but before we were matched with Nova, we decided to call her Winter. We still absolutely love the name Winter, but it wasn’t right for Nova—both because we felt it was too literal because of her albinism, and once we saw her we wanted to give her a more powerful name. We ended up calling her Nova Winter. It feels kind of magical to me now that her middle name was winter and we met on December 4.

We knew we wanted a celestial name for Nova once Jeremy had told me he wanted to adopt her during the solar eclipse. We looked at every possible celestial name and Nova was the one that stuck. We love it because it’s short, easy to say/understand (we avoid names that are confusing to pronounce, just one of our preferences) and super bold.

Nova grew into her name very quickly. It fits her and she’s so proud of it.

When it came time to choose a second name, the struggle was REAL. We had about six months to brainstorm options between the time we began paperwork and the time we were matched. It was slightly easier to visualize our imaginary “little sis” since we knew we were adopting a child with albinism, but we still wanted to wait until we saw her photos to officially choose the name (just in case).

The one thing we knew for sure is that we didn’t want to do a second celestial name to “match” with Nova. We felt more excited to choose a different name, maybe something earthy, with some contrast.

I had been keeping a list on my phone since before we had Nova of baby names and adding anything we thought was pretty along the way. You can see the full list here. We had three or four frontrunners. I kept coming back to Rosemary and Jeremy kept coming back to Noelle. But neither of us were sure about the other name, so we took those off the list. I spent several weeks OBSESSED with hunting for names. We even had a wonderful blog reader who works for Nameberry make us a custom list of suggestions (thank you, Sophie!).

In the end, we only really had one name—well, two. Marigold and Goldie. I wanted Marigold and Jeremy wanted Goldie. We then found out that Goldie was a family name (on Jeremy’s side), which makes it even sweeter.

We went to visit friends for the weekend and he randomly announced to everyone (including me lol) that we were going to call our daughter Marigold.

We decided to call her Marigold June. At the time I am writing this post, I don’t know for sure if we’ll be meeting our little gal in June, but I kind of have a feeling. We’ll see!

Oh! For anyone curious why we didn’t keep our children’s Chinese names, read this post. It’s a personal preference that we’ve received a brutal amount of judgment for. So if you feel inclined to judge, be sure you read that post and have more information before you proceed. 🙂 I understand the knee jerk reaction to feel like we “took” something from our girls, but I also think it’s a beautiful and wonderful story to have names given to them, with love, from the parents they will grow up with. As with most things in life, it’s more complicated than a simple right/wrong situation.

Note: This post is pre-scheduled. I am currently on my maternity leave with baby Marigold (!!!!!!!), so if I don’t respond to your comment, don’t worry, someone else on our team will. I am so grateful for the opportunity to take a little time to bond with our new baby. But I left a bunch of posts in the drafts for you to enjoy while I’m away. See you on the other side!

xx. Elsie

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Amber Ulmer. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.