Choosing a name for your child seems like such a paramount decision. It is their main source of identity for the rest of their lives. There are so many factors involved…the meaning, if you like the name, if the name rhymes with any bad words, what the name sounds like being yelled across the playground, do the initials work, and on, and on, and on!
Choosing a name for an adopted child adds a whole new element because they’ve already been given a name. Every adoptive family that I have met has labored over this decision and Andy & I are no different.
For the longest time we thought we would keep Wondimu as his primary name that we call him. His name is really his only possession, the only thing to call his own. We also felt like it was a special connection to his birth family. In addition to that, Wondimu is almost two years old, so he knows his name. The name, Wondimu, means “brother” which we thought was really neat because Wondimu doesn’t have any biological siblings, but he now has a big brother.
However, after talking with Duni (America World’s in-country director) Andy & I had to reconsider our decision. Duni, who is Ethiopian, lived in the States for eleven years. She said that it’s very difficult/annoying to have a name that no one can pronounce or spell. She said, for an adopted child, it’s just one more thing that makes them different. One more thing that they have to explain about themselves.
To be certain, every family has to make their own decision about the name and there is no right or wrong way to go. There are many different schools of thought on this topic.
After much prayer and consideration, Andy & I finally decided on the name Samuel Wondimu Wood, and we will call him Sammy.
The name Samuel is significant to me for a couple of reasons:
1- Like Samuel’s mom in the Bible, I longed to have a child but was unable to do so. I prayed and prayed for this child, just like Hannah. “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given to the Lord.” 1 Samuel 1:27-28 Wondimu is my gift from God for whom I have longed and I am committed to raising him in a way that brings glory to the Lord.
2- Samuel is one of the few people in the Bible who walked faithfully with the Lord from the time he was a young child until he died. He listened to God and courageously obeyed him. “The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of his words fall to the ground.” 1 Samuel 3:19 Wouldn’t that be amazing to be able to say about someone…to say about yourself?! “Stacie let none of the Lord’s words fall to the ground.” We pray that that would be true of Wondimu’s life. Our prayer for Wondimu is that, just like Samuel, he would walk with the Lord all of his life…from the time he is a young boy.
So, from here on out, I will refer to Wondimu as “Sammy” on this blog. At home I’ll probably still call him Wondimu or Wondy for a while. But we will eventually make that transition to calling him Sammy.
Samuel Wondimu Wood. We’re so happy that you are now apart of the “Wood family”!