Today we pass the two-month mark of waiting in the Consulate for our dossier to be processed. Sigh. It's a looooooong wait, but we're hopeful that even with the changes going on in the Kazakhstan Embassy and Consulate we'll hear something soon about our dossier moving on to the next step (the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kazakhstan).
In honor of our paperwork sitting on somebody's desk in New York for two months now, I thought I'd blog about naming our daughter. When somebody finds out we're adopting, the first question is generally some variation of "Kazkah-what? Where's that?!?" (don't feel bad, we had to look it up on Wikipedia, too!). The second set is, "Do you have a photo? How old is she? What's her name?"
Well, we know that she'll be 24-48 months old when we first meet her, so at least we have an answer to the second question. We also then explain that Kazakhstan works differently than most international adoptions, and we won't have a legal referral for our little girl before we meet her. In most other countries we'd already have a girl sort of reserved for us by the government, but Kazakhstan places a lot of emphasis on the bonding period and so she's not officially ours until we hang out with her in the baby house for two weeks. We love this part of the Kazakhstan adoption process, but I do have to admit that sometimes I wish I had a little picture to look at... although that would make this waiting period even more heart wrenching.
And then we get to the name question. That's an interesting one. I mean, most people name their children before they meet them, the difference here is that our daughter will already have a name before we meet her!
There are lots of different philosophies on naming and renaming adopted children. Our philosophy is that our little girl is joining her new forever family, and it's ok for her to take on a new name as she does. She is a Morningstar now (or, she will be!), but she is also Kazakh, and we want to honor both of those identities because both are important. And if she was named by her birth mom, we also want to honor the name her mom chose for her baby girl.
But... ever since we were pregnant with Sam we decided on the name Rebecca as our perfect girl's name. We've always loved the name and it fits with our "Biblical names that can be shortened and sound good as a lawyer name or as a little kid nickname" theme. Samuel Isaac could be a professor, Sam is the kid down the street. Benjamin James could be the President, Ben is a boy on the t-ball team. Same with Rebecca, Becky, Beck. Plus, I love the "brought home from afar" theme of the Biblical story of Rebecca - it sure seems perfect for our little girl from halfway around the world!
So what to do? The real answer is that we don't really know yet, and we're ok with that. Most likely, we will keep all or some of her Russian name as her first or middle name(s) or maybe anglicize or translate her name into something easier to spell and pronounce in English.
So, for now she's Sestra - that's Russian for "sister". Someday soon (in the vast scheme of things) we'll know more, but we'll be content with Sestra for now.