What’s in a name?

Many of you have asked questions around:
What is the baby’s name?
How do you say it?
What about her Chinese name?
Where did ‘X’ come from?

But before we get to that…


I am reading a book called “Beyond Coincidence.” It is a great book from B that talks about all the crazy coincidences in life. Things like Kennedy and Lincoln parallels, people winning the lottery twice on the same day, a child releasing a balloon and it landing in the yard of another child with the same age and same name, the mummy’s curse, etc…

Now I tend to see this kind of stuff all the time in my life and it is crazy. One of my friends in Beijing diagnosed me as obsessive compulsive and she says that is why I see this kind of thing, but when I start explaining it to you, you can’t deny it. Take this example: I am reading this book on the plane. AFTER 6 hours of waiting because we were redirected because of snow. I had read another book and finished it and was now picking this one back up. Now on this CHINESE flight into the heart of China with everyone reading Chinese newspapers and books, I happen to sit next to the one guy who after hours on the plane decides to read the “Time” magazine in front of him. Actually, I don’t think he is reading it, but rather thumbing through the pictures. One of them drew my attention as well. It was an article on Bobby Fischer, the chess champion. About how he was a genius and such. I thought, “Hmmm, Yeah, I remember that movie ‘Searching for Bobby Fischer’.” Oh well, back to my book…

I turned the page and there in the middle of page 158 is and example of coincidence called “Icelandic Chess”. It is a story about a reporter writing about Bobby Fischer’s chess championship. Come on. Tell me something weird is not going on!

Now what does all that have to do with Baby G? Well, we received the announcement that we could adopt her and her pictures for the first time on Jan 2nd. This is our legal wedding anniversary. On Jan 31st we will officially adopt her. This is our religious wedding anniversary. (it gets better)

Her English name is/will be Gioia Beatrix Beukenkamp.

Gioia is Italian for joy. It comes from one of our friends in Chicago. We went to dinner and I swear I had to ask her 15 times what her name was until I got it (seriously, buy a consonant). After that it just kind of stuck with us. This is also where B’s blog comes from: missgioia.com

Beatrix has double significance:
1. It is the name of one of our favorite authors Beatrix Potter of Peter Rabbit fame. We also saw the movie which starred Renée Zellweger. Renee also was in Bridget Jones Diary which is one of the main reasons we met, but that is another story.
2. Beatrix is also the Queen of Holland and being of Dutch ancestry and having a Dutch last name, we thought it only fitting.

Now, her Chinese name will be Bei Le Xin. We are not doing the typical American thing of giving her a Chinese middle name as described on her orphanages website. In China/Taiwan this does not make any sense as you need to translate your name, not have half and half. My Chinese name is Bei Kang Hong. I actually like it a lot and it works. It is the same Bei that is in David Beckham’s Chinese name, it is an easy character to write ( 贝), and it is not common like Beuk. The only bad thing is that in Taiwan it is the same name (Kang Hong) as some 60 year old singer that I don’t think sings very well. Oh well, I like it. (click here to hear it) So, since last names are first in Asia, my Bei is Gioia’s Bei and it means precious which I am sure she will be.

A Chinese name is used for tons of things from mail to forms to ordering pizza to allowing people to be able to simply pronounce your name. Take for example the dry cleaners has to enter a Chinese name for you in their computer. B tends not use her Chinese name, but that is because she has less direct interaction with people on the street than I do and Coke translates well into Chinese and it makes us smile when we say it (ke ko ke le).

(come on, come on… where is the coincidence?)
Her Chinese name comes from the orphanage and we have decide to keep it. Mostly because Le Xin means happy or joyous heart. A search for the word “joy” shows that her name is the same as what is used in ‘le qu’ or joy. So, her English name and Chinese name coincidentally have the same meaning. I know you can find meaning in anything if you search hard enough, but come on…we could have named her Rachel.

Baby G’s orphanage: http://www.fulingkids.org/
Simple online translation: http://www.mandarintools.com/worddict.html

1 thought on “What’s in a name?”

  1. Can I just tell you that after four+ years of not seeing or talking to you, not since I finally made it through my neverending pregnancy and got my amazing and incredibly beautiful baby girl (who reads me stories at not quite 3) – I got here from your myspace page and I cried so hard reading this blog. I mean, granted, I’m here in my boyfriend’s house and with his sister and mom, and this is not o unusual of an occurence. But I am so overwhelmed at the thought of your sweet little Gioia, and I’ve not yet read all the other blogs so I don’t know the whole story, but I am so beyond elated for you. You are so blessed, and your daughter is as well… CONGRATULATIONS!!! to you and Rebecca, who will no doubt be adept and keep your sense of humor learning the ropes to this stuff of parenthood. I learned a little Italian when I was pregnant, so Elise’s name – her first name being the normal one, her second name is Hiana (Miwok Indian word for ‘gently falling rain,’ as that’s what was happening weather-wise at the moment of her birth), but she is called almost always either ‘Bella’ or ‘Carina’ and she can tell you why herself… and let’s be honest – nothing sounds right with Beukenkamp… So Gioia Beatrix is beautiful, has a great story behind it, one she can tell her friends and her own kids one day… I am so overjoyed for you. I send you my love, and don’t worry, you won’t miss not sleeping. :)

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