4.13.2011

{what's in a name?}

I understand that I've been confusing a lot of you with what we're calling our son. I thought it would be a good idea to clear everything up and hopefully you'll understand our decision and not be so confused anymore. :)

Christmas '09 John and I decided that our Christmas present to each other would be to choose the name of our soon to be son. We were in the beginning stages of our adoption process and wanted to have a name to pray for, talk about, and refer to the little one who we were working toward. We didn't have a referral yet, we weren't on the wait list, and come to find out... he wasn't even BORN yet. :) It took a lot of back and forth to pick the name Tucker. I had a list of boy names that John didn't like and I didn't care for any on his list. Finally one morning I mentioned Tucker. I had read the name in a book and I liked it. John said he liked it too and so we decided since that was truly the only name we could agree on that we should stick with it! haha Over the next 10 months we prayed for Tucker daily. It was fun being able to talk about him with others and they knew who we were talking about because of the name we had assigned him.

Then came Oct 25th - our referral day.
 (first picture we ever saw of our little guy)

We found out that the little guy we had been praying for was called Mareto. We weren't sure how to pronounce it and we didn't know what it meant. We tried to find out, but searches in Ahmaric translation brought nothing. Still, we had decided long before that we would keep his Ethiopian name as his middle name. So he would be Tucker Mareto.

Then came January 15th - the day we met our son for the first time.
 Out of respect for the Ethiopian culture we were advised to call him his Ethiopian name while we were there. It was slightly intimidating at first because we didn't know if we were saying it right... we weren't. Wass, our driver to Hannah's Hope and a very special man, taught us to say it on the way there. It's pronounced Muh-rah-toe. They roll the r, but we aren't good at that so we don't. ; ) It's beautiful. All week we heard the special mother's talk to him and call out "Mareto! Mareto!" We called him Mareto all week as well and it just became who he is to us.

We also had the chance to learn the meaning of his name while we were there. We had a beautiful meeting with his birth mother and asked her why she chose that name and what it meant. I won't share her reasons (or anything else about that meeting at any time to anyone) out of respect for her and for my son, but I will share that the meaning of his name is PEACE... and the reasons she chose it are simply beautiful. I tear up just thinking about it. Mareto became that much more precious of a name to us.

Fast forward to February and our final trip to Ethiopia to bring him home.
 We were in the hotel restaurant ordering cokes.The bartender asked us what his name was and we said "Mareto" and he smiled. Then he said, "yes, but what will you call him in America?" We said, "Tucker," and he asked, "what does it mean?" We looked at each other and explained that it didn't really mean anything - we just liked the name. He nodded and said, "in Ethiopia we only give names that mean something. Every one's name has deep meaning." I thought that was so neat. He wasn't saying it in a way that indicated we were wrong... just sharing their culture.

Ethiopia is such a huge part of who our son is. When we look at him we just see our son, our Mareto. We weren't expecting to fall in love with his birth name the way we did... it just happened. It has such special meaning and significance. So... the original plan way back in 2009 was to call him Tucker... but things have changed. His legal name will still be Tucker Mareto. But we are going to (and have been since day 1) call him Mareto. *UPDATE: we have changed our minds yet again and have decided to keep his name as the Ethiopian government made it on the day we legally became his parents: Mareto John Casper. :)

So what should YOU call him?  We would love for you to call him Mareto as well. I'll remind you again how to pronounce it: Muh-rah-toe. :) Please don't hesitate to ask us how to say it if you are unsure or forget -- it won't offend us. :)

So there you have it -- the incredibly long story of the naming of our son!

42 comments:

Kim said...

I can definitely see how it would be easy to fall in love with a name as beautiful as that... and a boy as beautiful as he is :O).

Alicia said...

Beautiful! I love it! And, I was wondering if I had missed about his name!! I'm so glad you shared, Lauren!

The Young Family said...

LOOOOOVE this!!! One of my biggest regrets is choosing a name that "we just liked". I still like it sure...but our others have DEEP meaning to their names!!! I love that you did this for your first son. SO SWEET...and just beautiful in it's meaning! Poor Parker...he is forever with the meaning "keeper of parks"...he crazily loves outdoors so maybe he'll be a forest ranger;)

Critty said...

I so enjoyed this...learning a little more about little Mareto (I have been thinking of him that way for a while too...I saw that you called him that and I just found it so beautiful)

I adore that it means Peace. And that is is special because of your conversation... The beauty of that will stay with your family always.

On a side note I am thrilled I have been pronouncing it the correct way ;)

Kelly said...

That is so awesome! I loved the pictures and the story! He is one precious little guy :)

Janet said...

It is because of stories just like this that we decided last year we wanted to keep our daughter's Ethiopian name. I can't choose a middle name until we know her ET name, so for now we refer to her as "LG" (Little Girl). Thank you for sharing!

Laurie said...

I love how y'all incorporated his Ethopian name and the fact you call him Mareto is beautiful! He is the cutest little fella! He is so blessed to have parents like y'all. ps thanks for helping us out with his name. I was totally saying it wrong.

Sophie said...

I think it's a beautiful name and I love what it means. I'm sure he'll be proud of his name when he's older.
He's so adorable!

BARBIE said...

Thank you for sharing the story of how you chose Mareto's name. I love that his name means peace and I am sure He will walk in peace all the days of his life.

MamaMimi said...

I hear a version of this story from many adoptive parents, and for that reason we have chosen to keep the name we have chosen for our daughter a secret. If we so choose to call her by her given name, then we can save that name for another time. Who knows...time will tell =) Can't wait to meet her though! And love Mareto's name!!!

i_love_sydney said...

Well done on keeping his first name. Adoptive children lose so much,their parents, their culture, their country, (although they gain alot) for him to keep something his birth mom chose for him, which is part of his culture is so so special.
And Tucker in Australia-means food. Ie I'm going to have some tucker now.

Kit said...

What an incredible name!!!! I love the way it sounds and the wonderful meaning! I would have stuck with Mareto too after the story from the birth mother and the guy at the restaurant!!!! Thanks for sharing this with us!!!!

4 Blessings said...

Love the story and the meaning. I had wondered if you were keeping it based on your referral of his Ethiopian name in several posts. It will be easy for us to remember because Elijah's Ethiopian name is the same with the exception of the ending pronounced like 'too'- Mihretu. We call him both names all the time and he responds to both. :)
Blessings,
Amy

Teresa said...

beautiful! it will just take us awhile to get use to it. to us he is Tucker the little boy we prayed for all these months. keep saying his name so we can hear it and it will be easy to change! love it!

He & Me + 3 said...

Yeah I was saying it right and he is precious and I adore his name.

Brantley and Richard said...

Love that Lauren. How precious!

Emma @ She Got Married said...

I've only been following you for a short while, but I loved his name the second I saw it. I'm so glad you kept it, it's a beautiful, beautiful name. :)

Clay in the Potter's Hand said...

Wow! He has changed soooo much since that first picture! Mareto suits him so well, even though we got use to hearing/saying Tucker. I love his name and the meaning!

Jessica @ This Blessed Life said...

This was beautiful. I love the fact that you are calling him by his given name, and how it was chosen especially for him. I think it's also neat that you did give him a different first name, because I think that's a beautiful picture of what God has done for us. (Like that verse, "I have given you a new name.." - I can't remember where it is right now.) This whole story just made me want to cry (in the best way!)

LORIENDEVON said...

And Mareto we will call him too!;) Love that sweet story and love watching you and John with little Mareto.

Darla said...

Since all my kids have "other names", other than their first name, I am totally into it. Of course, the only time it ever comes up is at the Dr's office, when they are like "Brooklyn & Lleyton", and my kids don't raise an eye, lol. Once at the border the guard remarked on their cool names, and said, which one of you is Brooklyn. Nobody moves. I'm thinking, GREAT, she thinks I stole these kids!!! haha. Anyway, it's cool how you came about it. We'll try to adjust our minds from Tucker to Mareto and say it correctly next time!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

Both names are wonderful! I love that his middle name means peace!

JDaniel was named for my husband. We didn't think about what it meant. We just wanted to carry on a tradition.

Leigh said...

LOVE IT! I always wonder if we will call A his A ethiopian name or the A name we have picked....guess time will tell! And I have spent hours google searching his name to figure out what it means, hoping we will find out when we are in ET!

Kristin said...

That is such a beautiful story, Lauren!!! I love his name, the meaning behind it, and I'm glad you told me how to pronounce it, because in my head I was saying muh ret toe. :)

Cole said...

I was wondering about that. Thanks for sharing the story. Both names are great. My first son's name has a great meaning and my second son doesn't have a meaning at all we just liked the sound of it. But if I can do it again I think I would pick him something with a great meaning too. It makes it more special that way I think. Your little guys is so so adorable.

Lindsey said...

Beautiful post. Beautiful name. My name (first & middle) is just a name my parents liked...which is fine, but I always wanted to have a name that meant something. I love that Mareto will grow up with that little piece of his birth mother.

Chris' Brooke said...

Thanks for clearing that up. I've been wondering in recent posts. Beautiful story.

Kim said...

Beautiful post about your beautiful boy's beautiful name! Mareto! It fits!

Kristin P said...

I think that is incredibly beautiful!

laura said...

i love the two name option and the back story. what a luckly little man. :)

Erin said...

I love his name Mareto..what beautiful meaning it has! How special!!!!

Anna Baur said...

What a wonderful name and meaning...it was great to hear the whole story :)

Courtney @ Scraps and Scribbles said...

Such a beautiful name for a beautiful little boy. Thank you so much for sharing this story!

Alison said...

Love this! I wondered if ya'll were calling him Mareto! We love name meanings! We chose all 4 of our kids' names based on the meaning...so special! Love his name, and that it means peace!

Anna said...

beautiful name for such a sweet baby boy. I was so thankful that our little one had been named by a volunteer at the orphanage and such care had gone into choosing her name. Its perfect.

Kate said...

Awesome! Thanks for sharing with us!

Blomgrens said...

What a great job of explaining the decision about names! Thanks for sharing a little about Mareto's name :)

Desiree said...

How awesome. I was wondering if you switched his name when you came home.... We plan on keeping the birth name as a middle too! Maybe we should think of a first.....

Franchesca said...

I love love love the meaning of your son's name ♥ God really is in everything. xo

chloƫ. said...

Ah makes so much sense now! What a wonderful story :) Hope to see both of your sweet faces soon!

Mama D.'s Dozen said...

Thanks for sharing this story. So glad you were blessed by having time with the birth mother. (We will always treasure our trip to our girls' village ... even though their mother had died.)

Our girls' names had been changed by the orphanage director. (we thought this a bit interesting) We did ask our girls (ages 6 & 9) if they wanted to use their Ghanaian names as their middle names, but they wanted NOTHING to do with their Ghanaian given names. So, the orphanage gave them "American" first names ... but we gave them very special middle names (named after a dear family friend).

As your son gets older, he may have a preference as to what to be called. We named a son Jeremiah, but I totally planned to call him Jeremy. At age 4, he firmly told everyone, "My name is Jeremiah." and he (now 24) has never gone by anything else. So, it will be interesting to see if your little one prefers his Ethiopian name, or if he may want a more "American" name. Either way, it is a beautiful name.

blessings,

Laurel :)

Bee said...

Mareto is adorable and his name is very special! Bravo to you guys!