Tuesday, November 25, 2008

hoisted from the comments

This was actually a comment that I left on the previous post but, since I doubt many people went back to read it, I thought I'd repost it here.

Sparked by something Sarah (who unfortunately doesn't seem to have left a link to a blog or profile) said, I've been considering using Kyrie's last name as the baby's middle name. It's a simple, one-syllable name that could easily be a first name (think something like West or Reid or Quinn). But I have a few reservations:

(1) For a middle name, we'd planned to use a family surname from our biological family. Our older son (gosh, that sounds odd) has his great-great grandmother's maiden name as a middle name. He's always been proud of his connection with our family history. Would the baby feel subtly slighted? Would it overly emphasize his "different" origins?

(2) The more I think about it, the more I've decided I really, really want to try for another child. What if the hypothetical child's hypothetical surrogate has some unwieldy or difficult to pronounce surname that's not really appropriate for a middle name?

(3) Would Kyrie object? I could ask her, but it might be a little hard for her to say "no, actually, I absolutely don't want the baby named after me." Plus she doesn't seem all that interested in an ongoing relationship with the baby and giving it her name might seem like we're forcing some kind of tie on her.

Your thoughts?

30 comments:

Lollipop Goldstein said...

Well, there's also the naming-someone-after-a-living-person thing--but that's the superstitious side of me shining through.

What about, instead of taking her full name, you took the first initial? Pair it with the family surname (for instance, if her name begins with R and the surname begins with A, begin the name with RA. Or, have the letters bookend the name or simply appear at the start of two syllables).

niobe said...

Interesting -- I'm as superstitious about this as anyone, but for some strange reason, (though I'm sure many people would disagree with me) I feel (completely irrationally) that a last name somehow doesn't "count" for purposes of the taboo against naming a child after a living person.

If the child had been a girl, I would never ever, ever even considered the name Kyrie. But, for whatever reason, a last name just doesn't stir the same superstitious dread for me.

I've even considered my father's middle name (which is actually also the name of a long-dead great grandfather) without thinking of the superstition at all.

Lisa b said...

It seems to me these are three good reasons not to use Kyrie's last name. I am so in awe of this woman who you say seems to have no interest in a relationship with a baby she is carrying.

debbie said...

I think it would be nice to keep some things in a box about Kyrie for that day (or days) when he wants to know about her. You could have some notes, a picture if you have one, or a letter you write to her but never give her (or maybe you do and you keep a copy) describing her kindness and generosity, why she did it, or who she is. But, in my mind, the idea is to let him choose when and how he wants to relate to that part of his life.

Considering the other option, I think that naming him after her could be too much for him because it takes away his ability to choose how much he wants to make that a part of his life. You just never know how he'll take it.

Just my thoughts.

Eva said...

That's a toughie. I don't think I'd do it myself, but it's nothing that can't be handled well and respectfully if you make an effort.

Ya Chun said...

I knew a bro and sis who shared a middle name, after a relative. I always thought that was a cool idea, to have the same middle name. It seems like you already started that tradition with the eldest.

wheelsonthebus said...

given #3, i would say no

Clarabella said...

I think that if you did decide to do so, you'd HAVE to talk to Kyrie and give her some way to be brutally honest.
You seem to have almost talked yourself out of it even in your points.
I agree with a previous poster who suggested using the first letter of Kyrie's surname or even using a name that begins with K. Or you could choose a name with the same meaning as Kyrie, or, or . . . There are many possibilities, but from the 3 points you have above, I would think you have your answer.
All that said, my initial thought, just on instinct, was "YES! What a nice gesture." But I do think you have to consider how and when you would explain to your son why his name is what it is and consider how he might feel about that. Good luck.

Caro said...

My first instinct was it's a great idea, but it does sound like you've talked yourself out of it in this post.

Chris said...

I would not forge any name connection between Kyrie and the child. I feel that both of them should be allowed to determine themselves if they want to have some sort of relationship at a later stage or not. What if the child is not entirely comfortable with his origin? His name would be an every-day reminder.

Anonymous said...

I would like to add that maybe her unwillingness to have the baby named after her is to protect herself. She has to feel close to the baby, there's no way she couldn't. Maybe she needs to save emotional energy for her own family.
allypally

Kathy McC said...

I agree with Chris. You could always do what the pp said and make a memory box for him and include something about Kyrie.

Rachel said...

Looks like I am in the minority, but I think it sounds like a great idea. I have a friend whose middle name is the agency her parents adopted her from, and she thinks it is a really cool part of her past.

christina(apronstrings) said...

i wouldn't use it. i just wonder if she will be in the picture 20 years from now? if not, what will said child have to say or think? and speaking of people will always ask where the middle name comes from...and then your child will be forced to spill or lie. KWIM? though, it is a nice idea. maybe i would use it? it's hard to know when i am not in your shoes.

Magpie said...

I like it. But you know that.

Rachel's comment is interesting - it's another version of the same thing that you're thinking about.

DD said...

There's always the unwieldy 2nd middle name (i.e. Jane 'Anna Marie' Doe) option.

Children always ask why they were named the way they were (sorry, weird sentence). Is it something you are prepared to answer fairly early when asked if you do use some version of Kylie's name?

Personally, I like the idea of using something that pulls Kylie's name into your son's. Our son's name has no "personalization" and telling him only "we liked the sound of it" seems so...removed.

Lori said...

I think that since Gray has a family name as a middle name, it would be nice to give your new son the same honor. All of my siblings and I had family names as middle names, as do my own children, which I think gives a form of identity and inclusiveness.

I think there will be a lot of nice ways you can honor Kyrie in your son's life- as have been suggested- perhaps a name is just a bit too permanent and presumes a relationship that may or may not ever surface.

kateypie35 said...

My opinion is no, especially if she has no interest in an ongoing relationship with the child.

To me, that is a bit of a burden to put on the baby, being tied forevermore to someone who doesn't want to be tied to them?

Complicated.

I don't like the idea of complicating a child's name, or life.

But thats just me, and maybe I am WAAAAyyyyyy overanalyzing?

Hmmmm.

superlagirl said...

I think it sounds like a lovely idea. As far as the objections:

1. As far as feeling slighted, I doubt it. Using a name to honor the unique relationship with Kyrie sounds, to me, on par with a nod to more traditional family histories.

2. What if the hypothetical surrogate has an unwieldy surname? Don't use it. Your kids' names don't have to be a matched set. And I'm not sure a hypothetical child should carry that much weight in decisions about a real child. (Just speaking as someone who now drives a stupidly big car because "What if we want a third?" Grumble.)

3. This, I think, is the most important consideration and the potential dealbreaker.

And if someone asks him in the future where his middle name comes from, he can just say he was named after a family friend, if he doesn't feel like being more forthcoming. He can also say he's fine when people ask how he's doing even when he's really enraged at the injustices of the world. Sharing honestly is not mandatory.

Furrow said...

I can see the draw, but you've convinced me that it's not a good idea.

Rebecca said...

I'd give Kyrie's last name as baby's last middle name. So like, Andrew Adam West Jones. I think.

Heather said...

I'd give the baby two middle names, a family name and Kyrie's last name.

I think it's a beautiful idea.

Intending To Be Parents said...

We are using our surrogate's last name as a middle name for one of our boy's and my grandfather's first name for the middle name of the other boy. And we picked "new" (non-family) names for their first names. There could be all kinds of arguments as to why this may or may not work or be a good idea, but we like it and without both our surrogate and the help of my grandparents (and the rest of our families), we would not be having this opportunity to have a family the genetic way. My husband doesn't like his first name so he didn't want to use that as a middle name. If there had been a girl we were going to use our surrogate's first name as the middle name. I tend to be superstitious, but the naming after living people thing didn't phase me. I named my cat after someone deceased who was special to me and he passed away recently at the very early age of 6 - so obviously that didn't work out for me.
However, we have a very close relationship with our surrogate and her family and intend that they will be part of our life/family forever and they seem to feel the same way. So, it's not really comparing apples to apples here if your surrogate doesn't feel the same way...
It's a tough call. The 2nd middle name is an idea - no one ever really uses a 2nd middle name, it doesn't go on any forms - you don't have to really acknowledge it if you don't want to. It's there...even though it's not REALLY there.

calliope said...

my gut instinct is that it is a LOVELY and beautiful sentiment but it already seems messy. Plus I am a HUGE geek for family names and I think it would be wonderful to carry that thread through.

Gift ideas:
a trip for two to someplace she has mentioned
something arty: a framed print, etc

Tara said...

We did it! We actually gave our son two middle names because we also wanted to use a family name as a middle name, but wanted to honor our surrogate at the same time. So we used the family name as the first middle name and her last name as the second middle name (her last name is a male's name). Actually our son's first name is a family name, too. His whole name is quite a mouthful! We are close with our surrogate, though, so I don't know how I would have felt if we weren't.

Kymberli said...

Speaking as a surrogate, in the basic sense, I think it is a lovely gesture for IPs to in some way name their child after the surrogate. That said, I think the nature of the relationship between the surrogate and IPs plays a huge role in whether or not doing so feels right.

If I were an IP, I personally wouldn't want to name my child after my surrogate if I didn't have a close bond to her. There would be no shame about the surrogacy and I would honest and open with my child about how he came to be, but the name would feel like an over-sentimental reminder of someone that I only had lukewarm feelings for. I wouldn't want to saddle my child with the heavier implications of his name.

However, if the surrogacy was a good experience and there were lasting "warm and fuzzies," sure - I absolutely would incorporate my surrogate's name somehow. I know of several surrogates who've been honored in this way.

Chance and I have had similar conversations on this topic already (I know, right!?! Crazy). If things go the way we want them to, it's already known that the name will in some way stand as a testament to this journey, whether it's using a part or whole of my name in some way or using the city/state of birth as a middle name.

I think it just depends on the overall tenor of the surrogacy journey and the relationship between the IPs and surrogate.

thirtysomething said...

Hmmm. That is a tough one. I guess I would probably go with traditions, keeping it simple. Perhaps adding a second middle name, in honor of the surrogacy journey, might be an idea?

three minute palaver said...

I would give your baby son the same middle name as your older son. It has a sense of balance and weight to it.

Queenie. . . said...

It's a lovely idea, but I think that it's fraught with potential problems (how your child will feel about it in the future; whether the surrogate will be freaked out by it and see this as an attempt to forge a bond she doesn't want, etc.). In the end, however, only you know all of the players, and only you can do the math, so to speak. Follow your heart.

Karin said...

I really like family surnames for middle names. Also, for our children, I worked hard to find the right combination of names so they sound/look good to my ears/eyes. Other people may not see or hear it, but I do. So in many ways for me, it's maybe less about honouring someone else as it is about how it all goes together in the end. It has to work.

Personally, I think I would be reluctant to use a surrogates name in my child's name.