The Adventures of Squirky the Alien

A Children's Book Series on Adoption


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What’s in a Name?

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Buddy’s real name is Christian.

When we were preparing to adopt Buddy, we started to think about his English name. (His Chinese name was more or less settled given his foster nanny was already referring him to as “Jia Cheng”- the back story here.)

My husband liked the name Jonathan and so did I. It’s a “handsome”-sounding name and had a really lovely meaning: “Gift of God”.  But we also have quite a few friends called Jonathan, and we thought that would be confusing.

In all honesty, the name “Christian” surfaced because Fifty Shades of Grey was very popular at that time and “Christian Grey” was in the media everywhere. We also thought Christian Bale was kind of cool as Batman. But the more we thought about it, the more we felt this would be our son’s name (more on that later).

My mother had plenty of misgivings about that name and for a week, attempted to dissuade us from naming him Christian.

  • Day #1: “People don’t go around calling their children ‘Muslim’, do they?”
  • Day #2: “He will face religious persecution with such a name.”
  • Day #3: “ALL my friends think naming a boy ‘Christian’ is a bad idea.”
  • Day #4: “You’re not that religious what.”
  • Day #5: “How about ‘Christopher’? It’s more manly.”
  • Day #6: “I’m only going to call him ‘Chris’. You cannot make me call him ‘Christian’.”
  • Day #7:  “Ok, if you really want to call him Christian can his name be pronounced ‘Kreees-teee-arnn’ so it doesn’t sound like a religion? Then people can also call him Teee-arn for short.” (Huh?)

But she eventually came round to the idea when my uncle, who studied in Germany, told her Christian is a very common name and he has many ang-moh friends called Christian. Nothing like some post-colonial endorsement!

Anyway, the more we discussed adoption with pastors and Christian friends, the more significant the name became to us. As Christians, we are adopted through the Holy Spirit, and that as God’s adopted children, we become heirs.
Galatians 4:4-7 (NIVUK)
But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,  to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’ So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.

 When Buddy was prayed over by a pastor when he first came to us, the pastor shared with us this lovely, and very fitting poem:
God bless this perfect little one,
Keep him safe and sound.
Bless his tiny hands and feet,
so he may conquer and defeat.
Brighten up his spiritual eyes,
so that he may undoubtedly become wise.
Bless his cute little mouth,
So your name he can shout.
But most of all bless his little mind,
to stay heavenly divine.
Oh! And don’t forget to bless his parents too
For the big job they got to do.
Amen.

This post was inspired by Life’s Tiny Miracles.

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