“What’s in a Name?” – For the Boys

In part one of this two part blog series we delve into names and the most popular ones of 2013. We begin with the Boys.

The Social Security Administration has yet to issue the most popular names of 2013 but Baby Center has reported their list which is compiled from more than half a million parents who shared their baby’s name with them this year. There are many parents who utilize these lists for ideas on possible names for their children, but there are just as many parents who use the list to avoid overly popular names. For Adoptive Parents, we are often given names from birth parents. This makes for some wonderful naming stories. Today, we reveal the top 10 boys names and Lesa Ferguson and Wendy Lane share the stories of how they and their children’s birth mothers’ named their kids.

Wendy Lane

Wendy Lane

Post Adoption Support

We had the opportunity to meet Cindy, Colin’s birth mother, at the hospital after he was born. Brian and I had a list of names but we were unable to agree on one. When we met with Cindy she asked us if we had a name in mind. We said we had a few but hadn’t decided on one, so we asked her if she had any names in mind. Cindy had other children all of whom had a name that began with ‘C’ or ‘K’. She said she was thinking about the name Colin. We were shocked because that was one of the names on our list. We immediately agreed to name him Colin. His middle name is Thomas which is my dad’s name and has been in our family for years.

Lesa Ferguson

Lesa Quale Ferguson

New Media Specialist

Dave and I had decided not to come up with names before we had been chosen. After so many miscarriages, the name game had taken its toll on us. There are names, such as Sarah and Benjamin, that can still make me cry. We also knew that birth parents liked to give their child a name, so I refrained because of that too. I couldn’t build a proper name with a potential wildcard thrown in the mix. How could I know the right amount of syllables to use?

Even though I had a bad history with names, I am still enamored with names. I like to make up stories just so I can name the characters. I have stretched my traditional, staid husband who wanted to name our first child Brenda or Gordon to his limit with names. I once suggested we have a flock of children and name them all after states. But for all my unconventionality, I like old biblical names best. Our first child is named Samuel. Samuel was born to Hannah who was an older woman and “barren”. She begged God for one child and she was given Samuel which means, “God Listened”. There may not be a more conventional name.

And then, we waited a long time to adopt. Eighteen months after our initial home study, we got “the call” that a baby boy was awaiting us. Our family advocate told us that his birth mother would like us to incorporate the name Zion. ZION!?! I hadn’t met his birth mom but I knew I would like her – the unconventional meets the Old Testament. Zion would be his middle name but what about his first name?

When our family heard the news that baby ____ Zion was on the horizon, our nieces who live across the street rushed through door with their mom, my husband’s sister, trailing behind. They waved scraps of paper. In such a short time, Caeley and Sophie, age thirteen and eleven, had compiled a list of names for their new baby cousin. They yelled out “Trevor” and “Mom likes Parker best”. Dave who was on the phone trying to square away all the last minute details of the adoption tried ever so futilely to shush them. The girls ignored their uncle. “Christian”, Sophie suggested. Sam who was 6 year old was excited to finally be included in what had become adoption pandemonium at our house put the kibosh on every one of the names on his cousins’ list. He proposed ZeeZee Zion. Dave tried again to quiet them.

Dave gave up and hung up the phone to join us before his son was named after a Disney character. He said, “Henry”. And I said, “Only if we can call him Hank”. This is how it went with Sam’s name. He wanted something traditional and I wanted a nickname, but both of us had to agree on both names. It took 5 months to agree on Samuel/Sam. Now we had no time and the additional complication of fitting whatever name we liked around the name Zion. Because I am a history nut on Western Expansion, the name was intriguing for that reason too. I suggested, “Utah” for Zion National Park. Dave rolled his eyes. He searched online to find out what Zion meant, “The World to Come” and that it came from the Book of Samuel, so fitting. We decided to go with the Western theme and Dave came up with a real cowboy name, Caleb Zion. We’d call him Cal for short. Caeley loved it, “That’s what they call me at school.”

We would eventually learn that Cal’s birth mom had read the name Zion in the bible and it had stuck with her. Now, I use it like I use his brother’s middle name, whenever I’m serious or frustrated, “Caleb Zion Ferguson, get over here right NOW” and once in awhile I hear Sam whisper to his brother “ZeeZee”.

The Top 10 List of Boy Names of 2013