Thursday, March 14, 2013

do you like your name?

This is an old story, but everyone gets a kick out of it, and it deserves to be documented.

In the fall we met a friend at a new [to us] park.  It was very crowded, my least favorite trait in a park. Lots of little families around. And easy to lose your kids so I had to be right in the midst of the chaos to keep tabs on everyone.

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Will was doing good so I was bouncing between Wyatt and Ella.  They were kinda playing together.  Ella would occasionally come up to me to check in and then go on to play. I’m not sure that she called me “Mom” but she certainly acted like I was her mom.  There was an Asian lady nearby with her baby toddling around. (I later found out she was Chinese.) I was watching out for the baby because Wyatt was close by and likes to ambush babies in his loving way. I smiled at her and commented how cute her son was.  She smiled back and pointed at Wyatt and asked if he was mine. I nodded yes. All the while Ella keeps coming up to me checking in. Finally the lady asked where Ella’s mom was, while looking around. I told her I was her mom.  She said “no, her real mom.” to which I replied “I’m it.”. She looked utterly confused so I felt the need to offer up the fact that I had adopted her.  Still looking confused she asked “from China?”  to which I said yes.  Finally she looked a little uncomfortable. She went on to ask where in China and when I answered she quickly replied that Ella must be a spicy girl then.  (This is something that is well known about the part of China E is from. Spicy food = spicy people.And she is a spicy girl)

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We randomly had snippets of conversation as we chased our wayward kids.  She asked if we lived in China (this is not the first time we’ve been asked this….).  I told her no, we just felt called to adopt from China.  Then she said she said maybe she should adopt from China since she keeps having boys.  She went on to ask Ella’s name.  I said her name was Ella.  She shrugged.  I cannot remember if I told her Wei Wei was her Chinese name. 

Later, while I was helping one of the boys with something I noticed that Ella was near her.  Curious to see how Ella reacted I watched (Ella had zero reaction).  It was then I overheard the woman ask Ella if she liked her name.  Ella nodded yes and went on with playing. {that is the part everyone finds funny}

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A few days later Ella was having an emotional moment.  Can’t remember about what but I think there was some grieving going on. She got her China book out and we looked at the pictures.  A bit later, I was still holding her, I asked her which name she liked best, Ella or Wei Wei.  She said Ella.  I told her I’d call her Wei Wei if it made her happy.  She shook her head no.  I then asked her if Wei Wei was a happy or sad name, she said sad.  I asked her the same thing about Ella, she said happy. 

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We’ve had similar conversations since then and the answers are always the same.  I did ask her if it was okay to call her Ella Wei and she said yes.  I asked her if I could call her Ellie and she said no.  So she does have an opinion :)

So for now it’s still Ella.  And sometimes Ella Wei.

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