her name. i know, we americans are all a little confused on what exactly is this little girl's name....let alone how to pronounce it. embarassingly enough, we were calling her by her last name all along - zhang. we found this out a few weeks ago, but by that point she was "baby zhang" to all of us...pronounced as western as possible (zhang rhyming with bang). oh, how awful! here we are wanting desperately to adopt this child and we have her name all wrong. what can we say? this entire process has been new to us. we are probably doing many things backwards, upside down, inside out and just plain wrong. but, here's what we do know:
xue zhu: this is her first and middle name. it means snow bamboo. okay. now, THAT is lovely. the wordy type of girl that i am just loves the translation. rick has recently started calling her baby bamboo-snow. we've been told by a friend that has some understanding of the language that "xue" is pronounced as "shu-eh". when we first saw her full name, we had guessed that xue zhu would be pronounced something like "zoo zoo"...(we had NO idea)...so, here again, we have Yet another option. can't you just imagine a "zoo-zoo mcnatt"?
zhang: this is her last name. it means "government or state" ...probably the name given to her by the government when she was found. not at all lovely. but it is by what we first knew her...so, i am sure we will always think of her as "baby zhang" or "baby z" as the kids like to call her.
if you are not thoroughly confused yet, hold on....you will be soon.
so it was last night while having dinner with friends that my good friend, meritt, said in her all business-like tone, "okay, can we just figure this out...what are we calling her? what are you planning on naming her?" of course we've been thinking about this...writing combinations on scratch paper...just like we did with all four of our children while waiting for them to arrive. it is our plan to give her an american name and keep a part of her chinese name. is it too soon to share our thoughts? oh, i don't know....we aren't exactly the type of people to keep all buttoned up about what is going on in our family. we Want you to be included. i can remember telling friends, family, even my high school students that we were pregnant...well before the time that it was "safe" to tell. i guess that is just a personality thing. cautious is clearly not my middle name. so...with that said, here is what we believe we have settled on: isabella grace xue mcnatt. we will call her bella grace. we will probably call her baby zhang, baby z, baby bamboo-snow...we will call her daughter, we will call her sister, we will call her God's gift.
in psalms it says that God knows the names of the stars....in john it tells us that Jesus calls His sheep by their names.....stars, sheep, sparrows...we are certain that God knows her name.