Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What's in a name?

In Ethiopia, name meanings are very important. Whenever I meet someone from Ethiopia and tell them Daniel's birth name, they immediately ask me if I know the meaning. I haven't been able to share the meanings with you or the reason for keeping both of his birth names until the adoption was complete.
His name at birth was Bereket Mintesnot.
Bear-eh-ket Min-tes-eh-note

His first name, Bereket, means 'blessing'. It was given to him by his parents and, in my opinion, should be honored not only for it's literal meaning, but also because he was so obviously loved and cherished by them.

It is Ethiopian custom for a father's first name to become the child's last name. So Daniel's birth father's name is Mintesnot. This name means, "What can't God do?". Again, the literal translation is beautiful and so meaningful. And the fact that it is his father's name...there is no way that I could leave it out of his legal name. 'Daniel' is my brother's name. I wanted my son to have a name from his forever family just as he has important names from his birth family. I think that all three of his names are beautiful and I hope that he feels free to use any or all of them as he grows older and learns about his rich culture and the beautiful country in which he was born.

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  1. Beautiful names! I love the meaning of all of them!

  2. I learn something new every time I read your blog. Very cool meanings! Thanks for sharing them.