Thursday, June 21, 2007

How a seamonkey gets its name...

Wendy's post reminded me of a story. For some reason I haven't wanted to share it before now. And some of you will read it and roll your eyes - and that's fine, roll on and then go clickety clicking on to the next blog on your blogroll...you know me...

When we first got the call for seamonkey we were really thrown by his name. We already had names all picked out and ready to go, but there was something about his name that made us stop in our tracks. We kinda liked it, but it wasn't all that common here. Looking back now, I think that BT and I knew from the start that we really wanted to keep it. Our friends and family tried to appear supportive, but we could tell they thought it was a little too out there (Remember, we're Italian, so all the names in our family are your basic saint names - Anthony, Christopher, Joseph..). But I really felt that somehow I was supposed to keep it, even if we didn't love it all that much. We didn't want to make it his middle name, because we really wanted BT's brother's name in there somewhere, and while I respect the memory of his brother, ain't no way I was calling my new son George (sorry all you Georges out there). The whole dilemma was really upsetting to me. I was stressed out and overwhelmed already, and this was putting me over the edge. I agonized over it for days. I couldn't sleep. I kept trying on the different names, saying them out loud to his picture to see how I felt about it. I was going nuts.

A few days before we were to leave for Colombia, I had to travel to another part of the city to get our visas. I was sitting on the subway, once again thinking about what we should do. Now you know I'm a little touchy about the prayer stuff - but I was really at a loss. "Please God," I thought, "just give me a sign, any little sign to help me decide if we should keep his name". And then I immediately thought how ridiculous I was, but started scanning all the printed material around me anyway to see if somehow his name would appear before me. I didn't see anything.

I went into the consulate, which was ridiculously crowded, and made my way up to the visa floor. There was somone already being helped in the office I needed to go into, so I waited outside. There were lots of people milling around and I was looking at all the children and playing a mental game of "if that kid was my referral would I think they were cute?" (In most cases the answer was yes - hard to find an ugly Colombian kid). Just then this little boy shoots across the floor in a dead run, making a bee line for the office I was waiting to go into. So I jump in front of him to slow him down, and his mom comes running after him screaming (you guessed it) "Seamonkey!"

People, I really and truly lost my shit. I started sobbing right there in the office and everyone was staring at me. Of course right then I get called into see the Visa guy and tried to explain myself but he could care less. I went to see my brother who works right near the consulate. We went to lunch and I cried. He mostly stared back at me wide eyed, because I never cry. I cried the entire way back on the subway and fit in with all the other crazies. I only calmed down when I got back to my office.


So that's how seamonkey got his name for good. We didn't officially stick with it until we actually laid eyes on him, just to be sure. And truthfully for the first few months I never used his name because I felt weird about it (he was mostly "the baby" or "monkey"). I didn't totally love it even though I felt I did the right thing. When asked his name, I would quickly explain that he was adopted and he was born with that name, in case people thought I was crazy.

But I like it now. He is a unique little boy and he has a name to match. We don't have a nickname for him and I prefer that people use his full name. I'm sure his football buddies will come up with something when the time comes.

32 comments:

mama k said...

Thanks for sharing. I was in favor you you keeping the name too. :)
I liked that it was a bit different, but definitely something you've heard before. Honestly I didn't even know it was a "spanish" name until then. I guess I thought it was more European or something. LOL

Just curious, did his birth parent pick the name or was it his caregivers?

Starfish said...

His birth mom. All birth mothers are asked to name their babies. They feel it helps them deal with the situation. In seamonkey's case, his birth mom came to live at the Mother's House when she was pregnant, so she knew right away she would give him up for adoption.

Maggie said...

I love seamonkey's real name. Sure, it's unusual. But it's a great name. I'm so glad you kept it. Pretty cool story about how you decided on keeping it. Signs come in all forms, don't they?

Bezzie said...

I like it too. And if you think really really really hard, it DOES have an underwater theme if I'm remembering a certain movie right. (I'd elaborate, but I don't want to give it away!)

Type (little) a said...

I first started reading your blog right around Thanksgiving when you were getting ready to go to Columbia. I remember reading your reason why you kept his name, and it made me cry. I believe you said something to the effect of "he didn't even have the clothes on his back, we wanted to let him keep his name" (forgive me, i think that was the gist)I was so touched, I cried.

And though I'm sure you wouldn't have picked it yourself, but it really is an awesome name. He is so a "Seamonkey".

Rachael said...

I think it's kind of cool. There was a "hot" boy at my high school with that name (he was from somewhere in South America now that I think of it) and there's actually a little boy in my Kristen's 4th grade with the same name, and we live in Podunkville, America. So it's not too out there. (His real name....not seamonkey....which is pretty out there, but still cute).

I'm trying to think how I know your kid's real name...you must have mentioned it on your blog at some point, somewhere, and I remembered because I thought it was cool.

Now I'm rolling my eyes and moving on to the next blog. (Just kidding).

Rob, Dana, & Billy said...

I've always loved his name. It's a good German name! :)

MMrussianadoption said...

My girlfriend's son has that name. She is Portugese and her husband is Cuban. I think it is coming back into fashion.

Jenni said...

I really like the name too, and the fact that it is not too common makes it even better in my book. I also loved when you said that his name was basically the only thing he had left from his life prior to the adoption.

We felt the same way about our kids' names, but it sure took me a long time to get used to Vika! I kept thinking we would call her Tori instead (short for Victoria, her full name), but now, she's a Vika.

And Seamonkey definitely is a Seamonkey!

Elle said...

You know me, I'm all for the weird name. And I've told you since day 1 that I love Seamonkey's name.

Andrea said...

Well first, you stinker, you already took down the family picture from your last post :) Limited time, indeed!!

And secondly, I feel left out cuz' I don't know his name. Hmmm...

But FINALLY, I think it's wonderful that's how you decided on his name. God really does give us little signs, if we just pay attention sometimes. You know we got K's from a pizza box. THAT will be fun explaining it to him when he gets older :)

Mami Yaya said...

Is it the fact that most us know Seamonkey's real name a sign that we spend too much time on blogs? :-) Who knows! I love his name. I have a wonderful nephew, that we happen to be the lucky Godparents to, with that name. Thank you for sharing the story behind it. I think most of us have tales about our children's names but maybe not as colorful :-)

Miss Scarlett said...

I love Seamonkey's name too. I think it has such presence - I can see how it would throw you off when you had your own names picked out.
I remember your post about keeping his name and it is one of the most touching blog posts I have ever read.

del said...

I'm glad you kept the name, too...I like names that not everyone else has (even though my youngest has one of the Saint names you mentioned, LOL--poor kid). Like you, I prefer people to call my kids by their given names (even the 3-syllable ones that are 11 letters long). Names mean a lot. I didn't think you needed to explain to people, though, that Seamonkey's adopted & all that...who would know otherwise? Plus, his name isn't that unusual (not like he's Gwyneth's Paltrow's kid & his name is Apple, LOL).

Wendy said...

Your post gave me goose bumps! I am also not a big praying kind of person. I am a quiet believer. It knocks me off my feet when something so remarkable and amazing occurs and we know in our hearts what it means. Even the scientist in me has no explanation for these things. They are truly signs from God.

Hugs!

Beagle said...

I love the story! That was a clear sign if ever there was one. I know I come off as hostile about God on my blog at times, (I'm still not back to praying myself) but I think your prayer was answered.

Also I wanted to thank you for this line: I was looking at all the children and playing a mental game of "if that kid was my referral would I think they were cute?" I'm glad I'm not the only one!

I like your son's name. I grew up with an unusual name and it caused me some grief here an there but now, especially in adulthood, I am glad to have a unique name.

Lise in NJ said...

Hey, St. Seamonkey is a perfectly wonderful saint -- roman martyr even, patron of soldiers and athletes, really good stuff. It's a nice manly name - and his friends are all going to call him Bobo or Lefty or whatever anyway, so don't worry.

I do so love how you got a sign, direct, when you needed it!

Susan said...

I don't know Seamonkey's real name but I love the story behind it. O's name came from a catalog - it was embroidered on a stocking. Hubs had ruled out every other option I threw out there and when we saw it we loved it. We still would like to have a boy and since he hates all my boy names, we flipped a coin to see who would get naming rights and I won. Hopefully Baby Boy will be around one day to use it.

Jenny said...

I love seamonkey's name. Love it and know a few kids who are named it. And I love the short, like cam...or cams...but seamonkey...and it is a total hockey name. It is precious and that is a crazy story.

Andrea said...

I TOTALLY agree with Jenny-hockey name!! Love it!

Yes, I did remember his name after my post this morning. I loved it then, and I love it now. It absolutely fits him.

Annnnd just for you (and because I watching it right now), "You remind me of the babe. What babe? The babe with the power. What power? The power of voodoo. Who do? You do! Do what? Remind me of the babe..." Oh, I heart David Bowie :)

Jenny and Matt said...

Who quotes 'The Labyrinth'? LOVE IT!

Can't remember Seamonkey's name, though. Driving me crazy......
Sweet story, anyway.

Jenny and Matt said...

Wait-just remembered!
Really like it.

Dana said...

I don't know seamonkeys name but it's a great story to tell him when he gets older. You're all making me crazy about what his name could be. Is it mentioned in the blog in a previous post? I would love to know!

Denise :o) said...

That's funny how you'd explain that he was adopted and that was his given name because that's EXACTLY what I use to do too! Now, when people ask what Ivan's name is I proudly say "Ivan" and they always respond that it's unique or that it's nice to hear a name that isn't so common or something along those lines. One person even asked if it was a family name, as if that would be the only reason I'd name my child Ivan. I just responded, "well actually, yes it is." It was the name given to him by his biomom and therefore, it is a family name. ;o)

Debbie said...

I love his name. I think it's wonderful that you ketp it. And the way you felt it was confirmed to you is a great story to remember.

ruth said...

I like his real name too, and don't think that it's at all unusual. I've taught quite a few 'Seamonkeys' and they were all lovely boys. Mind you my husband's current name for our child-to-be is Abelard. I think he's only half-serious lol

Jill said...

I agree with ruth... and my mom always says, and i rarely quote her - that the name and gender only matter before they are born or adopted!

~Crystal said...

Wow, that's such a great story! :) Life works in such mysterious ways...

I, also, don't know his name (I've been a quiet reader) but I think I've guessed after reading the comments :D

Sorry I missed the picture!

Third Mom said...

First, a belated congratulations to you. And thanks for sharing this story!

Geohde said...

Hi there.

I found this post via the blog round-up, and rather than cheekily reading and then leaving I thought I should comment.

What a lovely story. Truly.

xx

J

Kami said...

A beautiful story. Thanks for sharing.

. . . passing through via the roundup

Lori said...

Hi there. I was your reviewer, and I wanted to say "hi." Hi.

I enjoyed reading your year. You're a great blogger!