When selecting a name for our biological son, we agreed on a girl name first. Will’s paternal grandmother’s maiden name. It took us forever to come up with a boy name we both agreed on. Finally, we chose Ollin Taylor as our son’s name- Ollin with an “O” sound like Olive. His only living great-grandma is named Olene (long “O”) and we wanted to honor her. She is an amazing 93 year old lady, full of kind words and wisdom. We hope he follows in her footsteps one day. So, he has the “boy version” of her name. Taylor is Will’s middle name and Will’s paternal grandfathers’ middle name. We thought like father, like son. It seemed fitting and we like it.
Since we’ve been through this before we were sure, if we had a girl this time around, we already had a name selected that we both still like very much. And that was that. So we thought.
Then we saw this beautiful face. We have learned about her background, personality, and medical history. The girl name we thought we had figured out just didn’t fit this fun loving personality and the joy we see in her despite her circumstances.
However, she already has a name. She may have had a name that her biological family called her before her going to the orphanage but we will never know. She was given a name upon her admittance to her children’s home at only 10 days old, Long Ye Qiu. Long is her sir name and she goes by Qiu. They actually call her Qiu Qiu, pronounced Cho Cho, meaning “Autumn.” She is already a toddler. This is the name that she is familiar with and the name others use to identify her. It’s kind of strange to re-name a child who already has a name that she is accustomed to hearing.
At first so much will be new in her world that we will probably call her Cho Cho (Qiu Qiu) most of the time. Then we’ll gradually start calling her by her new name as she starts to adjust to her new life and be comfortable with her surroundings. Who knows, we might always call her by her nick-name, Cho Cho. We like it and we like nick-names.
We don’t have any regrets about changing her name though. Her identity will be changing just as our identity changed when God adopted us. She is becoming a Chinese-American. She is also becoming a Bowling, our daughter. We want to honor her Chinese heritage while also giving her a family name. So, here it is…
Anli Joy Bowling
An is a Chinese name meaning “Peace.” Ann is an English name meaning “Gracious & Merciful.” Ann is my mom’s middle name. We hope she is merciful and patient just like her MiMi.
Le is a Chinese name meaning “Beautiful.” Lee is an English name meaning “Sheltered from the storm.” Lee is my dad’s middle name. Leigh is also Will’s sister’s middle name.
Joy is not a Chinese name but a family name. My grandma, Memaw’s middle name was Joyce. Joy means “Full of Joy” or “Rejoice.” It is a portion of her great-grandma’s name and we hope she will grow up to be loving, fun and joyful just like her “great”-grandma.
We love her new name. It’s full of family and meaning. It’s classic and new. It’s peaceful, gracious, merciful, beautiful, and joyful. What a perfect way to describe this beautiful gift we have been given. Meet Anli Joy.