The support and interest in our adoption journey has been overwhelming. However I heard people want more of the details… so hold on tight! Maybe grab a coffee for this one…
A lot of people ask us about what our son’s name is…and it took us a while to figure out how we wanted to talk about it. I mean, when you get to carry your baby inside you, yes people ask, but there’s a general understanding that the parents don’t have to share the name until the baby is born. Something about in-laws criticizing the name or something like that… I don’t totally understand. So at first we thought that we had that same privledge, but I guess that’s silly because he is already born!
It’s slightly unclear about what we are allowed to share about him online. We know that we shouldn’t share his pictures, but not sure about his given Thai name. But it has a great story, so you’ll get the idea.
So let’s go back to the day that we virtually met our son. It was a beautiful day- September 19th. I was at work in the city and Eric was off. It was a Monday. He got “the call” when I was at work and sent me one of those “Can you take a call right now?” texts. I was chatting with my colleagues and it was the end of the day. He kept texting “Right now?” “Can you step into a conference room?” “It’s the agency.” Finally I looked down and my heart started racing! I dashed into a little phone room.
Sure enough, Eric said that he got the call but told our caseworker that I had to be on the phone too (great husbanding) – so we hopped on a quick conference call and she procedded to tell us, very slowly, that they thought they had our perfect match – and we told them they certainly did. They went on to describe a little boy with big brown eyes and great hair…actually they didn’t – they just told us his age (about 8 months old at the time), gender, and a little bit about his birth mom. The call was actually more sterile than I expected. But I am emotional/Italian/extroverted so perhaps I should taper my expectations! They probably told us more but I was beginning to cry and had a total out of body moment – “is this really happening?” I do remember hearing that he was in foster care getting great care but the doctor noted that he had an iron deficiency and some bug bites so they were recommending he avoid bugs…duh.
After a few more minutes they let us know that they would email us his file after the call with doctors reports and pictures and then would have 10 days to review his file with a doctor and accept the match or not. As soon as she was off the phone Eric and I knew that we would be accepting the match – it was our son!
So I left work in a hurry and facetimed Eric on my power walk to the train. We were crying (joyful tears) and in disbelief. We couldn’t believe that it was happening and that we were finally parents. I boarded the train and shot my friend Kristina, who is a pediatric nurse extraordinaire, a quick question about iron deficiency. Her response was amazing…
I was so touched at her response. And she was totally right about the cuteness! Obviously I didn’t answer her question but she gave me the out 🙂 she assured me the iron deficiency was no big deal. Honestly I didn’t even care if it was.
Then came the wait that felt like forever – ok maybe 5 hours. But that’s a long time! We ordered take-out from one of our favorite Thai restaurants and celebrated on our patio. And I made a salad…with some goodies from the garden. Not sure why that’s significant but its in the picture.
I know what you’re thinking at this point… “why is Eric wearing a Bears shirt?” Don’t worry non-Bears friends and family, it was on sale at Kohl’s. We were actually going to watch the football game with our small group on the Murphy’s sweet patio. You can imagine the predicament – we wanted to hang out but we also wanted to get these pictures already! By game time the email still hadn’t come, so we went along and tried to act natural.
There was some serious hand-holding going on while watching the game, we’re talking high school intense hand holding…we were just so excited to see the little sweetie! The email didn’t come until the third quarter (about 9 PM) and I took a peek at the email and saw it come in! It subject said “Child Referral” and his name. Luckily the Bears were losing pretty bad so we ended up heading home before the end of the game and as soon as we got home we popped open the laptop and downloaded the report. Before we opened the first file I remember telling Eric “He’s going to be so cute” and he said “we’re going to love him no matter what” which was really true. So we opened it up and fell in love. And he turned out to be quite the adorable little guy! We were fortunate to get 13 pictures with four from when he was three months old and nine from when he was 5 months old. One of the pictures is with his foster mom which was also so sweet to have and be able to look into the eyes of the incredible woman who is loving on our boy. We’ll take a pause on the story and get to his name now…
Now we hadn’t been picking out names at all as we were going to try and keep our child’s given name if it was easy enough to pronounce…unfortunately that wasn’t the case. Not only were we unsure of how to pronounce it initially, but possible nicknames for it in the US may have proven tough for middle school…however upon reading his report and background, they explained that his name meant “patience.” And that has been the word that the Lord has cemented on our hearts throughout the process even before we were matched. Why do we have to wait so long to be with him? We had to learn patience. And God assured us through his name that He would fulfill the request of our most honest prayers and give us a sweet reward for our wait. We’ve come to love his name and will keep it for his middle name because we can’t imagine not keeping that reminder “Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” Luke 1:45
So what will we call him? The few names that we had in the back of our minds weren’t feeling right when we looked at his sweet face. I guess I understand what some parents mean when they say that they have to see their kid before naming them!
We think we’ve found his perfect name. It started with looking through Thai names…they were all pretty long or had definitions that weren’t especially meaningful to us. So I started looking through a Thai phrase book that we are borrowing from a friend. I looked at words that looked like they could be a name. Then I found “kai” which was one way to say “guide.” That stuck with me – because it seemed as soon as we started pursuing adoption, we were following the guidance of the Lord for how He wanted to build our family.
Eric liked it, but he still wasn’t sold. It wasn’t until I found “Makai” which is a Hebrew variant of Michael. I have always wanted to give my son the name Michael for his middle name, because almost all of the men in my family are named Michael – my father and brother, my grandfather, uncle, great-uncle, and even my brother in law’s middle name! However I got a bit tired of always having to ask “Which Mike?” when people called the house – so a spin on Michael seems perfect. In Hawaiian, the name also means “towards the sea” which is also beautiful because he was born on the other side of the ocean. And thats when we agreed that, unless Kanda is calling him something totally adorable and fitting when we meet him in person, we’re probably going to name him Makai, Kai for short. Our little guide.