Changing names? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 112 Old 03-20-2007, 12:11 PM
 
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Interesting discussion. I'm not sure what I'd do in your place, OP, but I would feel fine changing a newborn's name, or letting a child who was old enough to understand have the option of changing their own name (maybe with some suggestions ) as kind of a "new start" thing, essp if they came from someplace very troubled and wanted the symbolism of starting fresh with a new name. I knew a bunch of familes who've adopted from various places in Africa, all children, no babies, and some have wanted to change their names and some have kept their names, it just depends.
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#62 of 112 Old 03-20-2007, 12:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Wugmama View Post
I think that to take a child's name from them is definitely taking too much away, and you have no right to do that to her.

Besides, Nevada is a beautiful name. Even if her name was ugly, it is still her name. To take away her name so that she has a name that "fits" with the names of your other children seems really superficial to me. I hope you don't do it.

~Tracy
I 100% agree with this. She has been called Nevada for 2 years. Whether or not you think she understands it is not the point. The point is that this is who she is. My sister adopted a little boy from the foster care system. Her biological daughter is named Natania. My children are Elijah, Olivia and Eliana. Those are the types of names we both like and all are a similar theme. Her adopted son's name is Woody. Definately not a name she would have chosen. She always wanted a son named Joshua and it certainly would have fit better with them theme of our family's names. But he was 2 when he was adopted. He wasn't Joshua, he was Woody. That's who he was. So they kept his name. Well legally they changed it to Woodrow because he might prefer to use that when he's older but we all call him Woody. I still don't love the name Woody but it is who he is. You are adopted a little girl named Nevada. That's who she is.

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#63 of 112 Old 03-20-2007, 12:33 PM
 
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I think we might be getting a little harsh to the OP...she's looking for opinions, not judgement.

RedOak ~ Momma to DS (8) , DS (4) , DD (3) , & DD 9/10 ~
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#64 of 112 Old 03-20-2007, 01:27 PM
 
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i would not change my child's name. i believe that if you adopt a child, especially from another country, you should be honouring where they came from and their own personal history.

they have a name and although it may not be what you would have chosen, it's theirs and it's all they've got.
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#65 of 112 Old 03-20-2007, 07:58 PM
 
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s Sorry, didn't mean to be/sound so judgemental.

I really feel strongly about it though, and really hope you don't do it.

~Tracy

Rockin' mama to Allison (9), Asher (5) and Alethea (3), head over heels in love with my sexy husband, Tony.

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#66 of 112 Old 03-21-2007, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I'll probably add more than this later, but for now

I find it very interesting that many off your reponses (and I appreciate them all, yes even the ones I don't agree with) say that I'm taking her name away. There's never been discussion of taking her first and middle name out of the picture. Now my dh and I have not discussed the last name, but I don't forsee that we'll keep that in any form.

Also, if she understood enough to have any say, than I would gladly give her that option. Right now if I said Nevada, what would you like your name to be, she would walk around saying name to be, name to be.

Also in her situation she is NOT being taken away from everything she knows. It is a HUGE change that she would be with us, I'm not saying it's not. But her grandparent, who she currently lives with, will actually get to be grandparents. We are not sure how the situation will work with birthparents. I do plan on contacting them both, I'm just not sure if it will be legal for her to since right now it's not.

Thank you for all your posts! I'm amazed at how many people have responded and how many perspectives there can be on this.

Thanks!

Nikki
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#67 of 112 Old 03-21-2007, 12:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, so one more,

If we did ADD Sarah to her name to make it Sarah Nevada, I would have NO problem if she CHOSE to go by Nevada. It's not that I hate the name. She will know that she's adopted and that it was a wonderful thing. I feel very strongly about adopted children knowing and knowing that it was a wonderful thing regardless of the situation.

I'm not sure if that adds more perspective or not, but thought I'd that in.

Thanks!

Nikki

Oh, and it's not been decided either way. If everything goes through, we would talk to the grandparents about it. If they are not on board then I don't see how we could do it without it being a HUGE negative thing for her.
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#68 of 112 Old 03-21-2007, 03:09 PM
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I agree with Wugmama 100%

Just because she can't express her opinion to you, doesn't mean that she doesn't have one.

If you asked her whether she'd like to eat a banana or a pear, just because she can't say "pear" doesn't mean that's not her preference.

If someone was hurting her, just because she can't say "knock it off" doesn't mean that she doesn't care whether or not it stops.


Read what fellow adoptees here are telling you. It's not a good idea to change her first name this late in the game, it just isn't. Change the last name if you want (doesn't seem to be as traumatic), but please leave her first name alone. She is who she is, and she is Nevada.
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#69 of 112 Old 03-21-2007, 05:41 PM
 
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This is a really interesting discussion. I'm curious what those who say it's never okay to change a child's name would do in specific situations.

For instance, say your child already has a name which you find literally or virtually unpronouncable? What if your child comes from a country where there are serious enough language diffferences that their name isn't/wouldn't be pronouncable by English speakers--say, for example, you adopt from an African country that uses clicks in their language and there is one in your child's name. Are you duty-bound to keep it? What if a child is named Ginger and is adopted in a country in which there are no G sounds and all nouns have an accent on the second syllable. Are you really maintaining your child's identity if you know that most people will call her yin-YER her whole life? (This example sounds silly, but I think there are really situations that would work like this when names are "translated" into English.)

And what about names that will border on the ridiculous? If you adopt a child named Carey and your last named is Carey? If you adopt a child named Georgie and your last name is Porgie? I'm not trying to be facetious--I'm genuinely curious if people think there are limits and, if so, where they are. Is it worth keeping your child's given name if you think he/she will be ridiculed his/her entire life. What if the child IS named Bacardi Breezer?.

And what about other kinds of ethnic combinations? My dh has a VERY Jewish last name. If we adopted from, say, an Asian country, I wonder what it would be like for that child to go through life named something like, say, Chenguang Rosenblatt. I'm not saying I necessarily would change it--just that it would require some thought.

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Originally Posted by pumpkingirl71 View Post
We hated our daughter's name. She came to us at 23 months. Not only did we hate it, it rhymes with our son's name and they have the same names a famous couple. Hated it, hated it, hated it. But we decided it was her name. We love her, so we decided we have to love her name too.
And, on a lighter note...anyone else dying to know what these names are?
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#70 of 112 Old 03-21-2007, 06:18 PM
 
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For instance, say your child already has a name which you find literally or virtually unpronouncable?
This is something my husband and I discussed before we adopted our son from Ethiopia. There is an Ethiopian boys' name that starts with Ass ... the stress is "ass," so it's not like it could be hidden by merging it quickly into the next syllable. What would we do if our son's name started with Ass? We decided that we would give him an American middle name and call him by the Ass-name until and unless he chose to change his name. The same holds true for the rest of the scenarios you described. My son's name sounds very similar to a well-known American name (Efram is a pseudonym). We pronounce his name as closely as possible to the Ethiopian pronunciation. Everyone else pronounces it like the American name ... until we correct them once, or twice, or three times. They learn eventually. What people who don't know him call him doesn't particularly concern us. He also has a nickname that is derived form his Ethiopian name that many people find easier to remember than the "not quite the American name" name. I have a Swedish friend named Jocke. Most people call him Jock until he explains to them that it's pronounced "YOOEH-KEH." Americans can't get it quite right. When he lived in Spain they called him Joaquin. But his name is Jocke, so we do the best we can. If my child were Carey and my last name were Carey, I would name my child Carey Jennifer Carey (for example) and call my child Carey Carey until and unless my child chose to go by Jennifer.

Quote:
What if the child IS named Bacardi Breezer?.
I would name my child Bacardi Jennifer Breezer and call her Bacardi until and unless she chose to go by Jennifer.

Quote:
And what about other kinds of ethnic combinations?
Our bio daughter has a Slovenian first and last name (dh's family is Slovenian). Our adopted kids have Ethio first names and Slovenian last names. Honestly, big deal. I grew up with French first name coupled with an Irish last name. Nobody really thought much about it. I think it's something that seems like a lot more of a big deal until it actually happens, and then it's not such a biggie.

To me, what it comes down to is that my kids' names are THEIR names. They are THEIR identities, not mine. It's not my prerogative to change them based on my style preferences. If any of my kids eventually decide to go by other names, I will call them by other names. (Indeed, Ramona wanted to be called Kaya for a few weeks. I called her Kaya. Efram went through a phase where he wanted to call me Mommy. I am not Mommy. I am Momma. It's my name. I get to choose what to do with it.)

Namaste!
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#71 of 112 Old 03-21-2007, 06:30 PM
 
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i think it's just a matter of whether you feel like you have a 'right' to change a person's name. i don't. obviously if you could not pronounce the name, you'd just have to do your best with that (call them something as close as you could or whatever). even at a month old both of my kids knew their name. i couldn't imagine changing it an any time. i especially wouldn't feel good about it in an adoption situation where so much is changing for them.

that's just my opinion though. if i found out a friend did this, i wouldn't gasp and be shocked and appalled.

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#72 of 112 Old 03-21-2007, 08:24 PM
 
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Our dd started responding to the name we gave her while still in China. She did not answer to her Chinese name. After she was home, I attempted to call her by her Chinese name and she did not even flinch. Apparently she did not recognize it as we pronounced it. I have encouraged her Chinese teachers to use it in her classes, but she still doesn't seem to recognize it in a down deep kind of way. Perhaps they used a nickname w/her that we will never know. In light of this conversation I did ask her if she would prefer to be called by the name we gave her or her Chinese name and she said she preferred the former. She was under a year when we changed her name, keeping her Chinese name as her middle name.

I am a little envious of the little ones who already have a name that can be adapted to English very easily, such as Mei or Ping.

So, I think it is essential to keep the name as odd as it may be as part of the permanent name no matter what. I do think there are valid reasons for changing a name, but over a certain age it must be considered very carefully. In the case of the OP I would add the desired name as a middle name but would keep the name she has because she is older, the name is easy to say, not the least offensive, and already so much a part of who she is.
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#73 of 112 Old 03-21-2007, 10:41 PM
 
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She will know that she's adopted and that it was a wonderful thing. I feel very strongly about adopted children knowing and knowing that it was a wonderful thing regardless of the situation.

I'm not sure if that adds more perspective or not, but thought I'd that in.

Thanks!
QUOTE]

There is a ton of info on here recently why this statement is not true.
I see you are new here- so i of course do NOT expect you to have read it yet- but look around this forum.
PM me if you would like any additional information about taking this angle with your child.
Hugs mama.
Emilie
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#74 of 112 Old 03-22-2007, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So maybe that statement doesn't apply to everyone, but I have been around MANY situations where that has been very true. The only situations I've seen where it's not true have been those who are adults now. A lot has changed about adoption in the last 10, 20 years. Not just about the legal process, but also the stigma that goes with it and how adoptive parents handle things.

I'm sorry if there are many of you who didn't know that being adopted was a wonderful thing. There is something very special about being chosen.

Nikki
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#75 of 112 Old 03-22-2007, 01:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nikkilynn View Post
There is something very special about being chosen.

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#76 of 112 Old 03-22-2007, 01:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not sure what that smiley means.
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#77 of 112 Old 03-22-2007, 01:38 PM
 
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I don't know if "chosen" is the right word? Yes I think adoption is special in the equivalent that giving birth is but I certainly don't want DD to feel like she was chosen. That puts a lot of pressure on her to feel like she might have to live up to something or perform a certain way. Does that make any sense?
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#78 of 112 Old 03-22-2007, 01:59 PM
 
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Referring to adopted kids as "chosen" is something that is now discouraged in the adoption field for the reason Starr gave.

Namaste!
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#79 of 112 Old 03-22-2007, 02:00 PM
 
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There is something very special about being chosen. Nikki
But it seems to me that in the vast majority of adoptions, the children arent really being "chosen"...its not like the parents walked into an orphanage and said "I'll take that one" (not usually anyway)....even when parents "choose" a child on a photolisting THEY still need to be chosen by that child's social worker or adoption committee. And i think that for most international adoptions yes, the parents are sent a referral that they could refuse, but not really the same as "choosing" the child. Perhaps with waiting international children, or a waiting US child for whom no other families are interested, its more of a "parents choosing the child" situation. I think a more accurate thing to say to a child would be "we were so lucky that we were chosen for you!" rather than "we chose you" unless that truly is accurate (and even then i probably wouldnt phrase it that way.)


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#80 of 112 Old 03-22-2007, 02:07 PM
 
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I wonder if you've considered a Biblical name within her name....Eve. I know it's not the greatest behavior model, but she is an example of the course life took to get us to God. Just an idea that came up.

Sarah, Mom to Theo (8/06), Penny (1/08) and Felix 10/30) #4 due 07/11
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#81 of 112 Old 03-22-2007, 02:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay. so I see how that's what you guys thought I meant. That's not at all what I meant, sorry about the misunderstanding.

What I mean by chosen is that when you are adopted, your adoptive parents are chosing to adopt. They jump through hoops and are investigated and God knows what else depending on the type and place of adoption. They don't just "get pregnant". Now don't get me wrong, getting pregnant is a wonderful thing to many people, but to others maybe not. For adoptive parents they are choosing through a long and sometimes hard process to add another child to their family. It's not oh, I forgot my pill, or opps the condomn broke. You know what I mean?

That's the kind of chosen I meant. A very special wonderful way to be chosen.

Nikki
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#82 of 112 Old 03-22-2007, 02:29 PM
 
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What I mean by chosen is that when you are adopted, your adoptive parents are chosing to adopt. They jump through hoops and are investigated and God knows what else depending on the type and place of adoption. They don't just "get pregnant". Now don't get me wrong, getting pregnant is a wonderful thing to many people, but to others maybe not. For adoptive parents they are choosing through a long and sometimes hard process to add another child to their family. It's not oh, I forgot my pill, or opps the condomn broke. You know what I mean?

That's the kind of chosen I meant. A very special wonderful way to be chosen.
An adoptee doesn't stay a baby forever. They grow older, and they start to understand that the story they've been told of being "chosen" by one set of parents is due to (as you put it) "oh I forgot my pill or oops the condom broke" happening with another set of parents. In other words, from the adoptee's point of view, the choosing doesn't happen in a vacuum.

You've got a lot of people on this thread trying to explain this to you as gently as possible. Please read what we're saying.
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#83 of 112 Old 03-22-2007, 02:31 PM
 
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most people will disagree with me, but honestly I dont see changing a young childs name to be a big deal. When we adopt again (probably internationally) we plan to give our new child a name of our choosing, and yes, probably keep his/her middle name.

Here's a flipside argument. My grandparents chose to keep my name when they decided to raise me. They kept it because my birthmother chose it. Big deal... I have always disliked the name and never felt it fit. I wished they had changed it! I'm sorry but at two I dont believe a name to be integral to your identity.

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#84 of 112 Old 03-22-2007, 02:44 PM
 
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Another thing, just to consider, is that yes while you have to take steps to adopt and its easy for some people to have an oops child where something may have not gone according to plan- the child that you are adopting may have been one of those unplanned. So it may be more difficult to use that as an example when explaining to your adopted child because they may start to ponder why exactly it was they were placed for adoption. Not that them wondering is a bad thing but you would hate for your child to think of themselves as being a mistake. Does that make sense?
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#85 of 112 Old 03-22-2007, 02:52 PM
 
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Hi. I am new to this forum, but have been reading a while and thought I would post.

My DH and I adopted our son from foster care when he had just turned 2. While we didn't necessarily hate the name he had, we wanted to give him a name of our choosing. We gave him a new first name and used his birth name as his middle name. Almost immediately after he was told his new name, he basically refused to answer to his old one. From that moment on he was ______ ______ and that's all there was to it as far as he was concerned. It's now been two years, and so far there has been no issues come up as far as changing his name went. When I tell his adoption story to him, I always add that before he came to us he was called ______, but now he is called _______.

Good luck, and hope this helps.
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#86 of 112 Old 03-22-2007, 02:59 PM
 
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I'm sorry if there are many of you who didn't know that being adopted was a wonderful thing. There is something very special about being chosen.
Yeah, silly me. If only I had *known*, then it would have made everything so much easier to bear, knowing I was 'special'.

You know, though, SJ's suggestion is kind of neat though. Most parents have pet names for their kids. Have you considered finding a nickname based on Nevada, if you absolutely can't stomach the name? Eva, Nev (kind of like Neve Campbell?), Evie, Addie, ect? All of my kids have nicknames based on their names, ranging from could-be-a-real-other-name to silly.

You seem pretty bound and determined to change it though.
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#87 of 112 Old 03-22-2007, 03:01 PM
 
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I just don't understand why, if you don't mind her being called Nevada, you feel the need to change her name or add Sarah to it? Just so it will look better on paper or so it will match your other kids names? They are only children for a short while and not often will someone be saying all their names in a row so it doesn't really matter if they match. I knew a family with four girls - all biological - named Keisha, Karla, Katia and Robin. Obviously Robin does NOT fit with the other names but nobody ever thought anything of it.

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#88 of 112 Old 03-22-2007, 03:11 PM
 
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I don't mean to sound mean, but one thing that has occurred to me is that a lot of the parents who are writing about changing their kids' names and it all being just fine have pretty young kids. The adult adoptees who have spoken have pretty much said it was a very big deal for them. I'd gently suggest that perhaps the young kids don't know how or don't feel comfortable verbalizing that it is a big deal to have their names changed.

Namaste!
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#89 of 112 Old 03-22-2007, 04:04 PM
 
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It seems that you are at the beginning of your adoption journey to adopt Nevada. I assume you have no other adopted children.
I encourage you to further your research about adoption and issues that come along with being adopted for adoptees.
On the surface adoption does seem to be a good and happy thing. But it is not ALL a good and happy thing and adopted children and adult adoptees do not have ALL happy feelings about being adopted.
This is a complex issue and I urge you strongly to pick up Nancy Verriers THe Primal WOUnd at www.amazon.com
I am sure many other mothers on here could give you additional book ideas as well.
Telling a child that being adopted is a great wonderful is not the router to take.
I look forward to getting to know you better on these boards! Please continue asking questions and finding out ALL information about adoption. Your daughter to be will be better for it.
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#90 of 112 Old 03-22-2007, 06:24 PM
 
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I guess I am in the middle of the road here. I don't see anything wrong with changing her name but I would personally add your first name to her names. So, Sarah Nevada Marie Lastname. That way, she would not lose anything and would also "fit" in with her siblings. DD was named Firstname Middlename Lastname originally. Her biomother knew we would change it and called her by our name from the beginning. So now her name is Ourfirstname Ourmiddlename Originalfirstname Ourlastname. KWIM?

Like with almost everything about adoption, whether it bothers her or not will depend entire on the individual and there really isn't anything one way or another you can do to sway her feelings, imo. I have no idea if my parents changed my name or if I just didn't have one. I have a feeling it is the latter. I don't think I would have been bothered if they had changed it though.

Like previous posters have stated though, it could really bother them or others.

I will add that I absolutely would change bacardi breezer because I feel it is a totally inappropriate name.

Eve would be a nice nickname for Nevada if you don't want to change it. DD's first name didnt' have a nickname that I liked plus I didn't like the origin of the name.
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