Saturday, April 16, 2011

Her Name and Another Red Thread...

The "red thread" is referenced a lot within the Chinese adoption community. It's actually old Chinese folklore about a red thread that destines soul mates to meet . But I think adoptive parents have taken some liberties so that it applies to our circumstance as well. It basically just speaks to fate, destiny, kismet, "meant to be", whatever you wanna call it.
But all along the way you'll see signs of your red thread if you look for them. I have anyway. The biggest one... the penguins in the background of Mia's referral pic. But we'll talk more about that another day. Today I want to get my thoughts down about her name.

Mia's Chinese name is Tong Min Ying. It's pronounced Tawng Meen Een. It's still hard for my English speaking brain to look at these words and pronounce them this way. But I'm getting used to it.

Every baby ever placed in the Tonggu SWI carries the first two names of Tong Min. Only the third name is unique. They're named Tong for the location of the orphanage in Tonggu County. Tonggu means "copper or bronze drum". From what I've seen written of the place it's known for copper mining among other things.

There's also a well known landmark called "Tonggu Rock". Legend has it that it used to sound like a copper drum but during the 16th century there was a large protest of locals against the tyranny of the government. A famous general, Deng Zilong, was sent to suppress the rebellion. The leader of the protest hid inside the copper drum rock but General Zilong split it in two with his sword to capture him. When he split the rock, a golden cock {the rooster kind ;)} flew out never to return....and the copper drum rock was silenced forever. Interesting, eh? Here's a photo I found of it on the internet.
Min means "of the people". It's got a very pro-government, pro-communism connotation. My Chinese friend who translated it says it shows the orphanage director is very proud of his political party. I respect that. That's the way of life in China... no matter how we Americans feel about it. But because her first two names are not unique to her and because of their meanings, I'm choosing not to use them as part of her western name. We'll keep Ying.

So she has four names now. Mia Renee Ying.... and my last name, of course.

Mia is Italian and chosen simply because I love the way it sounds. I was delighted to find that it means "mine". Which I thought was appropriate since I'll be solo parenting her. She'll be all "mine". LOL! But now knowing her Chinese names, it takes on a new interpretation for me. I'm happy that she's mine... and no longer only just "of the people".  Renee is my sister's middle name. Mia will share it in her honor.

And Ying...well, there's a story there, too. I've said many times that I hoped her Chinese name would have a meaning that could be interpreted into a drawing. You see, I have a few tattoos. I wanted another in my daughter's honor.

Early in the process when I told someone this I said "with my luck her name will mean "blowing wind" or something really difficult to draw. I couldn't get lucky enough for it to mean something cool like "cherry blossom". That's just the image that popped in my head at that moment. Those are the examples I stuck with when re-telling this story over and over again during the last 5 years of this wait.

So you know where this is going, right? Ying means cherry blossom!!! In fact, my Chinese friend said not only does it mean cherry blossom but if a native Chinese speaker were to see the character they would immediately have an image in their head of the "PINK cherry blossom trees like those in Washington DC"!

I couldn't have found a more perfect name. Mia Renee Ying. That's my child. Somehow perfectly chosen for me.


Dayngr said...

I am so elated for you. Found & followed your a few years ago via the UBP blog hop & have been happily following your story. I'm an adopted child & a birthmother so this is so special. Congratulations MOMMY!

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