I was gazing at the photos below and expressed to Woody how looking at them brought back those extreme feelings of joy and bliss from the first few days after the referral. "We weren't joy and bliss those first few days," he replied. "We were too busy arguing over their names."
But he's right. When asked how we first felt when we found out there were two, I have to confess we didn't immediately think about twice the joy, twice the work, twice the costs, twice the love... We were too focused on that second name.
You see, we'd had our children's names picked for years. Max for a boy; Veronica Sue for a girl. Who plans for twins?
Our boys' Vietnamese names are Em and Anh, so obviously Em was Max. Woody got the news hours before me, and by the time I got home he was committed to Wolfgang for Anh. (He figured it was his right to choose the second name, as Max is my Dad's name.) I ignored him (Wolfgang? As if) and chose Victor as the second name.
Max & Victor - I still love those names. Unfortunately no-one else did, in particular Woody.
In fact, my dear sweet husband, who lets me get my way with 99% of everything, slammed down his size 13 on this one. He insisted that he should be able to chose the name. I countered with the offer of "As long as it's not Wolfgang", which seemed reasonable to me, I mean there are what, 8 zillion other names out there?
We liked liked the way "Em(M) & Max" went together and played around with something similar for Anh. We considered Alexander and Anakin... but Woody was stuck on Wolfgang, and I have to confess I still wanted Victor... We somehow came to the agreement that the name should start with a V, and decided to leave it there for the night.
Meanwhile, we had made another startling discovery about the name we thought we had already agreed upon years ago. I firmly believe that you should give your kids the name you plan to call them, and thought Max should be just that, Max. Woody just as firmly believes that Max is not a real name, but a nickname for something longer - just like my dad's name. Another - let's call it a discussion - ensued. We tried on a bunch of Max names but the only one I liked was Maximilian, which didn't seem any fairer a name to give an innocent baby than Wolfgang.
We did agree that the boys' Vietnamese names would be their middle names. So, by bedtime the second day, we had Max(something) Em Oord and V(something) Anh Oord. I was re-naming some of their photo files and typed MAXEM and VANH. Then I ran downstairs and said, "I think we have their names." Woody eyed me suspiciously but agreed as soon as he saw them.
So now we can finally get to the joy, the wonder, the celebrations... Not so fast. If you've been paying attention you will realize that the boys were now without middle names, as their Vietnamese names were now part of their first names. And so I got to experience another commandment from my husband's Philosophy of Child Naming: Thou shalt not give thy child a last name as a first or middle name. I wanted Maxem Haines Oord but had to compromise with Mom's maiden name instead, because "at least it could be a first name". The final details you already know, from this post.
So now you know why our children have one Vietnamese name and one not!
11 months ago