What Is In A Name?

When we found out who our children were, we started talking about what to do with their names. Do we keep their Ethiopian names? Do we give them American names? If so, what do we want to name them? After much discussion, we decided we would give them new American first names and keep their Ethiopian names as their middle name.

When we saw this little guy’s picture, right away the name Levi came to mind.


Levi Eyob


Doesn’t he look like a Levi? His name means “joined.” Isn’t that just perfect? He is forever joined to our family!

Our middle son we decided to name Micah. Micah means “who is like God.” That is our prayer for him. That he would grow to become more and more like God.

Micah Eba


And then, our daughters. We had only seen one of their pictures. The oldest girl was not “in the system” yet and so we had no picture of her. We chose the name Abigail for our 7-year-old. This means “father’s delight.” And of course, you have all been praying for our oldest daughter Naomi. Naomi means “beautiful, pleasant and delightful.”

We have been calling our children a mixture of their American name and Ethiopian name ever since we got here. And then last week, they finally became Putnams and got to come home with us! And that was when we found out what “Abigail” really wanted. Her first night here, she looked up at me sweetly and in a shy voice asked, “Me Naomi, Mom?”

“You want to be Naomi?” I asked her.

“Yes, Mom. Me Naomi. Please, Mom?”

This girl has endured so much. All she asked was that we call her Naomi. It is the least we can do to let her choose her name if it means so much to her!

So let me introduce you to our daughter Naomi Shukria.

Naomi Shukria


Her older sister, our daughter-in-waiting, will take the name Abigail.

I know you have all been praying for “Naomi” and her paperwork and her adoption. God doesn’t care what you call our oldest daughter. To Him, we are all “beautiful, pleasant, and delightful.” But for now, our plan is to name her Abigail when we finally have the joy of her becoming a part of our family.




5 thoughts on “What Is In A Name?

  1. Jessica

    So beautiful and so sweet. Brought tears to my eyes. What blessings for all of you on this journey, and for those of us who get the privilege and joy of following your story!

  2. Leah

    Hi there!
    I linked to your blog through the Gabrysch blog. I have loved reading your adoption story and have been so excited to follow your family’s journey. We are just beginning our journey & are submitting our application to an agency this week. We hope to adopt siblings from Ethiopia as well. I hope you continue to update your blog once you are at home… I would love to follow the transition to a new life in America! Blessings to you & your wonderful new family!

  3. Nana & Bedstafar

    Natalie, YOU are pleasant, beautiful & delightful to us all!! Thank you Jesus for daughters & sons!!
    Love & prayers, Mom

  4. Sue Peterson

    The names you picked are great! It’s funny, I thought her name was Naomi anyways, I got the two names mixed up while I was reading the blogs! I hope all is well 🙂

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