“Gift from God”

Posted On: Thursday, April 8th, 2010 at 7:30 pm

We finally decided on a name! We really wanted it to mean something. We wanted it to be something tangible. It’s fairly common in our culture to choose a name because “that sounds cute.” But the Chinese culture is very different. They give their children names based on meaning, very deep meanings reflecting their hopes and aspirations for their children–and of course it should sound nice too. 🙂 Anyway, we wanted Min Jiao’s name to have a lot of meaning, not just a nice ring to it. We also took into consideration the pronunciation–no Ls or Rs since those can be tricky. 🙂 We actually tried to use sounds from her Chinese name. So we finally chose one, and we told Min Jiao about it in our last letter to her. Here is what we wrote:

Many times when children are adopted they get a new name. We want you to keep your Chinese name and have a new English name… Since we first saw your picture and knew you would be our daughter, we have been thinking about a name for you. We have finally chosen a beautiful name, “Jasmine.” Jasmine is a small, beautiful flower and many people like it. You are a beautiful girl and many people love you. “Jasmine” also means “gift from God.” You are a beautiful gift from God to our family. Our family name is Giles, so your new English name will be Jasmine MinJiao Giles. Your Chinese name will be Jia Min Jiao.

(“Jia” is our Chinese surname, the one Todd used when he lived in Taiwan.) Anyway, the jasmine flower also has some significance in the Chinese culture, so it sounded very fitting for our girl. Since her middle name will be MinJiao, she can still go by “Jiao Jiao” if she wants. We really hope she likes it. 🙂

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