We're making progress on the issue of naming the baby. Paul and I both agree that we will not likely keep Tihun as her first name. I hate to say this, but I just can't warm up to it. Sorry, Tihun's first mom. That being said, we are also moving away from giving her an "American" first name. Our daughter is Ethiopian, and we treasure that fact and want her to as well. I do not want her to grow up believing that her Ethiopian heritage was one we wanted to disguise or downplay by giving her an American name.
In Ethiopia, mothers choose names based on meaning. I think this is a beautiful tradition, and is one I have decided to use in choosing a name for our baby. I looked over a list of Ethiopian girls names and their meanings, and ran my favorites by Paul. I'll be honest: my search involved finding a name that had significant meaning but was also fairly easy for us Euro-Americans to pronounce. At the top of my list is the name Meron. It means "gift from God," which seems awfully relevant. It also sounds pretty. Paul agrees, and we've both been playing with it to see if it feels right. Eliana's verdict was immediate - she doesn't care for it at all and got a little upset when I proposed it. The good news is that Eliana will survive and will likely resign herself one day to the fact that her sister is not called Isabelle.
So today our new daughter's name is Meron Tihun Bly. Stay tuned for updates.