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I have it pretty clear by now that I won’t change my new daughter’s first name. I haven’t done it with my other Ethiopian kids and won’t do it with a girl that is already 5 years old.
Besides keeping the ties with her culture, I also think it’s a pretty name too. 
But what do you do when a child already has TWO names? Keep them both and add your last name? Add a third middle name? Replace the second name with a more Western sounding name?
We have decided to keep her second name, which also serves as her Ethiopian last name that links my daughter to her birth family. It is her birth mother’s last name and also her maternal grandfather’s.
But I’ve been struggling to make a decision on whether to add a third name or not. Would it be complicated for her to have so many names? Which one will she use when asked for her middle name? Is it that important to add another name?
Since now I’m pretty close to bring her home and will start filling all kinds of paperwork, including the famous name changing ritual (now her middle name is my husband’s first name according to Ethiopian tradition), I better get my act together…
All my children have two names plus the last family name, but this time we have decided to break that rule, and give her three names: Her original two, and one we’ll add in-between them, plus our family name.
My choice for her new name is Emma.
It’s a pretty popular name in the US, but I chose it for other reasons. I personally always liked it and since I was a child I promised myself that if I ever had a daughter that was going to be her name.
I didn’t used with Feven, don’t know really why, but this time I will.
Later she can decide which one she wants to use, but in her birth and citizen certificates, she’ll have three so she never forgets where she comes from.
However, I will always call her by her Ethiopian name which is way prettier than anything I can add.