We Four in Egypt

Now back in the US!

Finally finalized

Yesterday we learned the great news that Giggle’s re-adoption in the US, in our state of residence, was finalized in November. We legally adopted him through the Ethiopian courts last summer, but the re-adoption means that every US state is now obligated to recognize him as our son.

It also means his name has been legally changed. He’s on his third name. Ethiopian naming convention dictates that kids’ second names are their fathers’ first names; their third names are their grandfathers’ first names (this is the tradition in Egypt as well, though it’s not always followed). So Giggle’s birth name was Giggle EthiopianDad. Then, after we adopted him, the Ethiopian courts re-named him Giggle Mr. Four. Now, he’s Giggle MyMiddleName Four.

I have a quirky middle name that goes back four generations, to my great grandfather. Giggle is now the fifth down my family line to carry this name. I hope that’s meaningful to him as he gets older as I really wanted him to have a name that connected him to me since he has his dad’s last name (Bug carries my dad’s first name as his middle name).

So Giggle has a name that is Ethiopian (his first name), French (our shared middle name), and German (he and Mr. Four’s last name). Which strikes me as being, in sum, very American.

By the way, I posted last fall that he was resisting his new last name, but that passed and he now identifies with it strongly.

Giggle has a first name that’s tough for some Americans and not necessarily familiar to all Ethiopians. In fact, he’ll probably be stuck spelling all of these names for his whole life. There are worse fates, I suppose. And, he can always change it as an adult.

Regardless of his name, it’s wonderful to have the American paperwork that says he’s our son. Now if only the Egyptians would believe it too.


7 January 2008 - Posted by | ethiopia, family, giggle


  1. Congratulations, that’s a great feeling, I know! We’re just celebrating the 5th anniversary of our daughter’s finalization and it’s still a treasured memory.

    Comment by Guy Berryessa | 7 January 2008

  2. Congrats! 🙂 We just had a finalization too.

    Comment by Dani | 7 January 2008

  3. Congratulations! Doesn’t it feel good to reach closure on that? BTW, what’s the problem with Egypt recognizing the adoption? (Sorry if you blogged about that and I missed it.)

    Comment by Marc | 7 January 2008

  4. Marc, you caught me on my laziness. I should have linked to it. Here it is:

    I’ll update the post with the link too.

    I guess I was also thinking of the question we inevitably get when we’re out as a family: “Is that your son? Really?”

    Or some variation of that… I have a post coming on this, actually.

    Comment by Ms. Four | 8 January 2008

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