So how did we come up with the name Meili? It's a bit of a story. As most people know, I've always wanted to adopt from China -- since the early 90s when it first began. When I was 15, I decided that my first Chinese daughter would be named Marina. If you are a Star Trek TNG fan, you know where this name comes from. However I will share with those who don't have the privilege of being TNG die hard fans, like myself. Marina Sirtis is the actress who plays Counselor Deanna Troi on the show. For whatever reason, I loved the character, actress, and her name. Thus, Marina would be the name of my first child. 
    I've held onto this belief for a long time. Just ask my Mom or Kelly...they'll both tell you that I've always wanted to name my Chinese daughter, Marina. Even when Ben and I were first dating, I told him that I wanted to adopt a daughter from China and name her Marina. He was ok with this. 
    Fast forward to January 2011. We receive the referral of Yang Yufu. For the first month, we called her Yang and/or Marina. For whatever reason, Marina just didn't sit well with Ben or me. It wasn't the name of our daughter. Now maybe if we were adopting her from Russia or Eastern Europe, then the name would fit the girl - but not this name and not for this girl. 
    And Ben and I have a deal when it comes to naming our kids. You see, I have the belief that children can have either the mother or father's last name. It took me over 1 year before I changed my last name to include my husband's (my last name is hyphenated). And, Ben has his mother's last name. So if our kids were to have my last name, it wouldn't be that unusual as the precedent has already been set by Ben's mom. But it was very important for our kids to have Ben's last name. It probably is because his mom gave it to him. I'm really not sure but it just is important to him. Since all of our kids will have his last name, I get to pick their first and middle names. And since my last name is important to me, ALL of our kids will have my last name as their middle name.
Anyways, that's a long explanation for a short deal. Back to Meili's name....
    After we both decided that Marina was inappropriate for our daughter, I began to think about incorporating her Chinese heritage into her name. I definitely didn't want to name her something so ethnic that she would be made fun of. But I did want to reflect her heritage.
    So let's rewind a few years.... Back when I was a RN in the CVICU, I took care of a very sick baby for many weeks. During this time, I got pretty close to the baby's mom. This mom named her second child Mailey (like Bailey). I always thought that was an interesting name and if I ever have a second daughter that I would consider this name. One night while pondering names in my head, I made a revelation. I could use the name Mailey but spell it M-E-I-L-I. This would reflect my daughter's heritage and give her an American sounding name. 
    The next day, I looked up Meili on the internet and found that it was a real Chinese name. The name Meili as a whole means beautiful and graceful. However it really is broken into 2 words: Mei and Li. Mei means beautiful and handsome. Li means elegant and graceful.
    So Meili it is. I've had mixed reactions from folks. Some say "what!?" Others say that it's very pretty and appropriate to her culture. In reality, it doesn't matter what others think, only Meili. I realize that when she is older she may choose to go by her Chinese name. This is completely understandable and I wouldn't blame her for wanting to be known by her Chinese name. But for now, she will be known as Meili Yang.
David
2/4/2013 11:43:51 pm

Thank you for sharing. We are adopting from China as well and are acutally looking at Meili as an name option as well. Our daughter's Chinese surname is Li and this would incorporate it in to her first name (we plan on keeping her Chinese name as her middle name).

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