Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I Named Her Lily

She was on the other side of a room filled with kids, mostly girls, at the orphanage in China. She was already grown, a teenager, not a child. She glanced at me and smiled. I fell in love.

A year and a half later, with adoption plans moving forward, I wrote to ask her if she wanted an English name, and if so, what name appealed to her. She replied that in China, a parent gives her child a name that represents a wish or hope for her child. She wanted me to choose her name, to state my wish for her.

I thought about all that had transpired since I met her. I thought about her courage to leave everything behind, everything that was familiar to her, and to begin her life anew, where nothing would be familiar. It was like being born again. A new life full of hope and promise.

I named her Lily, the flower of Easter, in hope that her new life would bring her joy and fulfillment, the fulfillment of life’s promise.

As we approach Easter Sunday, I hope that, whatever our faith beliefs, we can all find renewed hope, an opportunity to start afresh, excitement about possibilities, a release of all that holds us back or holds us down.

I have a watercolor painting in my room of a little sparrow nestled in meadow grass as the dawn breaks. The title is “For today, newly bright.”

Every day is a new day. Every day is Easter.

Related posts: Zen Girl; For Today, Newly Bright


  1. Galen -
    This brought tears to my eyes that your beautiful daughter would have the wisdom to let you name her, and that you chose such a fitting name for her!
    --Godspeed, Elizabeth

  2. What a thoughtful name and how selfless of you to adopt a child. You are one amazing lady Galen!

  3. I really enjoy reading your posts. Each one has made me think.....


  4. The name Lily stands for innocence, purity, and beauty. Now, we can add courage.

  5. Galen: What a beautiful message. Happy Easter to you too.

  6. Being adopted, I can certainly appreciate this post.

  7. What a wonderful post...and even more wonderful that you adopted an older often they are overlooked.



  8. Elizabeth--Yes, it does suit her. Thanks!

    darlin--All my kids are adopted or foster kids. They have enriched my life far beyond anything I have given them.

    Jewel--I'm so glad you enjoy the blog. Thanks for your comment.

    JJ--She is all that...and more. Thanks for commenting.

    Sibyl--Thanks for commenting!

    Mitzi--Thank you. As I said above, all my kids are adopted or foster kids. I am glad you appreciate the post.

    Jo--Three of my five kids came to me as teenagers, so it seems pretty normal to me! Thanks for your comment.

  9. Galen, I'm touched by this simple, yet powerful read.

    Lily is the kind of girl who's a treasure for all those around her. To have the wisdom to let you name her based on hope and love, it's very moving.

    A very Happy Easter to you Galen :-)

  10. Touching, moving, and perfect for this season of rebirth and a promise fulfilled.

  11. What a beautiful name and a beautiful glimpse into your are remarkable, and Lily sounds wise beyond her years. Adopting a teenager is much rarer and so needed.
    katy x

  12. Stuart--Lily is a treasure. Happy Easter to you, too.

    Bob--Thank you for your comment. I hope you have a blessed Easter.

    Katy--Lily is indeed wise beyond her years. (Check out the link in related posts to Zen Girl.) Adopting a teenager is rare, I know. My two foster kids also came to me as teenagers. Out of five kids I really only had one infant, my son James. Mia was 3 when I adopted her. So I had one newborn, one toddler, and three teens! An odd way to make a family, but somehow it has worked, in a goofy kind of way.

  13. Powerful and uplifting. Just what I needed today. I love the name Lily.

  14. Hi Galen,
    This is so lovely. Thanks for sharing this. Your daughter sounds wonderful!

  15. Tess--Thanks. Apparently you are not alone in liking this name. When I named Lily, I didn't know any other Lily's, but since then it seems that every other little girl is named Lily! She is in good company.

    Dandy--Thanks. She is wonderful in so many ways.

  16. Galen - What a wonderful story to read (I read the Zen girl one too). Lily is blessed to have you as her Mom and you to have her as a daughter. Truly an Easter blessing - Love goes beyond all boundaries!
    Warm hugs beautiful lady and may you and your family have a blessed Easter.
    ~ Corinne

  17. Corinne--Thanks for your comment. I hope you and your family have a blessed Easter, too!

  18. Oh this is a lovely post - and Happy Easter you - my Portland kiddo was home for 2 days that was lovely.

    We gave our Korean Daughter her first name....Lael which is a Celtic Instrument of Harmony...her middle name is Jin ( meaning truth) and Ok (pronounced oak/means pearl) My husband calls her Ohkie Dokey! She is a great teacher of "new life" as when things go into her long term memory she can not retrieve them with ease due to a birth defect...some of the most amazing things are newly brought to our attention through her eyes.

    Lovely sharing and writing - Thank you


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