Friday, April 27, 2012

Hannah's Name

Our daughter will have quite a name! Hannah Bei Jia Marie plus a last name, too.  In the last post, I had a picture of a wall hanging a friend gave me with Hannah's name meaning.  I thought I'd share here.


  • Language/Cultural Origin: Hebrew
  • Inherent Meaning: Gracious
  • Spiritual Connotation: Compassionate
  • Psalm 145:8, "The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy."
Bei Jia: 
  • The name given to our daughter at 1 day old when she entered the orphanage
  • Meaning: Shell/Valuables,  Beautiful/Excellent
  • Her nick-name in China is Jia Jia
  • Language/Cultural Origin: Hebrew / Egyptian
  • Inherent Meaning: Bitter / Wished for Child
  • Spiritual Connotation: Delivered
  • Isaiah 38:17, "Indeed it was for my own peace that I had such great bitterness; but You have lovingly delivered my soul from the pit of corruption, for you have cast all my sins behind your back."
Even though this name might be a bit of a mouthful for a little girl, Hannah is the name we chose for a girl when we were pregnant the first time and kept it as our top choice through each pregnancy.  Because my name has "hanna" as its ending, it is special to me as well.  We also wanted to keep her Chinese name, even though it wasn't given to her by her Chinese parents.  She will have so little to look to when she starts to question who she is and where she came from that we want to keep as much of what she has as we can. We also gave her an American middle name for a couple of reasons.  First, that is my middle name, my mom's middle name, and my grandmother's first name.  That is special!  Also, when Hannah gets older, we wanted her to be able to choose which middle name she prefers to use.  If she wants to identify with her Chinese heritage, she has that.  But if she just feels American, she can drop the Chinese name.  However, legally, she'll have both - something I hope she appreciates some day.  It was interesting doing the research on the name Marie.  I had always heard it meant "Bitter," which I must confess is not my favorite meaning.  But I kept seeing that it was Hebrew, with Egyptian origin, so I decided to look at the Egyptian meaning.  When I saw that the Egyptian meaning was "Wished for child," I could not help but think it is absolutely perfect for our daughter.  We have wished for her through this whole 4-year process of adoption, and I have wished for her for 20 years - ever since God impressed upon me that I would have a daughter from China someday.  I hope she will come to realize just how much she was longed for by us!


Marie said...

I love the name Marie :) I think it's so awesome that she'll be the fourth generation female to have it as a middle name!

I don't think her name sounds too long. It's really only two middle names. Shane's sister was born Margaret Lucy Heather Nicole. Now that's a mouth full!

Wouldn't it be so cool if she grows up to be a Chinese linguist for the USAF!?

Alvarez Family said...

Thanks for sharing this lovely story! "Marie" is also your sister-in-law's middle name, and our second daughter's middle name. It's a beautiful name! :)