Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Her {Chinese} Name

Shea likes her Chinese name.

In fact, she loves it.

Fu Hua

She especially loves to be called Hua-Hua!

She likes the way it sounds....
She likes that it was what she was called when she was a baby still living in China....
She likes what it means....Flower or possibly Lucky Flower...maybe Blessed Flower (???)

(I certainly am no expert on Chinese names, but this translation is based on what I was told by our coordinator while in China adopting Shea. Plus some of my friends, who are Chinese, have implied this meaning as well.)

Bottom line, Shea likes her Chinese name.
She likes it also when I say her full name: Shea Emily Hua!

Avery does not like hers AT.ALL!!!

Zu La

My understanding is that Zu La is very unusual.  Quite a few of my {Chinese} friends were scratching their heads over this name.....However, the general consensus was that it means Charming.
(I would have to totally agree...
My Avery is completely charming!)

Many times over the past seven months since she has been home with us, she has firmly indicated that she doesn't like to be called by her Chinese name.  I would ask her why.  She would just shrug her shoulders. And say that she is Avery.....now.

Okay then!

When I call Avery by her full name: Avery Lyra Zu La....she wrinkles her nose and tells me that is not her name!

"I am just Avery!"

Okay then!

There are times when Shea wants to be addressed by her Chinese name and wants Avery to be addressed by her Chinese name as well.

Avery wants nothing to do with this!

No way!
No How!
Not happening!

Shea gets frustrated with her....not that Shea is bossy or anything....! Ha!

This is the interesting thing about how Shea & Avery initially responded to us when we used their Chinese names shortly after meeting them:

When we were in China adopting Shea (back in February of 2007), she would not respond to her Chinese name.  Ever!  She immediately embraced Shea as her name.  I would try calling her Shea-Hua....no response.  I would try Hua-Shea...no response.  Even Hua-Hua didn't work. (This nick-name was highly recommend by her foster parents.) Only Shea would do.  Hmmmm....

For Avery, it was the exact opposite. While we were in China this past January,  she absolutely would not even consider acknowledging 'Avery' as her name.  Every where we went, she would tell people her name was Qing Zu La.  And that was that!

Within four to six weeks after arriving home, she was allowing us to call her Avery.  She began responding to Avery.  And then eventually began calling herself Avery.

The other night, Shea was in her 'Chinese name' mode.  She was just loving having us all call her Hua-Hua.
I tried to get Avery in on the 'fun'.  I told her how pretty her name is and how much I love her name....

Zu La

We all tried.

She kept shaking her head no.

She told us not to call her Zu La.

She told us she doesn't like that name.

As always, I asked her why...

This time she had an answer.

It took my breath away.


Then quietly she added....

Barely above a whisper....almost missed by all of us....

"No one loved Zu La....."

to be continued....


  1. oh my...precious girl...., but she is so loved now! :) Can't wait to hear the rest of the story.

  2. Oh Chris. My heart just stopped and launched itself right into my throat. Bless your sweet baby girls, that they may feel unloved no more! That was an incredibly powerful post. Do you mind if I link it on my blog? Amazing my friend, praying that He will give you wisdom on how to respond to all of this! Blessings friend!

  3. Sonia,

    Yes, you can most definitely link this post you your blog! Wow, I am humbled!

    Thanks for your kind words!

    Avery's response pretty much rocked my world....still processing....

  4. That breaks my heart.....
    I think it is amazing, though, that she can voice that!!! Give Avery Zu La extra hugs for me and for Abby, OK??

  5. Oh goodness. My heart is breaking just reading this. Sweet girl... what a blessing she is SOOOOO loved now :)

  6. My breath just got caught in my throat.

    my chest just tightened.

    And I am already feeling those "angry" feelings of how a little girl should never have to think she wasn't loved.

    I am so glad God has a plan of Redemption.

    Sweet, Zu La, you are loved more than you could ever imagine!

  7. Wow, if that doesn't break your heart into a million pieces then nothing will. I'm so thankful that precious baby is loved now...and BIG time, but I hate it for all of those who still have no one to love them. This belongs on the No Hands But Ours site, and every other site that advocates for the children still waiting.

  8. Ohhh sweet girl! Tears are flowing for her tender little heart!

  9. Oh sweet baby ... what courage it must have taken to confess these hurts. Sounds like a step towards healing. Praying God gives you the right words to help her grasp the truth of the One who has loved her from the beginning of time with an everlasting love.
    Blessings from Hong Kong,

  10. Oh My. That just breaks my heart but yet applaud Avery at the same time. What a very brave girl!

  11. Oh Chris! That brings tears to my eyes and just breaks my heart! It is so disheartening to think that she ever felt unloved! And it is heartwarming that she knows without a doubt that she is truly loved now! :)

  12. OH! OH! Tears. Such a HUGE answer from such a little girl. I hate it that she feels that way yet it is healing for her to SAY it!!! OH, I predict that with TIME she will be fine with her Chinese name and embrace it.

    Such opposites your little girlies!

  13. Rip my heart out!!! I bet you told her that someone DID love her when she was Zu La! Your family for many months and Jesus since before the beginning of time!! Oh how my heart breaks for any child to think there was a time that they were unloved...

    Lily never responded to her Chinese name in China either (which coincidentally is Dong Hua- which we the orphange told us translated to Winter Flower- but they called her Dong Hua instead of Hua-Hua. Now she likes us to call her that only when she's pretending to be "China baby."

  14. Oh, Dear LORD! IF that's not a case for getting our hearts on fire for adoption, anywhere, everywhere, I don't know WHAT would be.

    The first thing that came to me, after I gasped!, was that this can be such an awesome opportunity to teach her about redemption. What the enemy intended for evil GOD has turned for her good. For your good as a family. For good for her future. LOVE when God brings us those teachable moments.... Praying for your processing - and for your response to burrow itself deeper and deeper into her heart :)

  15. But she knows now, doesn't she! She knows that Avery is loved!

  16. *tears*

    Oh my. Sweet girl.

    She is wrong though. God loved her, always. From the moment she was born. He brought her home to you, to love. I know in time she will come to know that, you will show her.

  17. I agree with Julie... she was indeed loved by God since always... :)

    Do you know the chinese characters for their names? Based on what I know of Chinese culture and beliefs, Fu Hua is easy to guess. But Zu La is indeed rather perplexing, because the words that I know based on that sound don't have the meaning of Charming... However, sometimes, chinese parents are rather literal when they name their babies... so for example, a mother who has had a string of girls and is hoping for a boy might name her daughter "zhao di" which literally would mean "welcome little brother" or something like that. If you don't know the characters, do you know maybe the tone of each character? (in mandarin, words have one of 4 tones to them... and a word spoken in different tones would carry different meanings). That might help to shed some light as well.

  18. Holy cow. I can't believe she had the words to tell you that. That is amazing. Thank you for sharing that deeply personal moment. What a precious child.

  19. This child has incredible depth. I envision great things for her.

    Many wishes for happiness and LOVE to you all.

  20. Dearest Avery~
    How I wish I could zip down the street and give you a great big hug! May your mommy continue to tell you how Christ came to rescue us from our smallness, our emptiness, our busyness, our lonliness and our sinfulness... because He loved you before you were born. Yes, you....Avery! And we rejoice in LORD because of it! Love and Hugs, Your Faulkner :-)

  21. Oh, my. How sweet and fragile and clever to even think these thoughts.

  22. Oh....oh my heavens...that just breaks my heart. Lottie doesn't like to be called by her Chinese name either. China is not even her favorite subject....one day I know she will share with me why;)

  23. Had to read this post when I saw the post name--I help a friend with a business called Jiayin Designs (www.jiayindesigns.com). You should take a look at it. Perhaps the Chinese name charms would make a really neat gift for one of your girls at least. :)