How to name your child?
The short answer is Mira Lieke Mandos. The long answer goes a little bit like this...
The First Name
Finding her a name wasn't easy. A name is for life, after all. That she is born in London to a Dutch father and a Belgian mother, made it all the more complicated. So the list of criteria was as follows.
The name had to sound good when pronounced in English. So we asked Australians, Brits, Kiwis and South Africans to pronounce a few. Our short-list quickly became shorter.
The name had to sound good pronounced by the Dutch and by the Dutch-speaking Belgians (who have a way of making everything sound funny). The list became shorter once more.
It had to be short and simple. Jochem devised a lucid test. If he managed to say the name in an angry voice, and a friendly voice, it passed (you should try say 'bubbles' in an angry voice. Impossible!).
And finally, it had to be Mira. Many years ago, Fiona went to a kids' store where she saw a T-shirt that had the word "Miracle" printed on it. The T-shirt was folded in such a way that she could only see Mira. She knew straight away that she had found a name for her future daughter.
Jochem loves it too. Though he still finds it hard to say it in an angry voice.
Mira also means peace. It means ocean, sea, limit or boundary. It means light. And it means wonder. Isn't that pretty.
The Middle Name
The middle name was the easy part. Named after her Grandmother, whom, we're certain would've loved Mira too.
The Last Name
It's modern times we live in. The days of just adopting the father's name are over. We want Mira to have the freedom to travel around the world. Live everywhere. See everything. So, throughout the process, we were looking to make introducing herself easy.
Along came Jochem's last name. Jochem loves his last name. He thinks it means something to be a Verheijen, but even he didn't fail to see that it is an odd collection of letters. After all, no-one in the history of the English language has managed to pronounce his last name with any degree of accuracy.
VERHEDGIN, FAIRHIGEN, VERHEJSSKDEN. And then they give up.
Luckily, Fiona has a great last name. Best of all it means 'Controls' in Spanish! NO-BRAINER!
Mira Lieke Mandos
So there you have it. She has a name. Someone along the way gave us a golden nugget of wisdom. That a name is just an empty shell that she will need to fill, earn, colour, own, and make it mean something. We hope she likes hers.