Hey Duana,

While I am not currently knocked up, I'm engaged to a great guy, and we're planning on starting to try shortly after the wedding.
Here's the issue - this will be his second marriage, and he has two kids from the first go 'round.  He has full custody, so these kids will be part of my new full-time family.  Just wondering your thoughts on how much their names should determine the names of new children?
For reference, their names are Noah and Emily... which, aren't BAD names... but... wouldn't have been my first choice.  I DO really like Biblical names (although not so much the traditional Matthews & Johns, or the trendy Jacobs and Isaacs... and not so far out there that I would make a child go through life named Zerubbabel or Methusela... I'm kinda in between: Asher, Simon, Judah, Ezra, etc).
Is there anyway to name new kiddos the way I'd like?   Or do I have to pick a name that everyone else is using off this year's Top 10 list?  I don't relish the thought of this woman's choices dictating mine, but I also REALLY don't want to do anything that is going to make this blended family transition any harder (ie- creating a very obvious us vs. them distinction in the name category).



I think it's interesting that you haven't mentioned your husband in all this - theoretically, he named his first two kids, so don't you think their names might be partly his taste? Are you blaming the commonality of their names entirely on their mother? I don't want to tread too far into Sasha territory, but it seems like you're making “this woman” something that you want to buck against and I'm not sure it's gonna do well for you here. They're nice names, when all is said and done. Popular, yes, but not offensive and not falling into a “trashy” category at all. And they're your husband's kids. If you even imply that you don't like their names, or that they're good enough for your stepchildren but not your own, you'll have resentment on your hands from some direction. And I know that's not what you want.

So. For my two cents? Here's what you do. Get your shortlist together - Asher, Simon, maybe Micah (and for girls, what falls under this category?  Dinah, Lydia, Phoebe?), names that fit your mandate but don't sound completely out of the way with Emily and Noah - and then? Let the kids pick.

Why not? What's the worst case scenario? You like the choices you're giving them, you're letting them narrow it down, and they'll always feel like they were a part of “naming” their new brother or sister. You don't say how old they are, so if they're toddlers, make sure you like all the names and giggle at the mispronunciations. If they're school-aged, they already know the trials of “good” and “bad” names at school and will treat the process with all kinds of seriousness. You can even ask them which name (of the ones you've chosen) sounds best with their names and see what they say.

Embrace their names, rather than working against, and you'll have a more complete sibling set that feels cohesive and familial, no matter what.

Let me know what happens!