When we originally learned of Ting, her name was Qi Xiao Ting. In China, the last name is first. For orphans, the last name they are given are often the name or a shortened version of the name of the county in which they were found. Ting was found at one week at the gate of a medical service company in Qichun county. Thus the name Qi.
What we also know about orphans in China, is that their second name - Xiao (which means "little" and is a name that has taken on some not so great meanings in China since becoming a communist nation) would have likely been the name given to all the girls who were admitted to the orphanage that month (or year). The final name - Ting - would be her own personal name - likely chosen by a nanny - and one with significance to her. Ting means slim and graceful.
We have referred to our daughter as Ting all year - and assumed she was probably called just "Ting" however we have learned that isn't so - she has always been Xiaoting - which is why we have chosen to keep the whole name intact as her middle name.
We had a big name pow wow the day before we got her (actually we have been in discussion for a long time about it). We just couldn't decide what to do. All our bio children have family last names as middle names and our daughters from Ethiopia have our mothers' first names as their middle names. We decided to do things differently this time. We felt letting the older kids pick the name was a good call and they all had chosen Amelia (from the fab four's family show that is a special family hobby/time time we have shared over the years with them - Dr Who). Originally we had said that her nickname could be Amy as Amelia sounds so similar to Jemila. Come to find out several weren't too fond of Amy. Too many people in on the name thing, I guess...Then Kate suggested Mia, which is a nickname for Amelia.
Mia has several meanings (one is "rebellious " which I am choosing to ignore lol) but the others are sweet - "mine," "beloved," wished-for child." As a group we came up with Mia or Mia Ting. It looks sorta Chinese (sorta Italian, but oh well, we have Italian cousins!) but easier to spell and pronounce (Xiao would forever cause pronounciation and spelling issues) and similar to what she is called now. Ah so complicated.
Everyone from home knows her as Ting and like in Jemila and Kulate's adoption - by the time we got them it was hard to change what we called them even tho we tried for the first week home. With them it was complicated by the fact that they called themselves their names and for a time only had each other to really communicate with. Their names weren't too difficult to blend into American culture - tho' Kulate's name is often mispronounced at first.
So there you have it. Here in China we are calling her Xiaoting (pronounced shee-yow-ting - accent on the ting). We may start calling her Mia Ting as we get closer to home - as she is still in our minds "my ting." Is seems to fit - any thoughts???
The funniest thing is - and perhaps a wink from God to go with our new choice - my sister Jill had Jemila write to us on Facebook. She might not have realized it but when Jemila (or Jill ) typed it she meant to type "miss you" but must have hit a wrong key and it autocorrected to Mia - even with the capital M! I couldn't believe it - we saw that the morning we were leaving to go get our daughter! Mia it is!