Here They Are!
Ananda and Nathan
My Most Wonderful and Lovely Children
a.k.a Dallas Girl and Boy from Beagá
They are all dressed up for Festa Junina [June Party], a tradicional party celebrated in the month of June, thus the name. Also known as Festa de São João [Saint John´s Party], Brazilian culture is still highly influenced by the Catholic Church even though this is not a religious celebration. There is no culture of separation of church and state in Brazil, so spirituality is inter-woven into daily life. The party includes special yummy foods, kids and adults dress-up like country folk [see pic above] and do line-dancing.
I just want to make it clear that they don´t dress like this everyday. He really is that silly and she really is that sweet.
My personal experience with the Baby Name Game worked out wonderfully. I love the names we chose for the kids and they do too, all is well. I had a huge list of possible baby names both times. We did not find out baby´s sex during pregnancy. We thought that it would be an added extra bonus to see on baby´s actual birth day if we´d been blessed with a girl or a boy. So both pregnancies were gender-neutral and I loved it. It felt great to just be able to love baby without knowing if it was a boy or girl.
With Ananda I just knew that was her name as soon as I heard it during my pregnancy. Mother´s intuition is to be trusted. She still gets the usual question, Amanda? Now she´s perfectly comfortable with clearing it up. "Not Amanda, Ananda." I have to admit it got alot easier after the Amazing Ananda doll came out.
With Nathan, I had to see his face to choose a name, so I called him "rapaz" [guy] for the first 20-some days of his life. His birth was so fantastic but post-partum adjustment was what you could call PUNK. [more on that later, this post is about baby naming] I had to trust my intuition and respect my own time to integrate the experience. It´s perfectly okay to wait days to choose a name, if you need the time.
In choosing my kid´s names it was important to me that they have less popular names with deep spiritual meaning. Oh, and the names had to also be easy to read/write/say in both Portuguese and English.
Ananda is from Sânscrit meaning Bliss.
Nathan is from Hebrew meaning Gift from God.
And they are.
p.s. Alessandra, Alexandra and other variants of Alexander origined from Alexander the Great and means Protector of Humankind.