Unlike when we had Hannah, we had not come to a firm decision on what we would name our third miracle when we were expecting her. As soon as we knew it was going to be a girl, there were a few names we were tossing around.
Well, we knew we wanted a name from the Bible, or at least derived from a Biblical context. However, some of the names, although sounded all right, just didn’t strike the right chord with either Pete or me. To be honest, the name “Emma” was “not approved” by Pete earlier on for whatever reason, I do not know. Subsequently, Hannah began naming her soft toys and her bear happened to be named Emma. So when we started considering “Emma” again, we had to ask Hannah’s “permission” to have her sister share the same name as her bear. It was a back and forth decision that continued for weeks, and in the end Hannah agreed to change her bear’s name to Olivia if we choose Emma for her sister’s name. Well, we did…but Hannah’s bear is still Emma to this date. LOL
Anyway, back to Emma. Emma is a name that carries the meaning “Universal, whole or complete”. It is also considered a Biblical name because it is a name derived from Emmanuel, which means “God With Us”.
Next comes the tricky part of choosing the Chinese name. Once again, I requested for help from a friend of mine to help in determining the number of strokes which are suitable, and she confirmed that it would be the same as for Hannah the previous time, which meant that based on Pete’s surname, Chua (蔡Cài), there were 4 stroke combinations that would be a good match for the 2nd and 3rd Chinese character for Emma’s name:
- 7 + 18
- 18 + 7
- 8 + 17
- 18 + 7
We didn’t really restrict ourselves to having some form of common character for both our girls so our options were wide open. However, upon doing some research, we limited ourselves to the stroke count above and also to the criteria that Emma’s name had to contain the “grass” radical (艹), given that she would be born in the year of the serpent/snake, according to the Chinese Zodiac.
I gravitated towards the Chinese character Xǐ (禧), from Hannah’s Chinese name because I really liked its meaning: Joy. Then I stumbled on this character Yún (芸), and since it fits the stroke count and the radical criteria, I enlisted the help of a few friends to help me look up the meaning. I found several meanings myself so I was a bit confused. Turns out this character has several meanings on its own, depending on whether it was used traditionally or in its modern form. One of its meanings is “To see”.
The combination of Yún(芸) and Xǐ (禧) (8 + 17 strokes) therefore meant “To see Joy”. What a beautiful meaningful name for a beautiful baby girl!
We are also very pleased that both our girls have a common Chinese character in their names but they are also unique names on their own, with the position of the Chinese character Xǐ (禧) switched.
So her full name is thus Emma Chua Yun Xi (蔡 芸 禧 ~ Cài Yún Xǐ), which carries the meaning God with Us, To See Joy.
Additional trivia with regards to our kids’ names: they are all in a way complementing or completing each other, however you want to look at it.
- Ethan has 5 letters, Hannah has 6 letters and Emma has 4 letters; each one unique and special.
- Ethan and Emma share the same first name initials.
- Hannah rhymes with Emma.