Smiles Ninja

When you adopt from Ethiopia, you child retains their first name, their middle name is the adoptive dad’s first name, and the last name is your last name.  So our kids’ full names are Smiles Mark Miller and Diva Mark Miller.

We will eventually change our kids’ middle names to something that has some meaning, but that hasn’t been at the top of our priority list.  We’ve been busy raising 4 kids, nursing a baby, working full time…don’t judge.  Maybe we’ll get it done before they’re 18.

The other day Smiles was playing with some neighborhood friends and they asked what his last name was.  He not only understood the question but answered clearly enough that they understood the response- major progress being made here!  The kids then asked what his middle name was.  We’ve never even talked about middle names with the kids, so Smiles was confused and told them his middle name was Smiles.


I interjected at this point.  Here’s what happened:

  • Me:  We’re still deciding on a middle name.  We’re thinking about Lee to honor his Mimi.
  • Smiles:  Lee?  No!  I don’t want it.
  • Me:  Well what do you want?
  • Neighborhood kids:  Michael!
  • Smiles:  Michael.
  • Me:  Michael?  Who is Michael?  I like to pick middle names to honor someone special.
  • Smiles:  Okay, Jayden.
  • Me:  Who is Jayden?
  • Smiles:  Power Rangers!
  • Me:  Smiles, I am not naming you after a Power Ranger.

The kids went back to playing, but the topic came up again at dinner that night.

  • Smiles:  I want to be a ninja.
  • The Husband:  Did you know one of the best ninjas ever is Bruce Lee?
  • Smiles:  Bruce Lee?  Ninja?  Show me!
  • The Husband:  After dinner.  Bruce Lee is the strongest ninja ever.  He is way stronger than the Power Rangers.
  • Smiles:  Stronger than the Power Rangers?!  Okay.  Smiles Lee.

Well played, husband.  Well played.

After dinner Smiles watched You Tube videos of Bruce Lee.  He was amazed, and decided that Smiles Lee was a pretty good name after all.

Until bedtime.  As I was tucking him in he informed me he wanted his name to be Smiles Ninja Miller.



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