3. The Family from Around the World!

Genre of [name_u]Story[/name_u]: religion/suspense…

Time Period/Location: modern-day, United States

Brief Plot: The idea of it is to be a series, each book focusing on one sibling. The idea behind the story is this close-knit, big family, with kids adopted from all over the world (who are now adults, for the most part). There will be 10 children. They’re all nosy, love all-American things, but also are very international, and very, very close. The oldest, Peter, is adopted from Germany and is in his early 30s. His story will be first. He is an FBI agent, who is one of the best agents investigating international terrorism–he’s in high demand, thanks to his ability to speak so many languages (he was the first adopted, after all, so he sort of just picked up Hebrew and Russian and Italian and French and such as he gained new siblings). He is happily married (he thinks) to his wife of approximately five years, and is the doting father of 2-3 kids (as yet to be determined), but work takes him away from home a lot, and his wife has had enough, and she leaves him, with no hint of where she (and the children) have gone. As he searches for them and tries to make things right (he’s still hopelessly in love with his wife, after all), danger comes to his family. I’ve not ironed out the details yet, but that’s the gist of it. It’s sort of a story of how he woos his wife all over again, finds his second happily-ever-after, but also a tale of suspense.

Names of Current Characters: Peter (Germany), Seamus (Ireland), Grace (Israel), Emilia (Italy), Lilia (Russia).

Character Description: The characters’ descriptions sort of depend on which nationalities I go for. I sort of have an image for them all, but I obviously can’t use them all. I am thinking that there will be two girls from France and Greece, respectively, and two from the Netherlands and Denmark, and probably another boy from either Romania or Spain (although I’m considering a Peruvian girl, as well).

Immediate Family (if relevant): Peter, Seamus, Grace, Emilia, Lilia…

Already Considered (if relevant): I’ve tossed around Andreas, Anouk, Kasper, Hanne (or Johanna nn Hanne?), Klara, Madelief, Jozef, Laerke, Magnus, Soren, Augusto, Aaron, Alexandru, Eleni, Lisette…

I’m sorry everything’s a bit vague still–I’ve not really ironed out too many of the details. I haven’t written in years and this is the first plot that grabbed me round the brain and wouldn’t let me focus on the sermon taking place in front of me at church this morning (not a moment I’m proud of, admittedly!), so I figured I’d run with it. It’s an idea I’d had years ago for a series, but I kind of let the ball slip and I had forgotten how excited I was about it. I don’t even have the age order sorted yet, save for Peter, Grace, the Italian girl, and Lily… but I’m thankful for the help, if you can provide it!

Thanks again,

Anyone? The title’s not the most exciting, I admit, but I’m really struggling here and could use some help! Any ideas at all?

I’m a little fuzzy on WHO you’re naming, but here’s a shot!



The Netherlands

Denmark (Scandinavian)



[name_f]Hope[/name_f] that helps!

Thanks, Athena!

I’m sorry; I don’t mean to be vague. The writing process is very intuitive for me, and I find it very hard to try to explain my process (or even my thoughts) to others. My problem is that I can see a character with every name I’ve considered, and I’m still trying to figure out which nationalities I want most, and I start getting an impression of some characters–like Alexandru from Romania. When I first thought of him, he was quiet and studious, wanted to prove himself–in school, as an adopted child, as a man. But he’s sort of morphed into this player sort of guy who’s more interested in partying and lewd sex than anything else, which is not how I saw him to begin with, and I’m honestly not interested in having him be like that.

Maybe if I give a more detailed description of what I’ve been thinking?

The French girl: the second oldest, adopted shortly after Peter was adopted, and they are very close, share all their secrets. Peter tells her things he won’t confide to anyone else, not even their mother, whom he loves very, very much. They are best friends. She is very protective and motherly; still single and is starting to feel like an old maid, even though she’s barely into her thirties. I had nearly decided on Lisette nn Issy, but I almost feel like that isn’t quite right for her anymore. I had also thought of Isabelle nn Issy, which was quite popular in France a couple decades ago, and would still be fairly interesting for a character these days, but Isabelle is my top choice for a girl and I’m not really sure I want to bestow that on a character; I feel like it would give a weird dynamic. I had also thought of something that was stylish decades ago in France, like Aurelie or Caroline or Sylvie, but none of them seem to suit her like Issy does. Issy’s sort of spunky and sweet. I’m not really set on her being Issy, though, since I’m not really set on Lisette. I had thought of Catherine, too, until I got a clearer idea of who I wanted her to be, but I don’t feel like Catherine fits her very well (especially with the French pronunciation, kah-TREEN).

The Danish one: I see him as a bit sensitive (definitely a him!), working as either a self-employed carpenter, or something artsy (a writer/storyteller, or a musician, maybe?). Kind, quiet. I can’t get a clear view of him yet. I’ve been tossing around Kasper, Soren, Magnus, Linus, etc. most seriously. I really would like to use Kasper for one of the boys; I just can’t seem to decide which one.

The Dutch one: I’m torn here, as I have a pretty clear fix on what the character is like, but I can’t decide if it’s a boy or a girl. This is the only one who has gone back to their home country, and made their home there. He/she feels like they’ve been blessed so much that they want to share their blessings and love with the country they came from. He/she is kind, selfless, very giving of him/herself. Loves children, loves to laugh. Truly cares about others. I’m thinking if it’s a she, then she’ll likely be Hanne Madelief, or Madelief Hanne. I can see their adoptive mom calling her her sweet daisy. For a guy, for some reason I see a quite religious Christian name, like Silas or Josiah. If that makes sense. But there really aren’t any of those that translate well into Dutch. I’m sure there’s not a plethora of Dutch Josiahs in their thirties… So I’m torn there. But I had been thinking of Kasper for him, too, and Jozef, Ferdinand “Freddie”, Gustaaf “Gus”, etc. I really like Andreas, the Dutch form of Andrew, too, but I don’t feel like it suits him, so if it is a him, I was thinking maybe Andreas as a middle.

The Greek one: probably the one I have the least fix on. She plays soccer in her free time (is fab at it, too), and is somewhat of a tomboy, but absolutely gorgeous. When she actually dresses up, I feel like she’d blow people away. She’s not shy, per se, but more just likes to keep to herself. Enjoys reading, to an extent, and is very smart, but not terribly book-smart. Probably one of the younger of the grown adopted ones. She’s a bit of a free spirit–really has no career ambitions, but she has a good heart. I’ve been thinking Eleni for her, but I hesitate to commit, as I could see her as an Ari or a Sofia before I sort of got any idea of who she was. She’s definitely a free spirit.

And then there’s one more, and I just can’t seem to get a fix for the last one at all–sometimes I love the idea of an introspective, quiet, withdrawn, but kind mama’s boy (even in his late 20s) from Spain called Aaron. But at the same time, I’m not sure that’s what I want at all–I just really have no idea. I had thought about a guy from Switzerland, maybe, as I knew a really cool guy from Switzerland, and he could have been inspiration for that character, but I sort of already have another story I’d worked on in the past with a character inspired by him, and I feel like Switzerland is sort of a smoosh of several cultures I’ve incorporated already–Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, etc.

I really wanted a Klara, too, but I’m not sure I could fit it into any culture I’ve been thinking of. I read somewhere it’s used in the Netherlands and Denmark, but I can see me using Hanne and Madelief more, probably, and I know the Danish one is definitely going to be a boy…

ETA: I’ve also been thinking about maybe a guy from the Middle East, with a name along the lines of Skandar (which I believe is the Persian form of Alexander?) or Zain? But I’m really not sure. I sort of like that then Grace wouldn’t be the only one not from Europe, then.

I think it sounds like an interesting story line/series! I like almost all of the names that you picked out with their heritage with the exception of [name_f]Grace[/name_f] from [name_m]Israel[/name_m]. I’d love to see her have a more Israeli/Middle Eastern name. A few suggestions: Noy, [name_f]Orli[/name_f], [name_f]Noa[/name_f], [name_u]Lior[/name_u] (which I believe is technically a boys name although I have met girls with this name as well) and [name_u]Yael[/name_u] (which is my personal favorite).

[name_u]Quinn[/name_u], her name is actually [name_f]Channah[/name_f]. Which means [name_f]Grace[/name_f] in Hebrew. They all, with varying degrees, accept either their “American” version or their traditional name… [name_f]Lilia[/name_f], for example, refuses to go by her biological name outside the walls of their family home–it is distinctly Russian to her, and she’s only been adopted for a little while, and she wants to be American, wants to feel like she fits in with the others, while [name_m]Seamus[/name_m] embraces the very Irishness of his full name ([name_m]Seamus[/name_m] [name_m]Ronan[/name_m] [surname])–while he’s proud to be an American, and proud to be a part of this family of his, he’s proud of where he came from, and he proudly wears his very Irish name. Much like [name_m]Peter[/name_m] with the [name_m]German[/name_m] pronunciation, it’s just easier for [name_f]Grace[/name_f] to opt for the American version. If I go with [name_f]Lisette[/name_f], she wouldn’t opt for the English form of her name ([name_f]Elizabeth[/name_f]), but she would go by a more English nn ([name_u]Issy[/name_u]). I suppose she could have opted for [name_f]Hannah[/name_f] or [name_f]Anna[/name_f] instead, but she’s more of a [name_f]Grace[/name_f] than anything, and if I use [name_f]Hanne[/name_f] (who would be older than [name_f]Grace[/name_f], anyway), there really couldn’t be a [name_f]Hanne[/name_f] and a [name_f]Hannah[/name_f]/[name_f]Anna[/name_f]. I’m leaning toward their adoptive parents keeping their original names, to keep the cultural distinctness, and so they would have felt weird to change [name_f]Grace[/name_f]'s name, but not everyone else’s. But anyway, yes, she does have a Hebrew name. :slight_smile: I think it was in my original draft of the OP; it just got edited out at some point, I think.