I know our son’s name has thoroughly confused many of our friends. We had every intention of calling him Keanan, and referred to him by that name for the past two years. However, at the orphanage he was still called his birth name (Kembert), which I was reluctant to keep for fear of sentencing him to a lifetime of spelling and pronunciation issues. But now that he’s home, it just doesn’t feel right for us to change his name at this point.

So, we’ve settled on Kembe. It’s pronounced the way his name was already pronounced at the orphanage in Haiti – KEMbay. (You can actually click here to hear it pronounced). And while it’s not the most phonetic spelling in English, it at least avoids him having two totally silent letters in his name.

What confirmed this for me when, the other day, I heard a friend use the phrase Kembe Fem, Haiti. Turns out, Kembe is a word in Creole. It means MAINTAIN. Kembe Fem means “maintain strength”.

We like that. Kembe it is.