Her Chinese name is 子予 (zǐ yú). 子 is "child" or "son". And 予 is "to give", "to grant" or "to bestow". I'm not entirely sure who named the baby. The Chinese name wasn't explained to me and I still puzzle on how it works as a girl's name. But... parents' prerogative and all that. =)
I wanted something nice and hard[er] to make fun of, but not a common occurrence in English. When a child is special to you, you want their name to be special and unique as well. You don't want them to have a name that everyone else also has. But I'm also very cognizant of the complete and utter hattiness that's out there.
I was hoping for something that would have a strong connection with her Chinese name, either pronounced in a very similar way or meant the same thing exactly. I knew it would be hard to put this extra constraint on the choices, but it just sounds more thoughtful and inspired that way. Because it means that someone loved the baby that much to put the effort and thought into choosing something meaningful.
Ultimately, I'm glad I didn't give up on that self-imposed restriction.
I settled on the Greek/French/Old German/Latin name "Adora". It means "beloved child". Some references also say it means "a gift". It fits to a T.
It's also part of the word "adorable". Which, of course, she absolutely is. =)
It's also very no nonsense and straightforward in the way it's spelled and pronounced. It will also be easy to pronounce for her parents. Her father is fairly proficient in English, but her mother isn't, so I wanted something easy for them too.
I had a few other backup names up my sleeve, but her parents seemed to like this one. So, it stuck =)
"Theodora" and "Dorothy"/"Dorothea" were also in consideration. Dorothy is too common. Dorothea is interesting, but the ending might have thrown her parents a little. "Theodora" means "God's gift" and I don't like the reference to God.
At the time, "Princess Adora" had a certain charm and familiar ring to it. It hadn't occurred to me why. I thought it was just my personal bias towards the baby. It wasn't until yesterday when I was googling for examples of people named Adora that I came across Princess Adora, the alter ego of She-Ra, Princess of Power. I used to watch that when it ran back-to-back with He-Man every weekday afternoon at 1600h.
I also found Adora Svitak, a 9 year old girl in Redmond, WA. Very interesting person and an inspiring name-sake. =)
So, those are actual usages of the name "Adora". It's not common, so I'm not surprised that many people don't know of the name. And that's a huge draw to me.