Dalai Lama names one of New York City’s first babies of 2014

Ten­zin Choetso with her mom and dad
By  Ben Chapman
Three New Year’s babies born at or just after midnight made for a dramatic and happy beginning to 2014, and one of them has a blessed start in life — she was personally given a name by the Dalai Lama.

Metok Dolma, 31, a Tibetan-born small business owner from Woodside, Queens, gave birth to her healthy baby girl just one second after midnight at Elmhurst Hospital.

The beaming mom couldn’t contain her joy over her new daughter and the good tidings the girl’s birth signaled for 2014.

“It’s breathtaking, amazing, out of the ordinary,” said Dolma, who has another daughter, age 2, with her fiancé, Dorjee Choetso, a wine salesman. “I think this year is going to be a great one for every one of us.”

 Dolma and Choetso came to the city in search of a better life about five years ago.

They met at a New Year’s Eve party in New York in 2008. “It’s very special night for us,” said a beaming Choetso, 33. “This baby is a blessing for the new year.”

The Buddhist couple’s new daughter’s name is Tenzin Choetso, a traditional Tibetan name given to her by the Dalai Lama himself in December.

o get the Dalai Lama’s recommendation for a name, they phoned a secretary for His Holiness, who then asked the spiritual leader for a suitable moniker.

Dolma said expecting parents of any faith can reach out to the Dalai Lama for a name suggestion. “It’s a good luck charm for the baby,” she explained, noting that her first daughter, Tenzin Choezey, was named the same way.

The Dalai Lama’s given name is Tenzin Gyatso. He often suggests the first name of Tenzin, which means “to conquer the wisdom of Buddha” in Tibetan. He recommends various second names.

 Meanwhile, across the city in Park Slope, Brooklyn, a Crown Heights couple welcomed another healthy baby girl into the world just after the New Year.

Samantha Nieves, 27, a medical clerk, started going into labor at her apartment at 11 p.m. and was rushed in an ambulance to New York Methodist Hospital, where she gave birth to Shannon Lee Willis five seconds after midnight.

“I thought I was going to give birth in the ambulance,” said Nieves, who has another daughter, 5, and a stepson, 2. “I’m glad we lasted until the hospital.”

Shannon’s father said he dreamt this week that his unborn daughter told him she was coming on New Year’s Eve. “It truly is a blessing,” said the dad and baby’s namesake, Shannon Willis, 26.

A third baby was born at Kings County Hospital exactly at midnight, but the infant’s family declined to speak to the media, a hospital spokesman said.

NOTE--Ben Chapman writes for New York Daily News and the above news story is reprinted from the NY News Daily. The writer can be contacted via bchapman@nydailynews.com

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