Wilmer Valderrama welcomed to the world his daughter with Amanda Pacheco on February 15, 2021, and recently the actor took social media to reveal the name of his firstborn. Inspired by a trip the couple made to Japan, and Takeko Nakano, a female samurai, they decided to name her Nakano Oceana Valderrama.
“The name was exciting to figure out because, you know, everyone is gonna have an opinion,” Valderrama told People. ”When we said the name, it created an unbelievable debate in our family. Some people thought it was off the wall, and others thought that it was just serendipitous and so beautiful.”
The That ‘70s Show actor said the name is the right decision. “Nakano became something that felt strong, felt unique, felt different,” the new dad said. “I thought what a cool, fun little conversation topic for our daughter to have as she grows older. But also, the respect and the heritage, and the tribute to one of those beautiful moments where my fiancée and I said ‘I love you’ for the first time. To commemorate that trip to Japan with our first labor of love.”
According to the 41-year-old star, their memorable trip made their relationship stronger to the point of exchanging “I love yous” for the first time. “Amanda and I traveled the world on our first year of our relationship. We decided to just throw ourselves in the deep end, so we traveled the planet. And one of those big trips that we took was to Japan,” he revealed. “... There was something very spiritual about traveling there and really understanding the culture, to take it in, the spirituality of it all. It really touched us. That trip was just so beautiful and eye-opening.”
Valderrama said while in the island country in East Asia, they both realized they wanted to be together and have a family. “That was the trip where we decided we would be together, that we would really be together,” he said. “Japan was a big moment for us. I was really proud of that trip because it really bonded us and gave us this security to just move forward and really plan life and really think about what we both really wanted.”
But the baby’s first name is not the only one with a profound meaning; the newborn’s middle name, literally, means something deeper. “She’s incredibly passionate about the ocean and diving and ocean life,” Valderrama said, referring to Pachecho. “So that was another tribute to her mom,” says Valderrama.
The Venezuelan actor also told People that he believes he was “genetically built to be a dad,” especially since he was the one keeping track of Pacheco’s ovulation days. “Everybody talks about, ‘I’ll take the classes and do the podcast and learn more from other parents and all that stuff.’ I kind of went in on it just more open-hearted and understanding and trusting that some things were going to wake up in me. And they did,” he says. “There was a very beautiful, primal, and magical trait that woke up in me that just kind of engaged the moment that baby came.”
“I don’t feel any type of pressure or concerns or insecurities. They gave me the opportunity at the hospital to change her first diaper, and I jumped at the opportunity to do it. It was a pleasure to change my baby’s diaper! I kind of dove in. I just took the role and really, really was fascinated and excited to learn more about it.”
The Florida native said although his daughter was born during a pandemic, he and Pacheco planned to be parents before the quarantine. “Amanda and I were planning to have a family way before this pandemic. We had made up our mind that family in the very near future was part of the plan,” says Valderrama. ”We look at the upside of the pandemic. The only way to live is to look at the opportunity this pandemic gave us, as opposed to what it took from us.”
Wilmer proposed to Amanda on New Year’s Day 2020. “The exciting thing was to say, well, look, the pandemic put a hold on our wedding, but we looked at each other, and we said our family seemed more important to us,” he revealed. “We immediately said let’s have our first kid, and it was a beautiful decision that was met with so much enthusiasm from both of us. We just couldn’t wait. It was more important [to us] to start a family, and then the wedding could happen when it could happen and when we can responsibly have one.”