Monday, November 5, 2007

What's In A Name? Part 2 of 3

I love how God works. Once I fully committed to the adoption I learned that that there were three or four families that I knew but never knew that their children were adopted. Recently I was with one of those teens who has been with his adopted family since the age of 2 or 3 and is now 16. I over heard a couple of the teenagers discussing names. Someone asked this young man his middle name and he immediately responded, "My real one or the one that they gave me." He told us his real first middle and last names (given by his birth mother) and then he stopped. As far as he was concerned he had answered the question. Only after being asked a couple of times did he tell us his first middle and last adopted names. The first name was the same but the middle and last names had been replaced. Someone commented that he at least had the same first name. He responded, "I really don't know that, do I? I only know what I'm told."

As the conversation continued he said that he was definitely going to change his name back to his real name as soon as he was 18. He gave several reasons, the most straight forward was because it was his to reclaim. He talked about needing to continue the real family name that had ended with him and of needing it to prove his connection should he ever find other birth relatives. He felt that the decision didn't really require explanation nor should he have to ask for permission to take back a name that he had never consented to give it up. Why he was placed for adoption was irrelevant. He still felt or needed the connection to that name and that family of his birth. It made perfect sense to me.

I was really touched by how honest he was and for the first time I wasn't so sure that I would change the children's names. I told him that I was in the process to adopt. I also told him that I thought of changing the children's names. I asked him if it thought that I should change them. He was direct and to the point, "no." I explained that some of the names are long and may be difficult for others to pronounce. He looked me dead in the eyes and said, "So what it's theirs."

I told him that I respected his opinion and his willingness to be so open and honest about his feelings. Still it left me wondering what story my children would tell at 16. Would they understand my reasons or would they think that no reason was justification enough. I'm still not sure what I will do; however he has put a lot on my mind. I don't think that I will make a final decision until I see them. It will be the first important decision that I make as their mother and the most personal one that marks their new life with me.

How will they see it? Will their name mark their future, the beginning of a changed life or will my decision to change their names disconnect them from a past that they need to treasure? I pray that God show me the way.

1 comment:

Lori said...

I can really connect with you on this - we are in the same quandry and have also "kind of" decided to see how things unfold before making that big decision... One other thing we've also tossed around is to somehow intertwine his/her birth name with a name we give him/her. We are very sure that if we do this idea or change their first name entirely, that for certain they will hold their birth name as their middle name. Make sense?? Wonderful information to digest here - thanks!

Original Court Date: April 18, 2009
Final Court Date: May 18, 2009
[607 total days & 165 days w/IAN]