Assembling Self

Sunday, February 27, 2011

It's "just" a name

The Sands of Time

Searching through the sands of time examining my past.
Watching life I call my own pass through the hour glass.
So much has been forgotten, so much has been left behind.
So much that has been buried I search for but can not find.
People who have come and gone and those still here today.
Faces I have never seen who long since went away.
Missing names and histories leave only gaping holes.
Oh how I'd love to hear all of those stories left untold.
Each has left their mark upon my soul and memory.
This life that was created, an everlasting legacy.

I was told "it's just a name" by a co-worker last week when discussing names.  These types of comments are made by people who have no idea the very foundation of their lives their names of origin give them.  This is the attitude of many people who are not adopted and don't have their original identities taken from them and sealed by the state. 

A few days later when this co-worker was asked why he went by initials instead of his first name he declared that people shortened his name and he was continually called by a partial of it.  He did not like the "nickname" and wanted to be called by his full first name and since people could not seem to do that, he now was using the initials of his first and middle name.  So, in fact a name DOES actually matter.

Loss in adoption is glossed over by the masses unaffected by it.  What so many take for granted becomes a life long quest to find for those of us it has been taken from.  It does matter, and a hell of a lot to so many of us.

The name I was given when I was adopted, and the family it comes from, does not describe or tell me who I am.  It is not my genetic or historical background.  It belongs to others who want to pin it to me and erase where I came from.

A name is only a name....until you lose it.


  1. "A name is only a name....until you lose it."


  2. My daughter just had this issue. She changed her name on facebook from her adoptive name to her given name on her OBC. People freaked out at her because it was so disrespectful to her "real" parents. She literally had over 40 comments on her page for making an adult decision. I told her it is just facebook. It is not a big deal. If she later wants to change her name or keep her name as her adoptive name is fine. BTW I am the natural mom. The people that freaked out the most were women that recently placed their children for adoption.

  3. Thanks Linda.

    Jeannette I think these women who recently placed their children might react because they are having their safety zones threatened. That of the belief that their children will grow up and be happy and connect with their adoptive families without question. That could happen but more than likely it won't. For these women it makes them question what the adoption industry and society brain washes them with that placing your child gives them a better life and you will be "ok" then too. It's hogwash. But, only we know that.

  4. We have an alternative self whose potential was lost at the time of our adoption. We are in the witness protection program without having done anything but be born. It sucks. Names *do* matter. Even though I never had a first name on my OBC, it's meant the world to me to know my original last name. And sometimes I wonder who Baby Girl Newman would have grown up to be if she'd been allowed to be a Newman. No wonder I feel like part of myself has been missing all my life.

    You articulate your feelings so wonderfully. Thank you for sharing them.