Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Name shame lame

I believe I already touched on this on a previous post but I don't think I went into detail about it. And now, I want to go into detail about it. :)

The name of my blog here, Becoming LA..., holds special meaning for me. It's me. Once our marriage is legal, my initials will be LA.

I've thought about this over and over. Not many people have asked me about it. I think that's interesting. And when I do get a question about it, the person asking sort of looks at me oddly after I answer. Why is that? Hmmm...

So let me back up. I have a maiden name. Obviously. When I got married the first time, changing that name was a priority. No, really, it was. It wasn't a romantic type thing - well, maybe a little. I've always been a romantic so it probably had some thrown in but I was very relieved after we went public with our wedding that I could change my name. This was several, several years ago. At that time, I had my oldest daughter who was later adopted. At first, we were all separated. Three last names. Then, I changed mine and it was even more apparent that we weren't a family. So, the daughter was adopted or those motions were put into place. Short time after, the second daughter came along and the first daughter's adoption was not final. We would have 3 of us out of 4 with the same last name and one without. It was heartbreaking to hear her tell me that she didn't feel like she was part of the family. Finally, the step parent adoption was finalized and we were a family of 4. At least on paper.

About 3 years later, it was apparent that a separation was desperately needed/wanted and that divorce was impending. When that happened, I considered changing my name but thought it would be easier if I remained what the kiddos were. I didn't think of it as a big deal because I had nothing to change it to. I sure as hell wasn't going back to my maiden name. My mom's name is her married name and I definitely wasn't a part of that. My mom's maiden name was fine but I wasn't one of them either. I was like an outcast. I had no family name. No unit that I belonged to. I was just me. So I kept my married name and it's been some time since the divorce and it's all been fine. When I've spoken to people on the phone about the kids and they ask their info and then ask mine, it's been easy to say oh, it's the same as the child.

Now, though, I'm faced with a new challenge. It didn't take me too long to decide that I would change my name. I've always felt like I didn't belong in or to the families I was tied to biologically. But with my lovely, I do feel like I belong. I am a part of something with her. Not her family... her.

If you look at our little unit, we are 3 of the same and one is different. It's okay that she doesn't have our last name but at the same time, it's a separation. To me, anyway. Changing my name will not make her more inclusive, she already is. It's for me. Another new challenge is the kids. One says she wants to change her name also and the other one wants to remain the same. I don't think I'm interested in causing a riff even more than what is there already between those two. Besides, unless we went through ANOTHER step parent adoption, it's impossible. It's probably not even legal.

All this rambling and what is my point???

I will change my name to that of my wife when the time comes. And for the first time, it will feel right. Not that I belong to her, I don't. But I am a part of her and she is a part of me.

This silly part about this? We are constantly asked if we are sisters. Almost daily, not even kidding. Once this change goes into effect... people are really going to be confused.