Monday, August 12, 2013

What's in a Name?

I just read an article about a judge in Eastern Tennessee, presiding over a paternity case, who was supposed to determine the kid's last name but instead decided to change the baby's first name from Messiah to Martin. According to the judge, there's only one messiah and apparently this kid ain't Him.

I guess this shocked the mom and she has already announced that she's going to appeal the case. I was actually shocked to read that the name "Messiah" was the number four fastest rising baby name of 2012. Right behind Major and right in front of King. Who knew??

Can't say I agree with a judge's decision to over-ride what the parents want to name their child. I mean, what is this...Iceland??? But it did remind me of when I was in the process of adopting Christopher, how his social worker called me to fill out the adoption paperwork. She asked me, "What do you want to name him."

I asked, "what do you mean?"

And she said, I could change his name if I wanted to. That surprised me because I thought for a four-year-old kid at least, his name was etched in stone. Guess I was wrong.

I thought for a minute and said, no keep it Christopher. This poor kid has had enough change in his life. He doesn't need a new first name on top of it.

Plus, he was having trouble adjusting to the fact that I was going to change his last name so I didn't want to completely rob him of the last bit of his identity that he was able to keep.

Funny, when I told Christopher that he was going to get my last name after the adoption, I thought he'd be excited to have the same last name as his new mommy. The problem was, this meant we were slamming the door shut on his old mommy and that was hard for him. As nasty and abusive as she was, she was still his first mom and letting go was hard. I felt for the kid actually as soon as I realized how much he was hurting.

It took several weeks after the adoption for Christopher to adjust to his new name but adjust he did. Christopher loves his name now and to be honest, I'm not even sure he'd remember what his last name was just a year ago now. I might ask him and see if he remembers.

If you're interested to learn more about baby Messiah...I mean Martin, please click here.

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