Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A reply to "What's in a name?"

What's in a name?

Recently, I read a blog of a friend of mine who is both an adoptee and a first mother who asked just this question. And it got me thinking...again.

I'll address what could perhaps be considered the first question; what's in a name?

Once upon a time much power was attributed to a name. If you knew a persons TRUE name you held power over them, so your true name remained a secret only known to you and whoever you chose to tell, which was usually your mate; and possibly one of your parents knew. It was thought that if you knew a person's true name that you could even kill them with just a simple word.

My ex-husband is attributed for naming his sister. The story goes that his parents had a hard time coming up with a name for the new baby, and he suggested both first and middle and so to this day that's what she is called. During their childhood, and even until fairly recently, brother and sister shared a very close bond. Would they have had that bond if he had just let his parents to hash things out? Who knows? But, in my opinion, I believe that his naming his baby sister was a very significant deed; maybe even a weighty responsibility.

In the Jewish religion, children aren't named after living family members, or anyone the family knows, because it is felt that to give a baby the name of someone living takes away life force from the other person.

The questions in my friend's blog are a bit more adoption specific. The answer to the first one she asks, for me, is: well, since I haven't found my first family yet, I don't know what my first name was. Her question being if there were any adoptees that had changed their name back to their original name.

I do know that the foster family that kept me during the interim time between being relinquished and being adopted called me Margot. Since I grew up in the era that had the original Superman movie with Margot Kidder, whom I did NOT like as Lois Lane, I can't say that I'm overly fond of the name Margot. Wouldn't the irony be if that's what my first mother wanted to name me?

As for how would I feel if my first son changed his name back to what I named him, I would LOVE it! But I don't see it happening at all. No matter what, in my heart of hearts I will ALWAYS refer to my first son by the name I gave him; but TO him, I call him the name his adoptive parents gave him. I can't feel too terribly bad with the name he was given, however, because it happened to be my second choice for him.

For the record, I have ALWAYS hated my name! I doubt I'd change it "back", but you never know. Dana is who I am now, it's how my children know me, how my mate knows me. I think at this late stage in the game, it would just feel strange to be called something different now.

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