Keep the moon, cut the sun? An adoptee’s thoughts on name changes

A few days ago, I wrote a post about birth names and the secrets that they can contain. That post also talked about my middle name at birth (Is this meant to be called a middle birth name? Birth middle name? Second birth name? Ah, even describing the topic is complicated when you are an adoptee).

Something that I have been thinking about for a while is whether to change my name and include a second middle name to my legal name in Australia. I have gone back and forth on this many times. My gut feeling is that it feels right, but I worry about the logistics and flow-on effects. It would make my name very long. It would mean my important documents, like my marriage certificate, my son’s birth certificate, my university testamurs etc, were in a name that was no longer my legal name. However, the name I have now, I feel, does not represent who I truly am.

Not only has my thoughts circled around and around on whether to change my name, but I have fired up so many neurons thinking about whether to chop out the half of my original middle name that comes from my biological father. I don’t know that I want anything of his name in mine and I often wonder what made my mother include it, even though she doesn’t like him (understandable as he caused our separation/my adoption). That said, I like the combination of the two names, as when combined, my name means ‘moon-sun’. I grew up in the 1990s, during the rage of the trend of ‘suns and moons’ and I love nature names as I believe all people and living things are intrinsically linked. (I’ll admit, there is also a tiny slither of thought that goes along of the lines of ‘well, screw him, he rejected me, but I got his name anyway…’ But this is a small part and I honestly wouldn’t keep the name as an expression of anger as I don’t have the energy for such an anger. I’ve got too many other things to think about).

Should I cut out the sun and only keep the moon? Shorten my name and delete the second half that comes from my father: a symbolic rejection of him and a celebration of my link to my mother only, done simultaneously.

I could leave the whole situation alone and not change a thing about my name which currently consists of equal parts English, Sri Lankan and Spanish names.

I don’t know.

Maybe I will legally reclaim my original sun-moon name. Take a warts-and-all approach that accepts every part of my backstory even the prickly, sharp parts. I guess I am not made up of only happy and good parts, sugar and spice and all that, but am made up of all the parts of my life.

Even the parts where the sun didn’t show up.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *