As you know, I am the mother to 3 biological children. I have also been the foster mom and hopeful-to-be adoptive mom to "JJ." We have been together since she was 3 weeks old when we picked her up from the hospital. She is now 15 months old and day by day, and month by month, we seem to get closer to the moving target we call adoption. Not until the last week or two, did the conversation/question of changing her name come up with some people involved with the case. I see that as progress because we are getting closer but it is also giving me an ulcer. There is a lot of differing opinions in the adoption community. Do you change it completely, just a little, or not at all? Will she feel that her birth name wasn't good enough for us? Will it confuse her and all the people that know her as "JJ?" What is the best way to protect her/our anonymity?
I have been afraid to "put the cart before the horse" because I have had to practice restraint (which is not my strength) due to the element of uncertainty in foster care. But on the other hand, I also know that no legal document will change my love and commitment to her. She is my daughter until someone tells me otherwise. She has a piece of my heart that can never be returned. She just happens to have a birth mother, birth father, Heavenly Father, and a Mommy and Daddy. I don't own her, nor do I want to. I just don't know how to love her any other way.
Anyone that knows me knows that I love to discuss baby names. I'll name your kid if you let me. Usually I push for "Krista" or "Kristopher" for obvious reasons but no luck so far. So why is it so hard this time? It is because we are used to her name and she is used to her name after 15 months. Also, I am used to naming a baby that is in my belly and in my dreams, not in person. JJ has a distinct personality and characteristics and we want her name to match, so some names that I have always loved just don't fit. Other names are too popular now. Some just don't sound like a name that would be professional on a resume. (I know, I am over thinking it.) Plus, our children have family names or derivatives of family names for both their first and middle names. By the time we got to the fourth kid, it was harder to fit that in.because we had already used 6 names with the other kids.
H and I discussed her name in at least 20 conversations and never resolved anything. So I asked each kid to vote yet prefaced it by telling them that I reserve the right to not go with the majority. Finally, on Sunday H and I agreed on a name. It honors family members we love and also incorporates a little of her birth given name. L loved it! J plainly said, "No, I'm going to call her JJ." PT said that he didn't like it until I told him that her initials would be the same as a superhero's girlfriend. Then he casually said, "Okay."
Poor JJ couldn't vote. Yet another decision made without her input. I just hope that she knows that her name was chosen with a lot of love. It took a lot of consideration. Now, I need to patiently wait to hear if we are any closer to adoption. When we get there, we'll be ready!