10 October 2009

What's in name? Everything...

Part of being a blogger means you read the blogs by others... and the associated comments.

Recently I read a couple of blogs written by authors who are participating in a carnival known as "Grown in my Heart Carnival" (And yes, I gagged when I saw the title).

The theme of this carnival is Names and adoption... naming an adopted person.

Curious, I followed a link posted on one of these blogs and discovered a list of other blogs written by more participants and so I had a sticky beak at these as well.

I read until my blood was boiling and my heart felt it would break all over again with the painful reminders of what adoption does to a person.

A name is such an important part of a person. As a child, I can recall receiving parcels for my birthday from my grandparents and seeing MY name on the parcel used to thrill me. I cannot explain it, I just remember feeling important enough for a parcel to be in MY name and looking at my name, I felt a sense of who I am in this world. It was MY name and it came with a story of how it was chosen making it more special to me.

During my pregnancies with all my three children, I have always set out with names I would love to use. Over the course of the pregnancy as I have bonded and come to know my children INTRICATELY and in a way NO OTHER HUMAN HAS KNOWN MY CHILDREN, I came to see MY names might not be the ones for these little people developing inside of me and so I felt from them, their names. For ALL three of my children I have envisioned the type of people they are whilst they were growing in my womb. I have felt their core personalities, felt their amazing minds. To know these things so intimately about someone is more powerful than I could ever describe.

Their names reflected these feelings and all three of them have lived up to their names, including my daughter who I lost. But the name she lives up to is her real name, the name she was born with, not the name she has since been lumped with.

I do not use her adopted name unless I speak to her. I never have. Since I was pregnant I have known her only as the child I carried and the name I gave her took me some time to come to. That it was changed as if she were a new puppy or doll incenses me. It proves to me how much of a possession she is; not a human being with an identity already firmly in place.

She once indicated to me how much she didn't like her first name (her new name) and she was being teased at school for it. I couldn't say anything, I had to bite my lip!

I recall the day her adopters told me they were going to change her name and what it would be. I can recall her female adopter telling me what MY daughter would grow up to be like and how much her new name would reflect her life. I wanted to vomit. Instead I sat there looking at her in horror. Again, I saw how little my child meant to these people... she was merely a means, a shell to purge all their desires into. They didn't see my daughter as an already existing person with her own personality and feelings.

So yes names are more important than one can imagine. The name I gave to my daughter means: "Like a Jewel, cherished one and Symbol of Love, God's gracious gift". To have this taken from her was not necessary. Children are not puppies in need of a name. Children are not dolls, playthings. Adoption takes away a human element from a child that is really a form of abuse.

To answer some of the wonderings I read on a blog: I did rub my belly while I carried my daughter. I did speak to her, whisper to her through my tears in the dark. I did what any mother does who carries and raises her own child. I bonded with my child. Her adoption was unnecessary. The pain in her eyes is unnecessary and so is my broken heart and soul.


  1. This is a really powerfull peice of writing thankyou.

    (and yes the title "grown in my heart" makes me gag too, but I took part because I thought it was important that it wasn't just adoptive parents)

  2. Thanks :) I am glad adoptees have taken part; they need to hear the perspective from those whom it has affected most. The adoptee.

    Thanks again.

    Myst xxx

  3. Myst,
    I believe you are speaking directly to my wonderings. I am deeply moved and grateful to have heard your voice. Thank you- I will carry this with me.

  4. I agree, names are important and a child's name should never be taken from them....and then there's "amended birth certificates" why create a legal fiction? and why give a child another birth certificate when they already have one?

  5. Myst, I agree with you. Adoptees do need to speak out and adopters need to listen! They need to get past themselves and accept that our children don't belong to them. They are not property. Sadly, adopters appear to believe this because they had their birth records amended. Adoptees have true identities - hiding it or pretending to ignore the truth is only hurtful to the adoptee.

    'Her adoption was unnecessary. The pain in her eyes is unnecessary and so is my broken heart and soul. '

    I am so sorry you are hurting. Our children shouldn't be hurting... it really does rip your heart and soul to shreds:(

    (((hugs Myst)))

  6. Myst,
    I am not packing and am reading through your blog...it is very real and eye opening for me as an adoptive mother.
    I just wanted to say that for us, we wanted to ADD to our adopted son's name...something that came from us...also knowing that his REAL NAME..the one whispered by HIS mommy would always be unknown to us. He was assigned a name by the orphanage..one of them being the SAME name EVERY abandoned child found in that year was assigned. He had at least 2 foster families in addition to time in the orphanage. Often, children in orphanages are not even called by name...too many babies, not enough workers. He was brought to us by officials who didn't know a thing about him...couldn't answer any of our questions about his nick names, feeding schedule, potty habits. NOTHING.
    We called him by the Chinese name on his papers for the first day and then started adding Josiah to it. He never responded to Ya Nan. Maybe we were saying it wrong. Maybe his last foster mom called him something else, like cutie or something,you know? He began responding to Josiah the THIRD day in China. I am not kidding.
    We call him Yani or YaNan now...ONLY those of us in the immediate family and b/c we want him to be PROUD of his heritage and never forget it. But when people ask him "What is your name?" he ALWAYS says, "Josiah" and they look at me like I'm an alien when I call him YaNan or Yani.
    Just my experience. I also know that sometimes older children ASK for a new name...they associate it with a new start and help pick it out even. Not all..but some...and personally, I would always leave a child's given name as part of their name even if it wasn't given by their parents...but because it has become part of who they are.


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