Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Adoption & Gary's name

We finally finished last of the home study stuff ... at least the stuff that has to be done before there is a home study. We got the biographies and preferences document turned in quickly. I had to get a new birth certificate since mine disappeared, and it took a while to get the physician to fax in the medical form.

Now it is all complete... well, except that they won't have actually got the results from Roland's background check, but they know he has been finger-printed.

Now we wait for the private agency that will send a social worker to visit and interview us and then she will write the actually home study document.

And yes, that is the document that the attorney has asked to be waived. No results on that front yet. Nothing expected for a while either.

The private agency (the one I do foster care with, not the one that will do the home study) is paying the attorney directly. I don't even know how much it will cost. I just finally got an email from the appropriate person saying they had worked out something satisfactory to all parties. His fees won't cover the new birth certificates, so the agency will reimburse me for that. The agency is pleased with the attorney and "his dedication to helping young people be adopted."

People either find the adoption of 20-somethings to be wonderful, or inexplicable. We have been asked "why would you do that?" many times. It is not asked in a way I find at all offensive, they are just really curious about WHY. We explain that people need parents even when they are adults and everyone needs legal next of kin. That makes sense to them. It especially makes sense to people when they think about the gay boys who may very well not have legally recognized spouses.

My inner adult and my inner four-year-old have come to a compromise about Gary's name. The four-year-old is pout-y and thinks that Gary should want to have our last name instead of the last name of the person who abandoned him.

My inner adult understands that Gary needs to be in control of this process. He really wants a new first name (he has picked it out), and changing both names at once feels like too much. The adoption for him is, at least right now, more about separating from his family of birth than it is about being a part of our family. It's his choice.

The inner four-year-old though has come up with a plan to which the inner adult is reluctantly agreeing to. I'm trying to get everyone to use Gary's new first name now. I address him by it and I refer to him by it. I told his girlfriend and Brian that if Gary doesn't mind they should use it at school too. The idea is that by the time the adoption is being finalized he will already have adjusted to the new name and will be ready to change his last name too.

My inner adult reminds me that this is manipulative, even if I am doing what Gary wants done. I have been to Alanon enough that I should be fully away that I cannot control people. I shouldn't even try. Trying to manipulate people into doing what I want just sets me up for unrealistic expectations of others and can leave me feeling resentful. It is particularly unfortunate that I am doing this with respect to an occasion that should be joyous. My energy would be better spent coming to accept his decision rather than trying to make him change it.

My inner adult can be a moralizing pain in the butt.

But she's right.

And I am still trying to get everyone to use Gary's new name starting last week.

So there.


  1. Our kid tried on a couple of names before we finalized. We made everyone practice the new name so that we were sure it fit.

  2. laughing my rumpus off on this post. Glad to see you're human like the rest of us :)

    Did you talk to Gary about hyphenating?

  3. My daughter did not change her middle or last name. My husband and I do not have the same last name, so it was not really a big deal to us, but some family members were confused and a little hurt by this. We explained it like this. She is 11, her first 11 years she was this person. We can not erase that time from her life, she needs to honor that, she is honoring her new family with a new first name. The name that she is called by a hundred times a day. She also has a brother who is an adult and he has the same last name as her. She still wants that connection with him, she needs to feel like she is still his sister.

  4. oh yeah, we also started using her new name months before she was adopted. Wanted to make sure it stuck.

  5. You might be able to contact the school and ask them to start using the new name now, in the classroom, on a new ID card, etc...

    Be thankful he didn't come up with some of the names our youngest daughter wanted, after the social worker told her she could change her name to whatever she wanted to when the adoption finalized!

  6. Our children kept their last name and we added ours. It's not a hyphen but their original last name is now a second middle name. They can whip it out or hide it away. Who is going to ask them how many middle names they have? It helped them feel connected to their old family and accept our new one.

  7. Nice Post~!!!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

  8. I think it is okay as long as you are so aware. I love your honesty.


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