Adoption – Changing the child’s name

PRIDE Class # 4: LOSS

Today’s class started with an exercise that had one of the instructor as the subject.  The other instructor started asking her questions regarding her marriage, she shared a couple of things about her husband and how long they had been married, then they ask someone from class to step up to the from next to her to take the place of the husband.  The next questions was about her children and grandchildren, then someone from the class step up next to her left side.  Now the main character was surrounded by her immediate attachments.  Then more questions were asked and she talked about her job, that took the place next to the husband.  Then she talked about her hobbies and someone else walk up to the front next to the kids and lastly she talked about her special trait.  Then the last student walk up and stood up next to the hobbies.  Now we had her attachments around her and a card with her name over her lap. 

The next step in the exercise was to show how she starts getting affected by the loss of her attachments by making a decision to move to another town due to work opportunities.  The main character first thing she looses is her special trait, under so much stress and trying to coordinate her move she can no longer be the same person and let’s go of her trait.  Then again, due to all the activities of the move she can no longer spend time for her hobby and that attachment is loss.  By now you can start seeing a discomfort in the main character she has lost her special trait and her hobby, she has loss all the things that make her relax and enjoy life.  After her kids and grandkids found out about the move they try to keep in touch but after while they stop contacting her and are not that happy about the move.  That attachment is also lost.  shortly after that she looses the remaining 2 attachments (her work and her husband).  To top it all off, after her move her new coworkers, store clerks, etc. can never pronounce her name, not even her name has remained the same.  At this point she has lost the attachment to her name and as a consequence her identity.  At this moment the instructor says that now the main character has lost her name!!! It was like a light bulb!!  This brought some recent memories.

A couple of years after I got married, I was taking my citizenship exam and the officer at the time told me that my name had to changed.  He proceeded to tell me that my name cannot be hyphenated and that I had to take my husband’s name and lose my last name.  At that moment I agree, I felt forced, after all i was taking my citizenship exam and this officer was in charge of it.  After I left the offices I felt so depressed, I was crying on the way to my car.  I decided to give one of my sisters a call.  She gave me great advice and said just go back and say you don’t want your name to change.  So I turned around talked to the officer again and got the name I wanted…. “My name”, I love my name.  When I was observing this part of the exercise in class i actually felt i could connect with the characters situation.

The next part of the exercise was to understand the reaction of foster children to overcome all the losses before they are placed in you home.  She went one by one, exactly all of the losses that the main character had to go through applied to the foster child and then the name.  i had actually discussed changing the child’s name when adopt, but now this made me understand a lot better.  We will give our adopted child the name he wants, if he wishes to keep his/her name our love won’t change.

WOW, I am actually learning a lot from these classes.



  1. I’m going to blog what happened in our loss class because it too was powerful.

    I have mixed feelings about names. Some kids have inappropriate names (such as street names for drugs). Also, other kids prefer to change their name because they don’t want to be junior to that man, for example. Of course, I can’t see changing names willy nilly either. I don’t *need* a Benjamin badly enough to change a William to a Benjamin, for example. No doubt, we do need to be mindful of the full situation when considering name changes for adoptive children.

  2. Pingback: Response to a blog post « Mama'ing Again

  3. Pingback: OB: How a foster child may feel | Journaling Life

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