The first, from 8Asians, is Say My Name: Changing My Adoptive Name :
People have always had their own names for me: Mary, Mao, Pumpkin, Slowpoke. Identity, for an adoptee, is the feeling that nothing is yours by birthright. At times there is a freedom to this, an untethered-ness that is nice; mostly, though, it just feels weird. My adoptive parents saved my life, and they did it with Christian love in their hearts. They even retained my “temporary Korean name”, Chun-Soon, as my middle name. Six months ago, I reclaimed it. This one piece of my mother’s land that I do have. I chose the family name Li (Yi, Rhee, Lee)…an ordinary, commonplace name. A typical Korean name. Confucius be damned, I am now the beginning of my bloodline in this country.
The second, from The Land of the Not-So-Calm, is My Real Name:
No, I’m not going to tell you my real name — not my real Korean name, and certainly not my real American name.
But I will tell you that my real Korean name, which also happens to be an “orphanage” name, is just as real, just as important, and just as legitimate as a name that was picked out for me and given to me by Korean first parents.
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I’ve read several articles/posts/comments recently suggesting that names given by orphanages and social workers are not as meaningful as names that were given by first parents. . . .
The truth is, many adoptees feel quite connected to ANY scrap of information that someone doles out to them about their past — including the city or province where they were born, the street where they were found, or where their old orphanage was located. I mean, I’ve written previously about the connection I felt to the piece of road where I was abandoned… yeah, I know how pathetic that sounds, but it is all that I have.
So many people don’t understand that simple fact, one that I feel like I’ve been repeating here like a broken record: For so many of us, THIS. IS. ALL. WE. HAVE. These orphanage names, these street names and other locations — these facts are part of the thread (no, not a red thread, but nice try!) that tie us back to the countries where we were born. This thread is incredibly thin and fragile already; shouldn’t it be celebrated and nurtured, rather than shamed and destroyed?
I've also put up a poll about what you've done with your child's name. Please comment here!