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Thursday, February 25, 2010

I Wanna Go By My Middle Name

We've pretty much stuck with the tradition of using the kids' given birth names as their middle names. With J-Man, there weren't a lot of options since his birth mom didn't give him a middle name. So, it seemed natural to just make his first name his middle name. Have I used the word "name" enough in this paragraph? Did that even make any sense?

I don't care for J-Man's middle name. It's kind of funky, and people often giggle when they hear what it is. I just really didn't want to get rid of it since it is the only tangible tie he has to his birth mom.

The other day, as we were tucking him in for bed, J-Man matter-of-factly stated that he no longer wanted to be called "J-Man {insert his actual name}, but he wanted to be called by his middle name because it is "cooler." It's been interesting the last few months. He seems to be going through a phase. We asked him the other day why he was adopted. He said, "because I'm black." That sparked a whole long conversation...when we asked him what it means to be adopted, he said, "you're black."

Ok, now keep in consideration we have never told him that. We've never said anything that I can think of that would even make him think that. But, for some reason, he did. We talked all about adoption (which we've already done...often), about the fact that people of all races are adopted. I think by the end he realized that it didn't have anything to do with his skin color. I think.

After he told me he wanted to go by his middle name, I thought for a few minutes, and then I said, "J-Man, I love you a lot. Did you know that daddy and I prayed about what to name you?" He nodded. "Daddy and I picked your name because we know you are going to be a strong, Godly man, and a leader. And the man in the Bible who we named you after was just that. I can understand why you would want to go by your middle name. And if you want to introduce yourself as that name, that's totally fine with me. But to me, you're always going to be J-Man {insert actual name again}."

I stood there for a second, (he's on a top bunk so I couldn't really sit on the side of his bed) wondering if I said the right thing. After a few seconds, he said, "OK!"

And, that was it. I got a big hug and a kiss, and he was happy as a clam. He hasn't brought it up again, but I'm sure it'll surface again at some point.


:)De said...

Wow! How did you feel when he said he wanted to go by his middle name? 1 of my kids had a street gang name and even the judge thanked me for changing it. 1 of my kids changed their own name 1 day... I was introducing them to friends and he just picked a new name, which happened to be my grandfather's name (unbeknownst to him). He said he no longer wanted to be that other kid.

:)De said...

BTW Love the new digs ~Smile~

GB's Mom said...

I might have told him that I had much higher expectations for him than being cool! Maybe followed up by asking if there was any other reason he wanted to be called that name. It is hard to know at his age how much of his identity is wrapped up in his name.Your explanation as to why you chose "j-man" was great!

Like the changes

Rachael said...

It sounds like you handled it just right.

I wonder if he came to the conclusion about the "because I'm black part" on his own because people automatically assume he's adopted beca.use his skin color is different than his parents

Julia said...

that is really nice. thank you for following my blog. i love your blog from Rachel

Margaret said...

You explained it to him so well! Its interesting to hear what he thought about adoption and why he was adopted.

Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

I love that J-man, something about his eyes in pics, the kid has character you can see.
Anyway, feel free to show him my blog. The top pic on the right side is me with Teena on my lap and Genea next to me, Genea being adopted and Teena not. We 3 look a lot alike in that one (now that I think about it). If that helps explain where he can see it that might help.

Maggie May said...

Your family is so sweet!!! Love this post and the care you take.

Lisa said...

You did a fabulous job explaining! Names are a really hard thing to navigate.

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