General adoptee thoughts

What’s in a Name?

My biological mother named me when I was born. The name she gave me was her own and the middle name, that of an Aunt. I was her first born.

One of my half-sisters has her mother’s name as her middle name.  I refer to my biological mother as just that – she is the precious person who gave birth to me and I share her genes. She didn’t, however, “mother” me and I’m sensitive to the weight we give to words (and names and labels). She did however, give birth to and raise 4 others. For them, she was their mother.

When I was adopted my name was changed.

I remember a time where I saw my friend’s birth certificate – with it’s seal from the State of New York and her tiny little footprint on it. Until then I didn’t know that a birth certificate had things like time of birth and weight and length of the baby on it. All I knew was that my birth certificate was green and boring and dated a year and a month after I was born.

This is just one more way adoptees are not like the rest of the population.

It made me feel different and I asked my parents why my birth certificate had a different date than my birthday and why it didn’t have my length or weight or footprint. I know they explained to  me that adopted babies have a different birth certificate because of the legal process involved.

A long time passed before I started thinking about how my name and my existence were actually part of a legal contract. I started wondering if my biological mother had given me a name or had just handed me over for the new parents to name.

I was 35 years old when I learned that my biological mother had named me. I was perplexed as I tried on the name she’d given me. I loved the first name which was also her name and I was not so thrilled with the middle name. Interestingly I’ve had many friends and complex relationships with people who had the name I was given.

As an amateur student of numerology I wondered how the energy of my birth name differed from my given name. Speaking with numerologists they all agreed that the name I have now, the one on my legal birth certificate is the name of the energy I’m here to work with . To their way of thinking, there are no mistakes and even if it meant jostling me around a bit, I ended up where I was meant to with the name I was here to embody.

For those of you who are numerologists, my name calculates to 1. The name I was born with, using my biological mother’s maiden name calculates to a 3, and using my biological father’s surname calculates to a 7. My life path number doesn’t change, and that is a 6.

Names are important and what we call things and people resonates an energy. It’s important to spell and pronounce names correctly. It’s also important to recognize the names of our ancestors, even if we don’t know them.

While I have no intention of changing my name to my birth name, I know many adoptees who have and I applaud them. For me changing how I spelled my nickname in High School was huge – and don’t get me started on the headache that comes from changing your surname when you marry and unmarry!

Still, it’s intriguing to wonder about the energy in those other names and how that would have (or not) changed my life.

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