Saturday, August 20, 2011


As if my children have not endured enough changes this past year, I've decided to change my name back. You'd think that wouldn't be a big deal, but I've had quite the task to give them all assurance that regardless of my last name, I will still be their mom. Biology lessons on where babies come from only half appease them. Examples of other divorced moms with maiden names retaken barely phase them. Shakespeare with his "a rose by any other name..." has not impressed them. But I've worked and talked and explained my way into halfhearted permission. Finally!

What's interesting to me is the lengths at which one is required to go to just to have legal permission to reclaim a name. If I had the issue addressed in the divorce decree, it would have been said and done. I wasn't informed very well on that matter and opted to not have it addressed at the time. As my birthday approached (and is quite near) I got the idealistic notion that my gift to myself would be that I would retake my birth name. To accomplish this, I've had to refile a petition with the court; which irritatingly enough was as expensive as filing for divorce, as well as run a four week long advertisement in a local paper that I am filing this petition. For what purpose? For someone to protest? For my ex husband to complain? WT...? I digress....

This past Friday was the end of that four week period. Next I am to show proof of the advertisement's running to the court and wait to be assigned a date before the judge. So that he can finally drop his gavel and grant me permission to become... me. It should seem of no consequence, I suppose; just a legal step but somehow in a metaphysical sense I feel that another layer is peeling back in a very real way in this long journey of reclaiming myself.

I do not wish to live out my days signing my name as someone I am not. Knowing that soon I will hear a legal proclamation and permission to change gives me even more of a feeling of autonomy than the divorce decree itself.

As I continue to nurture, care-take and, yes, FUSS AT my children surely they will have no doubt -- yep, regardless, that's Mom.


One Voice of Many said...

Got my court date today. Sept 9th. Finally! :-)

Erin said...

Congrats, Michelle. That sounds like a very healthy move. Hope it all goes smoothly for you.

What is your "maiden" name? (I hate that term, but since it's the common one, I'll use it.)

One Voice of Many said...

Thanks Erin!
My given name ;-) is Lane

I don't suppose you know how to change my blogger ID from mlkirkland to a new email I'm setting up do you? It appears that it can't be changed.

Ruth said...

That makes me wonder what I would do. The practical me, the don't rock the boat me would think it easier if everyone just has the same name. No explaining when forms are filled out etc. Or worse still...the shame of people thinking I was just shacking up when I had these children. :)

But it seems to me that you, "Ms. Lane", are not letting those things get in the way as you collect your identity....which I agree you need to do.

Erin said...

Oh duh, Michelle "Lane" Kirkland. That was a really dumb question. :)

I don't think you can change it on Blogger. All you can do is set up a new profile and add it as a contributor or whatever to your blog, and just use that all the time. But I could be wrong. I'm still on vacation but I can look into it next week sometime.

One Voice of Many said...

I did wrestle a little bit about confusion it might bring about with the kids' school contact information but I decided it was still worth the hassle in my case. I'm excited to move toward more autonomy.

Don't stress about researching Blogger. I think that you're right; once it's set up it just stays that way. I might can survive with it the way it is. :-)

Ruth said...

Ooh Erin I'm so jealous that you are off in Hawaii. Say Hi to Che for me.....I miss her in blog land, she was the one who led me to all you guys.

One Voice of Many said...

I did it! I did it! DONE AND DONE!
I probably shouldn't be this excited about such a change of identity should I? Well.. I AM

Wound up not having to be in open court for it. Was taken back to judge's chambers only to be greeted by the judge who is also a long time friend. Talk about relief!

We chit chatted, caught up, and he signed my request.

May sound silly to you all but I still wanted to throw out a big YAY! :)