Today I, Ohmommy from Classy Chaos, come to you with a secret that many of my readers do not know. Promise you won’t tell? What happens at Rachel’s, stays at Rachel’s. Okay? Good. She told me I could trust her sweet readers.
I legally changed my daughter’s first name eight weeks after she was born.
Four years ago, I was twenty weeks pregnant with my second child. The husband and I took our one and half year old Jay to the hospital for our ultrasound. We found out we were having a girl. I was thrilled and called my entire family from the hospital bathroom. We came home and I immediately logged onto the Internet and began searching for the most beautiful baby girl name.
We had a list of names and we regrettably tried them out on our family members. I exchanged hundreds of e-mails with my sister who was at the time a Peace Corp rep in Senegal. What do you think of Sofia? How about Kate? I like Madeline. The birth was around the corner and we decided on Olivia. The husband went out to Pottery Barn Kids, purchased the hanging letters for the nursery wall, and spent all of one evening perfectly hanging them. The name looked beautiful on the wall.
A week before the birth I was watching the Discovery Health network where I met a sweet little girl Olivia, who had an incurable life threatening disease. Husband, the baby can’t be an Olivia. This has to be some sign from God. Take down those letters and return them today. Days later our baby girl was born.
We held her and loved her and had no name for her. The hospital would not let us leave without filling out the paperwork and so we sat with our beautiful daughter in our hands and thought. How about Emily, sweet and simple? No, what about Emma? Emma, Emma, EEEEmmmmma, Emma sounds like …. Emma sounds nice. Is she an Emma? The nurse butted in and confirmed that Emma was a good name. So we named our second child Emma and brought her home. We sent out the gorgeous birth announcement from a posh online stationary store and framed a copy in her nursery.
We never really called her Emma at home. She was “baby girl” for weeks. I was torn. Eight weeks passed and my mom called me “You have to go and change her name. Either start calling her Emma, or find out how to change her name. It is OK to legally change your baby’s name.” Wow, I thought, you can actually change someone’s name? Is that acceptable? Won’t people think that I have lost it? Seriously, what will people say?
I started searching online about legally changing a baby’s name. All I could find were the instructions on changing the last name of a child, after paternity was established. I know who my daughter’s father was, I just didn’t know her name.
I called the same downtown phone number of the probate court that handles last name changes and was directed to a mean old lady that thought I was seriously ill. After my tears stopped, she realized that I was not only desperate but very serious. She informed me that you have up to 12 months after the child’s birth to change their name. She also gave me a link to the county’s website with all the appropriate paper work and I immediately scheduled an appointment to meet the judge at probate court the following week.
The next day it was officially Spring outside, the flowers were blooming, the sun was shining, and my husband and I filled out a mound of paperwork to legally change Emma’s name. One of the original names we had picked out for Jay, if he was a girl, was Lola (insert real name here). Somewhere online, I learned that people perceive Lola’s to be either classy and quiet or loud and boisterous. Ah ha, my Lola is a little classy woman – a quiet and calm little baby girl. This is truly the most perfect name for her.
Once we legally changed her name we sent all of our friends and family another birth announcement that I myself crafted, since I shelled out an enormous amount of money for the original announcements. No one really bothered us too much about changing her name. We did go out to Pottery Barn Kids and placed her new name on the wall and it looked amazing! We were in love with our daughter and loved her name.
Now, Lola is not a quiet little woman, she is most definitely a loud and boisterous four year old. We grow more in love with her every day, she has a BIG personality for a little woman. She likes to pretend and play house where she is often found changing the names of her baby dolls. “Mama, I changed the name of Baby Claire. Her name is Baby Elena.” In her perfectly precious room, high above on her antique white bookshelf stand two perfectly framed birth announcements.