Resurecting Melanie

I learned to write young. The first thing I learned to write was my name. Except for it really wasn’t my name. I didn’t know that then, but I always knew that it didn’t quite fit.

My adoptive name is ugly, clumsy, and hard to spell. When people hear it, they say “What?”. If someone sees my name before they meet me, they always tell me that they did not expect someone like me. Nobody ever gets it right. It is an ethnic name, from a heritage that is not mine. It is a name that I am ill suited to carry. It just does not fit me.

I have always hated it.

It never occurred to me that I had a name before I was given the one I bear until I saw my non-ID when I was in my early twenties. There it was, a pretty name, a name that would have made all the difference in how I was perceived. It suits me and I like it.

Later I found out my birth name (for lack of a better phrase) had a story. It’s a good story. I like that too.

Ever since I discovered my name I’ve always felt like it was really mine. I’s like to use it. But it is too late. I am forever that clumsy, ugly, hard to warm up to, name.

Why do I think that if I had my birth name I would have been more what I wanted to be? That even at this late date, it would just make me feel better?

A dear friend of mine changed her name late in life, just because she felt like it. She wasn’t adopted, she just wanted to be Mariah, instead of Mary Ann. It worked for her, she was a Mariah.

I just don’t know if I’m too far gone to be a Melanie.


14 thoughts on “Resurecting Melanie

  1. Melanie is a lovely name just like the girl who was given it and the adult who still carries it (if even in her dreams and deeper self).

  2. If I was you I would change my name. It isn’t too late, just do it. You don’t have to do it legally right away. Try it on for size for a year. My daughter has a name that just doesn’t suit her, and she hated it. I gave her a nick name. She can’t change her name because it would devastate her second Mom. Maybe a nick name is what you need.

    Just my thoughts.

  3. suz,
    ooooooo, you are going to make me blush.


    Kind of have the same problem as your daughter, my forst name is my A-mom’s maiden name, imagine.


    I do like Mel too. I bet you had a name, the idiots who did the paper work just didn’t fill it out. I’ve never heard of someone not having one. If not, I like Possum, it’s so you.


    You know it could be worse, your first Mom’s last name could be Mann.
    Sorry, that was bad.
    You know, you don’t know if that is even the name your first Mom wanted. I always wondered if mine came from the nurses until I heard the story from my b-sis. I was named after the chatacter in Gone With The Wind, because she was only one that “had any damn sense”.

  4. You strike me as quite a Melanie. I know a few and they are beautiful, strong and a tad scary. You own it already even if you don’t use it….

    altho I’m dying to know what your a-name is… beulah? mabel?

  5. It’s never too late! I say go for it! Do what makes you happy. You could be Melanie here on the net for a while, see how you like it?

    Any luck keeping your pup at home? We have a dog like that now. He bolts the second he sees opportunity knock. He will stop and give us a quick over the shoulder glance and then he is gone.

  6. Mellie, Mel, Melnie, Melanie, Mel-Mel, Mella-Mellie.

    I love it.

    Must go see what Tarot card goes with the letter M.

    Never too late to be a Melanie.

  7. Yeah, try it on for size. I’m a transracial adoptee from India and the nuns in the orphanage told the APs they could name me – so I had no name for the first four months, then “good” christian names – Anne Elizabeth! which doesn’t suit me at all. Kind of switched to Annie, but the first question I’m going to fire at those nuns when I return in July is whether my mother gave me a name, and if it fits, then I’ll certainly switch!
    Abby is lovely, but if you like Melanie, then so be it! Great blog by the way, thanks for so much validation, it is so good to know we’re not alone.

  8. Chrissy, no it’s not Beaulah! Actually I could have lived with that one, it was my G-ma’s name.

    mia, yes doggie is staying home now, invisible fence.

    Kim, I like Mella-Mellie, sounds like an 80’s vocal group.

    Annie, yeah, I can see Annie not quite suiting an Indian woman. I bet you had one of those beautiful names that sound like a song.

  9. Girl, go to the courthouse and change the name (tho I like Addy too–got a friend named that…or close to that Actually, her name is Jo. I keed, I keed).

    Changed my middle name several years ago, back to my korean name that was given to me by a nameless face in the orphanage. People asked “why do you want a name given to you by an orphanage?” Duh…cuz it’s mine. It’s what I came here with; the only thing I came with. I wanted it back. ‘Sides, Lisa as a middle name is a joke for someone with a korean face. So…here I am….Eun Mi.

    Makes me laugh when white folk try to pronounce it too.

  10. If you like the name Melanie, I think you should go for it :p I sure like it. And there are so many nicknames people can call you: Mel, Mellie… I was even called “Watermelonhead” and “Mel Assman” at one point.

    Hope whatever you choose works out for you.


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