I think I might be an adult now. I turned 30 last week. It’s a milestone sure, but I’m more interested in what’s to come than what has past.

Today is the last day of winter. The season of waiting is about to draw to close. And although Mother Nature doesn’t know it (we are set to get even MORE snow tonight, ugh!) Spring starts tomorrow. And with it undoubtedly the most exciting season of my life. Before Spring is over Jude should be home.

As if on cue my agency e-mailed me today to let me know that the Bulgarian NGO is hoping to see the final signature by the end of the week that would move Jude’s file over to the Bulgarian court system.

In a bit of an odd twist I went to Walmart over the weekend and picked up Jude a winter coat in a close-to-her-current size. I hand’t planned on doing this but seeing as Winter month #6 seems inevitable I figured she should probably have something. And Walmart was having a clearance sale. For $4 Jude had a new winter coat. But that wasn’t the odd part. The odd part is that the top line on the backside of tag had the Latin spelling of her Bulgarian birthname written there.

Which brings me to comment on a deeply debated controversy when adopting: Changing a child’s name. I did it, or rather I am doing it, but I felt really conflicted about it at first. My daughter was born with 3 names A first name, middle name and a last name. I was notified that her last name had to be changed per Bulgarian law. It had to be changed to my last name. As the adoption is being finalized in Bulgaria we go by their rules. In Jude’s birth culture you aren’t supposed to do this. I understand the reasons why, I respect the reasons why. However admittedly I probably would have done the same thing if her adoption were being finalized in the US. So her last name got changed that way.
Her first name has a terribly ironic (almost mean) meaning in Bulgaria. I deeply suspect she was given this name by hospital staff; more unfortunate still is when this name is pronounced in English it is the proper name for a female body part. Some close friends/coworkers who also work in the medical field are privy to her Bulgarian birth first name. The universal response was “Umm, you are going to change that, right?” Yes. To not be voted most horrible mother of the year I had to. But it also turns out it must have another equally strange meaning if I found it on the tag of a Walmart coat. No matter.
Which left me with her middle name. Neither obligated to change it by law or simple social niceties I condsidered keeping it. That is if I could ever find someone who could pronounce it for me. Turns out it was kind of a newfangled name and the translator who attempted pronouncing it was tripping over it in Bulgarian. I had a couple of other friends originally from Europe take a crack at it as well. No one ever mastered it and to be honest the closest thing it sounds like is the name of a well known (and despised) dictator, so I passed.
Then I spoke with an adoptee who told me that I should name my child whatever I wanted. I spoke with another adoptee whose name was changed when she was adopted as a teenager, she said she never felt a loss of identity, but then again she always knew what her birth name was and was satisfied and happy with the change. I don’t know if Jude will be satisfied and happy with the change. Hopefully, I have given her enough options so she can modify something to her liking.
So I named Jude what I wanted (which felt like a huge responsibility) and she will always know her birth name. If she chooses to share it it will be something she does on her own terms.

But back to Walmart. We bought Jude some new clothes. I am a second-hand clothes junkie. But I decided that given the likelihood that there would be ample photo-op days I decided that the “playclothes” I bought probably weren’t going to hack it for a few key days during our pick up trip. Like say the day we bring her home to Maine. I got an awesome (and comfortable) outfit for that day for $10. My sister also had an idea for new clothes that completely differed from mine (read: NEON) and my Mom decided that the hot pink, frilly, Hello Kitty outfit was also worthy of a spot in Jude’s closet. Well, I was always too fair for neon and I would have died before wearing hot pink (Plus I am not entirely sure what Hello Kitty actually does) so I suppose the joke is on me. I was also able to score 50 matching white clothes hangers (because they have to match, because I have organization issues) for about $6. I love WalMart for this reason.
I also love WalMart for the people watching. In fact there is a whole website devoted to this sport called People of Walmart You have to be in the right mood to go to Walmart for this very reason, but when you do go it is entertaining in a way that only ‘Merica can be!


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