Monday, January 5, 2009

You can call me Marjorie

Well, actually, please don’t call me Marjorie. But, should circumstances have been different, that might have been my name.

My name, given to me at birth by my biological mother, was Marjorie Ann.

When I opened the envelope and unfolded the piece of paper that was my original birth certificate, that was the first thing I saw. Marjorie Ann (and the last name) was at the top of the document. I was confused (and I was reading through very watery eyes!) and at first I thought this was my birth mother’s name. After I read a little further, I saw that her name was something else, and that Marjorie was me.

Whoa. That was weird. IS weird. Here is a piece of paper which has the TRUTH about me on it, and it seems altogether wrong. I’ve waited all this time to get this information, and now it’s freaking me out.

They told me that my birth mother was not required to name me. Evidently, if you were planning to surrender your child, the child could be called Baby Girl Whatever, and then your adoptive parents could give you your first and only name. Some of the time, though, the birth mothers did name their child, and that’s what happened to me.

So Marjorie it was – for just a short time, and then my parents switched to Mary Ellen, and the rest, as we all know, is history. I keep looking at the paper and reading it over and over. I even asked a couple of people to call me Marjorie so I could see how it sounded. It sounded wrong. I have nothing against the name Marjorie, but it’s not my name. I do hope the fact that she named me means she cared a little bit about me.

I guess the name falls into the same category as most of the rest of my childhood – my birth mother gave me life, and a little bit of a start, and then my parents took over from there.

Mary Ellen must be my name – it’s what my Mom used to yell to get me to come down for dinner. It’s what my Dad said when he wanted me to play the piano for him. It’s what my teachers called me, what the priest baptized me with, and what it says on both of my diplomas.

And – most importantly of all – it’s what my friends call me.

27 comments:

Vegas Princess said...

Finding out you had a different name would freak me out too! I am not sure why I thought it would just say Baby Girl (Last Name) But that name is not who you are. You are Mary Ellen, blogger extroidinaire and all around wonderful person! Mary Ellen is YOU.

I recently read a book that had me thinking of you all throughout. Some day, when you have become more accustomed to everything you have gone through, check out Lisa Unger's "Beautiful Lies." It deals with a different side of adoption/Safe Haven Law and is a fabulous and suspenseful read. And so many things you have discussed here show up throughout the story (although it is a work of fiction I am sure the author did her research and the facts are true)

claudia said...

Dear Mary Ellen...
Hmmm, it has a nice ring to it. I think your adoptive mom knew what whe was doing when she named you.
I like Mary Ellen. Marjorie is a good name, but for someone else who isn't you!
You made me remember the crisis over my name. My parents didn't think of one before I was born. (Third child, they got to slackin') I came home from the hospital nameless! So their friend who is quite a jokester said you should name her Chlorophyll. (God only knows why) My mom said oh hell no, especially when he suggested that all their friends put their picks for a name in a hat and pull one out to name me. My mom couldn't stand the thought of pulling his name out of the hat, so she immediately named me Claudia. I am not enamored of my name, but it sure beats Chlorophyll! (for the life of me I could never get him to tell me why that name!)
I am so happy for you that you have this oppotunity in your life now. It is going to be an exciting thing to do...peeling back the layers and seeing what is there.
By the way...what the heck are you doing up at this hour?!? I saw you posted 17 minutes before I read your post, it's 12:28AM here in CA which means it's like 3:28AM on your side!

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

As your good friend, I must tell you...if you piss me off OR never buy me that everyday PRADA like I keep telling you to, I'm gonna start calling you something WAY MORE UNUSUAL than MET or Marjorie.

Thought giving you a heads up was the least I can do!!

(Oh, and if you don't believe me, just ask Steven!)

Hallie :)

Andrew Scott Turner said...

I wouldn't have been able to get through the whole document. Not for days and days.

I would be less transfixed by what she named me and more on what her name was. Suddenly there's a human there that didn't exist before. It would send me reeling

Under the Influence said...

I think the fact that your birth mother gave you a name - took the time to pick a name and give it to you - says a lot about how much she cared (cares) about you.

Corrine said...

Well, you now know.
PHEW!
It has been a long time coming.
I will call you MaryEllen. That is who you are. It should be a little more comforting to know that she gave you a name.
Why did she pick it?
Is it a family name?
Did she whisper it in your ear?
M.E. you are starting down the path...to find out the answers to those, AND A TON MORE, questions.
BUT, you will always be MaryEllen.

Laura ~Peach~ said...

i am sure I told Kim D this but I am not sure I told you...
I was named too... my name was Karen Marie... then in the orphanage I was named Peaches by the preacher, and once adopted my name was changed to Laura Jean. My mom still calles me Peaches, unless she is mad at me then its mud or Laura Jean... anyway I went through a period of time in grade school where I would not answer to any other name than karen. My dad told me when I was 11 the name he believed I had been given and he was given 100% correct information.

The first time I spoke to my birth mother she answered the phone and called me Karen... she told my bio dad..."its her its Karen its really her" it was hard to make her understand that my name is not karen and that I COULD not call her mom or bud dad... it just did not fit correctly...

I can when speaking about them call them mother and father but usually it is prefaced with their name... and then it is to help stop the confusion people have when I talk about my family orchard.

So work that name around in your mouth savor it and know that your bio mother only knows you by that name and it may be hard for her to fit another name to the girl she has undoubtably thought about and loved all these years but if she loves you like I suspect she does she will work it out and get to know the real you MARY ELLEN ....

I have all faith that there is no one else out there like my strange bio mother... sigh :)

Liz said...

You said: "I do hope the fact that she named me means she cared a little bit about me."

She gave you a name and gave you to a family who could care for you, love you, meet your needs and even wants.

She loved you. And made a difficult choice.

I've gone through name changes but always by choice. I'm half adopted and changed my middle name when my dad adopted me. And then we moved to a new city so I chose to start going by my middle name instead of my first name- a clean break from the past. Now it sounds odd when family members slip and call me by my childhood name!

Hugs to you M.E.

American in Norway said...

I imagine everything must be swimming around in your head right now... hang in there... you are getting to where you want to be ... : ) (I like Mary Ellen...)

AirmanMom said...

ME...how blessed you are to have this glimpse of how much your birth mother loves you. To know so many people cared so deeply for one little infant (YOU!) is amazing. Your name is a small chunk of who you are... your birth mother no doubt chose that name for a special reason and your parents named you Mary Ellen for they knew who you would become.
You are Mary Ellen and I am so thankful for you!

~AirmanMom returning to her blog...

Sue said...

I think it is great that your bio mom named you and that your adoptive parents re-named you. Two moms that cared enough about you to name you. That is pretty cool.
I am glad that you stuck with Mary Ellen though, because otherwise, we could have to call you Marge and that only conjures up images of a cartoon woman with large blue hair.
:)

Lynn said...

Glad you finally got your birth certificate...the name ? Well, like you said, your birth Mom named you, maybe after someone in your biological line ?...who you are is only part biology...your parents raised you to be who you are: Mary Ellen. But I must admit, I would be freaked out at first too ! You are so lucky to be able to get the info...in the past, it was locked up forever...my great grandfather was adopted as a child and all I know is his birth parents were scottish and he was adopted by a scottish family.

blessedmomto7 said...

My birth mom also named me CHERYL ANN-I don't look like a Cheryl Ann and you don't look like a Marjorie. But it is weird isn't it because that's how our BM's have probably thought about us all these years like "I wonder where my sweet Marjorie and Cheryl are and what they are doing?" When that isn't really us at all.

Becca said...

wow that must be weird knowing you were once named something else.

Thanks for sharing this all with us, it must be difficult.

Odette said...

I can understand how having a different name would freak you out! I mean I don't go by my first name so on the first day of class, at the hospital, etc etc people call me by this other name and it makes my skin crawl. Not because it's a bad name, it's a great name actually, but it's not MY name and even though my parents had originally wanted to name me my first name they realized after a day of knowing me that it wasn't right and so I have been called Odette since I was two days old. Same goes for you! The thing is that your bio Mom cared enough to give you a name and you real Mom after actually knowing you and connecting with you gave you your real name, it's the kind of thing that real parents can only do, they give you your actual name and whatever that name is becomes you and you it. I get it! :)

Abby Reed said...

Wow, that's amazing! To actually see that stuff on paper! My name never changed, well, my last name did (obviously) but my first and middle stayed the same, so that must be so bizarre to think you had a different name.

Reddirt Woman said...

I imagine it would have been a pain to get the monogrammed stuff all changed, too.

M.E. has a nicer ring to it than M.A.

At least to me. And like I've always said, "I don't care what you call me as long as you call me to dinner".

And since I know you as Mary Ellen it would seem strange to have to start thinking Marjorie, although it is a nice name and I have friends with that name.

But thanks for satisfying my curiosity.

Helen

katy said...

Two different people who cared enough about you to give you a name that I'm sure they loved. Though the journey is painful, I'm sure the ending will be worth it. Good luck with the next step in your journey.

jojo said...

Mary Ellen has a nice ring to it...I like it...it fits you well..;)

justlori2day said...

Mary Ellen fits you perfectly, but I would adore you just the same if you were Marjorie Ann.

I agree, you were loved.

So I am going to ask what it doesn't look like anyone else has...

Have you Googled her yet?

I am an impatient person and probably would have brought my laptop with me. But I am also not in your position, so I cant say for sure that I would at the same time.

I am so glad that you are getting some of yourself back! I cant wait to hear more!

Robin said...

i'm like lori, i would've googled her. i hate not knowing something. but you will tell us what you tell us in your own time and that's fine...actually, that's great.

i can only imagine the anticipation, the fear, the confusion, the questions you must have.

i don't have to imagine this - your birth mother loved you. because she loved you, she named you and sent you on to the parents you were meant to have. but she made sure she recorded that name.

and now, you know.

Merrily Down the Stream said...

Hi, I am a birth mother and am reunited with my son Bryan - he moved to my town 2 years ago. He is 29 - i am 49 and I have girl/boy twins now and happily married. I am sharing my story - maybe it can help you some - I don't know. Stop by sometime. I will be following your search.

What a long strange trip it's been...

Tonjia said...

and one other thing.. you LOOK like a Mary Ellen!

You are remaining so strong through all of this, I am so proud of you...

I am so glad you got this info!

Shellie said...

Yeah, my husband was Francisco Javier. It sounds way cool, but it's too late to change, even if he likes it better. It's not him. Luckily for him, he wasn't a girl, his adoptive mom said if she had a girl, she would name it Griselda. I like Marjorie much better but, you are Mary Ellen.

~*amber*~ said...

I agree with you and everyone else, your birth mother gave you a name, therefore she cared enough for you to do that. She probably knew too that it would be changed once you were adopted, but she might have also figured it would help if you ever wanted to find her.
I don't think it is a bad name, but you are Mary Ellen, and that is who you will always be. Either name is nice, but knowing the parents that cared for me as I grew up gave me that name would mean something to me.
If I was in your position, I would be less interested in what my name was on that piece of paper and more of what her name was, which I am sure you are too now.

Reading your blog is almost like reading a good book, except I don't have it in my hands and can't go on when I want to. I can't wait to see what happens next. :)

Mrs4444 said...

You're so genuine. And sweet. :)

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