Thursday, September 15, 2011

Who is this Nicole???

Okay, so I mentioned in the last post briefly about Yana and her identity crisis.  See, she did this years ago.  Wanted to be called by her middle name, Nicole.  I guess I should go back even further.  Whenever  you adopt a child from overseas, you can choose to change their name.  Different families name their kid different things for various reasons.  I am NOT getting into the great name debate on here of whether it is right or wrong to change their names.  For our personal choice, we try to keep their given birth names if at all possible.  Obviously, Yana, Irina and Alyona kept theirs.  Out of the boys, Bojan, Alex & Nik(yes, even spelled the same as the Russians did) kept theirs.  Murat, we changed to Max.  He has continually thanked us for that one btw.  Out of the 3 new kids, 1 will keep their original name.  Anyhow, we always give them an American sounding middle name just in case they want to change it soon after they get home. 

Back to the story.  Yana back in middle school decided she wanted to change her name.  Yeh, lasted about a week.  Now, she has decided to do it again.  Kind of disappoints me somewhat this time b/c I think Yana is a beautiful name and I don't like the idea that she wants to be the same as everyone else.  Think about it for a moment.  Only one Yana.  Many Nicoles.  Easier to "blend in."  And yes, I'm well aware it's perfectly normal to be like everyone else in 9th grade.  I was just hoping she'd stand up and want to be herself.  Even her friends for years are still calling her Yana as her family is too.  Hoping she'll change it back but not looking like it.  Since this is high school and there are many that don't know her, they are all agreeing to call her Nicole.  Sorry, but I can't get used to it.  Just wanted her to be proud of who she is and proud of her Russian heritage. 

I know there is nothing wrong with this.  But for a mom, it's hard to accept.  They have always been your kids and you always call them by their name.  I guess if I have to lose a battle out of all the typical teenage battles that are out there, I best be happy this is the battle.  I've seen other parents of teens and what they go through.  If this is the biggest issue we have, I'm counting my blessings.  To her family though, she will always be Yana Nicole.  Always.  Just wanted to share my thoughts on all this as I've heard of other foreign born adoptees changing their names to sound more American as well.  Not sure just how common it is.  Just know Yana is not the only one.  Irina wanted to be called Taylor at one point but that didn't last long either.  Now, she loves it when people tell her what a beautiful name she has.  Does anyone else who's child wanted to change their name go with it?  Just curious.  Again, in the grand scheme of things, this should not be an issue.  We're letting her b/c if that's who she wants to be, we won't stop it.  She is American now after all. 

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