Posted by: amazonadoptee | October 13, 2009

A rose by any other name?

One of my favorite ideas to think about is written so well in Phillip Pullman’s The Golden Compass, first in the His Dark Materials trilogy. This idea that fascinates me, is that whenever we make a choice we continue on into the outcome that choice created for us, but at the moment one thing was chosen (and therefore the other was not) there is a split in the universe, which creates an alternate reality. In this alternate reality exists the outcome of the choice not made. We go along as though nothing has happened, but somewhere exists us, living the life we did not choose, continually splitting and splitting the universe into many parallels.

What attracts me so much to this idea is that it seems to very adequetely explain my very existence.

Because out there, somewhere, even if only existing in a universe thought up in my own mind, or in my natural-mother’s mind, exists me…by another name…which makes me wonder, is she me at all?

Who is this woman that I could have become? I know her name, Ejypt, which isn’t a misspelling of the country, but rather an endearing acronym my natural father created to show how I was a combination of him and my natural mother. I did not learn this name until I was 25, and well established in a parallel life, and the questions of ‘can I go back?’ ran through my head.

What struck me most, was that all through my adolescence and young college life, I was always searching for the right name, one I dubbed “my hippie name,” and could never quite get my tongue loose enough to remember it. I combed baby books and internet sites, trying out “Bliss” and “Willow” and all of them stuck like jello nailed to a tree. Nothing was right until that day I got an email from my 1/2 sister, who I had already sorta been in reunion with for awhile, who nonchalantly passed on both the last name of my natural father and the name I would have had if I hadn’t been given away.

I recognized it immedietely. It snuggled up inside me like a cat resting on my chest. It felt warm and right and me…

and yet, at the same time…

not me.

By this time I had already legally changed my name to a variation of my “birth name” (and by birth I mean adopted name). In anticipation of my wedding, and knowing I wanted to have my maiden name used as my middle name, I went to the courthouse and got all the legal paperwork figured out.

It was empowering, especially because I had always hated my “birth name,” and despised my middle name even more. To look down on the paper that showed I was no longer limited by that name, that I could choose to live into the name I had given myself, that was very empowering.

But universes seem to be bumping up against one another. I remembered my first name and, like looking at a mirage, I can faintly make out the person I could have been. Do I like that girl who could be me? And how can I get her to come just a little bit closer through the mist?


  1. Oh this is such a sweet post.

  2. And, at the same time centuries old expressions of worship and prayer despised and denigrated in the name of progress and false ecumenism.

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