Time for a name change?

I’m frequently asked whether or not Peyton’s name will formally be changed from his birth (female) name to his male name. This is something that frequently enters my mind. When is the right time to change a child’s name? Having adopted three of my children, this was something that originally was thrown on the table. It seemed a little bit easier then. Having a child, and by this I mean a very young child as Peyton is, transition from female to male, means that as an adult, and the parent, you must make the choice of “when is the right time?”

I think of the day that we walk into court with our paperwork, and think of the questions that the judge will ask. Peyton is 5 so how do I know that he will not change his mind? How do I know that this is not just a phase for Peyton and he will tomorrow, want to be a girl again? I’ve talked about this in a previous blog. In all reality, I don’t have the answers. I can only go by the person that he honestly seems to be. At 5, he doesn’t seem to have another agenda. Sure, kids lie all the time and make up all sorts of stories. But for Peyton, being a boy, is simply who he is. I no longer see the little girl that he once was. He is still as beautiful as the day that he was born, but he presents himself in a different way now. His physical appearance has changed, and for his sake I truly hope that we can continue to change it until he is 100% happy (or as close to that as we can get), but he is still in a sense the same awesome kid that he has always been. It’s hard to believe that we will soon be entering the 2 year mark of when Peyton told me that he wanted to be a boy. And yet, here we are. And the time has come to go through the process of legally changing Peyton’s name. How do I know that this is the right time? Peyton is on a variety of medications that he takes on a daily basis for the other issues that he was born with. This means that I am often at the pharmacy. Insurance requires the legal name of the person to be given in order to pick up any medications. On one of our typical med runs I pulled up to the drive through window and drew a blank on my child’s name. For the life of me, I could not remember Peyton’s “legal” name. I asked for the medication using his male name and the pharmacy tech looked at me confused. She knew who I was, and whose medication I should be picking up, but again, legally I have to ask using the person’s name. My nine year old chimed in and said my son’s “female” name.

And that’s how I know that the time has come for the legal name change. The female name is now a distant memory of a kid that lived with us. Thinking about it this way makes it again sound like a child died. I suspect there will be some instances in our future where a sense of loss will be felt because the little girl is no longer here. But living this first hand, I realize that nope, I haven’t lost anything at all. As a family we are ever growing, and changing, and this is how Peyton is growing and changing and we are all there along for the ride and to support him however we can. Peyton is officially Peyton in all of our eyes, and now we must go through the legalities of it all.

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