The first step is applying for the name change through the state via our county court. My husband and I had to fill out forms for TN since he's a minor. We both had to sign and get the forms notarized. (Both have to sign because 1 parent can't make decisions about a minor without the other parent's consent.) It's a process and I went through the motions without thinking much. But when I let it sink in...
I am not sure how to describe how I feel. It's all very surreal. On one hand, my kid is my kid. Does it matter the name or male/female? On the other hand, as a mom, my inner core is connected with the daughter I birthed and the name we chose as mom and dad in anticipation of our tiny baby 17 years ago.
It doesn't seem to really impact me until I'm having a stressful day. Then it all comes pouring out. How I'm losing my baby girl and how I just want it all to go away and never have happened. That doesn't happen very often but it does hit. It's funny, though, because later I'll hang out with TN (he loves doing almost anything with me to hang out - walk thru model homes... see a funny movie... come with me to our locally owned Mexican restaurant and just talk...) and realize how freaking normal he is now that he's male. He has great insightful discussions with me and is just a cool person to be around. During those times, I'm not sad at all. I love my kid.
It's somewhat of a mourning process, I guess. And at the same time, it's a relief to take steps to help my kid feel like his true self. One positive part of this is his middle name. I'm not sharing real names on this blog, but what I can say is that we all decided to modify his female first name into the male form of that name for his new middle name. I felt a little better - as if a small part of my naming him at birth will carry on. Oh and if I accidentally use the nickname of his female name, he can tell people I'm just using his middle name! Win/win!
Once we get the approval from the county court system then we can change his social security info and driver's license. Those are the 2 key items to enable him to start his senior year in high school and apply to colleges with his new name. Of course, there's like 50 other things to change but those aren't as urgent.
I'll have to write another post when we get the approval (hoping just a few weeks) and take the next steps.