What’s In a Name?

As I started the journey of creating Adoptee LIT, one of my biggest concerns was the name. I wanted something that would capture exactly what I wanted to portray in the work I set out to do. I wanted it to be significant and meaningful. I wanted it to be strong and engaging. I wanted it to be truthful and speak to it’s history.

As I talked to different mentors, friends and family there was a common theme of what they had to say. “That sounds like it has a lot of meaning” “that sounds like you put a lot of thought into it”, ‘it is powerful”.

LIT was intentional.

The first piece is what it stands for, “Living In Truth”. That is my main aim. No matter how ugly, hard, difficult, beautiful and complicated that truth may be. I plan to own it, speak it and teach it.

The second piece of LIT is a cultural reference. As a transracial adoptee who grew up in a white family. I was not able to live and breathe the culture of my ancestors. I was not exposed or surrounded by those who looked like me. When I enrolled in college and began my BSW journey, I joined ABSW – the Association of Black social workers and found a piece of myself I was never able to tap into before. A part of me, my biology and who I am. I was embraced and loved and it was new. That is not uncommon, many transracial adoptees don’t begin to truly form their identity in relation to their culture and ethnicity until they leave home and go to college. (I will link some great studies that highlight and outline this in the future). This is not ok. This should not be something a person discovers in college. The skin a person lives in should NEVER be something they are not comfortable or familiar in. Period.

The last piece LIT signifies is social work. I am a social worker. I am guided by literature, evidence based practice and the never ending process of learning and knowledge. Social work refined the skills I always had and has shaped me into being able build a platform such as this.

Name’s are powerful and rooted. The details I put into creating a name for this platform lends itself to the feelings around adoptees and the names they have before adoption and after adoption. History and identity are wrapped in a child’s first name. Sometimes, the is the only thing a first parent was able to give that child was their name. This is not every adoptee but can be related to many adoptees. Name’s are important. Think about it.

Published by Stephanie Oyler

Stephanie is a Licensed MSW professional who specializes in the area of adoption and foster care. She is also an adoptee herself. Adoptee LIT is a space created for education, advocacy, personal insight/experience and guidance in the sphere of Adoption.

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