Dedicated to my daughter with L.O.V.E.
May you come to understand your past and discover your future.
-Mommy

Monday, April 5, 2010

Why Unaitwa Emma



- U-na-itwa means "you are called' in Swahili

Dear Emma,

Long story short (because you will have heard this story a million times by the time you read this note, and your name may or may not legally be Emma), I decided to call you Emma because that is who you were always supposed to be. When I was pregnant with you, there were only two names that were possibilities for me: Emma and Mahogany. No, you weren't gonna be Emma Mahogany or Mahogany Emma, although I actually like the way the latter sounds, I liked both of these names individually, for different reasons. I was so sure that you were going to be born with dark skin like mine, so I thought that Mahogany would make a beautiful name for my little chocolate drop. However, like I said previously, you were not chocolate at birth whatsoever, so although it would have still been a unique name, it didn't end up making the cut.

And even though you were born on the date that my mother was buried, and her spirit visited me while you were in my belly, Emma didn't initially make the cut either. Your dad didn't like the name, said it was too country. I didn't agree, but I didn't fight for the name either. I went ahead and let him name you. I let him give you a name that was similar to your sisters', which really had no metaphorical meaning because you had no even known them until you were older. I have regretted that decision ever since your name was placed on your birth certificate. The cool thing about names though is that they can always be changed. Last names and first names. As of right now, I have not legally changed your name to Emma because I still need to talk things over with your dad, but you are completely use to being called both Emma and Jalia, and you are just as happy being Emma as you are being Jalia.

I told myself that this year, I would start exclusively calling you Emma. I have not been sticking to that, but this blog is a good start. The end of your 1st grade year will be here in a couple of months, so when you return to school as a 2nd grader, you will be going by Emma. I am looking forward to that.

Love,
Mommy

3 comments on "Why Unaitwa Emma"

Traci Lavette on April 5, 2010 at 10:23 PM said...

This brought tears to my eyes. So very beautiful. You never told me that your mom's spirit visited you. I would love to hear about that some day when you feel like talking about it. Having Emma born on the day her grandmother was buried has to always be with you, but you would never know it by the way you push on through everyday. I'm so proud of you.

If Emma is the name you were connected to for your baby, then so it shall be. Her dad had his say so for the first 6 years, and now you can make things the way you initially intended them to be. How exciting!

You can call the County Recorder's office (downtown Oakland) to find out how to go about getting it changed legally...

Emma's Mom on April 5, 2010 at 10:40 PM said...

Thank you =). I will definitely share it with you. She came to me, before I even knew I was pregnant. Her presence was so strong that people around me experienced it too. And still, I allowed her to be legally called Jalia. I should have kicked my own ass for that... in a way, I am. But yeah, I had gotten a packet before, but couldn't get help filling it out so I decided that I would chalk the loss up and wait for another baby. But, no other baby, but my first born, the one my mother sent me, could ever bare her name =).

I thank her so much for sending her my way.

Traci Lavette on April 6, 2010 at 10:36 AM said...

Oh.My.God! That is beautiful! I can only imagine. Your Mama loved you and it's evident by how much love you are able to show Emma. It definitely shows, sis.

We are gonna find help for those forms. They have to have a department that has assistance with filling them out so I'll see what I can find out.

 

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