Adoption. It's not something most people can relate to. There's a lot of romanticizing around it, a lot of critique, and a cruel sort of ostracism ballooning the innate emotional effects. After my post last week a question kept popping up from some of you out here reading. Who is Tiffany?
I am Tiffany. I am also Numa. My adoption and reunion with my biological family caused a doubling - I suddenly had two mothers, two fathers, and two names.
I remember a California judge finalized my adoption - I stood with my siblings and parents in the court house- the wood paneling and furnishings seemed to speak with added authority as I heard the pronouncement that I belonged here with this family- all punctuated by the dull thud of the gavel. It was law.
Tiffany means the appearance of the goddess, and Numa means spirit, or in some translations - breath. Tiffany is one of the most feminine names, and Numa is regarded as a mans name in most parts of the world.
People change their last names often due to ceremony - marriage- or reclaiming their identities in divorce. I embraced Numa as I do most things - by intuition. It just felt right and I moved on from there. This is similar to how I feel about branding. It all starts with the name. From there you pick up pace. Does it catch attention and feel good to say? Then you have a winner.
I love and relate to vintage icons Eartha Kitt & Marilyn Monroe - both adopted, both took on new names or variations on their own. It's all part of piecing yourself together when life hands you fragments. There is nothing you can't name, build, and define for yourself. Create your own pedigree.
Photo of Numa by Dennis Dortch, 2015 Los Angeles, CA Gingham Dress by Forever Vintage Photo of Eartha Kitt & Marilyn Monroe - Unknown Photographer.
The Haitian political history of my name NUMA is well documented in Edwidge Danticat's aptly titled CREATE DANGEROUSLY. Click here for a brilliant excerpt