I'll tell you what's in a name. Every hope that a young mother and father have for their tiny baby. The heritage of all the ancestors gone before. Identity. Opportunity. Labels. Shackles. Freedom.
Names mean things. There are expectations and identity wrapped up in a name.
And this week, I got back my Texan roots. I no longer will be mistaken for a different lineage or heritage than where I came from. I will be empowered to be myself entirely.
I do not regret taking a married name, and I will do it again if I remarry, but I very much resent the way I couldn't get my name back when I should have been able to.
Self-advocacy made it happen, and I am thankful that I have enough courage and education to know how to help myself on this.
I have always been the same rose, but now it will be easier for others to identify where and with whom I belong, and I am thankful—even overjoyed.