So, without going into too much of the details, my husband and I knew that we liked the name "Lila Ruth" for our daughter who was born in December 2006. So, when it came time to fill out the paperwork in the hospital, I realized we never discussed how we wanted to spell her name. I liked "Lilah", but I figured since my husband wasn't in the room at the time I should give him a call and see if he had any opinions. He said he really liked "Laila" because he had seen it in a book somewhere and thought it was a pretty spelling. I figured I'd go with his suggestion, he is the english teacher after all and I'm just a software project manager...what do I know of names?!
When we announced the name to our friends most people said "Layla! What a beautiful name!" (think the Eric Clapton song). So, immediately we realized we had a problem. We didn't want our daughter going through life having people mispronounce her name all of the time. My husband was especially sensitive to this, since he was one of very few Garfinkels in Indiana and people always got his name wrong!
As time went by, I decided I didn't think it was such a big deal, but my husband still insisted on getting the name spelling changed. I told him that if he wanted to do it then he needs to do it soon, the older she gets the more documents are in her name (she already has a facebook account, a gmail address, etc.). Seriously though, I wanted to make sure the change was done before it came time to fill out preschool applications, which would be this year.
So, my husband committed to getting the process done this past summer. He downloaded the application, filled it out and got it notorized, then went to the civil court and waited in line to get it accepted. He then was given a date to go back and appear before a judge.
The last part of the process is to 'publicize' the name change, and this is where it gets funny. We must pay for an ad in the "Irish Echo" newspaper (apparently is has a circulation of 26,000 which qualifies it as a large enough audience) and announce that our almost 2-year old daughter is now "Lila Ruth" and not "Laila Ruth". I know that all of her friends who read the Irish Echo will appreciate that we reached out to them. Nothing against the Irish readers of the paper, but I don't understand how this will help us get the word out to the people it matters to.
In these days of super high technology and super fast communications, it seems so silly to put an add in a newspaper about a toddler's name change. There's so many other much more interesting and effective ways to spread the word. I see people announce their pregnancy on facebook, or watch their status changed from 'dating' to 'single' (hopefully not the same person who announced their pregnancy). I learned of someone's divorce through my newsfeed....that was wierd. I can easily post a question to tens of thousands of project managers on any number of social networking websites. I'm on a Brooklyn parents listserv of several thousand that's so active that I don't have the time to sift through even the daily digest version of the notices. Lately I've been pretty hooked on Twittermoms, what a wonderful way to connect with people!
So, how else could I tell the world that Laila is now Lila? Well, I could post on my facebook status ( I don't have 26,000 friends, but if I made my profile public for the day then more people might see the news). I could send an email with the news to everyone I know and ask them to forward the email to 20 of their friends. I could post the note to the neighborhood listserv, and easily get 7000 and probably some people who might actually know Lila! I could tell all the project managers in my networking group or all the mommies on Twittermoms, and add a note to twitter just to top it off. All of these things would not only get the word out faster, but to more people who might have an interest in our news.
Oh yes, and of course...my blog!