Adventure for a rainy day

We’re experiencing rain of biblical proportions today.  Our poor chihuahua refused to go outside this morning.  Can’t say that I blame her, the puddle off of our front stoop would have been chest deep. 

Yesterday afternoon I left work to drive the 45 minutes to our county courthouse to take the next step in my name change.  I’m taking Strawberry’s last name and making my last name my middle name.  All of this is in preparation for adding a cupcake to our family and for all 3 of us to share a last name.

Two weeks ago I had made my first trip to the courthouse.  First let me say that the name “courthouse” is misleading.  It’s actually a huge sprawling campus of sorts with at least 15 different buildings, spanning the space of over 4 city blocks.  All plopped into a middle of nowhere farmland/ countryside/small town.  I had all of my paperwork printed out, filled out, and signed and I had the forms of ID that I’d need.  I had my checkbook. I knew the room number I was supposed to be at to drop these things off.  I parked in “short term parking” paid at the mini-meter and went off to complete my task.  Two metal detectors, 3 security guards, 1 helpful information desk, 2 buildings and a 15 minute walk later I was in the right place.  All my forms were submitted, my money was taken and I was back in my car another 15 mins later.  Piece of cake!!

Last week I got a bill in the mail from the newspaper that was running my name change petition.  Sent a check to pay it the same day.  And I saved the “notice of publication” since I would need to submit it at the courthouse.

So yesterday I decide to take the afternoon to submit the “notice of publication”.  I drive the 45 minutes over to the courthouse and park at a meter on the street close to the building I now know is the one that I need.  Thru security and up to the 4th floor I go where the clerk stamps my form and waves me on. 

“What happens next?” I ask.

“You’ll hear from us.” she replies.

“And about how long does that usually take?” I press.

“I don’t know. I’ll ask”

She asks the clerk next to her, who pulls my stamped form from the top of the pile and says “This doesn’t go to us.  What is it?”

I explain that it’s the “notice of publication” for my name change and she shakes her head.  Turns out, I will get something in the mail from the newspaper after they process my payment and the ad runs.  and that second piece of paper is the actual “notice of publication.”  I sigh, thinking I have now wasted a trip out here and that I’m going to have to do it all over again. 

“But wait” she says “What newspaper was it?”

I tell her. “Oh, their office is just over on Main Street.”  She tells me how to get there and off I go into the drizzle.

So, after a 10 minute walk I’m at the newspaper offices.  They are very busy but helpful and after another 10 minutes I’m back out in the drizzle with the form that I need.  Back thru security, back up 3 flights of stairs to the clerk.  I’m really feeling like a contestant on a reality TV show.   Running all over the place getting this thing here, that thing there, all in 20 minutes so that I don’t get a parking ticket.

This time, it seems like I’ve got what they need and it’s stamped in.  Now I just have to wait for the judicial decree and I’ll get my name change in the mail.  Now why do I doubt it’s actually going to be that simple?  Oh, and yeah, this part’s going to seem easy once I start changing my name with all the people and organizations I have to.  Sigh.

5 responses to “Adventure for a rainy day

  1. First of all, I’m jealous of your rain. It’s supposed to be a rainy week here but we’ve barely had any. My poor lawn and flowers (which I never water) are mad.

    Second, that name change is crazy – congratulations on navigating the system! Can you just imagine what it will be like to do second parent adoption? Ugh.

  2. Just wait til you get to notifying all the rest of the places! Credit card companies will do it over the phone – frequent flyer/banks, etc will require a copy of your court papers. The MVA was *easy*, but the Social Security office is still causing me trouble (I still don’t have my new SSN card). Just be prepared to fax and mail copies to *everyone* you have accounts with.

  3. It actually is that simple. We’re lucky at least in that we didn’t even have to deal with the newspaper except but to pay their bill. Of course, this was just to fix things so that now we CAN change J’s last name to mine. Oi.

  4. after it’s all said in done, i’m sure it will be sooo freaking worth it! the dp is changing hers soon, so i’m extra excited about that!

  5. Oh honey, I so get this. My partner and I both took a new last name together. It took us five months in all to get through the hoops. I remember those awful trips in and out, organizing all the paperwork. We had to actually appear before a judge and cross our fingers that it would be granted. But it did and all is well. But damn, do they make you run around a lot! I think having a family name is so special and can make your family unit feel connected in such an intimate way. Congrats!

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