0083_MillerGreetings from Kathy Collard Miller in the Southern California desert near Palm Springs.

What’s in a name? Ask the clerk at the Los Angeles Superior Court, where, for a fee and the cost of filing a legal advertisement, anyone over the age of 18 can have his name changed.

A newspaper article published years ago gave some examples of the name changes. Georgia Ricotta wanted her name changed. After all, who would want to be identified with a cheese? Her new name? Anna Novelli. “I picked my last name from a TV series,” the new Anna says. Read More →

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Kathy Collard Miller

Kathy Collard Miller

Greetings from Kathy Collard Miller in the Southern California desert near Palm Springs.

Imagine that you’re an orphan in a children’s home, desperately wanting to be adopted. One miraculous day a family arrives, they point to you, and say, “We want that child.” You cry with gratitude as the papers are signed and notarized. You climb into the car with your new family. It’s finally happened. You belong!

When you arrive at your new home, you’re astonished at how large it is. They show you a bedroom and it’s beautiful. “A room to myself?” you ask. They confirm it’s true.

That night as you lay in bed surrounded by warmth, you can’t believe what’s happened. But suddenly, you feel a sense of horror creep into your soul. “I don’t deserve all this. I shouldn’t be here so comfortable. I’m just adopted. I’m not like the ‘real’ children.”

With a sense of sadness, you climb out of bed, walk out of the house into the backyard. Wandering around, you find the doghouse and crawl in to lie beside the family dog. Shivering from the cold, you finally fall asleep, tears dropping onto the dirt floor. Read More →

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