When people asked me if I would take my spouse’s name after getting married, I would give an emphatic “NEVER!”
But actually, I’d already changed it.
In Mexico, I had two last names––my dad’s and my mom’s, same as everybody else––but on my U.S. documents I only had my dad’s, so when I moved to Texas, I lost my mom’s name.
I grew up thinking that that was the way it was. In Mexico, I had my full name. In the United States, not quite.
Last year when I shared my immigration story publicly, I decided I wanted to use my full name. It felt important to link myself to the people who raised me and love me and give me strength every single day and to the country that has been my home as long as I can remember. I decided I wanted to reclaim my full name in the United States and made that my resolution for 2017.
Then, the election happened.
Now there are many things that feel much more urgent than dealing with the bureaucracy of changing my name, so I’m not doing it yet. However, I have started using my full name everywhere I can.
So this is just a note to say, if you see an extra word hanging off the end of my name, don’t be confused. It’s just my name, and all of it is mine.
Kristina Marie Fullerton Rico