Yes, I'm mulling over it, too. I've been contemplating a name change for several years now and did take on an Islamic name. Everyone still called me by my "given" but I had an Islamic one already picked out. Sumeia seemed perfect at the time because I could always break it up; Su Mei, Sume, Mei. I really didn't want to have an Arabic-sounding name. Talk about confusion. It seemed like a good solution at the time. So for years, I went through life with the intention of legally taking that name. I'm not satisfied with it now. People either think it's Japanese or Chinese. I'm being ethnically incorrect again. Damn!
My "real" name really isn't that bad as long as I never mention my last name. It's a dead give away that somewhere along the line, my ethnic wires were crossed. I'm not really sure what compels me in this direction. Resistance? Reclamation of my identity and heritage? It's probably all of those along with the fact that it just feels right. I agonized over how my aparents would feel, debated with myself over its importance, struggled with feelings of betrayal and came to the conclusion that it's just something I have to do. I need to return that part of me to its rightful place. I really think that, in the end, my parents would understand my decision.
I'm still trying to decide whether or not to take the name from my adoption papers. My indecision stems from reasons similar to those pointed out by those strong souls who went before me. The horrible thing is that I'm not sure if I even like the name that's on my adoption papers. Yes, I'm terrible. I don't really like the way it sounds when I say it out loud. It feels strange on my tongue like eating a new Vietnamese dish for the first time. I wiggle it around on my tongue, play with the sounds, chew on its strange texture and then debate on whether to spit it out or swallow it.
The really strange thing is the fact that I can't stand my own Vietnamese name makes me want to embrace in defiance. The fact that I can't even pronounce it properly, screams of loss and disconnect. Le Thi Buu Tran is more than just a collection of letters and sounds. In a way, it represents all the culture and language, all the heritage and pride in that heritage that was ripped away without my consent.
Yet, I am still indecisive and have begun researching my "ethnic" name. I also want to make sure it has a meaning (if it has a meaning) that I can live with. I think my worst fear is that I'd legally change my name and it end up meaning "donkey on a stick" or something I'd regret. It's not likely but I'd rather be safe than sorry. I guess this one will have to go under "to be continued" but that is much more preferable than a dead end.