Our first order of business on arriving in the US is to get all of Meryn's paperwork in order. Our end goal is a US passport, US Certificate of Citizenship, and a visa to India in that US passport. The first step to getting those things is to register her adoption with our home state, Kansas. We also want to legally change her name from what it is on her Ethiopian passport and current paperwork. Currently, her legal name is Helen Paul Preedy. When Meryn was found outside the orphanage in the small town in Ethiopia, someone decided to call her Helen for paperwork purposes. We're not sure who that was. Since there is nothing known of her family, and we're pretty confidence this is a randomly chosen name by someone who did not know her, we've decided to change her name to Meryn. "Meron" is an Ethiopian name which means various things. It can mean crimson. It can mean "a gift from God." It can also refer to a name of an oil used in Ethiopian Orthodox worship services. We especially love the "gift from God" connotation. We have always wanted a name that is Ethiopian for her, but many of them are long and very difficul tot pronounce. So we loved Meron when we read it. We simply changed the spelling to make it a bit more feminine. We will also keep a variation of Helen as her middle name, and call her Helena. It is now all finished, and we are happy to present:
Meryn Helena Preedy!
The judge we had was simply awesome. He was so kind and lively, full of personality. He asked the kids to come into the courtroom, let them sit in his chair, pound the gavel, and told them official sounding things to say into the microphone. They had a great time, and he made the whole experience lighthearted and fun. He's a granddad, and just seemed like he loved being around kids. As we were leaving, others were coming into the courtroom, arms full of documents and files, looking professional in suits and ties. We thanked him profusely for giving us so much of his time, and allowing the kids to experience a real court room. He whispered back, "Hey, this is a whole lot more fun than what I'm about to do!" nodding his head in the direction of the others entering the room. We're glad we could brighten up his day too! : )