I was born Melinda Ray Morris on October 13, 1962.   My middle name is after my grandfather on my mom's side.  I have always loved it.  My mom told me that the whole side of my daddy's family was there and so excited because I was the first grandchild to be born on that side. I like to think about them all being there waiting for me.   It was a Saturday. 

LOL....I don't actually remember that....I was told. 

I got married to the ex the first time in September 1981.  I took his name and have carried it around every since.  Even when we got divorced for the final time, I kept that name for my children's sakes. 

Since then, one got married and got a different name.  The other got smart and ditched it.  There is no one by that last name that I love or care for now or vice versa. 

But here I am still toting it around.    I have carried the name  for 34 year.  I have done the best that I could with it.  Even though I am not fond of it, I spiffied it up and made it count for something.  I made it mine. I have made it a good name.  It's now a name in my world that people hear and not roll their eyes at.   I've made peace with it.  I think I held on to it for so long because I thought that I would eventually  get married again and change my last name. 

I have come to terms with the fact that I will, more than likely, never marry again. 

OMG....I would have been married 34 years this year.  That kind of blows my mind.

No one gets it right.  My last name is always butchered in some form or fashion.  Shoates...Kahote...Chocolate....Chote.....the list goes on and on.
                                              Even the COURT wrote it wrong on the docket!

When I first got this job, I hade a supervisor that called me by my last name.  Only by my last name.  She honestly had no idea how I felt about it or how it still stung.  I hated hearing it roll off her tongue for so many different reasons.   First, because I thought that there was no honor to that name.  Secondly, because it was disrespectful.   By using my name against me, I was kept at arm's length.  That was finally resolved and we eventually became best friends.

I have grown a lot in the last 34 years.   I do not even know who that girl was.  She was so young, full of hope and horribly naïve.   Sometimes, it is like watching a Life Time made for tv movie with an actress that looks kind of like me.  A very skinny actress. 

I just know I love who she eventually became.

I have done all I can with this name.  It no longer suits me.  I  have outgrown the name Choate.  I have carried it for as long as I could and I am ready to give it better condition than when I picked it up.  

I got fingerprinted at the Sherriff's office last week.  Then I went to the District Clerk's office and filed paperwork and paid my $248.00. 

                               SURPRISE!  It's a GIRL!

                               A letter my daddy wrote after I was born.

Today...I went to Court in a room where I have testified hundreds of times before.  This time it was for me.  I asked to have my birth name returned to me.  The name that I was given when I came into this world.  A name that already has honor and love attached to it.  I carried a penny in my pocket.

My request was granted. 


The whole thing took less than 4 minutes.  I bet my mom had wished her labor with me was that quick.  

Mindy Morris........just get me a scrabble tile holder and I'll fix it myself.


  1. Mindy Morris. My friend. Welcome back to the world, baby girl.

  2. Im so happy for you. This made me cry♡ you are an inspiration and so strong.

  3. I love that you had a penny in your pocket.

  4. YES!!!! A long time coming!! You really did do a lot to make that other name yours and give it some dignity. Well, ok, not dignity really, but you made it pretty damn cool! hahaha! But I love that you have "reclaimed your birth name". It suits you.

    1. Thank you so much. You taught me well. lol

  5. I love that you left the old name better than you found it. I'm so proud to be a Morris!

  6. I am sitting here with tears in my eyes. You are beautiful and I love seeing your story unfold.

    1. Thank you so much! You have been along for so much of the ride. I love you sweetie.

  7. I'm celebrating your return to Melinda Ray Morris. It's all I've ever known or thought of you as! You are an amazing woman and I proud to say we're related! 😊 Go forth and conquer!!

  8. Yay! I love this so much! Welcome to a wonderful, exciting, grace-filled place, Miss Mindy Morris.

    Whatever name you have, you are always BELOVED.



  9. LOVE this. Love you!!!

  10. Yay! Go Mindy ��

  11. Anonymous6:43 AM

    So happy for you. I also love that you took your Dad (the penny) along with you! Love you. CT


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