Thursday, January 06, 2011

Full Time!

I'm holding off on the next chapter of Star Crossed one more time, to bring more transition news!

A while ago I went to court and started the name change petition process, as I mentioned a bit ago.  They charged me a $53 filing fee and set a court date of January 4, which was this Tuesday.

I showed up at 9:30 as I was advised, and found the courtroom to be packed.  I have been full time since January first, so I was dressed fairly well, though casual. Prisoners in jump suits waiting for hearings sat in rolling office chairs on the front row, while people on civil matters and minor offenses waited  in crowded bench seats.  They called people alphabetically for the most part.  After hearing tons of drug and traffic related judgements and a preliminary trial about a burglary, we were down in the W's and I still had not been called.

When there were only about 8 people left in the room, they called me forward, by my old name.  I got a few odd looks.  I think perhaps I was placed late on the docket intentionally to give me a bit more privacy.  I approached the bench feeling fairly confident.  The judge looked stern, but I had seen him handle quite a few cases at this point and he seemed a nice guy.

He read the petition, then asked me to verify the accuracy of both my chosen name and my given name.  Then he verified my address, date of birth and such.  He was very conversational, at one point asking if this finishes the process for me.  Caught off guard I answered "Almost." with a shy smile.

The form for a name change order was not in the courtroom so he sent someone for it and I was asked to return to my seat.  There were still a few odd looks, and one guy in particular was trying hard not to stare.

When the form arrived and was filled out I was called back forward.  The judge announced that my name change was official and wished me luck.    I settled into the same peaceful content I often feel at milestones now.  I left the courthouse with a huge smile.

Since then I've been spending a bit of time each day away from work running the errands needed to finish the process.  Wednesday I picked up my certified copies of the name change.  4, just in case.  They waived the $3 fee per copy, which was very kind.  On the way out, I stopped by the county clerk to file with them.  I think there was a $12 fee.

Then I drove over to the social security office, where they were very expedient about my name change.  My new social security card should arrive soon!

Today was the exciting part though.  I got to go down and get my driver's license made with my new name and a photo representing my new look.   They were extremely nice at the court clerk's office and chatted with me through the whole process.

Despite the M in the bottom left corner, seeing that license gave me such a sense of accomplishment.  =)

Work has went smoothly, though I went full time on schedule without any communication whatsoever to the general staff.  I have gotten a few odd looks, but most people have been very nice, and even quite complimentary.  I've been called he very few times this week.

In town and away form work things are even better.  I feel pretty much completely accepted.  Ma'ams shes and hers abound.  Also I've had doors held for me several times.

I'm in uncharted territory right now, and I'm very nervous; always looking to gauge the reactions of those around me.  But with every positive interaction my confidence grows.

When my SS card comes I'll file my name change at work and then start communicating with the companies I'm on file with.  Also at that point I'll be asking permission from upper management to send a communication to the staff for clarification.

It's looking like I'll be busy for a while!  But I'm so happy.  Transition is going great, and there's more happy news besides. But that is another entry altogether.  :)