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.  :)


LeAnne said...


That is really awesome news! I am soooo happy for you.

Congratulations hon!!!!!
oh yeah.......

YOU GO GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Natasha said...

Congrats!!! Once you get used to it, it will simply be your life...a very good thing indeed!

Oh, and your DL picture is awesome :D


Two Auntees said...

I'll repeat what LeAnne and Natasha said; Congrats and awesome news, now go have fun.

Melissa said...

Well, it's about time! what great news! Most of us thought you were ready for this six months ago. Congratulations!!!

Melissa XX

Rebecca said...

Congratulations!!! I'm so happy to hear the great news!! You may be in uncharted territory, but you seem to have an excellent sense of direction! I'm really happy for you! *Hug*

Leslie Ann said...

As if there were any doubt, you rock, Shannon!

Stace said...



Angel said...

Congratulations on yet another milestone! :)

Caroline said...

Marvellous to see you being your real self at last, soon you will just take it for granted but that is another matter and we get the other posts...


Caroline xxx

Kristina Nicole said...

That is such fantastic news--CONGRATULATIONS--I am so happy for you that things are going well! :))


Heidi said...

What brilliant news!! I'm so pleased for you. Take care lady,

Amy K. said...

Wow! I found myself making happy little noises when reading this post. Way to go, Shandy! I'm so happy for you! I do have two questions, if I may. Have you changed your name to Joan? Oh, and not really a question, but you listed January 10th as your court date. That's in the future. ;)

Hugs!!! Yay!

Amy K. said...

PS - Your picture here reminds me of Amy Irving back in the day. Very pretty.

ms.shandy said...

Thanks everyone! The court date was the 4th, not the 10th. The 10th is another appointment totally unrelated. LOL

Jerica Truax said...

YAY! Your description of court brought back memories from a year ago =) *HUGS* Congratz girl!!!!

And can I just say that ITS ABOUT TIME!?!?! hehehehe I'm sure you're thinking that too ;)

Tina said...

Looks much better than that license photo you showed me on the way to the Ville with our friends, about three years ago....remember that? I said if you got pulled over you were so going to jail LOL. OMG, you have come a long way sista!!

Suzi said...

Congrats Shandy!! :) I think all of out here in blog land are beginning to breathe a sigh of relief...and joy!

I'll have no trouble remembering your court date. Jan 4th was our 35th wedding anniversary AND the day I left the hospital with my new

Carry on GF!! :)Suzi

GirlWhoShould (Lucy) said...

Congratulations :-)
Lucy xx

Lori D said...

I've waited for this day for you to finally be who you are too! Congrats!

ms.shandy said...

Thanks everyone. Things are still going great. :)

Aislin said...

A nice bit of validation. I'm looking forward to mine in March. M on the DL isn't so relevant anymore. Get an F on your passport (now available in handy wallet-sized) use as all-purpose ID, and consign the DL to the glove-box. Excellent!

chrissie said...

Well done, pet.. :-)


Elizabeth said...

Congratulations Darlin. I remember going through all of this. Life is going to get so much better. WOOT WOOT!!!!!

Best Wishes!!!


Anonymous said...

I have read your entire blog and have found it to be so very inspiring. I hope you haven't decided to pull the plug on your blogs now. You are such an inspiration to all us girls out here, we hate to not hear from you anymore. Please let us all know how you are doing.

Katherine said...

Bit late but congrats!!! remember geeing my license as feeling the same way.