I have never received a new name

Today was a special day. Even though we just met, Lena and I have taken big steps together, starting with moving in together in February 2015, buying a house together in September and finding out Lena’s pregnant that same month. Today, we combined all that into our next step: we got a civil partnership (geregistreerd partnerschap)!

First off, don’t worry if you weren’t invited to the proceedings. We went for the budget (read: free) option of Monday morning, 9:00 am, with little more than the bare necessities in terms of a ceremony. In this setting, we were only allowed to bring up to four people, who would be our witnesses. Because of the nature of the day, we each had our both parents accompany us.

The reason for this minor celebration is that we decided on getting a civil partnership to make sure everything was taken care of when our child arrives. Not that we don’t love each other or are not sure we would stay together: nothing is less true. But we do want to have that big wedding and a big party and a honeymoon right after. That takes money, and money is tight.

So, just half an hour today, with a small group. Though luckily in the expensive wedding room, as the free room was being renovated XD

Anyway, this post’s title relates to the major decision we had to make in this story: one of the reasons behind our civil partnership was to make sure that Lena, our child and I would be able to have the same last name. But: what name would it be?

There were four options: Lena’s last name Poortvliet, my name Utama or one of two combinations: Utama – Poortvliet and Poortvliet – Utama.

We quickly decided on not taking a combined name, because that would be too complicated. In the end, we decided on the Poortvliet name: it’s less error-prone (more often than not, people mispronounce Utama) and, sad as it may be, there is a higher chance of discrimination with a foreign-sounding last name, now more than ever with the ongoing refugee crisis.

It wasn’t easy to do this. By the Dutch regulations, I will keep my original last name, while being allowed to use Poortvliet as well. But still, it felt like giving up a part of myself. I guess it kind of is. However, in the end it feels like the right thing to do. And I will have a famous person related to me ^^

As for today, like I said at the start of this post, it was a special day. Somehow, nothing changed while everything changed. The big change is that instead of being boyfriend and girlfriend, we are now husband and wife. Sure, we promised to support each other and stay loyal. But with our love, that was a given anyway.

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Luff you bby <3

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