What’s in a Name?




So, it is with a lot of effort that I look back on the delay of “formally” announcing my name change. But this is a big decision that is destined to change my life, so I courageously choose to step forward and share the story with you now.

The Reason I Changed My Name

First, to satisfy the suspense, no, I did not get married. I know, bummer. I’ve seen a lot of disappointed faces after answering that question. (Side note: I keep the hope that one day I truly will make such a wonderful announcement.)

Rather, I changed my professional name in honor of the strong women in my family.

Three generations of Andelle’s. My mother’s hands (top), then my grandmother’s (middle) and mine (bottom).

Both my mother and grandmother both had the birth name is Andelle.

Everything I am as a therapist has come from pieces of my grandmother, but even more so, the special pieces of my mother–her compassion, commitment, and kindness, and her unbelievable capacity to care for others. No doubt, that is her secret formula for being a beautiful, successful nurse for over 35 years. Her spirit fuels and shapes much of who I am both professionally and personally.

My grandmother, a woman who worked tirelessly for her family of 13, and later on in life for her church community, was another beautiful woman in my family. She gave effortlessly and was dedicated to several church and community missions in her heyday. Sadly, she has passed… since August 2014. I miss her still.

So the name goes on solidly for three generations for certain. But there is rumor that my grandmother’s mother also bore the name. That would mean I am fourth generation Andelle. And someday, I hope to pass on the name to my children.

In the end, I chose to change my last name to honor the strong female lineage of my family. My hope is that it will continue a legacy for our family going forward for many generations to come.