{My friend game me permission to post this FB entry as a guest blog. Thanks, Joanell!}

My name, Andrea or Joanell?

by Andrea Wright Estar on Sunday, August 29, 2010 at 11:47am


I get this question a lot, so I thought I’d post it here as a note. 🙂

 Up until 2004, I was Andrea Jean Kim and my husband was Michael Hosuk Kim. The kids were Laura Aelan Kim, Allison Michael Kim, and Leia Augusta Kim.

 I can see you are getting confused,,,,,, well, this is a story about how God is working in my life.

 Back before I knew Jesus and God, I totally believed in astrology, numerology, and the Kabalarian Theory of Names (they believe your name influences your personality and help you create a balanced name based on numbers and such – www.kabalarians.com for more info) … anyway, I was heavily involved in all of that and totally believed in all of it, so much so, that I would eagerly await my monthly horoscope every month and pour over it like crazy, memorizing everything it said, and would totally live my life by it. I had so many books about astrology, reading people’s palms, numerology, all sorts of new age stuff.

Around 2002 or 2003, I got heavily into the Kabalarian Theory of Names and decided that our entire family needed to have balanced names to help us be better people and live more balanced and successful lives.

 In 2004, we all changed our names to what you know us all as: Joanell Korinn Estar, Trae Fox Estar, Laara Kimberllay Estar, Alleson Kamille Estar, & Leigha Katline Estar. In March 2005 we made it legal and asked everyone to start calling us by our new names.

 Then in Jan 2006 we moved here to Georgetown, Indiana. On July 31, 2006 our sweet baby girl, Steffany Keliya Estar was born. On August 11, 2006 she died (she had Trisomy 18). In early September 2006, my wonderful friend, Beth Foster, started talking with me about Jesus and how I could see Steffany again in Heaven. It was the first time ever I had REALLY listened to someone talk with me about Jesus. She wrote two blog entries about me – about how my baby was with Jesus and how she was hoping she could talk with me about Jesus, but didn’t know if it was the right time – and let me read them, and after crying and crying, I asked her to tell me more about Jesus (if you’d like to see the blog entries. I do have permission to show people). I also started attending Georgetown Christian Church with the girls.

On October 13, 2006 Pastor Roebin baptized Laara, Alleson and me, and we began our lives as brand new born again Christians. My husband refused to attend church, but didn’t stop the kids and me from attending. Finally, in August 2008, he started attending church with us and on November 2, 2008, he too was baptized.

Then around late December 2008/Early January 2009, I started feeling a huge tugging on my heart, a huge pull to go back to being Andrea. I couldn’t ignore the feeling and so I stopped and listened to why I was feeling that way. God spoke to me then. God showed me that I had changed my name based on things he hates and things he has asked us to turn away from (numerology, Kabalarian theory, astrology, palm reading, etc…). When I realized that, I felt really bad and knew I had to make amends, stop asking my family to call me Joanell and let everyone else know what my given name had been.

I also knew that my baptism had washed away my sins and that God had forgiven me for changing my name (and our entire families names) based on things he hates, so it was okay to remain Joanell and Trae Estar for legal purposes, since it’s a huge hassle to change them back. However, I needed to tell everyone who I was, who I became, and who I am now.

As of January 2009, I started telling everyone that they could call me either Andrea or Joanell (whichever was easier for them) and that I was going to be introducing myself to new people as Andrea (unless it was something business or legally related, which is why I’m still signing notes to the kids’ teachers as Joanell Estar). My family and old friends who knew me before 2004 were thrilled.

The kids are keeping the names they have now for several reasons, the main one being that they did nothing wrong in God’s eyes. They did not change their names based on things he hates. They changed their names because Mommy and Daddy said it was the right thing to do. Also, since their first names are the same as before, only with different spellings, it’s not really that big of a difference for family and friends. They will also keep the middle names they have now because they LOVE the middle names that they have now WAY more than their original middle names. They will also keep their last names because when they marry, they will be changing their last names anyway, so it’s kind of pointless to go through the legal name change process all over again.

However, Trae wants to remain Trae because it really doesn’t matter to him what his American name is (he’s gone through Bruce, John, Michael, and now Trae), but he’s always been Hosuk to his family. We will also be keeping our last name, Estar, until the last of our girls is married and has taken her husband’s last name because we want to have the same last name as they do. When they are all married, Trae and I will return to being Mr. and Mrs. Kim.

So, that’s the long involved story of why the name in my profile is Andrea Wright Estar (Joanell Estar). I was born Andrea Jean Wright, then I became Andrea Jean Kim through marriage, then Joanell Korinn Estar because of misguided beliefs, and now I’m finally back to Andrea.

Oh, and Andrea is pronounced AHN drea (my step sister is ANN drea) and Joanell is pronounced just like Joan with "ell" at the end.

{Thanks again, Joanell!