My name has not always been Diamond Mike. In fact, when I was born I never had a name. The name Michael was given to me three days later by a loving woman and man who I would later call mom and dad.
I was adopted. I never did meet my birthmother, who died in 1981. 36 years later, after submitting her death certificate to the Indiana State Department of Health, I was lawfully allowed to receive my original birth certificate. It was a rather boring slip of paper, and contained three blanks for names.
Name of Child___________.
The first blank said Mother: Betty Price. (My adoptive parents told me that.)
The second blank said Father: Unknown. (I figured that also.)
The third blank did not say Michael, as my friends have always called me. Instead, it said Name of Child: Infant.
It is claimed my birthmother would slur to my siblings, “One of these days we must find Jonathan.” Of course that disturbed the family deeply after telling them previously I was stillborn. So I suppose Jonathan would have been my name if she did not put me up for adoption.
What does a Jonathan look like?
What is a Jonathan supposed to do?
Around 1996, a student drew an artistic rendering on top of a stack of mother’s essays that were submitted to my jewelry store. It said, “Go Diamond Mike!” Yes, I can be Diamond Mike, I thought.
What does a Diamond Mike look like?
What is a Diamond Mike supposed to do?
We all choose who we want to be. We can be dark villains. We can be superheroes.
Today I buy and sell diamonds. I help hundreds of couples choose their engagement ring. I award gemstones to creative students in the Why Mom Deserves a Diamond writing contest. I am a father and a grandfather. I wear a purple tie. On occasion an umbrella is my scepter.
The most important thing is to know we have been loved. But first we must have a name, define our name, and live up to our name.
My name is Diamond Mike. It is a pleasure to meet you.