Our 8 year old daughter recently asked me if she could take the 'Asperger' label off her electronic device she was taking to school because she was being teased at school for her last name. No surprise - we have heard it a million times - add an extra 's' and a 'burger' and there you have an easy target for some snickering. This time, though, I was actually offended by the fact that my daughter, instead of being proud of her last name, felt like she wanted to hide it from others. Insert Holy Spirit (so thankful He shows up at a moment's notice to bail me out!) and here is how our conversation proceeded.
Eliana, you should be very proud of your last name, because it is your daddy's name and he gave it to you because he chose you and loves you. When I married your daddy, he gave me his last name as a special gift so that everyone would know that I am his wife. I love to be Angie Asperger because I love to be daddy's wife and I am proud that others know he is my husband just by calling my name. Daddy is a man of integrity, who pours out his life to love and care for us, and it is an honor to share his last name and be identified with him. The bible says in Genesis 2 that when a man & woman marry each other, "they two shall become one flesh" and sharing a last name shows that commitment. Some day, you will marry a man of integrity, and he will you give you his last name and you will be proud to be his wife.
At this point, I notice that this spur of the moment conversation, which started out with an audience of 1 has now grown to an audience of all 6 six kids intently listening. Thank you Jesus for directing the attention of our five handsome Asperger boys to the conversation. Conversation proceeds with...and some day all 5 of your brothers will give their last name to a wife and they need to work hard to protect the integrity of their last name by choosing to honor Christ with their actions as well. Their wives will be proud to be Asperger women, because it will be given to them as a pure and precious gift.
I pray that we can always be proud of our last name as it is identified with love, commitment, respect, family and honor. Thank you Joe for giving us such a precious gift - may we always depend on the work of the Spirit within us to remain proudly identified as the Asperger 8