You may be wondering why we've squeezed you a little bit tighter and a little bit longer today, why you've had so many kisses from so many friends and family, why there have been so many hugs and so. many. tears. Why all the fuss over you on this day, June 1, 2016?
I know all of this may not make much sense to you right now... and to be honest, not a whole lot actually changed today. You've woken up in our home most of the last 533 mornings... You've called me mama for months, you've hugged and kissed me too many thousands of times to count and you've clung to my neck so tightly anytime you've thought I might walk away. I've fed you, changed your diapers, wiped your tears... I've rocked you to sleep, sung to you, tickled you, peek-a-booed and patti-caked more times than I could count. You have been my son in every way... but by name.
Tomorrow will look much like yesterday looked, and next week will be very similar to last week. In our day-to-day it may seem to you like nothing has changed and for the most part we'll keep living how we've lived every day of the last year and a half...
...that's for the most part, but for the other part, we will live wildly different.
...because in reality, everything changed today.
This morning you woke up an orphan and tonight you laid your head down and closed your eyes a son. My son! My. Son.
"From here on out it will be as though Jaiden was born to you. He will be entitled to inheritance rights and the benefits of being your natural child. Do you understand that after this hearing, Jaiden Justice Ellzey will permanently be your son?"
Time stopped for a brief moment as the gravity of those words settled on my heart today... did you know that while you, your sister, your daddy and I sat in that small room with our family and friends early this morning, everything very literally changed?
In those quick words spoken by a lawyer in a judge's chambers you received a new status, a new family, a new name, and a new future. You were declared an orphan no more, but a son. One minute you had no legal parents and the next minute you gained two when you became our child, the son of Chris and Anna Kathryn Ellzey. You will be given a new birth certificate showing your daddy and I as your natural parents. Nothing can ever change this. Nothing! You will always be our son and we will always be your parents from now until forever. You will receive all the same rights and benefits as your sister will receive and we will receive all of the many blessings and benefits of simply calling you our son, of spending our lives raising you, teaching you and loving you. What a gift we have been given, to be so blessed that we would be chosen to be your mommy and daddy.. today, tomorrow, and forever!
Your birth mama gave you the most perfect name, a name that means 'God has heard'. I believe God gave her that name for you as a promise that He has heard her prayers and our prayers for you, and that He would provide for you and protect you in all circumstances. We could never change your name or the beautiful promise that it represents to us. It's a sweet gift from your birth mama, a piece of your story, it carries so much weight and it is just so perfectly YOU. But today you were given a new name, one that officially makes you the youngest Ellzey, the first Ellzey son, and a true little brother to your sister who has declared with such joy all week "and my bwuvvah's name will be ELLZEY at his 'doption!"
You were also given an additional name... we have stood before judges with our foster son, we have heard judgements and wondered what our future would look like, and we have prayed that you would receive justice. Today, we stood before a judge with you and you were given a right judgement, you received justice as he declared you to be our son. And in that moment you received a new middle name, Justice, a name that reminds us that despite the first eighteen months of your life and all of the courtrooms and judges, you have a greater Judge, a righteous Judge who offers true justice and adoption into His family through His son, Jesus Christ. Did you know that, just like you, because of our adoption in Him we have received a new status, a new name, a new family, and a new future? ...and in Him we are declared orphans no more, but children of God (1 John 3:1)! He has passed the judgement we deserve onto His Son and made us just in His sight! He is our Father and we are His children, nothing can ever change this... Nothing. He is a perfect and loving Father who loves you deeply, who placed you in our family and who holds your heart and your future. Your name is a gift to us, a reminder of the gift of adoption we have received from our Father and a promise over your future and life as an Ellzey. God has heard, sweet son, and He. Is. Just.
Son, today, we have celebrated you, and we have celebrated big.
We have waited and longed for today. We have prayed over today for many months. It is certainly a day we will never forget...
...and when we wake up tomorrow, life may look a lot like it did when we woke up yesterday, but this day, June 1, 2016 will leave a permanent mark in the deepest parts of my heart... as the day that nothing changed but everything changed. The day I kissed your cheek and called myself your mommy for the very. first. time.
...and the day I cried myself to sleep thanking God for blessing us and entrusting us with the sweetest boy that has ever lived, who we get to call our son.
Oh, my heart is full tonight.
Love you forever, sweet son!
**So many thanks to Melissa Breedlove Photography for these beautiful photos from our adoption day.**