Today it happened. Eric Emmanuel Morgan became a legal reality.
First, let’s just take a minute to look at that name. Emmanuel, the middle name given to Eric by his biological mom. Incredible. I remember the day we FINALLY got his birth certificate, I read that name, and my jaw dropped. Emmanuel… God with us. It has been the story of this journey. He is the WITH-US God. He is so faithful. He was with us when we met Eric as a 12 year-old in that Belizean orphanage. He was with us through every signature on every paper, every fingerprint and background check, every penny we paid (it was a lot of pennies), every tear and anxious thought, and every joyous moment of good news! It is so like our God to name our son Emmanuel… a forever reminder that it’s His story and that He is with us always.
The adoption process from Belize is pretty complicated… hence the 3.5 year timeline! The adoption was finalized in Belize last April, on the one year mark of Eric being home. The finalization came after we had a year worth of post-visits from our case-worker, sent that paperwork back to Belize, and our attorney there went to the Supreme Court for the adoption decree to be sent to us. Whew… makes me tired just typing it.
After it was finalized in Belize, we focused on finalizing it here in the USA. Having it complete in Belize did not make Eric a US citizen nor did it legally change his name in the States. This was a complicated process in and of itself. We worked with our adoption agency, DHR, and our adoption lawyer. We had to be re-fingerprinted because ours expired. We had to update our homestudy… which we made more complicated because we decided to move. Then, the lawfirm wanted to wait for Eli to be born for everything to be accepted and approved. Once Eli was born, ALL the paperwork was completed, information (and more money) was sent to the court, and then we waited on the date.
January 27, 2016… our adoption became finalized in the USA, Eric became a US citizen, and he officially/legally became a Morgan.
The sweet lawyer let Eric seal his FINAL adoption decree/order. BOOM!
His identity was solidified today. Security. Confidence. Love. Hope. A forever family in the eyes of everyone… even the US government and judicial system. He’s a son. No changing it. He’s wanted. He’s loved. He’s known and accepted. He’s supported. He BELONGS!
They let him be in the judge’s seat. He was proud.
With our lawyer, Mr. Sam McClure with the Adoption Law Firm. So thankful for all the professionals we’ve worked with throughout the process.
Wow. It’s done. The last check was written today. The last signature was signed. He’s ours. He’s a Morgan. Hallelujah!
Thank you for praying us through this journey. For loving us. For loving Eric. For taking time to read our story. Praying Jacob and I can be wise in our parenting, that we would love Eric well, that we would listen and be aware, and that we would always point our kiddos to Jesus. He’s worth it all!