coraadoption20170329_0019 copyAnnnndddd, it’s finally official. While she’s been Cora Hope Mahoney to us for quite some time, the judge made it legal today.  Sitting in that chair under oath was a bigger deal than I thought it might be. Ryan and I got to proudly testify today that we love her as our own and will provide and care for her as if she was of our own blood.  We testified that we understand her medical needs and while she’s thriving right now, we know that things could change at any time and we will always provide for any of her needs.
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We held her as the judge approved our request to finalize her adoption in the state of Missouri, and as he said that her name would no longer be Wen Hua Dang and that she would now legally be Cora Hope Mahoney.  At that moment, I kind of wanted to whoop and holler as my Uncle Robert would have but I restrained myself.  You see, her Chinese name was almost as generic as if the orphanage had called her by a #. Dang is the name that many orphans are given across China. Her name basically meant “ward of the state” or “orphan”, and she has not been an orphan for almost 16 months. Every time the doctor’s office or hospital calls for Wen Dang, I almost cringe. I know they don’t know any better but I hated it and her brothers and sisters did too. She has not ever for even one day been Wen Hua Dang to us, so having that judge say that her name is now officially Cora Hope Mahoney was huge to this mama who loves her more than life. coraadoption20170329_0021 copy 
Her name was chosen with intention and purpose. She is our Cora HOPE… my girl whose Heart (Cora) is filled with much HOPE because she was created and is loved by her Heavenly Father who formed her in her birth mamas womb with a very specific plan for her life. I believe that her beautiful birth mama placed her at the orphanage gate with HOPE of a greater life than she could give… HOPE that she would receive what she needed to live.  With HOPE He made it ever so clear that she was ours from the moment I saw her beautiful face.  He brought her to us to be loved and cared for as our child and because she is His child.  We stepped out with great HOPE in His plan as we said yes to her 2 years ago, not knowing if she would live a full life in our home or just months.  One year ago, we were clinging to that same HOPE as we pursued medical answers across the country for her beautiful heart.  And, we cling to this  same HOPE as we watch His plan unfold in her life.  Our Hope is not just in some random good happening in this great unknown.  Our Hope is that God has something greater than we could ever imagine planned out for her and for us.  Sometimes that plan involves incredibly hard stuff in this broken world, but we have Hope in our Savior that he will one day return and bring us to our heavenly home.  We pray that she will some day come to know Him as her Savior and Redeemer.  
Today, we celebrate in the fact that a judge made legal what we have known for quite some time. This girl is no longer an orphan, she is loved beyond measure, and she is named Cora Hope Mahoney.
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