Dallas Adoption Day Means a 2nd Chance for Josiah and 74 Others

DALLAS -- Everything changed when the England family heard those words.

"The adoption of the child subject to this suit, now named Josiah Andrew England, is granted," said Dallas Judge Jim Jordan.

"The finality of having the judge up there, it was just..." and then Mark England broke out in laughter. It's hard to finish a sentence when your new son is throwing stuffed animals at your head.

Just like that, Mark and Joy England became parents for the third time. It's not exactly a new situation for them. In fact, Saturday's adoption celebration was 621 days in the making.

"We watched him cut his first teeth, eat his first food, take his first steps, all of it we were there," Joy England said. "He belongs here."

Josiah -- Grayson, as he was known before his adoption -- ended up with the Englands when he was just months old.

"His mom had issues with drugs," Joy said.

He's one of nine foster kids the Englands have had, but right from the start they were attached.

"When it's time for bed, he's very clear," Mark said. "'I want to give Nanni a hug,'" he said, imitating his son while pointing to daughter Hannah. "'Now I need to give Bobo a hug,'" he said, pointing to other son Caleb.

Connections like this are what make National Adoption Day so amazing.

"They've already felt accepted into these families, but it's a different form of acceptance when you actually go through the legal process, and you know, 'I am part of this family,'" said Dallas CASA Executive Director and President Kathleen LaValle.

Part of becoming an England meant a total name change. In the Bible, Josiah was named King of Judah at just eight years old, and he turned his land back to the path of righteousness. The Englands drew a clear line between the boy king and their two-year-old.

"What his past said about him and what his path should've been through his other family has been redirected," Joy England said.

For Josiah and 74 other kids and their families, that redirection is what this day is all about.