I don’t think anybody got much sleep last night! Today has been a long time coming but it’s finally here: Leelan will legally become Bill’s son!
Leelan’s biological father – Casey’s first husband – left a few days before Leelan was born and has never been part of his life, and I will say no more about him.
Casey and Bill had known each other for a very long time, and even dated on and off. Then things got serious and they were married and Bill happily became “dad to Leelan” (and Lyra of course), and later they welcomed Luna.
Parenting is tough but Bill has accepted the role gladly. Together Casey and Bill have created a family that is fun and loving and wonderful, and have worked hard for the day when Bill was not only dad in practice, but in name as well.
And today is that day. Later this afternoon Pete and I will join them in court – via Zoom – as Leelan becomes Bill’s legal son and takes on his name. They’re already dad and son – now it will be legal, though it’s not just about the legality of it, or even Leelan taking on Bill’s name. It’s about everything it takes in the father-son relationship, the commitment and the unconditional love, the respect for each other, and the very important task of molding a young mind and heart into a man of integrity, honor, compassion, and moral – as well as physical – strength.
As Casey’s mom this has additional meaning for me. I have watched her stumble along the way, following paths that I knew would bring her pain yet powerless to stop her, and agonized at her utter despair at times. And prayed. And prayed. And prayed.
And I have also watched her pull herself up…trying to be a wife while pregnant with Leelan, unable to hold food down throughout with hyperemesis gravidarum, working full time to support herself and her “husband” while finishing her senior year of high school, living in a room in a run down motel, and still a child herself…moving home when he left her with the shambles of their life together just days before Leelan’s birth…watching her take on motherhood of a newborn just 17 years younger than her…seeing her determination as she set her future in her mind and then worked her way toward it, working two jobs while attending school and raising this wonderful baby boy, then moving out to an apartment of her own nearby to have a home for herself and her toddler, finally gaining total independence as she moved to a city for better opportunities…welcoming her beautiful second child soon after…managing college and working full time in her chosen field as she got not one degree, but TWO at the same time she was a single mom to 2 children, one of whom had special needs requiring frequent visits to specialists in another part of the state…and meanwhile developing her relationship with Bill that led to their marriage. All done with strength and determination that leaves me in wonder! And then with Bill’s loving support her amazing dream career…and their baby Luna… I think that there is nothing that my girl cannot do when she sets her mind to it. And today as her husband and her son become united in name I can’t help but be in awe as she has reached yet another goal. Milestone after milestone is the story of her adult life. Now, together with Bill, I have no doubt that they will continue to achieve great things. I cannot imagine a better mother for Leelan than Casey. Or a better father for him than Bill.