Nine-year-old stays strong, dreams big through long journey to finally finding A Place to Call Home

A Place to Call Home

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Elijah still clings to a photobook with a precious message that was a long time coming – he would soon be adopted.

The 9-year-old had lived with multiple foster families before arriving at the Mays family’s home in July of 2016.

“He’s a part of our family, he’s always been a part of our family since day one,” said Elijah Mays’ mom, Mandi.

But Mandi says the process from foster to adoption was lengthened due to court issues.

So, Elijah waited and dreamed of legally being a part of his family – even as they adopted another child, Judah, before him.

But he and the Mays family remained committed with open arms and open hearts.

“There was nothing you could do to make us move anybody,” said Mandi.

Last Friday – after spending 2,710 days in DHS custody – Elijah’s adoption was finalized.

The legal documents featured the name of his choice.

“My first name is from my first mom so I wanted to keep that,” Elijah said. “My last name, Mays is my family’s last name and my middle name, Stark, is Tony’s last name, which is my favorite Avenger so I wanted that.”

This superhero-loving youngster’s first stop to celebrate after his adoption may surprise you.

He didn’t choose a Marvel movie, a park, or a restaurant.

No, he stopped by the State Capitol – a place where he has big dreams.

“Be governor,” Elijah told News 4. “Because I can be the boss!”

So he began his campaign by having a meeting with current Governor Kevin Stitt.

“He said ‘can I count on your vote when I run?’” Stitt said. “I said ‘you sure can, Elijah.’”

The memories of that day will remain with both forever.

“It was astonishing and it was a nice occasion,” said Elijah. 

“I said, ‘you know what Elijah, God has a special plan for your life because you got adopted by this wonderful family,’” said Stitt.

Mandi and Jon Mays have been foster parents for more than 7 years.

They encourage others to help Oklahoma’s kids in DHS care as well. 

Your best shot at adopting a child is to go ahead and get the process started. It can take a few months to get approved. For all of the details contact the DHS hotline at 1-800-376-9729 or visit online. A Place to Call Home is sponsored by True Sky Credit Union

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