Introducing Leon Jonathan Korn

It has been quite awhile since we have written a blog post. One of the biggest reasons for our recent silence has been the addition of a baby boy to our family. Leon is an orphan. His mother died at his birth, and no-one in his family knows who his father is, so he was taken by his relatives to an orphanage here in Niamey. We met him there when he was only a couple months old, and began the process of adopting him.

We are still in the process of adopting him (and will be for the foreseeable future), but in the meantime, the orphanage has given us permission to bring him home as foster parents. This was quite unexpected, but it has been great getting to know him better, learning how to be parents, and giving him as many kisses as possible.

Leon has only been with us for about a month, but we love him so much already. Of course, it isn’t hard to love a face like this:

What a cutie.

What a cutie.

We also decided to give him a new name. Names are important, and we wanted to give him a new name that would represent his new identity as our son. His full name is Leon Jonathan Korn.

Leon is named after Leon Trotsky, Leon Blum, and most importantly, his great-great-grandfather, Leon Hirsch Karp, who died in Auschwitz in 1945. It is a name that carries a lot of our family history. A history of pain and suffering, but also of hope and of overcoming.

His Hebrew name is Lev, which means “heart,” and that is apt. This kid has a lot of heart. In his short life, he has already been through so much. He has suffered loss and been witness to death. He has been separated from everything familiar to him, and placed and the mercy of strangers. But through it all, he has overcome. He has fought for his life, and he has had a positive attitude. Even though he is so young (5 months old), his personality shines through, especially in his smile, which he is quick to flash to anyone who looks his way. He has already learned that life is struggle, but he has also learned a great secret – it is a struggle that is won through determination and heart, through tears yes, but also through laughter.

"Keep Loving, Keep Fighting" by Dalia Sapon-Shevin.

Keep Loving, Keep Fighting by Dalia Sapon-Shevin.

Jonathan was the middle name Leon was given at the orphanage, and we decided to keep it. First of all, it is a name we both like, and we wanted to keep at least one of the names he had been given in his first home. But also, we like the meaning of Jonathan, which is “God given.” This is certainly true. Leon is a gift from God, a true blessing. An unexpected, transformative blessing that has changed our lives forever. We can only hope that we will be as much of a blessing for him as he has been for us.

Finally, his last name is Korn. We are sorry about that one Leon, but you are stuck with it. You can’t win them all I guess. But at least you are not alone. From now on you never will be.

Leon Jonathan Korn. Cute in stripes.

Leon Jonathan Korn. Cute in stripes.

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19 Responses to Introducing Leon Jonathan Korn

  1. Congratulations! He is a sweetie. I just became a grandma and my grandson is 2 months old. What joy babies can bring and he is lucky to have caring parents and a home. Best of luck.

  2. Stan and Molly Doland says:

    Dear Josh and Julie, We are so very happy for you and for Leon that you have “found” each other, a perfect match! We love his names, especially the last one as the places him in your family. We rejoice with you and the entire Korn/Kopp families. Hope to get to meet him soon and kiss his sweet chubby cheeks!

  3. Ashley Bishop says:

    Josh – this is so beautifully written! I am so excited for you both and can’t wait to spend lots of time with little Leon as he grows up. He is already so full of personality! What a blessing!


  5. Kim says:

    So so happy for you guys!! Can’t wait to meet and hold this cute little guy 🙂

  6. Mimi Lanier says:

    Many Congratulations! He is truly adorable. We look forward to meeting him — hopefully before he’s all grown up!! 🙂 Love you guys.

  7. kketchum says:

    What a wonderful blessing for you all! He is a beautiful baby!

  8. Kay Munayer says:

    Leon is a winter that’s why he looks great in blue/white/black stripes ! What a wonderful journey the three of you are starting together. Remember the old hymn ” no turning back, no turning back “. Merry Christmas to you all.

  9. Rachael Inman Sears says:

    Wow! This is such great news! Congratulations! He is very handsome. 🙂

  10. Victoria Banks says:

    What a beautiful baby and beautiful new parents…God bless you on this fantastic and wonderful journey.

  11. Savannah Fields says:

    I am so thrilled for you! As I said before, I feel so honored I got to see a direct answer to my prayers for you all! I pray for Leon everyday now 🙂 I love you all and am so excited for you and for my new baby cousin!

  12. Congratulations! He’s beautiful! You guys are going to be amazing parents 🙂

  13. o je krasny at je moc štastny vo vašej rodine

  14. Debbie Neal says:

    What a precious gift God has given you! He is adorable and so full of life!

  15. Tova Itzhak ( Amiras' mom) says:

    Josh and Julie, Kol Hakavod !!! What a great Mitzva !!! Wishing you much happiness and enjoyment with Leon. God bless you !!

  16. yael says:

    I’m with you, Liz! Talk about getting choked up! What a cutie – I can’t wait to hold him and squeeze him and shower him with a million kisses…

  17. Love that toothless smile! Congratulations!

  18. Pingback: Josh & Julie Korn: Introducing Leon Jonathan Korn | CURE Blog

  19. Nicole says:

    Congrats Josh and Julie! What a precious little one! That twinkle in his eye portends a bit of mischief not unlike his lovable cousins! I’m thrilled for you. May the “process” you are in be completed smoothly and quickly… Many blessings on you in this new adventure of parenting! 😉

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