For various reasons God has placed thinking about adoption front and center in my life over these last months. Of course, we live with an earthly picture of adoption front and center daily as you can see from the picture of my family that we are a family of variety. Reality is that I don’t think about this much as I go through each day. The girls are no different from the boys in our eyes. It usually takes going out of our daily routine where I notice the reactions of others to cause me to remember. When I find someone staring, it is when I ask the question, “What are THEY staring at?” that it hits me!
These last months have brought me to consider more and more what it means to be adopted into the family of the KING of the Universe. I have been the happy party to the beginning of the process as I saw two young boys become part of a family of 7. Seven days later, I witnessed the marriage of a young man who had been adopted by two families-one officially and one unofficially. I watched him take his marriage vows and establish his own Christian home.
We began this journey of understanding thirteen plus years ago, filling out reams of paperwork, finally seeing pictures, and then the seemingly endless waiting. We finally laid eyes on the 3-D as two very scared little girls emerged from the ‘cattle shoot’ that was the exit in the International terminal at JFK. As we clutched them and the orphanage director tossed us the paperwork and vanished, the realities began to set in. They cried and we tried to comfort. White people they had never laid eyes on before, in a bustling airport with new sounds, smells, temperature, after 24 hours of travel, yet they were entering a world of privilege. They had no idea what was happening to them. WE had no idea what was happening to US!
This was the beginning of our journey in understanding just a bit more of who we are in Christ. Christ has loved us, purchased us, redeemed us, and on and on. Loving the girls in all these years has taught us a bit of what the Father has done for us. We have fully embraced them as a part of our family. We can’t imagine life without them. Sacrifices must be made because they are a part of us. These things are only a small earthly picture of all that I enjoy in Christ, which I never thought much about in years past. My adoption has become more real to me as I love J. and L.. My love for them is minute compared to Christ’s love for me. I often do not live out of my great inheritance and I ‘want to go back to Egypt.’ YET He pursues me in love.
One Easter Sunday, my daughters took their vows of commitment to a church body and made a public profession of an even greater adoption into the family of the King of the Universe. We prayed for this day even before we knew who they were. As they move forward, God will teach us a bit more of how He is incorporating our story as He is writing His story. He will teach us a bit more of what a great inheritance we have and what it means to live that out in the day to day.
The book, Adopted For Life by Russell Moore, is an excellent read. Not only does he handle the myriad of experiences adoptive families face with humor and candor, but he also presses home the point of Galatians 4. He says, “Adoption is, on the one hand, gospel. In this, adoption tells us who we are as children of the Father. Adoption as gospel tells us about our identity, our inheritance, and our mission as sons of God. Adoption is also defined as mission. In this, adoption tells us our purpose in this age as the people of Christ…..As soon as you peer into the truth of the one aspect, you fall headlong into the truth of the other, and visa versa.”