Sometimes my children have a way of revealing wisdom beyond their years. We have had many discussions in our home lately about what adoption is and isn’t and why we are choosing to add a brother or sister in this way. We have studied how Jesus came and redeemed us from our sins and brought us into His family, and He calls us to love and care for His people.
Last week, Addy came up to me and said, “Mom it’s not just our brother or sister who is adopted, we’re ALL adopted–by Jesus!” I knew this, it is the basis of the entire Gospel, but for my five year old to joyfully remind me of this was a true blessing!
And so, this is my adoption story…
I have always felt the hand of the Lord in my life, and as I look back through the years I see the traces of His provision and faithfulness time and time again. I was raised in a home with a dad who is Catholic and a mom who is Baptist, and we went to both churches as a family every Sunday my entire life. I stem from a beautiful legacy of believers, and I was raised seeing that having “faith” was not the same as just “going to church.” I have grown up hearing the stories of the faithfulness of my great grandparents, and I have watched my grandparents live as servants to those around them.
I have watched my father live selflessly never putting his needs above others, and have seen the sacrifices my mother has made to support him and our family. There is testimony of the Lord’s grace in a family like mine.
For many, I suppose a background of Catholic and Protestant upbringing could have been confusing, but as an adult I am beyond grateful for what I learned about the Lord through both churches. As I look back through my childhood, I see now His “adoption process” was always at work in me. I can remember sitting in my closet writing and singing little worship songs around the age of 9, and I see now that it was no coincidence that when I played Barbies, it ALWAYS consisted of Skipper and Kelly living in an orphanage and Barbie and Ken coming to adopt them. Sometime around junior high, my family went to the state fair and there was a booth handing out tracks. After my family walked by, I quickly ran back, grabbed one, and hid it for dear life. I read it over and over and over, continuing to hide it once we were home. My heart was longing to know this Jesus more. A day came when I desired to become one of His own, and my mother invited my grandparents to come and pray with me in our living room. I knelt with my grandpa in the middle of the living room, and spoke out loud the words I had already believed in my heart. The Lord continued to work in my life throughout high school providing me with godly friends and wonderful opportunities to know Him more. The mission trip to Bulgaria shortly after I graduated high school confirmed my faith and opened my eyes to see that the God I serve is alive and at work in my life and in all His creation.
I came home from Bulgaria with a new-found love of the Lord, but also a new-found realization that I was in love with my best friend, Andy, and wanted to live out this journey of life together. We started dating about a month later, and I told my mom during the first week that I knew I would marry him. We dated for one year, were engaged for two and then got married on May 15, 2004.
Nine and a half years, many adventures, and 3 beautiful blessings later, God is still revealing Himself to me more all the time. With each new stage of life, He opens my heart to Him a little more so I can see and understand His heart.
And so that’s my adoption story, how the Lord took me out of the darkness and into His glorious light. How He didn’t leave me, but he drew me into His loving arms and called me His own. For in Christ there is neither adoptive or natural child, but all redeemed in His faith, hope, and love.
“God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.”