When I visit someone’s home for the first time, nothing catches my eye quicker than a family portrait. It is something so sweet about seeing a family, all together, usually color-coordinated with the biggest of smiles. Though, when I see pictures of adoption, I instantly melt into a blob of emotions. By no means do I elevate one method of raising a family above another, but the concept of adoption is near and dear to my heart.
Because that is how I have access to my heavenly Father.
Every time another child is found, the gavel is pounded, our family expands and angels sing.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
There is no way around the fact that we are morally sinful. We are not good by nature. There are so many sources, even scriptures taken out of context, that argue against the fall of man. Come close: when Adam ate the apple, sin entered the world. If we look around, even in our little ones, there is evidence of sin. We are innocent no more. We all have and will continue to miss the mark of absolute goodness. As Solomon says, “Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and never sins” (Eccles. 7:20).
I could draw up the perfect scenario, but why exude imaginary thinking when there are booming statistics of children currently in foster care. The National Foster Care Institute, as of 2017, predicts that more than 250,000 children are placed in the foster care system in the United states every year. The United States…not the world. My mind cannot fathom when I try to think about children who feel unwanted every single day. My heart shatters when I consider the children who are in families that feel the exact same way. Our world is broken. The systems we build try to compensate, but will continue to fail. Those facts alone will highlight the beauty of adoption, but in no way does it compare to the eternal implications of the Gospel.
Fortunately, I have an earthly family, who I undeniably love and am loved by. Though, in the aspect of fellowship with God, I had been lost for almost 17 years of my life. Like Plankton, I would find myself at constant attempts to steal the “secret formula”. Why do I feel incomplete? What can feel this void in my heart? There has to be more to life than this. One relationship after the next, and basketball being my idol, I could not find my place. I have struggled with people-pleasing for the majority of my life, and I still combat the lies of my peers from grade school. Many nights, my pillow would be soaked in tears just wondering if I could be rescued from my pain.
If you are a believer, then you already have goosebumps about being adopted by God. If you are not a believer, then I bet you have read John 3:16:
For God so loved the world
that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever should believe in Him shall not perish
but have eternal life.
Adoption is a process whereby a person assumes the parenting of another, usually a child, from that person’s biological parent, and, in so doing, permanently transfers all rights and responsibilities, along with filiation, from the biological parent. Thank you Wikipedia.
This will have to bleed into another post, because I cannot cover it all here. However, in the simplest of forms, Jesus Christ who knew NO sin–he was biologically holy and right and just–the perfect one acted as the legal document for our adoption process. The enemy Satan, our biological parent, did everything in his conniving power to tear up that document and keep us in his family. Our precious, harmless Savior was beaten and scorned and nailed and tormented and ripped apart yet, by the grace of God, the adoption process still continued. At his dying breath, Jesus signed our papers with the most anticipated and authoritative line ever…It. Is. Finished. Then he rose from the tomb, our document blazing with glory signed by His precious words and notarized by His blood.
I wipe my tears, finally, because Jesus appeared to his disciples in Luke 24 with complete deliverance and said, “Peace be with you.” The secret formula has nothing to do with us, but all to do with God. Every time another child is found, the gavel is pounded, our family expands and angels sing. I await to see our family portrait in Heaven.