Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him. In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ, in accord with the favor of his will, for the praise of the glory of his grace that he granted to us in the Beloved. – Ephesians 1:3-6
One week ago today, we adopted our daughter, M. We had talked about this special day for the past several months. We prayed, discussed, and did what we could to “be ready”. However, how does one really prepare for such an event? It’s more a reality lived into than one at which you arrive. We were a bit anxious and curious, as can be expected. We had a great judge and we were surrounded by several loving and caring people. Two of M.’s three older siblings (Gina’s children, now young adults) were there, the “big kids” as M. calls them.
Gina and I took the stand and talked about our commitment and promise to Mia –that we will love her, care for her, and be her Mom and Dad forever. Our love is such a profound and holy gift. Love like that needs to be generative – it needs to bring forth more love and hence, more life. For us, this was a way to give an expression to the strength and beauty of our love.
We know that the love we share was not created in a vacuum. It came from those who taught us to love. Most importantly, it is a gift from God who loves us all without condition. As we see above in the Letter to the Ephesians, we, too, realize that we have been “adopted” in Christ. As believers this is a gift we all receive. In Christ, we are adopted, chosen, blessed and loved by God. Sometimes I wonder what it is like for God, entrusting his kingdom, and the good news of his Son, all of creation, and the gift of love and grace to the likes of us! We aren’t adopted because we deserve it. We are adopted because God loves us and chooses us and wants us. As Gina and I have prepared to be first foster parents and then adoptive parents, we have learned that along with the words, “I love you”, the phrase “I want you – you are mine” are among the very most important a child can hear. It is the same in our relationship with God through Christ. Imagine God looking at you with love and saying, “Yes, I want you. I choose you. I love you.” What a gift! What a blessing. Love for one another is a natural response to such an amazing realization.
We continue to pray for the grace to take care of this precious girl that God has seen fit to give to us to care for and raise. The other night as we were spending some time in the backyard before bedtime, she turned to me and said, “Dad, in my soul I want you to be happy, because I love you.” In those wonderful moments, I feel as though she is not the only one who has been adopted!