Who enjoys standing before a judge? I had to do just that, back in the day. More specifically, September 26, 1997 is the day, that is engraved in my memory. I was nervous as I made my way to his office in the city courthouse, as my wife and I held hands. I entered the building, and took my seat and waited. I wanted to get this over with, as I had waited over two years for this life-changing moment.
Upon being called, I entered the judge’s chambers. He looked at me, checked me out, and smiled. Finally, he pulled out the official papers, along with a fancy pen. Then, just like that, it was over. My signature and the legal fees made it official. In that moment, I became a daddy, as I adopted a four-year old girl.
That girl is now a woman. Even though, it felt like time kind of stopped for me, as I sat in that judge’s office, it never quit ticking. My oldest daughter is now a wife, an Emory University graduate, and a nurse. I’m thankful to God for our relationship. Even now, I still cry, when I look back and remember what God did.
What do you think of when you hear the word adoption? Maybe you’ve heard how some adopted children have been on the receiving end of some negative chatter. I think you know what I mean. The kids who have said to another child, “You’re adopted!”, meaning your parents are not your “real” parents. So what is the truth about adoption? It’s a legal proceeding that creates a parent-child relationship, between persons, not related by blood. The adopted boy or girl is allowed all privileges that belong to a natural child of the adoptive parents, which includes the right to become an heir.
Digging deeper, isn’t it true that God adopted you and I, when we accepted His invitation to become His children? In a way, you could say, that we were not related to God, because of our sinfulness. However, He took on our sins through the innocent sacrifice of His son Jesus, so we could be called His children. From his book, Romans, Paul states:
“Instead, you received God’s Spirit when He adopted you as His own children. Now we call Him, “Abba, Father.” For His Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are His children, we are His heirs.” (8: 15b-17a)
Artist, Steven Curtis Chapman, is spot-on when he sings, “When love takes you in, everything changes.” Where would we be if God had not taken us in, under the wings of his unconditional love? The word Abba, that Paul mentioned, means “spiritual daddy”. Do you treat God like a daddy, or like a distant father? Why not express to God your thankfulness for accepting you into His eternal family? He wants you to jump in His lap, and talk to Him. Abba desires an intimate relationship; YES, WITH YOU!