I was out with my young daughter recently when a grandmother-ly like woman showed interest in her. She asked the usual questions related to name and age before commenting that she looked older than her age. It was her height. She then said “well, mom is tall too” and we started chatting about mine and my husband’s heights. Almost in the middle of a sentence about my husband, I suddenly remembered – our height has nothing to do with how tall our daughter is. After all, she is adopted! I chuckled to myself over forgetting this fact and carried on with the conversation. Fortunately, there were no more questions and we each moved on with our lives.
I didn’t give this conversation much thought until a curious thought crossed my mind. What if, I pondered, God chooses to forget we are adopted? His Word is clear that when we repent of our sin and accept the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, we become children of God. Co-heirs with Christ. We are adopted! And how beautiful it is to be grafted into the family of God. Yet, it doesn’t seem to me that God goes around thinking of us as “adopted.” Rather, He says we are His very own children.
As followers of Christ, we are predestined for adoption (Eph. 1:5). We are redeemed as sons and daughters (Gal. 4:5). We have received “the Spirit of adoption” (Romans 8:15) which leads us to cry “Abba! Father!” The Bible is FILLED with examples of adoption from Moses to Jesus.
Adoption is near and dear to the Father’s heart. It should be near and dear to ours as well. Adoption is nothing to be ashamed of and, instead, should be celebrated. Yet – it is humanly possible to forget. Because when a child becomes yours – when you are the one that wipes the tears and runny noses, when you are the one that gives hugs and kisses, when you are the one that child calls “mama” or “daddy” – the child has not just been given the right to be called your child but that is who that child is.
1 John 3:1-2 says, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
This verse reminds me of some of the most beautiful words I have ever heard. As the judge declared that now taller than average little girl our daughter, he said these words “It is so ordered.” Our great high priest and judge of the universe declares us His Children. I don’t believe God dwells on our adoption status, but, instead, He dwells on us as His beloved children. It was so ordered long before our births, and is more precious than an earthly adoption could ever be. And as the mama of a perfect princess, that is saying a lot.
This piece originally appeared at drlaurelshaler.com, published with permission.