I was adopted as an infant, and what’s interesting is that when I share that with people, I typically get the same response; “Really? I had no idea!”. I’ve never really understood that response. Should there have been some odd characteristic in my personality that would have already given it away? Should I walk with a limp or have a facial tick that might cause the casual observer to ask, “By chance, were you adopted?” The truth is that I dont’ ever remember a time that I didn’t know that I was adopted… my mom had a way of explaining things to me and my adopted sister that we always understood, even at a very young age… so it has never been a big deal with me.
Today, I’m reading about adoption in the book of Romans. Perhaps, here is where my super-power of being adopted finally has some value… I have some insight on what it feels like to be adopted.
Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. 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. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. Romans 8:12-17 NLT
I have given this much though throughout my life as an adoptee: What would things have been like if I hadn’t been adopted? What trials and challenges would I have had to face if that single young girl had chosen to keep me? Obviously, there are thousands of scenarios that could have played out… but she made her decision and I believe that my life was better for it. With that understanding about my own adoption, I am infinitely more pleased that I have been adopted by God! I know where my life was going before I accepted Christ and it wasn’t good… but through his grace, I made my own decision to follow him, and my life is so much better for it.