When I was in high school, I had a guy friend. I guess I shouldn’t say that I “had”, because we are still friends. He was more of a family friend to both my family and Mike’s actually.
We stayed friends in college, always tried to see each other on the holidays we were around for, and were there for all of life’s big events (good, bad, ugly, and beautiful). He was in our wedding, and we were there for his.
Last year him and his husband decided to look into becoming adoptive parents. What started as a supposed quick inquiry to ask questions, resulted in them being placed with a young brother and sister only a few months later to begin the adoption process. Let’s call them Abby and Johnny in order to protect their identities. And let’s just say they have endured a lot in their short lifetime, and leave it at that.
Today we got to meet the kids for the first time. At first both of the kids (who are similar in age to Charlie and Olivia) kind of shied away. Abby wouldn’t even look at me, and Johnny was happy playing on his own. But after hearing how much Abby loved that she was given the same dress as Olivia and another family member, I decided to go quick and buy matching dresses for them too, and shirts for the boys.
“She looks pretty.”
When I returned both girls were very eager to see what I had gotten them, and then just as eager to run inside and put on the new dresses. Abby first put on the dress Olivia said “she looks pretty!”. I agree, she did. (Olivia pictured below in the new dress).
From this moment on she was smiling and laughing. Because to her this was a sign that she belonged. That she was getting something that wouldn’t be taken away.
And then she sat with me, and let me brush her hair (and put “hairspray” in it). Friends this moment I loved because I don’t really brush Olivia’s hair yet, because she doesn’t exactly have enough hair.
Abby took adorable pictures with Olivia in their matching dresses, and spent quite awhile on the swings with her. They both have bleach blond hair and really could be mistaken for sisters if they were ever out in public together.
Although their adoption story is still in process, there is something so special about adoption. Because when you adopt, you are choosing the children that will be welcomed into your family. There is something so beautiful about parents literally chosing them out of millions of others to in effect let them know that there is a place that they belong. There is a place that they will be not forgotten. A place they will be loved.
And that is a reflection of our adoption into the family of God.
God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. Ephesians 1:5
When parents adopt a child, they want to do it, and it brings them pleasure. And they (along with family and friends) shower kindness on their children. This is done so that they can feel like they belong, to show them that they are indeed part of the family. They are included. Loved. Chosen.
His word says that is what happens when we are adopted into God’s family. And I love how the first chapter of Ephesians explains our identities in Christ as chosen, and adopted sons and daughters. We are chosen in His kindness and grace. He showers that kindness on us along with understanding and wisdom.
Our adoption came at a high cost, but a cost that brings us a guaranteed inheritance that He purchased so that we can be His own people. God wanted us as His own. Even before time, He loved us and chose us in Christ, to be holy and faultless in His eyes. However, inheritance usually comes after death, and it is no different here. And He purchased our freedom with the blood of His only Son (Paraphrasing Ephesians 1 here).
He. Has. Got. You.
But although He choses us, our adoption only begins when we believe in Christ. That is the condition of Him identifying us as His own, by giving us the Holy Spirit (which is His guarantee), whom He promised long ago.
Peter states that our inheritance can’t be perished, defiled, or faded. Once you are His… He. Has. Got. You.
So what inheritance do we get anyway as His adopted children? Here are 4:
-Freedom from our sins
-Eternal hope in Christ
-Guaranteed eternal life with God in heaven, and
-His kindness continually showered on us due to His great riches.
And His is a kindness that will welcome us with open arms, so we can be like Abby, putting on a new dress, and letting oursevles enjoy the kindness of adoption.