A week ago my dad and I were talking about the spiritual implications of adoption. One of the legal roles I still fill as often as possible is serving as attorney for families who seek to adopt a child. The judge and I call it happy law. So much of the law involves problems and the end of love, and adoptions are all about solutions and the creation of love.
Adoptions matter for many reasons. One is because of the way it's a shadow of what God does with us. Do you grasp that your identity as an adopted child shows that God had great intention toward you? It wasn’t an accident. Adoption requires intention and choice. Much action and expense is involved.
For example, today in the legal environment, families often spend multiple thousands(think $20,000+) to adopt a child. They go through months of care, worry and concern as they maneuver the legal process. They make the decision to add to their family. They choose the child and then they fight with time, money and effort to bring that child into the protection of their family.
Once the process is legally complete, the law sees absolutely no difference between a child born of the family and a child added in through adoption. Isn’t that exactly what God and Jesus did? God chose to adopt all those who were trapped in sin. Then He decided to pay the highest price He could (His son Jesus) to redeem the lost and bring them into His family. He didn’t bring us in as slaves or guest – each of which have few legal rights. Instead, He chose to bring us in as legal heirs with full rights and access.
This is so different from the natural process of parenting. For most – but not all – families, when they decide to have children, it is a simple process that costs them little. Sometimes we don’t even choose to become parents and it happens. Two come together and create a third. But this is not the process God uses. He paid a great expense and fights and immense battle to draw each of us into His family. And then He uses adoption to give us full rights as daughters and sons.
This is life changing when we grasp and understand our value to our adopted Daddy and brother.
When I walk a family through the legal process, I watch our judge ask the adopting siblings if they welcome the proposed adoptee. The siblings should be enthusiastic or it raises concern in the heart of the judge that the adoption will succeed. Jesus is excited to welcome you to the family as an adopted child of God. It’s why He came. The angels celebrate just as adoptive families’ friends and extended family celebrate.
Even the judge celebrates because it is a family requesting the addition of legal responsibilities when so much of a judge’s work is dealing with people who aren’t meeting their legal obligations.
Romans 8:15 New King James Version (NKJV)15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”