Adoption is not easy.
Adoption only exists because of trauma. A child is only available for adoption because the family unit that was supposed to care for them, didn’t. Or couldn’t. Adoption is messy. It is the choice to enter into someone else’s pain.
Adoption is complicated. Not only is the legal process a challenge, but once placed in a home, a child’s brain connections that did not form properly literally need to be re-wired.
We were not planning to adopt a 7 year old. We had been waiting for 4 years to adopt a baby from Ethiopia. A baby. 3 years old. Tops. Then God brought a young boy to California and placed him in our path. He needed a home. We wanted a child. But this was not what we were expecting.
In the week when my husband and I were praying about whether or not to take this boy, I was afraid. I kept thinking, “Seven? Seven years old means He remembers life in a different culture, with different food and a different language. He remembers the biological parents he lost. He knows hurt and transition and instability… more than any kid should know. This kid has a lot of baggage.” And I wondered if I was strong enough to handle baggage like this.
And then God reminded me: He did not weigh my baggage before adopting me into His family.
You see, I was born estranged from Christ. I was born with a sinful nature that made me a liar, a cheater, a manipulator and a thief… to my very core. Isaiah 59: 2 says that “my sins cut me off from God.” Aside the fact that I was born a Gentile (a non-Jew), the essence of my very being created a chasm between me and God. I was not part of His family.
And yet… He brought me in. He took the tantrums, the rages, the manipulation – and He made me His daughter. My identity is no longer that of a spiritual orphan. I have a Father. A Daddy who, not only did not count the weight of my baggage against me, He didn’t even consider it. Even better, I am not still being adopted. I WAS adopted. It is over. Finished. My adoption is finalized. I have new name, a new identity, I am a daughter of the Great King, an heir and co-heir to His kingdom.
“The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba,Father.”16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.” – Romans 8:15-17
Physical adoption mirrors our spiritual adoption in Christ. Adoption was the method by which our son came to be part of our family and although it is his story, it is not his identity. He is not still being adopted. He WAS adopted and now he is grafted into our family. Yes, we remember life before he received his new identity. Yes, we have years of healing ahead of us. But… his adoption is done. He is a Boganwright.
Adoption is worth it. Without it, I would not understand the gravity of what God did to bring me home. Without entering into the world of physical adoption, I would never have received this glimpse into the mystery of God’s redemptive power – how He can take something so broken and bring so much healing.
My adoption is finished. I needed healing and God gave it. I don’t have to live as a slave to my fear or my sin. I am a child of God.
Just as my son was chosen, so was I.
My Father has brought me home.