Last week was National Adoption Day. It’s a day every year we get to celebrate the day we adopted two wonderful kids into our family. Six years ago, we made the legal final step on a decision we had already made months (actually years) prior. On that day, it became official. Even though we had already offered that place of permanence in our hearts to these two kids, even though they had accepted that offer before, it became official and legal on that day six years ago last Friday.
Adoption means a lot of things to us. It means more to us now than it did when we thought we understood it more than 6 years ago. You see, we have four kids. Two boys, two girls. One of each biological and one of each adopted. Two kids we raised from the day they were born and two that had experiences before joining our family. What’s amazing is that all four kids are different. All four kids have different phases in life and hit those phases at varied times. They mature at different paces. The learn on different schedules and in different ways. They even experience love differently. As a result we treat them all different, but we love them all the same.
This experience has helped us learn about the love of our Father in Heaven so much more. It is plainly obvious that God treats us all differently. Blesses some more than others. Tests some more than others. Even uses some more than others. But the fact is, God loves each of His children EXACTLY the same, despite all of that.
When Paul ends Galatians with telling us all that we are “heirs according to the promise” (Gal 3:29), he is saying that we are fully God’s and heir to His entire kingdom. No matter the baggage that we bring to the table when we’re adopted by Him, we’re all different but equal. Some come to Him as a child and live a relatively clean life. Others experience much darkness prior to that adoption. Never the less, we’re all equally loved by Him.
In fact Paul even says that we are “heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17). This literally means that not only does He love the converted murder (like Paul) just as much as one who was a Christian from childhood, he’s actually saying that God loves both of those people equally to Jesus, as we are ‘fellow heirs’.
My earthly father adopted me (and my brother), raised me as his own, along with a biological daughter. Even though he did treat us differently, those differences were solely because we were different people who behaved and learned and loved differently. Never did he love us differently. Even though I had this childhood experience, I don’t think I really grasped the depth of this kind of love until I (with my wife Katie) adopted kids ourselves.
To those of you who have adopted, I pray you grow through this experience (no matter how challenging) and discover just how deeply the Father loves you as well.
To those of you who have not had the pleasure of adopting yet, I pray you see that although the Father may seem to treat you differently than others around you, He has no favorites. He loves you just the same as all of His children.