“Is She Your Daughter?”
People ask us this question. And they ask it more than you might think. This summer, my daughter attended a month long summer day-camp program where Sara, my wife, was teaching music and drama. After the first week, my daughter came home and said, “I’m tired of talking about adoption. The kids don’t believe me when I tell them I’m adopted. I don’t want to do it anymore.” She said that because she’d been slammed with these kinds of questions. It’s hard when people question who you are.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Maybe it’s because November 21st is National Adoption Day. Maybe it’s because our family is waiting to get a phone call for our 3rd adoption. Maybe it’s because we’re starting an Adoption Ministry at our church in January.
I don’t know.
Whatever the reason, this question is a question of identity for me. Am I defined only by my biology, my passions or the color of my skin? While those might be a part of it, is there something more?
Those are questions for our family.
Or that’s what we say.
In reality…let’s face it…none of us, myself included, like to think that we were adopted. That we are the ones who look different or sound different. We like to think that we’re natural-born children and get all this grace and forgiveness by right. We like to think that we fit in.
And it’s easy to reinforce this idea. As author Russell D. Moore writes in his book “Adopted for Life”
“Our congregations are made up of people who look, talk, and think just like we do. And it never occurs to us that this is the same kind of unity the world has to offer. Even in our churches, we seem to identify ourselves more according to the corporate brands we buy and the political parties we support than with each other.” (38)
- A new family history…
“…if we are united to Christ, our family genealogy is fond not primarily in the front pages of our dusty old family Bible but inside it’s pages, in the first chapter of the Gospel of Matthew.” writes Russell D. Moore. “Our identity is in Christ; so his people are our people, his God our God.” (37)
This bible that we love and read together isn’t just a history book of other people on the other side of the world. This is now our family history too. God is my father. He is your father.
- New brothers and sisters…“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.'” writes Paul in Romans. “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” There is nothing here about the color of our skin or social status or anything except the spirit of God. We are apart of a new family that transcends our physical definitions and categories.
- A new home…Jesus, our big brother, said, “You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?” It’s hard to really wrap your head around…how amazing this house will be…how glorious. But this is apart of being in the family of God. An amazing reality with our whole family in harmony. It will be like nothing we’ve seen before…