It's been a little more than five weeks since our paperwork was mailed off, and we've been waiting since then for a referral -- details about our precious children. God has been gracious to fill the time with joy, and there's been plenty of time to think too. I have to be careful that my thoughts don't turn to worry or fear. It's easy to start to wonder just how hard this journey will be for us and for our children.
We were talking last night about what the Bible has to say about adoption. It seems unfortunate at first glance that there isn't an example there of a family bringing a child in as their own and raising him or her as a son or daughter. But of course, we know that this is exactly what God has done in taking us into His family. An absolutely amazing passage in Romans 8:15-17 says "For you did not receive the Spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!" The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs - heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him."
How incredible that God has taken Gentiles like us, who were not originally a part of His chosen people Israel, and welcomed us into His family. Not only that, but He has made us heirs to His inheritance, fellow heirs with Jesus! Romans 11 goes on to talk about how the people of God are like natural branches growing out of an olive tree, with the nourishing root being God Himself. And God has grafted in Gentiles like us among the natural branches. "You, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree." (Romans 11:17)
It must have been difficult for some of the Jews to embrace the Gentiles as brothers. And we expect that it might be difficult for some to accept our children as our own. But God is the One who chose both the Jews and the Gentiles as His people, just as He is the One to give both the gift of biological and adopted children. Both are true children. I'm a Gentile. But I hardly think of myself in those terms. I don't question my status as God's child just because I was not born Jewish. And we shouldn't question our adopted children as our own true children just because they did not come from my womb.
Hubby also pointed out that when Paul talks about God adopting us in Romans and other places, he is using the word adoption with the assumption that his readers knows what he is talking about. That comforted me. It seems to indicate that adoption was a familiar thing to the people in Jesus's day, and that it was a positive thing -- especially since they would relate it to our heavenly Father adopting us.
Here's a closing confession -- I like life to be comfortable. By nature I'm self focused like that. But I want to be Savior focused instead. And if it takes some discomfort now and then to shift my focus from myself to Christ, it's well worth it.