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As many of you know, a couple of years ago, my husband and I felt led to pursue adopting three sisters from Ukraine. In fact, we learned about the girls from a guest on The 700 Club.
In the beginning, our objective was to give the girls a family and keep them from being split up. We weren’t long into the process when we began to realize that we were caught up in something much bigger and more complicated than we had ever imagined. Paperwork, waiting, preparations, financial commitments, roadblocks! – And that’s just the physical stuff. Spiritually, we were being stretched and changed as we learned to trust God more deeply.
We soon dubbed this unique experience – The God Adventure. We knew from the get-go that we were in over our heads and if God didn’t show up and guide us through it, we were doomed to failure. God did show up every inch of the way—and He’s still guiding us from day to day. He is faithful and trustworthy!
We’re blessed with three new daughters, the girls are reading God’s Word and realizing He has a plan and purpose for their lives and nine of us are learning to live together in harmony and appreciate each other’s differences – well, we’re still believing for that last part. We’re in process, and MOST days we’re moving forward.
As I’ve sat back and thought about all of this, God has used our adoption of the girls to show me some amazing parallels of His adopting us into His family.
1) Before the girls even knew we existed, we were thinking about them and preparing for them to join us. We loved them before they were actually ours. We had to travel all the way to Ukraine to get them. And the adoption process is an expensive one.
The Bible says God knew us when we were being formed in our mother’s womb. He loved us before we knew anything about Him. He has prepared a place for us and it is in Him. He is willing to go to great lengths to get us, and He has paid a great price to make us His own.
2) Part of the adoption process was giving the girls a new name. Legally, our name became their name – our home their home!! When we commit our lives to Jesus, we become Christians. As we live in Him and He lives in us, we begin to look more and more like Him. His ways become our ways. We are set free from our old identity and our past and we walk in newness of life.
When we walked out of the orphanage, our girls smelled differently than we did. It was an institutional smell. We took them to our hotel and gave them all kinds of packages and gifts we’d bought for them. Shampoo, toothpaste, body lotion, cologne – we supplied everything they needed to be clean and beautiful.
God does the same thing for us. When He first finds us, we usually smell like the world. He wraps us in His love, washes us in the blood of Jesus, fills our hearts and minds with His Word, and floods us with His Holy Spirit. We begin to smell and look like we belong to Him.
3) Finally, we went to court and before a judge declared our intention and desire to make the girls a legal, permanent part of our family. The judge’s finalization and approval meant that our girls were now legal heirs to all that we possess.
You know, it’s that way with God. When we become His children we inherit all that is His – and it’s forever. He doesn’t have favorites – it’s true for all of His children, and there is enough for everyone.
"But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, 'Abba, Father.' So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir."NIV
Excerpted with permission from The God Adventure, by Terry Meeuwsen © 2005
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