Adoption has been a “buzz word” in my life lately. I have two good friends at church who recently became adoptive parents and I have another good friend who was sharing some stories with me about her work at a local adoption agency. Because I have a heart for missions, I have often thought through what it would be like to adopt a child from another country, but many of my friends who have become or who are becoming adoptive parents are adopting American born children. Whether U.S. or foreign born, there is such a beautiful spiritual lesson in adoption. And the more I think about this more I get fired up about the whole idea. The reason I get fired up is because of Romans 8. Earlier this year, as I began my blended Bible reading plan, my first New Testament reading was the book of Romans. As I read through the book, chapter 8 rocked my world the first time I read it. And I found myself re reading it again and again. There is so much amazing goodness in that chapter for me. The lessons I have learned there in are making a profound impact on my life. And then, right there in the middle, is this verse:
15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
I’ve actually known of this passage for many years. It is a passage that brings comfort to me in my own situation. When I think about the sorrows that came to me growing up without a birth-father, this verse brought me great encouragement in reaffirming to me that I am a child of God, adopted into the family of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, and a co-heir of Christ himself.
But today as I think of this verse I am also thinking of what a beautiful testimony it is to the truth of this verse when families open their home to adoption. Kind of along the lines of how God says that marriage is a picture of Christ’s love for His Church, I also feel like adoption is a picture of God’s love for the Gentiles. I know Gentiles is kind of a funny word to use, but the distinction is critical in what I am thinking. God’s people were and have always been Israel. Even when Jesus was on earth, he spoke of this, particularly in Matthew and Mark in the story “The Faith of the Gentile Woman“. But the amazing news of the Gospel is that Jesus did die first for the Jew, but then for the Gentile. Non-Jewish believers are adopted as sons and daughters of God himself. Paul, who was sent specifically to the Gentiles, talks about this alot too, particularly in Romans 11 of the Gentiles who believe in Jesus being “grafted in” to Israel.
So when a Christian family opens their home to a child that wasn’t naturally their own and adopts them in giving them the full rights of their natural children, I cant help but think of how God did this for me, a Gentile. How he allowed me to become one of his kids through the spirit of Adoption secured for all who believe in him through Christ.
I have a difficult time articulating this, but I hope I have made some sense. I love adoption. I don’t know if we will ever adopt but I do know that every time I hear of a friend pursuing adoption I am reminded that I am also adopted in a spiritual sense. And it makes me want to shout Praise to God!
My reason for writing all this today was inspired by “The Adoption Dress” I learned about through my friend Danielle. She sells handmade children’s clothing through her family owned business called Lolly’s. Today, Lolly’s announced that they are selling The Adoption Dress, and %100 of the proceeds will go to local adoption, particularly supporting a friend of their family. Well the whole Adoption Dress idea got me really fired up and thinking once again about how excited I get to think about being God’s girl, that he adopted me into Israel. So I wrote this post hoping to 1. share my personal testimony about the spirit of adoption and 2. to tell you all about The Adoption Dress so that if you have a little girl in your life, that maybe you would consider blessing another family by purchasing an Adoption Dress for the little girl in your life.