March 24, 2017

Receiving Grace

I’ve already written about adoption here. But I recently got to experience it a little closer than before. My sister-in-law and her husband just completed the foster-to-adoption journey and we got to attend the final adoption court hearing. It was a joyous celebration for all the family that came into the courtroom. The judge seemed to relish her happy duty that morning as it sharply contrasted the other cases on her docket. Then she paused for pictures with the newly formed family.
It was a very short proceeding. But the journey to get there was a long one fraught with worry and frustrations. Watching this process taught me a lot about God’s grace. First of all, the adopting couple chose this little girl. Circumstances and many other factors eliminated other children, funneling them into a relationship with her. The timing had to be right. And several signs gave them peace about this particular child.

Then the biological parents had to terminate their rights. We are born into a sinful, broken world. Growing up here, we can get comfortable and accepting of it. But when we come to Christ, we are making a choice to break our bond with the world in order to pursue a relationship with our true creator. But the world doesn’t easily let go. The process of divorcing the world takes time and isn’t a straight path – there’s a lot of backsliding. Most people never completely make this separation.

My favorite part of the adoption hearing was that the child was given her new name. Her legal identity was sealed that day along with her familial identity. We saw Jesus do this to many of his followers – Simon became Peter, Saul became Paul. A new name is symbolic of becoming a new person in Christ. My new niece’s name – Grace.

Grace is now as much a part of the family as anyone born into it. As I watch her grow, she will be a reminder to me of God’s grace and how He adopted me into His family and how I was given His name as if I were His own son worthy of His inheritance.


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