“We were adopted as sons…”
Whenever I would read that verse, I would always get a real wholesome, hearty feeling. Adoption. That sounded so theologically great, and when applied to adoption by humans here on earth, I would think of how much I would understand God’s love in a new and different light if I ever adopted. If I ever adopted and got to hold and caress a child, tenderly gazing into their eyes, thinking how much I loved them and how much they must love me.
Well, I have adopted, and to be true, there is no sweet gazing. Though my daughter has no issues locking eyes with me, something most adoptees wrestle with, it’s more of a “Who are you and can I really trust you” than a cooing “Ahhh, mommy daddy, I love you, you saved me” kind of thing.
When I compare my relationship to our daughter, I find that I really have learned nothing about the overwhelming fluffy feelings of love God has for us as His spiritually adopted children. But what I have learned is the difference between a pure blood relationship and one that is forced.
Our biological son had no problem trusting his father nor me. The moment he came into this world, we his parents were there. There was no Drew in the world without mommy and daddy in the world. Drew’s world has only included his father and me. There is no world that exists to Drew that does not include his father and me, his parents.
Enter Julie. Her world started with no acknowledgement on either party’s part of each other’s existence. When we did finally meet 10 months later, we were strangers. Us more of a stranger to her, as we had at least seen pictures, knew her name, and had the mental capacity to understand even what was going on. But her world was rocked. New people, new language, new smells, new environment, and what was this…love? What is that? Holding and caring and tending to needs and wants? This new way of doing things was foreign to her. And foreign was and is not welcome.
So today as I was pondering the spiritual ramifications of this verse in light of the fact that I have now indeed adopted a child, and what does that mean, I realized I really just understand what it means to be a stranger. And an enemy. Through the screaming fits, and the temper tantrums, and the not listening and sheer disobedience, coupled with a definite language barrier, I have at many times been at odds with my daughter. I have not felt one with her, or that she is part of me, nor that she came through me. She didn’t. She isn’t. But I’m trying, because that’s what adoption is. And when I compare my relationship with her to the no-issues relationship with my son, I see the stark difference between what a pure Garden of Eden relationship God intended with us is, and now what we have due to that one initial sin that continues to trickle down every heartbeat. How much easier life would be if sin hadn’t separated us. If when we entered the world, we knew God. If we trusted Him without a thought. If there was no locking eyes in distrust and apprehension. What a much more beautiful world it would be. And here I understand God’s goodness through His ultimate intention of goodness, and what we have traded it in for, and what we continually trade it in for – fighting, not trusting, not knowing. Not knowing and believing that He is good and worthy and knows. He knows what I need like I know what my daughter needs. But she doesn’t believe me. Doesn’t believe that I am good and that I love her and that I want the best for her. So we are at war, and it’s hard to be at war with your daughter.