mandy3Tomorrow is February 22nd—a very nice day in our family.  Tomorrow will be our little Wild Child’s (my granddaughter Mandy) fifth birthday.  It is also my sister’s granddaughter, sweet Hannah’s, birthday, and our dear family friend Lee Roy will be celebrating his birthday in Heaven, as well.  I loved celebrating Mandy’s birthday with her when I was down there in Ecuador a couple weeks ago.  I’ve sent a gift for Hannah Grace and am hoping she’ll love it.  And I’ve been thinking of Lee’s wife and family and praying they will celebrate the beautiful memories they have of him and be happy for him enjoying the glories of Heaven.

Tomorrow will be a wonderful red-letter day in our family for another reason, however. Tomorrow morning Julie and David and their entire family will go before a judge in court for the finalization of Baby Josiah’sJosiah adoption!  At long last—Josiah’s Gotcha Day!  I am so thrilled!   Josiah will officially and forever be our own grandchild.  David and Julie can finally put the long, arduous adoption process behind them and move on with their lives.  I am so proud of them—and so thankful to God for this miracle baby who now has a chance at having a wonderful life and family and the opportunity to know Him someday as his personal Savior.

Just last Sunday we celebrated Robbie’s Gotcha Day—40 years ago, February 14, 1976, when the Lord brought our precious Robbie into our family through adoption. There have been other Gotcha’s, too.  Less than four years ago we welcomed Anastasia and James into our hearts and family when Julie and David brought them home from orphanages in the Ukraine.  And there are three young cousins in our extended family who have come to us through adoption, as well—all of them just as loved and accepted as any of the “blood” members of the family.

I get excited when I hear about someone who wants to adopt! I know from my own experience the true, wonderful blessing it can be.  I have thanked God every single day for giving us the beautiful gift of Robbie in our lives.  I know to some people it may appear that having a severely handicapped child would be more of a burden than a blessing, but I can say from the bottom of my heart that I have never, ever regretted for a single moment adopting Robbie.  He has enriched our lives every day with love, laughter, joy and fun! Having him has taught us things like patience, acceptance, faith and unconditional love.  The Lord used Robbie to mold us into servants for Him, and to help his sisters to grow into beautifully nurturing, compassionate and responsible women.  Of course there have been tears and frustrations, fears and emotional trauma as we faced almost losing him several times, but those have been growing times, as well, and precious times of drawing closer to the Lord.  From the moment Robbie became our child we loved and accepted him in exactly the same way we loved and accepted our daughters.  There has never been a difference in our minds or hearts in the way we felt about him.  The love we feel for him is as deep and real as if we had given birth to him ourselves.

adoption-gal44-blueDid you know that we are adopted by God as his children and joint heirs with Christ? Galatians 4:4-7 says, “But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”  Not only has He loved us with an unconditional love, so deeply that He was willing to pay the ultimate price of His Son, but He has given us the standing with all the rights and privileges of Jesus Himself as a joint heir with Him!

In Bible times a child by birth did not have any more rights than one of his father’s servants. He became an heir of his father, however, when he became an adult and was legally “adopted” as his son. When the Lord adopts us as His children we are not just stepchildren, or foster kids or “second class” children, but we have the same full love, acceptance, position and inheritance as His beloved Son, Jesus Christ!  Amazing!

The Bible tells us, also, that when one lost soul turns to the Lord for salvation that there is rejoicing in Gotcha joyHeaven. “I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth… Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” (Luke 15:7a, 10)  Do you suppose the Father is saying joyfully, triumphantly, “Gotcha!” as He bestows the precious adoption and status of heir with Jesus Christ on each one of us when we come to Him?

It is not easy to adopt, these days, either domestically or internationally. It can take a long, long time and be horribly, unbelievably expensive. The cost of adoption is high in so many other ways, as well.  It takes a very strong desire, an extreme amount of commitment, hard work and perseverance, a willingness to endure the emotional roller coaster, courage, deep faith and most of all, unending love to adopt.  It certainly was a whole lot easier when we adopted Robbie forty years ago! The costs are worth it, though—a thousand times over.  That is why we get so excited when we finally reach that Gotcha Day and can put it all behind us!

Every child the Lord brings into our family—whether by birth or adoption—is a precious treasure, fully and equally loved and accepted. How precious it is to know, as well, that we are His children, fully equally loved and accepted as joint heirs with Christ!


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