by John Caldwell
I was literally moved to tears when I read a front-page article in the Indianapolis Star on November 25. It concerned a 17-year-old girl who had just been adopted after 4,057 days in foster care in 36 different placements. That’s over 11 years since she was removed from her very abusive biological parents at six years of age. Nearly 1,000 other kids in the system had been adopted while she waited. Her hopes had been raised again and again only to be dashed in disappointment. Then, while living in a group home, she met Mike and Patty at an adoption event. When they met again she told them, “When I got back to the group home, I was hoping you guys wanted me, because I wanted you guys.”
“I was hoping you guys WANTED me…”
When she moved in with Mike and Patty on a trial basis it was hard to believe it would last since she had been hurt so many times before. However, on November 16, it became official. She was now their daughter, a part of their family. Furthermore, she legally changed not just her last name but also her first name because it had been given to her by her birth parents – whom she doesn’t want to remember. She’s a new person, with a new name, a new family, and a new home. She’s ADOPTED! Wow!!!
One of my favorite praise choruses is Hillsong’s “I Am Who You Say I Am.” The words to the bridge of that praise song always move me: “I am chosen, not forsaken, I am who you say I am – You are for me, not against me, I am who you say I am – You are for me, not against me, I am who you say I am – I am who you say I am.” But one of the other things that God says to me is that, “I am an adopted child of the Most High God.”
There are many names, titles, or descriptions given in Scripture for the Christian. Here are just a few: believer, saint, blessed, child of God, chosen race, royal priesthood, holy nation, disciple, redeemed, saved, set free, reconciled, and so many others. But after reading Scarlet’s story (her old name) “adopted” will always have a very special meaning for me.
But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent Him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that He could adopt us as his very own children. (Galatians 4:4-5 NLT, emphasis added)
God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. (Ephesians 1:5 NLT, emphasis added)
It is also significant that when Scarlet was adopted, she put her old life behind her and took a new identity; not unlike when we “died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.” (Romans 6:4 NLT)
Scarlet had said to Mike and Patty, “I was hoping you guys wanted me, because I wanted you guys.” The incredibly good news is that we never have to wonder with God. He wanted to adopt us in advance, and both proved it and made it possible through sending His “only begotten Son.” And that, my friends, is the GOOD NEWS that we get to share with the world!