August 29, 2019

I am adopted; I’m a special kid, you see.
I’m proud to be a member of the royal family.
I’m adopted. I’m chosen. I bear my Father’s name.

I grew up with both my biological parents. I only ever called one lady “Mom” and one man “Dad.” But I still loved these lyrics from my favorite kindergarten song. (In case you’re curious, it comes from a corny school musical named Down by the Creek Bank. It came out in 1978, but you can still purchase the score today from If you like, listen to the ditty at YouTube.) I bet I made my music teacher Mrs. Fredricksen sing it more times than she cared to.

Adoption makes up the Christian’s identity. We belong because God has adopted us. He has not begotten us from His own substance like the Eternal Son. And we do not always behave as His children and reflect His character. Still, He has chosen us who did not first choose Him. He calls us His beloved and declares Himself well-pleased with us. Our Almighty Maker comes to us childlike in Jesus Christ. He abandons His Only Begotten Son to secure us a space in His kingdom and household and family. No matter what age, appearance, ability, or history, human beings may have Lord God for our Heavenly Father. His adoptive washing of Holy Baptism births us anew and from above and forever. Sin renders us unworthy, but the Lamb once slain and raised again ensures we never end up unwanted.

Adoption on earth embodies this grace. Christians engage in adopting not only because we desire to raise children but also—and above all—because the Most High desires their survival and salvation. We adopt because we have been so adopted. We adopt because little ones need homes. We adopt because we have homes and families to share. Life issues mean more than just political debates. Life issues involve more than just personal choices or someone else’s problems. Life issues are always people and Gospel.