For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ…”
Romans 8:14-17

Just this past week, my sister and her family celebrated my nephew’s “Gotcha Day”. There were tons of Facebook posts, pictures, and no doubt a party celebrating the day Nikolai came into our family. The first 20 months of his life, he spent in an orphanage in Siberia… no love, no touch, already fending for himself before he was two.

But, when he came into our family, all of that changed. He now had a mom and dad that loved him, sisters and brothers, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles and more! No one in our family ever looked back… To see him today, you would swear he’s as much blood relative as anyone else.

He is loved… He is ours… and there’s nothing he can do to ever change that. PERIOD! We “got him!”

I have always loved the aspect of adoption Paul talks about in our passage today in Romans 8. I usually think of it in the context of being much like Nikolai was when he first arrived… the wonder of it all… the “this is too good to be true” and “when is the penny gonna drop” feelings.

However, this year, Nikolai’s “Gotcha Day” really got me thinking about our adoption as Sons & Daughters from the aspect of the Father & of Christ & the Spirit. The scripture here is meticulous to acknowledge that each member of the Trinity is fully onboard here… We’re not being brought into God’s family as a slave. “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God”… “and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ”

Pause for a second to let the fullness of what this is saying sink in…

While you’re pondering that, think about these parallels in modern adoption and what God is talking about…

Adoption is very expensive…
It never ceases to amaze me the amount of paperwork, red tape, hoop jumping, and when adopting from some countries, the corruption you have to navigate in order to get to Gotcha Day. Not to mention the trips to and from ahead of time… spending weeks at a time in a strange country. I think it’s not uncommon for an adoption to cost in the neighborhood of $25K-$50K.

Christ paid the ultimate price. He gave his life in order to open the bloodline for us to be brought in. He did this before we had even set foot on the earth! “here is love: that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Adoption is a risk…

There is obvious risk in the up front costs of adoption. There’s no gift receipts, exchanges, or money back guarantees. When you sign on to adopt, you are taking on the responsibility of caring and providing for a child whose history is what it is… take it or leave it. If you take it, you’re saying, I’m committed to tackling head on whatever issues, scars, behavioral challenges that stem from the time before you were grafted into our family.

Christ never reminds us of how he found us… he only ever reminds us that we are with Him! Joint heirs… not second class citizens of some kingdom… but joint heirs.

Gotcha day is worth it!
It’s hard to imagine our family without Nikolai. I have no doubt that my sister and brother in law would do it all again… even knowing the costs… because nothing compares to the joy of the love of your child.

The Bible says that for the joy that was set before him, Christ endured the cross. Even knowing how we take Him for granted at times, throw tantrums at times, or flat out reject him at times… Christ would still endure the cross to achieve Gotcha Day.

My “Gotcha Day” was on September 29, 1990. I had grown up in the church before then, and I knew enough about Him to look the part. But, it wasn’t until that night that he really could look at me and say, “Happy Gotcha Day Topher!”

What’s your Gotcha Day story?

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One Response to Happy Gotcha Day!

  1. Valerie Horne says:

    Love to you. I do love this addition to Topherthoughts. Thanks for your reflection and your wisdom. You are an inspiration to me and our family….

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