I never thought to tell the receptionist we were in the process of adopting Cate when I made her appointment at the local health department to get her 4-month immunizations. While checking her in the morning of her appointment, I realized I didn’t have the necessary paperwork, most importantly the court order giving us guardianship until Cate’s adoption was finalized.
Honestly, I never thought to bring it to prove Cate was my daughter even though she didn’t officially share my last name yet.
Cate had been my daughter since she was born, but in reality, well, at least from the government’s perspective, it wasn’t official. While the health department may be cheaper than the pediatrician’s office for immunizations with our health insurance, there’s a bit more red tape to maneuver without getting stuck. I reminded myself I was saving at least $100 – even though it required another appointment the following week with the proper paperwork.
We had to wait on the legal process before Cate could have our last name. I had to prove to the health department she was mine.
Almost two of years of infertility led us to adoption. Infertility was my wilderness, but adoption was the door to our Promised Land. It was along the journey God built my faith and my family – both times through independent, domestic adoptions. We were there when Cate was born in May 2007 and then again when Ben was born in 2009. We brought them both home from the hospitals. We know and cherish their birth moms.
The adoption processes gave me perspective on how God adopts us.
Before I knew God, he chose me. Because he chose me, there is glorious grace poured into my everyday life and an inheritance prepared for me. Read Ephesians 1:11 from The Message: “It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.” Other translations of that verse say we were chosen (NIV), we are united with Christ (NLT), we were made a heritage (ASV), and we have obtained an inheritance (ESV).
I didn’t grow Cate in my womb, but we prepared for her and embraced her from the beginning. Greg and I named her and prayed for her before we held her in our arms. We did the same a couple years later for Ben.
Jesus says people will know we are in his family by our love. Of course, sometimes I don’t do a good job of representing my eternal family name. But this truth is my foundation. And it’s why I was surprised when the health department wanted me to produce some piece of paper to prove Cate was my daughter.
Through our adoptions, God demonstrated that he is continually near. He’s in the details. And he’s faithful to hear the desires of our hearts. He wants our lives to bring him glory and he wants us to raise our kids – the biological ones, the adopted ones, the ones who may be in our homes temporarily – with his eternal kingdom as the foundation.
God values my life and your life so much that he adopts us into his family.
Just like Greg and I gave Cate and then Ben our last name, God calls us his own. Just like we welcomed our kids into the responsibilities and privileges of being in a family, God welcomes us into his home. Yes, there are glimpses of his kingdom here on earth, but there’s also a promise of the eternal home Jesus is preparing for us. Because we are God’s. Because our names have been changed and our covenants sealed. Because we serve a God who believes in life.
We adopted Cate and Ben. They’re our children. And they didn’t have to do anything to be called daughter and son. We chose them in the beginning and we choose them still. Thankfully we all are welcomed by our heavenly Father who continues choosing us and calls us his own.
***Kristin’s new ebook Peace in the Process: How Adoption Built My Faith & My Family is available on Amazon. Get your copy here.
Kristin Hill Taylor tells her favorite story God authored in Peace in the Process: How Adoption Built My Faith & My Family, which is available on Amazon. She believes in taking road trips, living in community, and seeking God as the author of every story – many of which she shares at www.kristinhilltaylor.com. She lives in Murray, Kentucky, with her college sweetheart husband and their two kids.