A NEW NAME, A NEW FAMILY
By Zoe Erler
We knew his face long before he saw ours.
Four and a half years ago, we saw his picture for the first time. An 18-month-old toddler with no known parents and no known name. From the other side of the world, we gave him a name. We became his parents. He became our son.
And a year and a half ago, when he was 4-and-a-half years old, we held him in our arms for the first time. The little boy we had known all along finally started getting to know us—his “Mommy” and “Papa.”
It is a story of adoption. It is a story of the lost being found. It is a story about God.
A LONG PURSUIT
We had pursued our son through hours of grueling paperwork, dozens of foster care fees, and countless prayers. In a similar way God, my Heavenly Father, had been pursuing me since before the world was made, long before I existed.
In the Psalms, the writer David describes how God knew him long before he was even conceived:
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”
(Psalm 139: 15-16, NLT)
As the days and weeks passed, and unexpected legal and bureaucratic delays made the adoption of our son drag out, we were faced with the reality that this adoption would end up costing us more than we had anticipated. Still, our son was worth it, and we were willing to pay whatever it took to have him well cared for in our absence.
SONS AND DAUGHTERS
In Romans 8:32, the Apostle Paul describes the lavishness of God's love for us: “Since He did not spare even His own Son but gave Him up for us all, won't He also give us everything else?”
God was willing to pay for our lives at the cost of His most precious possession—His Son. The cost my husband and I incurred to adopt our son cannot even begin to compare.
ADJUSTING TO A NEW REALITY
Romans 5:8, NLT
Often in our relationship with God, we are fickle, too. Some days, we sidle up next to Him with praises on our lips. Other days, we'd rather have nothing to do with Him. Similar to what my son feels, coming into God's family sometimes feels happy, sometimes scary, sometimes confusing. Often He asks us to do things that seem foreign, strange, and difficult. Rather than obey Him, we turn away and do our own thing. And on our worst days, we even run full-speed away from Him or fight against Him, much the way my son often fights and pushes against me. Thankfully, the Father's love is not dependent on our affection or attitude toward Him.
In fact, Paul says that “God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8, NLT).
A FATHER TO THE FATHERLESS
Over and over again, the Bible talks about how much God cares for orphans. He is described as “a father to the fatherless” (Psalm 68:5). He cares for the literal orphans, those like my son with no known biological parents. But He cares for spiritual orphans as well—those like you and me who, through sin, have given up our relationship with our Heavenly Father. We are the “fatherless” who need to be adopted.
I'm so thankful that God chose to adopt me and give me a new name—His name—and a new family, the family of God. What about you? Do you need to be adopted, too?
BEGINNING TO BELONG
We all need to have a sense of belonging. God offers us a place in His family—as His adopted, fully loved and accepted children. If that's a relationship you want to pursue, you can start with words from your heart.
Dear God, I feel lost and alone, like a child with no home. I want to be part of Your family. Thank You for Jesus' sacrifice to pay the way for me to be adopted as Your child.