What I Learned about the Love of God from Adoption

September 9, 2015 by cloften  
Filed under Family and Parenting

I still remember the moment like it was yesterday.  It is emblazoned on my mind and heart forever.  We were standing outside the NICU at Washington Regional Hospital.  Maylee and Lauren, who were 14 and 11 at the time, were too young to go in.  So the nurse said that they would hold her up through the window so we could all see her together for the first time.  Then in very Lion King fashion, the nurse held this precious baby up where we could see.  She was tiny and covered in fine blond fur and this three day old baby was one of the most beautiful precious thing I had ever seen.

Mine from the beginning

Mine from the beginning

Just 24 hours earlier, we didn’t even know that this precious baby girl existed.  We were just living our lives and doing what we do every day.  Then on Tuesday afternoon, we get a call from DHS and they tell us that there is a newborn baby girl at the hospital.  She has no one.  Her mom had left her and she was alone.  They asked if we wanted to be her foster parents, but they told us there was 99% chance that she would need to be adopted and asked us not to say yes unless we would be able and willing to do that.  It was the easiest yes I had ever said especially to something as immediately  and drastically life changing as we knew this would be.

We had been praying for this for some time.  We knew that God wanted us to adopt and we were patiently waiting for God to put the child in our lives.  I had been talking about it this way.  I knew that somewhere out there was a Loften.  We didn’t know who he or she was or where they were or anything.  However, we knew that God knew and at that just the right time, he would bring her to us.

So there we were with this beautiful baby at the hospital and in exactly the first moment that I saw her, she had me.  I was hers and she was mine.  There was not and has not been one moment of hesitation.  She was fully loved and fully mine.  Even though for the first 7-8 months of our life together, there was a chance that she wouldn’t be with us forever, it didn’t matter.  I was her dad.  She was mine.  I loved her fully and recklessly.  I didn’t know what the future held, but I knew that that baby girl need a daddy.  That daddy was me.

She's mine and I'm hers

She's mine and I'm hers

She has now been mine for almost 4 years.  We get to celebrate Laylah’s forever day in October (the day she legally became what she had always been in my heart) and then her 4th birthday in November.  During that time my love for has exponentially multiplied.  I can’t believe that I have the great privilege of being her dad, and I’m super thankful to God every day that he placed her in my life.  At night when I check to make sure that she is still well tucked-in, many nights I just stare at this wonderful gift from God.  That leads me to this.

But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.

Galatians 4:4-7

There was a time in my life where this passage was just another passage in Scripture.  Adoption was a theological concept and metaphor that Paul used to explain what it means to be saved and have a relationship with God.  That is no longer how I feel about this passage.  It is not an abstract theological concept.  This touches the most sensitive place in my heart.  I know how I feel about Laylah.  I know what it means to me that she calls me Daddy.  I know how it makes my heart leap for joy that she knows that I love her and that she is mine.

But let’s also be clear, I am a selfish guy with mixed motives and imperfect love.  So what if God’s love for me is not only like the love that I have for Laylah which is huge, but it is, in fact, significantly greater than that?  What if when I call Him Dad, what he feels about me is even more? What if when he looks down on me, he loves me with a deeper more complete perfect love than I do when I’m just staring at my beautiful daughter?

Just keeping it real

Just keeping it real

God loves me and us far deeper than we realize.  Each step that I take in my life with our precious baby girl, I realize that more and more.  Take a moment and ask yourself, if God truly loves you like an adopted son or daughter, what does that really mean? What does it really mean that God loves me as his own?

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!