Earlier this year, something incredible happened to our family. We grew through the gift of adoption.
As I sat in the hospital rocking my son, flesh of someone else’s flesh, I felt the most incredible joy looking at his face, making note of every feature. We counted his toes and kissed his forehead. We noted every baby wrinkle and learned the sound of his (very loud) cries. You see we were strangers, and yet we were family. Adoption is beautifully bizarre in that way.
Nurses, enjoying seeing a family united, would frequently come in and tell us how beautiful he was. They were in awe of his big feet and fawned over his full head of hair. Curiosity and a genuine desire to see Jude thrive pushed them to come in with cups of coffee on their breaks to chat and observe this unlikely yet holy union. For the next five days we cocooned in a NICU hospital room, rocking him, changing diapers, tending to his every need. His tiny room didn’t have a bed so we arranged a room at the Ronald McDonald house that we never ended up using because we didn’t want to leave his side. It was as if we were making up for lost time.
Thus, through the bravery of a birth mom and a ferocious love from his parents, Jude became a Salmon. He was born with one name, but he left the hospital with another.
And because of the incarnation the same can be said of you.
Adoption is the foundation of our redemptive story; it is the chorus of our song. You see, the story of redemption begins with humanity being born with one family name, and then adopted into a royal one.
Christ, the incarnate deity, came down to his own people, took on human flesh, so that we could become children of God. He traded his throne for a dirty manger so that you and I could be called sons and daughters. He came to his people, lived a life free of sin, and yet he was mocked, beaten, and crucified. He went to the depths of hell and overcame the grave, so that you and I could forsake our sin-stained names and put on Christ’s holy one. And because that precious baby chose to come to earth to be Emmanuel, God with Us, our lives are completely changed.
That is our Christmas story, our adoption story.
But it doesn’t end there. Christ’s incarnation didn’t only change our legal standing with him, it completely changed how we relate to God as Father.
You see, when I look at Jude, I never think of him with his biological last name. I don’t see him as kind of a Salmon and kind of something else. I see him as 100% fully mine. His new name doesn’t just change his position legally, it changes his entire life relationally. He has access to everything my biological children have access to. There is no place on this earth that he can run to that will help him escape my love. There is no poor choice that is capable of severing my deep affection for him. He is my son. Forever and always a Salmon.
Oh child of a King, there is nothing that can ever separate you from the love of your Good Father. No sin committed, no matter how far you run, you will forever and always be His child. That secret you’re hiding? He knows about it and He loves you still. That sin you’re wrestling with? He overcame the grave so that in Christ you can withstand temptation. That furnace of suffering you’re walking through? He came to this earth so you wouldn’t have to walk it alone. That guilt that you carry so heavily on your shoulders? He has taken your judgement and stands before the Father and says, it’s already been paid for. She’s mine.
See what kind of love the Father has given us that we should be called the children of god; and so we are.
Oh to be sons and daughters of the One who is called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Provider, Protector, Healer, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, our ABBA FATHER. Jesus, our baby in the manger, did that for us. You see as we anticipate the celebration of Christ’s birth, we also celebrate how this baby made it possible for us to be adopted children of a Good Father, a glorious King.
Joyeux Noël adopted ones, praying you find rest in your identity as children of God this advent season.
QUESTIONS FOR APPLICATION/REFLECTION:
1. Have you ever thought about being adopted, or grafted into Christ’s family? How does it make you feel?
2. Do you view your adoption into Christ’s family as more of a legal change or a relational change? Why? What difference does this perspective make?
3. How does your experience of being a mother give you a fuller understanding of what it means to be a daughter of God?
4. How can you as a parent use your position to make this doctrine easier for your little ones to grasp?
Brittany Salmon is a wife, mother and advocate for adoption. A graduate from Cedarville University, she received a MA from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a MA in Teaching from North Carolina State University. She writes on faith and family over at www.thesassysalmon.com andwww.instagram.com/brittanynsalmon. When she’s not writing or chasing her children, she enjoys reading, eating Chick-fil-A and spending time with her tribe.