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Adoption – What Does it Mean For Us?

Since I became an adoptive father six years ago, one metaphor about God that has connected with me the most is adoption. Since I use that metaphor in a lot in conversations I have, I thought I’d share an interaction I had a few years ago with my adopted daughter Josilynn that illustrates what it means to be adopted into the family of God. I see God as my adoptive Father, and Jesus is God’s sacrifice he made in order to adopt me into His family. Although Elizabeth and I have made many sacrifices before, during, and after we adopted Josilynn, God’s sacrifice was so much greater.

A few years ago, soon after we had explained to Josilynn that she had been adopted, she got into some trouble and was sent to “time out.” After I gave her a few minutes to think about why she was in time out, I bent down to talk to her and found her with tears running down her cheeks. She said, “Daddy, please don’t send me away!”

I looked at her and firmly replied, “Honey, Mommy and I would never send you away! Why would you think that?” She answered my question with the question: “Does this mean I can’t be in the family anymore?”

I thought for a minute, and then I asked her, “Josilynn, what’s your last name?” She hesitated but then answered, “Young.” I replied, “That’s right! Your last name’s Young! Do you know Daddy’s last name?” That question stumped her.

I said, “My last name’s Young, like yours, and Mommy’s last name is Young. And your brothers’ last name is Young, and your sister’s last name is Young. Do you know what that means? It means you’re in the Young family, and you’ll always be a Young. I could never send you away because you’re a Young.”

“Josilynn,” I then stated, “I love you when you’re bad. I love you when you’re good. I just plain love you.”

And what I’ve learned while studying the Bible is that once you’ve come to know Jesus personally and have been adopted into His family, He has the same unconditional love that I have toward Josilynn. He loves us when we’re bad. He loves us when we’re good. He just plain loves us.

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photo credit: Alex-de-Haas Love. via photopin (license)

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About Chad Young

Chad Young works in full-time college ministry, serving as Cru Global’s national director over the southeast region, leading the ministries in FL, GA, AL, and MS. He has served on the staff of Cru for fifteen years. He is the author of Authenticity: Real Faith in a Phony, Superficial World (InterVarsity Press), a discipleship-training manual, and magazine articles for Worldwide Challenge and The Collegiate. He frequently speaks at retreats and conferences and regularly writes devotionals for his website, findingauthenticchristianity.com. Chad, with his wife Elizabeth, travels the country to speak at churches and train church leaders how to make Biblical disciples. Chad currently resides in Atlanta, GA, with his wife Elizabeth and their four young children, Wyatt, Clark, Evelyn, and Josilynn. His hobbies include cheering on his kids in sports, following college football, and laughing with family around the backyard fire pit.
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