I was in our home experiencing the newness of fatherhood and suddenly realized that this child, because of some ink on paper (or so I thought), was now my daughter. As I carried my daughter, Fei, slowly to her crib she gently patted my back (which was also my way of showing her affection). With that gentle touch, she spoke a thousand words into my heart and showed me what love is all about. Fei would soon call me Papa and with her smile fill my heart with a joy that brings tears to my eyes. Through Fei, God would show Renee and me the incredible joys of parenthood. Ultimately, it was through a new understanding of God's Spirit of adoption that we would learn that God truly had the best plan imaginable for our lives and that our children by adoption were a part of that plan.9

While anxieties and fears creep in before and during the adoption process, these end when your beautiful adopted child comes home. There is nothing about adoption that makes it second-best to having a child by birth. In fact, God made it his first choice for his Son, Jesus, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and raised by a human carpenter, Joseph, who adopted Jesus as his own.

Above all, do not be anxious that you will not feel the same way about your adopted child that you would a birthchild, even if you later have a birthchild. The collected wisdom of hundreds of thousands of adoptive parents shows this fear is unfounded. Renee Luwis later did give birth to a daughter, Sophia, after the family adopted two girls. Yet the bond between each child and her parents was unbreakable.

When Renee gave birth to Sophia we likewise questioned if God considered her to be more "ours" than Fei or Gwenn were "ours." We read in 1 Corinthians 6:19 "Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?" (NKJV).

If we are not our own and God owns us, then He must own our children too, for it is by His grace that we move, live, and have our being. We have children by His grace, adopted or by birth. God entrusts them to us. He is their true Father in heaven. We are their earthly parents. This seems like such a logical conclusion, but I think when we hear "That's my boy," more attention is often placed on the "my" than the "boy." That child is God's boy, and God entrusts him to us. 10

Originally posted Nov. 2008.

From Successful Adoption by Natalie Nichols Gillespie. Copyright (c) 2006 by Natalie Nichols Gillespie. Reprinted by permission of Integrity Publishers. 
Natalie Nichols Gillespie
is the author of seven books and the managing editor of mtl magazine. In addition, Natalie's articles have appearead in more than two dozen publications including Christian Parenting Today, HomeLife, Charisma, Christianity Today, Spirit-Led Woman, Christian Music Planet, and CCM magazine. Natalie is a happily-married mom and stepmom of seven who range in age from 1 to 23 years old.

Footnotes 9, 10: Luwis, Brian, "The Spirit of Adoption." America World Adoption Association, http://www.america-china.org/stories/spiritofadoption.aspx (acessed March 15, 2006).