Hello, I Love You is not a theological treatise by any means, but throughout his story Kluck unearths parallels between the Father's love for His children and his own role as a father in his earthly family.  In the midst of Ukrainian water outages, foreign cop encounters, and orphanage waiting rooms, Kluck translates this cosmic concept of adoption into terms any father, mother, son or daughter can understand.  The result is a heartwarming story that highlights several spiritual truths about adoption. 

Adoption Requires a Cost 

Kluck's first chapter is aptly titled "The Price of Love".  Not only would adoption cost Ted and Kristen at the bank, but it would also cost them emotionally.  The Klucks were broken time and again by phone calls bearing bad news, thorny government procedures, and the strain of procuring a five-figure sum, but most of all by the fear of losing a child.  "I feel like Kristin and I have been to hell and back, twice, through all of this," Kluck writes; and while this comment sounds tongue-in-cheek, the truth is this is exactly what Christ did to secure our heavenly adoption.  Galatians 4:4-6 teaches that God's Son came "to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive adoption as sons."  The cost of the cross culminated in our spiritual adoption, and like the Kluck's journey to bring home their sons, the cost is far outweighed by the relationship. 

Adoption Requires Fatherly Discipline 

Ted Kluck is the first to admit that his numerous trips abroad trained him to be a world-class complainer, yet it was his son's misbehavior that revealed to Kluck his own need for discipline at the hands of His Heavenly Father.  "If [Tristan] has been whiny and petulant, I've been the same...And God, thankfully, has gotten my attention and forced me into a closer, more sanctified, more joyful relationship with Him as a result."[2] Scripture affirms this, "The Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes those He accepts as His children" (Hebrews 12:6).  The Father's punishment is not without purpose, rather it is intended for us to "share in His holiness" (Hebrews 12:10).  And for Kluck, who would not have known the deep faithfulness of God without faith-testing times, this purpose was mercifully achieved. 

Adoption Requires New Identity 

When the Klucks left the orphanage with little Dima in the stroller, their new son experienced the world outside for the first time.  He was spellbound by the city sights, and his delight in buses and street vendors reminded his father of the joy experienced by a person who has been reborn in Christ.  No longer bound to a history of abandonment, child illness, and estrangement, Dima now knew love and care from those who called him their own.  "As my boys climb on me, smiling and laughing, I'm reminded of the fact that the difficult circumstances in their past...are washed away in light of the new life they have with our family," Kluck says.[3]  Like Tristan and Dima, we have been pulled from darkness and are sensitized to a new world of being in which we are no longer slaves but sons (Galatians 4:7).  

The joy of bringing a family together is deep, perhaps because it gives us a glimpse of the glory of the King who went to hell and back to make us His own.  Just ask Ted Kluck: "...It was these adoptions, more than any other event or events in our lives, that truly taught us to find our peace, comfort, and identity in Christ."[4] 



[1] Kluck, 10.

[2] Kluck, 174.

[3] Kluck, 179.

[4] Kluck, 11.

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