For me, being adopted has always been a picture of God’s total sovereign control over all of the specific details he lovingly orchestrates in our lives. Over time, I have come to recognize a theme in my life of what I call ridiculous grace.
I’m talking about the times God intervenes in our lives in such flagrant, extreme ways. He interrupts the logical order of things, and turns everything upside down in the best way possible. He took me from being an unplanned pregnancy, to being a pined-after much wanted “chosen child” in a family where I have been inordinately loved and adored.
And there’s the gospel – things were going along one way, but God intervened, and changed everything, not because of anything I deserved as a crooked faced baby with a dent in my head, but because he’s God and he’s good and he’s sovereign.
And he’s always flashing his grace like a neon sign so that there is never any doubt about who is in control and the love that stands behind all of that sovereignty and power.
I’ve always enjoyed sharing my experience with friends and people around me. Growing up, a lot of friends didn’t believe me because I looked so much like my parents. When I would visit my grandparents and their neighbors would say “you look just like a Gabrysch”…I’d quickly respond with “I’m adopted”, like it was a punchline…I thought that was cool and I think I liked the way it kind of threw people off balance.
Growing up in my family and looking more and more like them physically was just kind of a cool “extra” but once again, for me it was the gospel flashing on display.
It’s exactly what God does when he adopts us into his family…it’s a picture of what Christ has done to come and save us and bring us to the father. And when Christ, our elder brother, presents us to his father he says, “Isn’t she pretty, doesn’t she look just like me?” And the father who loves and accepts us because of what Christ has done on our behalf, begins to see to it that that is exactly what happens and we grow in his grace to look just like our elder brother.
A whole new meaning
In the past few years, my experience of adoption has taken on new meaning in a lot of wonderful new ways. Watching my brother and sister in law adopt my nephew, Nate, and seeing how he is so clearly a part of our family since before the foundation of the world, I ‘get it’ on a whole new level. I had the immense privilege of going to the final court appointment when Nate was legally adopted as their child. That is the ceremony after the first few months when a judge has to pronounce that the adopted child is legally yours.
When the judge was finishing the proceedings, he said “when I drop this gavel, it will be just as if Nate had been born to you”…and I felt like I was in the inner circle with Nate and knew what he would one day know, that that was the truth, and that it had been that way since long before the gavel dropped.
And as I watched my brother with his eyes welling up with tears hold his now legal son, I knew that it is great to be right with the judge, but it is so much greater to be loved by the father. The one who would stop at nothing to have you.
And again the gospel was flashing.
Beyond a characteristic, toward a calling
In the past few years, this theme of adoption has become a part of my daily professional life. Having been adopted, I’ve always assumed I had somewhat of a near-miss in that my biological parents may have considered the choice not to continue with the pregnancy, and so I’ve always considered myself naturally and fully pro-life. But for a long time I generally compartmentalized the abortion issue and thought of it as a sad-but-true reality of the world we live in. When it came to politics, I was fooled into thinking that I was too “enlightened” to be a single issue voter. I started thinking a lot about the Life issue during the 2008 elections, and as I learned more about 45 million lives lost since Roe vs. Wade, I felt called to not only vote on the issue – but to do much more.
God faithfully provided a job for me at an organization called Heroic Media. We’re a national organization based here in Austin, and we use mass media messaging on television, radio, the internet and billboards to connect women in crisis with help and hope at pro-life pregnancy resource centers.
As I learned more about the circumstances surrounding so many unplanned pregnancies, I saw the hopeless nature of many of those situations. I felt called to share with women about hopeful alternatives.
See, I was born out of what I imagine at times felt like a hopeless situation, but because of God’s providence in giving my biological parents the courage to give me life, I have had a life defined by hope. I want other people to have that, to see the picture of redemption and hope that is played out in all of our lives as we are adopted by God in Christ.
For me, being adopted has been an indescribable gift, and the fact that it helps me win at 2 truths and a lie is a pretty cool fringe benefit.
God has given us an indescribable gift in adopting us as sons and daughters. And I believe you will find that the gift of participating in the earthly version of adoption, is a pretty fantastic fringe benefit.