I heard a story from a friend recently who adopted a little boy from China. She told me that the night before their son’s adoption, after dinner with his foster family, she had her first bout with anxiety. She started thinking, “Oh dear, what if this is a mess? What have I gotten us into?” Later in the evening, back in her hotel room, in the midst of all that fear, she began to pray. In prayer, she sensed God say to her, “Breathe in my Holy Spirit, breath out fear and doubt. I have brought you to this place. Have faith and proceed.” And since that night, she has had complete confidence that this was her path designed by God.
In that moment of adopting their son, she experienced her own adoption as God’s beloved child. She felt God’s Holy Spirit drawing her close, caring for her, and reminding her that she is not alone.
Last Sunday we started a new sermon series called Orphans-to-Heirs. We are talking about the spiritual doctrine of adoption. Adoption is close to my heart since our second child is adopted. In this series, we are exploring how it is possible to be adopted into the family of God but still live with an orphan spirit. An orphan spirit is one that feels they are alone in the world with no one to take care of them. In contrast, this is the basis of what it means to be an heir: God’s love grounding us, transforming us, and directing us.
“For your have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out ‘Abba! Father!'” (Romans 8:15)