I can hear the Creator saying that. I had the luxury of growing up knowing who both my parents were, having them alive and well through my whole childhood, [and very far into my adult life, though they both left too early], not having been adopted. But, there was a time when I feared I was. We were sitting around the table while Mom prepared dinner, and I’m pretty certain we were giving our only sister a hard time when she said, “sometimes I think I was adopted,” when my mother shocked us all and scared the life out of me, saying, “Only one of you is adopted!” My heart sank. I’m the youngest of five, and at 12 years old, I had observed many families have several kids and then decide to be charitable and adopt another. We had been neighbors for two years, in fact, to a family that did exactly that.
Mom then explained that for us it was our oldest brother who had been adopted. But he was our brother, even though mom explained that he was actually our Dad’s half-brother from his mother’s second marriage. Our grandmother, whom we had never met, could not raise him, so my Dad, who was married and in the Navy, and had a stable life, adopted him at four years old, before any of us were born. That brother was now grown and off on his own, and he had been told five years before that he was adopted, and why. The judge had instructed our parents not to tell us until the youngest would understand. Mom chose that moment to do so. We started telling our friends, and they already knew!
My parents successfully raised us without treating James any differently than any of the rest. I was the youngest, and a keen observer of all of my older siblings, and never ONCE did I have cause to suspect that he was any different than the rest of us. He was my father’s little half-brother, so I’m certain Daddy had a natural affection for him anyway. But, he was no kin to my mother, except that he was Dad’s half-brother. Even though my mom and her mother-in-law were not the best of friends, Mom never allowed any discomfort to be reflected on her son. Instead, even when he became an adult, my mother loved him as her own children. He had gotten out of the Navy and my mother hand sewed a beautiful wedding dress for his British bride. He then found himself in need of an automobile. Mom had been working since I turned about 10, and she bought herself a Cadillac Fleetwood, her ‘dream car’. She’d only had it for a couple of years, but gave it to our oldest brother, to meet his need and help him to get on his feet.
So, when I finally earnestly prayed for a wife, having been single for longer than all my siblings, I met the woman of my dreams, one I had written about in a poem three years before, one who fit the Proverbs 31:10-31 “Eshet Khayil” for which I had prayed, and she had a 10-month old little baby girl when we met, but I did not even blink for that reason in considering whether or not I should marry her. And this child’s natural father was not the most pleasant person on the face of the earth, and basically promised seventeen years of war if I married her. He showed up the day we met and circled the Dairy Queen like a vulture, where we sat to further introduce ourselves after having met in church that day. He ‘lurked’ in our lives for 17 years, and gave me every reason to resent his offspring. He threatened to kill us, to burn down our house, to abscond with our daughter; he assaulted my wife in my home while I was out of town, in front of his daughter, seeming to attempt to make good on his threats. He told our daughter, probably every time she had to visit him, that I would hurt her and her mother and leave them.
So, how in the wide world was I able still to love her as my OWN daughter, even though she even looked much like him? Not only did I have the best earthly example of the ‘spirit of adoption,’ as I’ve already explained, but also because Abba ADOPTED me. And He treats ME as HIS OWN, even though I ACT LIKE my former ‘father’ [the darkness of this world] MANY TIMES, while living in His house.
Sometimes, my daughter would act like her former father. But Abba’s love and forgiveness and grace for me COMPELLED me NEVER to look at her because of who she WAS, but for who she IS: MY DAUGHTER. Even though I was never permitted actually to legally adopt her, I was bound to her mother as ‘Basar Ekhad,’ and this little life issued from her womb. How could I look at her any other way, but that she was my own flesh and blood? Similarly, Yeshua ‘gave birth’ to me, and His Father looks at me as if I were His own. How arrogant and ungrateful it would be for me to treat any child any differently than He treats me, much less the flesh and blood of my beloved wife.
I guess I was reminded of all of this as we literally basked in the sun yesterday as a family, with my daughter’s son, our grandson, frolicking in the pool with us, while we adults celebrated the mother of our family in joy and shalom. I lay there quietly for a bit, while my son pushed his sister into the pool, twice, and we all laughed heartily; while our grandson bobbed through the pool with such excitement, able now to move himself through the waters, while my wife, on ‘her day’, still tended and fetched for everyone. I quietly thanked MY FATHER for giving us the power of His Life to hold our family together, when there have been so many people, ideas, and entities to stand against us. There have been so many who HOPED for our demise as a family, even so-called ‘believers’ who would curse us with their sanctimonious wishes against us that they call ‘prayers,’ while in their own minds thinking themselves just. Yet OUR FATHER has protected us. He has proven Himself faithful to US, teaching us to love each other THROUGH the tough times, through our own offenses against each other, and IN SPITE of those who would have had joy in our demise. And there are still such ‘enemies’ standing against us, some while hypocritically pretending to be our ‘friends’. But our compassionate Father has sustained us and brought us through. ‘Many are the tribulations of the Tzadikim, but יהוה delivers them from them all!’ יהוה is the ETERNAL FATHER. And His compassion for us is in spite of who we were, and who we sometimes still resemble. He looks upon us through the lens of His Son and the blood He shed for us. In a similar fashion, which I am sure is no coincidence, a woman sheds blood giving birth to her child. This is how we should view our children, whether sprung from our own loins or not.
Fathers, I guess I write this to you. If you have a child that is not from your own loins, but from someone else’s, it behooves you to look at that child differently than the world looks at your relationship. In Torah, the ‘spirit of adoption’ is such that when one adopts a child, that child cannot be disinherited. And, the other vision of adoption in the scriptures is that of Mefi-Boshet. Yehonatan, the beloved friend of David, had a crippled son. When he died, David adopted Mefi-Boshet, and TREATED HIM AS HIS OWN SON, in spite of the fact that he was lame, and incapable of contributing to the household. The name Mefi-Boshet comes from two Hebrew words, ‘scattering shame.’ There should be NO SHAME on an adopted child, and it is the Father of the house who is to make certain that happens. I happen to know that my children do not call themselves ‘half brother’ and ‘half sister.’ In the Kingdom of Elohim, there is NO SUCH THING. And there is nO SUCH THING, certainly, as ‘step son.’ Check the family of Ya’akov, or any other family in Yisra’el. “Ekhad” is the theme of our Father. And His adoption is sure. So should ours be.