I was adopted from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, at the age of three along with my older sister, Lila, who was four. Adoption has changed my life physically and spiritually and has shown me a great picture of how Christians have been adopted into God’s family at salvation.
Physically, being in a family meant my basic needs were fully provided such as nutritious food, regular medical care, clothing that fit properly, and having my own toothbrush. My first pair of shoes was so special that I would wear them all day every day. I wouldn’t even take them off in the shower. In the orphanage, older kids would steal from younger kids. I got into the habit of standing on my toys because I was afraid that someone would take them. That’s why I wore my shoes everywhere and refused to take them off.
Spiritually, adoption brought me into a Christian home. My adoptive parents made a commitment to love, support, and teach me even though I wasn’t their own. Raising children who have been through difficult situations takes a lot of commitment, sacrifice, and patience. I think adoption is committing to raise a child like he is your own and showing him the love of Christ through modeling His attributes. Jesus is the perfect example of what true commitment and sacrifice look like. He laid down His life for us which was the ultimate sacrifice and promises to all believers that He will never leave us nor forsake us which shows His commitment.
Earthly adoption is a picture of spiritual adoption in that when you get saved you become a part of the family of God. Our status changes to sons and daughters. With this new identity comes new purpose and meaning. As sons and daughters of God, we will partake in His future inheritance in the Kingdom of God. As the Apostle Paul teaches in Ephesians, God does for us what we could never do for ourselves.
My mom has always thanked us for choosing her to be our mom, but the reality is that God chose Lila and me to be part of the Schuiteman family. Adoption will always be special to me because it changed my life.