“Abba! Father!” and transracial adoption

“And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!'” (Galatians 4:6)

The first person who ever called me “Daddy” was my daughter, Hannah. I can still remember what it felt like as a new father to hear that word come from her young little lips. She’s now 11 years old and still calls me by the same name; and it continues to fill me with a sweet joy.

Hannah is not the only one in our household that calls me “Daddy.” There are two others, Isaiah (5) and Noah (4). They are my sons through transethnic adoption. Both of them call me “Daddy” as often as Hannah does. If you visited our home on any day of the week, you would hear one White child and two Black children referring to me as “Daddy” – and my heart is filled with the same sweet joy every time I hear that name, no matter which of my children says it. I am the privileged and happy father of a multi-ethnic family.

I’m sure you have heard that “Abba” (from “Abba! Father!” – Galatians 4:6) is the Aramaic equivalent to our word “Daddy.” This is often argued because of how easy the word “Abba” is to say, but I think this understanding of “Abba” misses the point.

Its significance lies not in the thought that those adopted by God now have the privilege of calling Him “Daddy.” As warm as that thought may be to many who have heard it, I think Paul has something else in mindsomething that tells us about the unique makeup of the family God has brought together through the gospel. Continue reading

Interview with Rick and Heather Hanna

Rick and Heather Hanna have five childrenthree biological children and two children through adoption. Rick is a pastor and Heather is a homemaker / homeschooling mom. They love the gospel and care deeply about adoption. They live in Columbus, OH.

Here is their transethnic adoption story:

1. What initially motivated you to adopt?

Heather has encouraged others to adopt for many years and prayed for six years that God would show Rick that we were to add more children to our family through adoption. For several years, we prayed together about whether God wanted us to consider adoption. Through God’s direction in a variety of ways, we eventually sensed that God was moving in our lives to take a step of faith and knew that we had more love to give. We wanted to be parents to more children and God began to open doors that brought us our two sweet babies in one year’s time!

2. What kind of responses have you received from extended family and friends about your decision to adopt?

Initially it seemed that some people were shocked. Honestly most people could not understand why a family who already had three biological children would even consider adopting. In time, we were able to talk more about adoption and our family and friends began to understand and to pray for all the steps to happen to bring about these miracles in our lives. Once our children were home, our family and friends lovingly accepted them just as they had all of our children.

3. How do you think the gospel should influence the decision to pursue adoption? Continue reading