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Just recently, we finalized the adoption of our son, Joshua, from the foster care system.  On adoption day, I wrote the following letter for him to read as he grows up:

Dear Joshua –

As I write this it is about 5:30 in the morning.  The house is very quiet right now, but it won’t be for long.  In less than three hours, you, me, your mom, and your 3 sisters (who will probably be wearing very fluffy dresses) will pile into the van to go the courthouse for your adoption day.  While you’ve been with us for just over six months already and I considered you my son the moment you arrived, there is something very important about today.

What makes today different is the fact that you being my son and me being your dad becomes FINAL. When something becomes final, rest always follows.  When God created the world and everything in it – from trees to dandelions (don’t let anyone tell you they are weeds) to the duckbilled platypus – He finished all of that and then there was rest.  When your mom and I finish a hard day of working, there is rest.  When a runner runs a race and it is finally over, he rests.

So today, when the judge hits the top of her bench with the gavel, your mother and I will take a deep breath inside and feel this great sense of peace and rest.

Josh, one of the reasons adoption is such a privilege is because when I think about the process of adopting you and your big sisters, it helps me to understand God much better.

The Bible says this:

“God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ.  This is what he wanted to do and it gave him great pleasure.”  – Ephesians 1:5 (NLT)

There are many times when I don’t understand why God would ever want me as His son.  There is nothing special about me and I am always messing stuff up.  There are things I know He wants me to do that sometimes I am afraid to do or just too lazy to do.  But that verse tells me that He didn’t adopt me because I was good enough to be adopted by Him.  He adopted me because He just wanted to. He just wanted to and it gave Him GREAT pleasure!  Now, this is something I really understand.  And the only reason I understand it is because I have had the privilege to adopt you and your sisters.   Joshua, I just want to adopt you.  It gives me such great pleasure to do so.  In fact, I can’t believe I get to adopt you.  Your mom and I love you so much and we are overjoyed to be able to call you our son.  It gives us GREAT pleasure!

So with that, I am going to get up and iron my shirt and get ready to take you to the courthouse, little man.  Let’s get this thing final and enjoy the rest that will come.

Love,

Your Dad

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