By Leigh Swanson
"For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!" The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ..." Romans 8:15-16
When I met Shelly, we were in fifth grade. Se was the new girl at Hyer Elementary. She had long blonde hair with bangs cut straight across her forehead. I was assigned by our teacher to be Shelly's "special friend" for her first day. My responsibilities included walking with her to class and sitting with her at lunch. She quickly became my best friend. Through middle school, high school, and college, we were together.
Shelly was also the first person I knew who had been adopted. Born to an unwed teenager, Shelly had been adopted as an infant. Her new parents, Bob and Janice had a biological son; but due to Janice's small stature, they had been advised to grow their family through adoption. On April 25, 1965, Bob and Janice were driving home to Texas from a California vacation. In the car, Janice started having what she could only describe as labor pains. These pains lasted for hours. Bob was concerned, finding it odd that she continued to describe what she was feeling as labor pains. Days later, when they arrived home in Dallas, they learned that their daughter had been born the same day Janice had experienced the labor pains! I remember vividly Janice sharing Shelly's adoption story with me. She told it with such joy, amazed at God's goodness and the miraculous sign he had given them that Shelly was their daughter.
When I think of great adoption stories, I think of Shelly's. However, there is a greater story of adoption. It's the adoption story of every person who professes Christ as Lord and Savior. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you have an adoption story, too.
To read the full chapter in which Leigh Swanson expounds on the concept of adoption in Christ and the believer's new status as an heir, purchase your copy of BECOMING, Volume One.