One of the beauties of meeting our son in Bogota has been watching him interact with his new family. And yes, that’s exactly what we are. Pale and dark, red-headed and brunette, Spanish-speaking and American-born, we are family. This is one beautiful facet of adoption. It takes what seems different and alien and puts it together in a family. And it’s a beauty that sometimes the world can’t understand.
The other day I was standing outside a market in Bogota with my five beautiful children as we waited for Holly to finalize a grocery purchase. A parking attendant outside the shop came up to me and asked, “¿Son estos tus hijos?” (are these your children?) I responded in the affirmative, which prompted a follow-up question: “¿Todos?” (all of them?). Si, I replied. But the man wasn’t convinced. So he pointed at my beautifully brown-skinned baby: “¿Y él?” (him too?) Once again I told him yes, and did my best to answer his perplexed look by explaining that while my other children entered the family biologically, this child entered my family through adoption. But he is my child, nonetheless.
This bewildered parking lot attendant looked at a strange hodge-podge family that he couldn’t quite understand without an explanation. It should be the same way when you’re adopted into the family of God. Suddenly you find yourself spending inordinate amounts of time with people who don’t look like you, don’t talk like you, and don’t dress like you. Weekly game night looks a little bit more diverse than it used to. You start eating meals with people old enough to be your grandparents, but they’re not and you love them like they were. You squabble here and there, but you’ve got each other’s back because you’re family. You’ve been adopted into the family of God. And the world can’t make sense of it apart from the glorious Gospel of Christ. And that’s exactly how it should be.