It was six long weeks after Star had come home that my parents got to meet her. They came into the house, sat down with Hannah (7) and Ben (5), and Star (4) climbed onto the the sofa and they read some books together, as if it was perfectly normal to meet a new grandchild this way…
Fast forward 9 months and we were visiting my parents just after Christmas. My cousin Rebecca lives in NZ and so hasn’t met Star yet. We were Face Timing them to wish them Happy Christmas. Star came and waved and said “hello” to my cousin. And then a few minutes later, my cousin and I were chatting. Rebecca stopped because she could see Star behind me, she had reached her hands up to my Dad who had picked up her into his arms. She was beaming at him and his face was full of joy. My cousin called her Mum and said “Look at Star in Uncle Robin’s arms. Look how happy she is.”
(I need to point out that my cousin is 40. We do not have favourites in our family, but if we did, Rebecca would have a special place in my Dad’s heart. Dad loves his kind, compassionate, talented niece. I know this from the way my Dad has a twinkle of pride in his eye when Rebecca aged 16, proudly showed him her art work, and later when she qualified as a teacher. How concerned he was when her son was ill. How he looks forward to seeing her when she comes home.)
Star heard what Rebecca said and as I turned to smile at them, she started patting my Dad on his chest saying:
“No, MY Grandad”
“MY Grandad ”
It was as if she was saying,
“he might have been your Uncle for 40 years, but now the important relationship in this room is that he is my Grandad.”
And she is right.
Her adoption changed everything. One year ago she was not part of our family. Now here she is held tightly in the arms of the head of the family: loved, cherished, protected and belonging.
Romans 8:15 NIV
 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
And I wonder. Should I behave more like Star, spiritually?
When the devil attacks, when mockers come, do I imagine myself climbing into the the arms of my Heavenly Father who loves me. And whatever relationship they claim to have with God, am I confident to say, “this is my Dad, my Abba Father.”
Last week Star and I were swimming in a pool on holiday. Star has a flotation jacket but she was a little nervous as she had never swum in an outside pool before. My Dad came to the poolside. He has had a tough few months and is recovering from major surgery. As I let go of her I whispered in her ear, “Swim to Grandad” and off she went, eyes fixed on Grandad kicking her little legs as fast as they would go.
She reached the side, to a big cheer. Had Rebecca been there, she would have cheered too.
And I saw that twinkle of pride in my Dad’s eyes again.
Love does not count chromosomes.
Love does not depend on biology.
God is love.
God believes in growing his family through adoption.
I never really appreciated that until he called us to grow our family through adoption too.