In 1989 I married Richard and became the stepmother of his two and six-year-old sons, Roy and Nathanael. A few months after our wedding, I stood in our kitchen feeling completely overwhelmed. We were discovering that both boys had suffered severe trauma from other family members, and their needs were beyond me. I began to pray that I would love them, not for my sake or for theirs, but for God. We went through several years of counseling, and gradually the boys healed while God planted a deep commitment and love for them in my heart.
In December, 2007, a friend suggested that I adopt them. Startled, I realized that as adults, Roy and Nathanael needed no permission for such a legal change. When I asked them if they wanted me to adopt them, they were emotional. “Why didn’t we do this years ago?!” Roy said. On April 23, 2008, Roy and Nathanael became my legal sons and heirs while Richard, I, and even the court clerk cried. Subsequently, both sons received new birth certificates with me listed as their mother.
God has shown me what it means that He adopts us into His family. When we accept Jesus and are born of God, we gain a new identity. What is spiritual is far more real, far more permanent than what is merely physical. Roy and Nathanael are, in many ways, more “mine” than if they had been born to me. “This adoption is a confirmation on paper of what has already existed,” says Nathanael. “I have always only had one mom, and now the government thinks so too.”Roy says, “I am so grateful to God for providing me and my brother with a mother—one who gave us her love not because of a natural obligation but out of obedience to God. God has loved me through my mom!”
Because of Jesus, the impossible is real. “He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the Lord” (Psalm 113:9). I am God’s daughter, and I have two sons. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Written by Colleen Tinker