From This Date Henceforth

It’s very rare to find me in a courtroom. And yet, I was there yesterday for 2 special reasons. Our daughter Maria was being readopted in the USA. At the same time, the finalization of adoption for our son Josiah was also being completed. My husband and I watched the legal system work. Both of our lawyers presented evidence that supported our request to adopt. The judge reviewed the piles of paperwork and listened to our testimony. He even asked Joanna a few questions about being a big sister. After twenty minutes, we heard the judge decree that… “from this day henceforth Maria shall be the adopted child of Jerome and Kristin Leckband.” He also decreed that… “from this day henceforth Josiah shall be the adopted child of Jerome and Kristin Leckband.” And there was much clapping from the gallery of friends who had come to share our joy.The deed is done; the decree is made.

And just like that it was done. We officially have 2 more children in our family. The range of emotions that I have experienced in the past 24 hours is wide. Incredible joy at these blessings God gives. Extreme humbleness for being given the responsibility to parent. Guilt over the gift of three children. Pain for birth families. Relief that the adoption process for both children is finally over.

Each adoption story is unique and special. God knows each of His children and provides for them when and where He wills. Jerome and I conversed about the Galatians passage regarding adoption.

Galatians 4:4-5
English Standard Version (ESV)

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

We did not choose these children. The Chinese adoption agency matched us with Maria. Josiah’s birthmother chose us to care for her son. There was nothing in us that deserved either of these children; God brought these children to us. The same can be said for our biological daughter Joanna. God gave her to us. Also, God chose me to be adopted into His family. He made me His child in Holy Baptism. On my baptism date of August 27, 1972, it was decreed that… from this day henceforth Kristin Kay shall be a child of God. It’s all God’s work in us and through us.

And, so, to those of you who are working through the adoption process, know this. The Lord is with you every step of the way, no matter the outcome. Adoption is not an easy answer to the prayer for children. The adoption process can be loaded with bumps and bruises and disappointments and u-turns and marathon miles. There will likely be pain and hardship and trials. Still, God provides what is best for you. He always does. Thus, if the Lord blesses you with a child, it is purely by His grace and mercy. And when the judge makes the official decree regarding the adoption of YOUR child, then you can smile all day and all night and do a happy dance. I did, and I’m still smiling today.