It was a 2-year journey that concluded in 5 minutes.

I got the rare chance to see an adoption first-hand today. A good friend of mine and her amazing husband just adopted a beautiful 3-year old boy. He was so cute, completely oblivious to the overwhelming display of courage, grace and love poured out all over his life. Today was an amazing day, one that will forever change everything for this little boy.

A few of us gathered at the courthouse to hear the ruling of the judge and sat impatiently in the quietness as the judge and his assistant outlined the terms of the agreement.

Do you understand that when the ruling is made, this young man will be your son, with the exact same right as if he were born into your family?” The parents agreed to the terms. “He is also entitled to an inheritance,” he continued, “and this is a permanent decision.

After a few more comments and questions answered, it was settled. The judge terminated all rights of the biological parents and the son was officially adopted into his new family. Incredible. Epic. Tears all the way around. Me included. Then donuts all the way around, me included, too.

Now, the “pastor” in me wanted to instinctually and immediately search for a sermon illustration. It was kinda sad, really. Instead I pushed that down and just soaked in the moment and love in that place … it wasn’t too hard with one of those “Hot Now” donuts in each hand.

So here, presented without further comment, are some words of Scripture that took on new meaning for me today:

See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! 1 John 3:1

But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. John 1:12

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. Romans 8:15-17

And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. Romans 8:23