Several months ago my 7-year-old daughter invited a friend for a playdate. The little girl had not yet been in our home or spent time with our family. As the “princesses” played, our young “prince” (a terrific 2-year-old with Disney-like charm) tried to get in on the fun. The girls sweetly catered to his whims while he enjoyed the pampering of two older ladies.
Then I heard that heart-stopping question, “Is he your real brother?”
My daughter replied with a swallowed giggle, “Well, yeah. What do you think, he’s pretend?!”
The two girls chuckled together, and it was over just like that. I was pleased by my daughter’s lightheartedness and quick wit (if not graceful tact ), and I was thankful for her little pal who simply accepted the straightforward reply. Still, the 15-second conversation has returned to my thoughts many times since. Someone kindly asks, gesturing to my 4 kids, “Are these all yours?” Or I spot an onlooker’s eyes darting back and forth between my cocoa-skinned, espresso-eyed boy and my milky-skinned, sapphire-eyed girl. I’m waiting anxiously for someone to ask my son, “Is that your real mom?”
I’ve been studying the gospel of John since September. I’ve been getting to know Jesus more and more through this intense investigation. Repeatedly Jesus refers to his Father throughout scripture, and the Pharisees not only challenge his assertions but accuse him of blasphemy, lies, deception, demon-possession. They plotted – and ultimately were convicted of – Jesus’ death.
A revelation was given to me during this study. Our Heavenly Father understands the sadness that swells when doubts about our legitimacy as adoptive parents arise. When Jesus’ accusers tormented him for calling himself the Son of God, our Father must have grieved – for both His Son, and for those who would never truly understand.
When doubt creeps in, when we are invaded by insensitive questions, when defensiveness rises, I must remember… my Father understands. I can lay the burdens of fear and frustration down at His feet. And, if I seek to, I can be refined and equipped to respond with grace.