Thursday, October 29, 2009
by Judy Vandiver
Several hours passed as I sat on the uncomfortable bench in the courtroom of the Family Law Center. The somber judge, with slightly graying hair and an official black robe, called case after case to his bench.
The situations varied. A mother requested child support; a couple filed for divorce; vandalism of a person’s property. The court reporter’s face seemed unchanging and emotionless as she did her job. Complainants and defendants wore looks of fatigue and despair.
Finally, the case I had been waiting for was called to the bench. My son David, his wife Michele, and her thirteen-year-old son Alex, moved through a small swinging gate. Their lawyer placed a petition to adopt before the judge.
Before the adoption could proceed, it was necessary to terminate the rights of Alex’s biological father. Alex could not have two fathers. He would have to belong to one or the other.
Testimony was given to show that the natural father had not shown love and concern for the child. After deliberation, the judge wiped out the ties between Alex and his birth father. At that point, Alex had no father.
David took a step forward and said, “I wish to adopt Alex. I want to make him mine.”
Again, the lawyer spoke up giving witness to the home study and background check the state had completed on David, proving him trustworthy and someone who would be a faithful father to Alex.
The judge questioned David, Michele, and Alex, asking Alex what he wanted. Alex turned his eyes to David and said, “I want to be his son.”
A stranger would decide the legal fate of these three people who already considered themselves a family. The courtroom held its collective breath. I glanced at the court reporter. Her face glowed. The judge smiled and said, “I now pronounce you Father and Son.”
The spell on the courtroom was broken as whispers again floated in the air. Did the whole room cheer or was it only my heart singing?
The once stone-faced judge grinned as he ordered a new birth certificate to be issued for Alex, proclaiming David as his father and decreeing that Alex and David’s last name would be the same.
Tears washed my cheeks and I offered thanks to God for the wonderful blessing of Alex. I could feel God’s presence as we emerged from the courthouse. And that’s when God reminded me that I was also adopted years ago when he made me part of his family.
I compared my spiritual adoption with what had taken place in the courtroom.
David initiated the process of adopting Alex - God made the first move toward me, before I knew Him.
My ties to the father of lies had to be terminated before God could be proclaimed my true Father.
Like Alex, I received a new birth certificate and my name was recorded in Heaven.
I was reminded of what another David wrote long ago–words God had spoken to him. “He said to me, ‘You are my son; today I have become your Father.’” (Psalm 2:6b)
Adopted - copyright 2007 by Judy Vandiver