When I practiced architecture, I did some public school projects. Public schools, being ummm, public, fell under the auspices of the state. The state requires many, many forms. Forms about building codes. Forms about how big. How tall. How deep. And cost estimates. And the absence of archeological finds. And historic significance.
One of the forms required me to certify that I was, indeed, a Registered Architect. Architects are registered by the state. That same state required me to certify that I was registered. By the state.
Are you getting the picture? Or are you dizzy?
The other day, I was reading yet another story about an adopted person, now grown, being deported because the parents didn’t fill out the proper forms 30 years ago. This person was adopted legally as an infant by US citizens and lived in the US continually all her life. It reminded me that I needed to get an additional form for Boo.
In 2001, a federal law came into affect that adopted children automatically acquire US citizenship upon immigration.1 I did get Boo a US passport. You must be a US citizen to get a US passport. However, a passport itself is not proof that you are a US citizen. Soooo. I have to fill out and send this form, N-600, “Application for Certificate of Citizenship” through the Department of Homeland Security, US Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Take a breath.
Plus $600. Yep. So Boo can have a certificate proving that he is a US citizen. The citizenship that the US government gave him. That he has to prove. To the US government. Which gave him the citizenship. For just $600.
I can’t help but think of a little dog chasing its own tail, yapping and circling around. I feel like that dog.
I started to dig up some of the resentment I feel about the whole adoption process. If you are not familiar with adoption, you can feel free to be shocked. You’d think I would be grateful, right? Well I am grateful. But I’m not grateful for the heaping piles of humiliation and distrust thrust upon adoptive parents. Or maybe it’s just me.
See, I had to prove that I was worthy as a parent. That my husband was worthy. That my extended family was worthy. That we were neither criminals nor child molesters. Finger printed. Interviewed. That we made enough money by showing them our IRS forms for the past 3 years. Be threatened to terminate the process because of a misstep. We had to prove that our house was clean and safe. That we lived in a nice community. We had to explain our theory of child rearing and philosophy of discipline. On top of all the forms we had to fill out just for the actual adoption part. Then I had to argue with the pediatrician’s office that it is indeed a newborn checkup even if he isn't newborn and that I shouldn’t have to pay out-of-pocket for the exam. On top of all the checks that added up to 5 figures.
I thought ,"Why is it so hard??" Why can some 16 year old open her legs and 9 months later the hospital just hands her the baby, but we, at 40, have to go through all this??? What is God trying to say?
And then it came to me. Or, He came to me:
So then you are no longer strangers and ALIENS but FELLOW CITIZENS with the saints and members of the household of God 2
Yes! Of course! When you are borne, you are the heir. Every nation, people and tribe recognizes that. However, when you are not borne to, but a stranger and an alien,ow alone you are! How separated! Even those who want you, to adopt you, must prove and pay, prove and pay again and again your legitimacy, your rightful place in their family. I've read the text a hundred times. I've contemplated adoption and the Kingdom for at least 8 years. But it wasn't until that moment, when I saw how separated my child was from us, how foreign, that I saw a glimpse of how far we ourselves are separated from God.
God had to “prove” it, to pay for it with the blood of Jesus Christ so that we, as strangers and aliens could be adopted into His household, to be His heirs.
It's a complete circle for me, an adopted heir to His kingdom.
1 certain restrictions apply
2 Ephesians 2:19, NKJV