Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it.  For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.  
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.
The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba,Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Romans 8:12-17

Adopt (verb) :
1. to choose or take as one's own; make one's own by selection or assent
2. to take and rear (the child of other parents) as one's own child, specifically by a legal act.
3. to take or receive into any kind of new relationship

This verb has never meant so much to me as it does after reading my cousins' story here (pwd: ethiopia) 
I won't even begin to put words to their story, but their story has definitely made an impact on ours. Take a minute to click over there...

This adoption will change her life forever. This adoption is a reflection of a different kind, the kind mentioned above.  
Meet Eliana Fasika McCrory
They kept her given name as her middle and chose Eliana, which means "my God has answered"
This is such a sweet picture!

I see so much of myself in their precious little girl - almost fighting the unconditional love, not understanding it, uncertain of it, scared even of allowing someone that close. It is almost a choice for me to daily "wake up a totally different child." Isn't it for most of us?

As you might know, I put together a list of 25 things I wanted to do in my 25th year (26th) of life. Just a fun way to knock some things off my bucket-list as well as keep me to the life of adventure Neal and I both seek. One of those items, #24 to be exact, was to adopt a Compassion International Child. While this form of "adoption" is not the taking and rearing of a child, it is one (to a small fraction) of choosing and receiving this child into a new kind of relationship. Neal and I have chosen to sponsor a little boy, we have chosen to pray for him daily, write to him often and financially invest in his life. Our seemingly measley monthly donation is almost equivalent to that of his family's household income! How humbling. We are able to help provide for his medical care, his education and his overall well-being. Topped off with the knowledge that a young couple somewhere chose him. That some random couple loves him, for no good reason at all. And we hope this points him to a greater Love.

Meet Jonas!
His name means "gift from God"
He is four and lives in Guatemala. My dad, who travels there often for medical missions, actually knows the town that he lives in - we hope to visit him one day.

I think adoption is the sweetest picture of God's love for His children. God doesn't love us any more or less because of anything we could ever possibly do or be. He loves because He IS love. He loves because He chose to. He chose us. He always will.

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