chosen, adopted, and fiercely loved

April 24, 2010

“Do you promise to care for this child as your son, to love and provide for him, and to welcome him into your family?”

The emotion hit me like a truck, and I wasn’t expecting it.  This felt very much like my wedding vows to Amy fifteen years ago.  I cried then, too.

Back then it was in my home church in Bemidji, MN, before our extended families, my hometown Pastor, and 500 and some assembled guests.  Now it was a Hennepin County Family Courtroom, in front of a court reporter, our attorney, the Judge, and our four (soon to be five) sons.  This was a watershed moment, suspended in time.  In both cases, we were choosing family.

“I choose you.” This makes my relationship with Amy different from any other relationship in my life.  I chose her, and (thank God!) she chose me.  I didn’t get a say when my brother was born.  Or my sister.  My aunts and uncles and grandparents and cousins… I love them all, and they are family… but I had no choice in the matter.  Not so with Amy.  She is mine and I am hers.  We chose to love fiercely, with an exclusive, protective, generous love.

And now, fifteen years later, we have our second opportunity to choose someone.  “We choose you.” This makes our relationship with Joshua David unique among all of our boys.  Special.  We started out NOT family… and now we are.  He has been taken in and chosen and embraced by our extended family, too.  And now, I’m his father, and he is my son.  We chose to love him fiercely, with an identity-changing love.

Joshua has lived under our roof for four and a half years now.  But he has officially been our son for one year.  April 23, 2009, in a quiet courtroom downtown Minneapolis…  We had looked forward to this day for so long.  We chose Joshua as our boy and set out on this path years ago.  What deep love, joy, satisfaction, pride, humility, awe, thanksgiving… all running down my cheeks now.  “Yes, we do.”

I know the significance of choosing someone to be family.  That’s why I feel deeply loved when I read Ephesians, chapter 1…

“Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes.  God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ.  This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure.”

I have chosen a son.  And I’ve been chosen as a son.  The significance is not lost on me today. Thank you Jesus.

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chosen, adopted, and fiercely loved by Joshua Skogerboe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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Psalm 24:7 & Luke 10:42 >> Like David, and Mary, I'm in pursuit of my one thing. I'm the Pastor at St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Montgomery, IL. Pastor, teacher, writer, communicator, designer, and drummer. I definitely got the better deal in my marriage to Amy. And I couldn't be any more proud of my five amazing boys. Deeply grateful.

4 responses to chosen, adopted, and fiercely loved

  1. Josh… Thank you for CHOOSING Joshua to join your family. I have no other words…
    G.

  2. So glad that you and Amy made the life changing decision to have Joshua be yours, and you his, forever. Adoption is a reason for celebration in our home as well. Congratulations on your most special anniversary!

    • Thanks so much Sarah. I feel like there’s a very special club we belong to… parents of adopted kiddos. Glad to be a part of that with you. God has been so good to us. Little Josh is proof of that over and over again. Bless you and your family. 🙂