Subtitle: God doesn't do open adoptions.
Leave it to the Holy Spirit to use a piece of mail as a teachable moment.
But in all fairness, it wasn't just any piece of mail...It was Levi's birth certificate.
Levi's official birth certificate arrived this week. My first thoughts ranged from thinking about how neat our names all looked together on an official document to being so relieved that the entire process is really really over [as if this day wasn't enough].
My second thought went to Levi's first family. I was kind of sad when I realized that as far as the government is concerned, there is no record of Levi ever not being Levi. There is no official document stating that one woman cared for him for 9 months and safely brought him into this world and into my arms. I almost wish there was some reminder or amendment that noted that the first 7 weeks of his life did indeed happen, and that at one point in his life he had a different name.
Honestly, as weird as it sounds, Levi's birth certificate made me a little sad. It felt sort of fake. There in block text is my name, Herb's name, Levi's name and birth date, the location...but I know I wasn't there.
As I shared these feelings with my pal across the ocean, an analogy dawned on me so fast that I interuppted my own story.
"Wait, I guess that's kind of like how it is with us and God," I spoke with excitement.
[I'm pretty sure Lauren had to intentionally keep herself from saying, "Duh."]
When I decided to follow Jesus, I became a new creation - the old is gone [2 Corinthians 5:17]. My old name, my old life, my old past. Poof. They are separated from me like the east is separated from the west. I am God's adopted daughter; it's as if my life before Him never happened.
As far as Levi's first family goes - I'm so grateful that even though God doesn't do open adoptions with us and our past lives, we can have such an arrangement with Levi's birth family. Even if they're not listed on his birth certificate, we can have a wonderfully open relationship and he will know them and love them for the rest of his life.