As the day grew closer, I grew more and more nervous. What if something came up at the last minute? What if her biological mother changed her mind and wanted us to send her back? What if the judge decreed, for some unknown reason, that we were not fit to raise this girl? Irrational fears, perhaps. But when your love for a child is involved, rationality often flies out the window.
Finally the day came and we made our way into the judge's chambers. It was short...I'm sure the judge was very busy. But when he signed the papers -- officially and forever making this precious little girl our daughter -- such a huge sigh of relief flooded over my soul. This girl had stolen my heart when I saw her picture, and I knew that I would not survive it if someone tried to take her from us. But once the papers were signed, there was nothing anyone could ever do again to remove her from our family.
Over the subsequent years, I forgot that she was adopted. I never thought of her that way after she arrived. She's my girl -- just as my biological sons are my boys. Now, she's 27 years old and has a little girl of her own. But just a few months back, my wife was telling me about some of the prejudice that our daughter encountered in school because she was Asian. I was shocked -- not because she'd been the object of prejudice -- but because of the reason: she didn't look like us or most of the other kids in school.
Such is the power of love.
Galen Dalrymple pastors Vineyard Hills Christian Church, a non-denominational Evangelical church in the wine country of California. His daily meditations, Daybreaks, are received by readers all over the country.