If you have young children (or nephews and nieces), you know how entertaining ‚Äì and challenging ‚Äì it can be on a daily basis. Our three-and-a-half-year-old has an imagination that is expanding wildly and story time is something we look forward to with anticipation. Her mind races to add new characters (or dinosaurs) to each story, and she laughs at our reactions as the story unfolds. As we grow up, we lose our childlike sense of imagination. Maybe not in its entirety, but we tend to become more practical and more aware of the life‚Äôs realities. The narrative of our story changes. But there is one story that allows each and every one of us to become heirs of an eternal kingdom - forever. It‚Äôs the story of adoption. I had the privilege of growing up in a home with an adopted sibling. I didn‚Äôt think anything different about my ‚Äúbrother‚Äù or my ‚Äúsister‚Äù. I loved (and hated) them both like a brother and sister. Over the years, I developed a deeper appreciation of adoption. After walking through the process of adopting our daughter, the depth of my love and perspective will never be the same. The desire to adopt has always been there for me, and the more I grow in my faith and relationship with Christ, the more it grows. Adoption is all over the Bible. The more you read, the more you see God‚Äôs heart for loving and caring for the orphans. Countless times God is described as a father to the fatherless (Psalms 68:5-6) and a defender of orphans (Psalm 10:14).¬† Jesus promises to rescue the orphan (John 14:18), to bring justice and hope to the hopeless (Psalm 10: 17‚Äì18). He commands us to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 31:8‚Äì9) and even describes perfect religion as this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress (James 1:27). The reality is that we were orphans before God adopted us; adoption was created by God and modeled for us in the Gospel story (Eph 1:4-11). When we come to Christ, we not only receive salvation through God‚Äôs mercy and love, but He chooses to give us so much more: a new name, a new family, and a new life. We become sons and daughters of the most High King with a hope, a future, AND an inheritance.¬† We didn‚Äôt just get a pass out of hell, we get to call Him ‚ÄúAbba Father‚Äù and are HEIRS to His kingdom (Romans 8:14-17). Just let that sink in.¬† Walking through an adoption process is not easy, but God never promised easy. It is difficult and messy, but at the same time lovely and beautiful ‚Äì and has allowed me to more fully understand my salvation and depth of God‚Äôs love more than anything else I have experienced. I pray often that God would help me to be more like Him, to give me a heart like His. The closer I get to Him, the more I see His great love and am thankful that He loved me enough to visit me in my distress and rescue me. Most of all, I love that the story doesn‚Äôt end. God allows us to be a continuation of the story, a living example of His redemption plan. Adoption is a beautiful, physical display of heaven of which we get to be a part. For National Adoption Month, my hope is that everyone will see adoption as the norm ‚Äì a blessing for me as I grew up. That everywhere you look, you will see families representing Jesus and redemption, across all churches and neighborhoods composed of different races, genders, and nations: little glimpses of heaven.