I had a great conversation with my dad recently. We had just had breakfast together, which is no small feat since we live about seven hours a part. Breakfast consisted of myself, Dad, Uncle Jerry, and two of dad's cousins who I know but haven't seen too much of during my life. In our phone conversation, Dad was telling me some of the LaMotte family history.
My dad's grandmother had her son (My dad's dad- and my grandfather) out of wedlock. To my understanding, no one is real sure of who my grandfather's biological father is other than a last name and a location. Eventually, Dad's grandmother married her husband (a LaMotte) and they began their life together. My grandfather (Dad's dad) began using the LaMotte name early on even though his biological father's last name was on his birth certificate. Granddad was in his late 20's/early 30's when he applied for disability for his failing eyesight and found out that legally he still had his biological father's last name even though he had been using the LaMotte last name for 30 years. So as a young adult, Granddad was adopted by my Great-Granddad LaMotte- making the name change official. (My dad was already born and using the LaMotte name even though it wasn't "official")
This means that I have no real "LaMotte" genetics. Neither does my father, or my sister, or my two daughters. But because of the love of my great-grandfather for my great-grandmother- I have the last name of LaMotte- and no one can take that away from our family. (*Ironically, my great grandmother on my grandmother's side (Hovis') was also adopted, but she didn't find out until she was in her 80's!!!)
I am reminded of Romans 8:14-17 where we are reminded of our new identity through Jesus.
"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."
When we receive the Spirit of God through through Jesus- we become adopted children of God. We are no longer slaves to sin. We are no longer unwanted. We have gone from having no rights (slaves) to having the full rights and benefits of a child of God. Just as a biological child- we are heirs of God- brothers and sisters with Jesus to receive the fullness of God's love and blessings.
This is truly Good News! When we are adopted by God, one of God's children, our past is wiped clean. We are given a new name. So that whenever we feel worthless or unloved- we know that we have serve a God who calls us His children. And we are given the right to call God our Abba, Father, and Daddy.