“God, why do I have to be an adopted?”

She’d whispered her question into her teacher’s ear whose task it was to write it on a yellow slip of paper for Nannygranne.  Nannygranne had invited the class to ask God any question. She would then look at God’s message, the Bible, and write them a story with the answer. 

The Bible class teacher wordlessly handed the slip to Nannygranne, her eyes brimming.  The expression on the little girl’s face said it all.  She felt confused.  Why was her situation different?  Nannygranne knew this question needed an answer now.

“Oh Mrs. Rosso!  I do have time to answer one question right now, but the others I’ll have to send back to you.  Would that be alright?”  Nannygranne nodded imperceptibly toward the little girl, winking to the other woman.

Understanding Nannygranne’s purpose, Mrs.  Rosso was visibly relieved.  “Well, Nannygranne, I think that would be nice for us.  Boys and girls, would you like Nannygranne to answer one question right now?”

To a chorus of agreement, Nannygranne smiled and said, “Alright, let me see,  which question  would be a good one for now?”  As she pretended to shuffle the slips, she stopped with little Lilly’s question.  “Okay, here is one.  God, why do I have to be an adopted?”  She waved the slip and said, “Now let’s pray together for God’s answer. We need to find the verses in the Bible where this answer is found.”  From years of study, Nannygranne already knew God’s views of adoption and God would want little Lilly to understand them.

After praying a simple prayer for God’s guidance to the right scriptures, Nannygranne took her Bible and had the children gather around her on the floor as she pulled up a chair near them.  With her Bible in her lap, she began. “I’m so glad this question was asked because it’s a very big and important question.   Did you know that God knows all about adoption because Jesus was adopted?”

Lilly’s eyes sparkled with curiosity, but she was hesitant to speak.  Perhaps she didn’t want the others to know the question was hers.  

Other children gasped. “Jesus was adopted!” 

Nannygranne continued.  “Yes.  Who remembers that Jesus was the Son of….?”  She gave opportunity for the little ones to answer “God!”  She then asked the next question.  “Very good.  Yes, Jesus is the Son of God.  But who did Jesus live with when He was growing up?”

“His mom?” guessed one four-year-old.  

“Her name was Mary!” announced another.

“Mary and Joseph!” shouted Lilly.  Nannygranne could now see the adventure in her eyes.

“That’s right, Lilly.  Jesus lived with Mary and Joseph and Joseph wasn’t Jesus’ real father.  But he helped Mary raise Jesus—just like being adopted.”

“But why didn’t God keep Jesus?” asked Lilly.

“Well, Lilly, that’s why God likes adoption.  God had a special plan for Jesus and job for Him to do on earth, so Jesus moved from Heaven to here.  And sometimes God has a special plan for kids whose moms and dads are having bad troubles. Sometimes those moms and dads need someone else to take care of their children.  Sometimes those moms and dads let God help them get better and that takes a long time.   But kids need parents while they’re still kids and can’t wait so long.  So God sends help. “

Lilly seemed to wilt a little. She grew quiet.

“Let’s think about being adopted.   I think being adopted is a special kind of being loved. When someone adopts you, they pick you especially and want you very VERY much!  Then they go to court and tell the judge they want to give you their name and be your family.  They even have to pay a lot of money for all the work people did to make you be in their family.  But the best part of all is that they give you their hearts and all of their hard work because they want to take care of you and love you from now on.”

“Wow!” interrupted one little boy.  “I’ve got five brothers and sisters.  My Mama said I was a accident.  I wish I was a-dotted.”

Nannygranne, laughing, said, “Well, your mama is happy you’re here and isn’t going to let you go anywhere, even if you aren’t adopted, so nobody needs to worry.  We’re happy you’re here, too.”

Nannygranne then opened her Bible and said, “Now let’s read some of God’s words about adoption, okay?”

From Galatians 4:4-5 “…God sent out his Son…so that we may be adopted….”

“What did you hear God say there?”  Nannygranne knew the Bible terms could throw little ones, but she waited patiently.

Finally Lilly whispered, “God gave away Jesus, so He could adopt us?”

The room went quiet. For a room full of four-year-olds, silence is rare.  Nannygranne knew this moment would remain in every heart in the room forever.  

“Yes, Lilly.  You are very right.  God gave away Jesus for a while so that He could adopt us.  Jesus lived here instead of in Heaven with His Father, so that He could show us and teach us how to have a good life here, and how to go home together to His Kingdom.”

The growing lump in her throat and the tears blurring her vision made Nannygranne look to Mrs. Rosso to finish the thought.

“You see, boys and girls,” said the teacher, “God wants all of us to want to be His children.  He says He’s our Father.  He gives us His heart and gave us this whole world for a place to live.  And He wants to give us everything in Heaven, too.  So I guess He wants to adopt us all!  Oh, and did you know that when we say we’re Christians that we’re using Jesus’ name—Christ?” 

“But you still get to live with your mom and dad, right?” asked one concerned boy.

Nannygranne, now feeling more collected, finished her comments just as the bell rang. “Yes, He does because He knows we need help growing up and he gave us moms and dads to raise us for Him. That’s why I decided to become a Christian.  I wanted God to adopt me.”

As Mrs. Rosso helped the little ones gather their things and line up at the door to greet their parents, Lilly caught Nannygranne’s eye.  Running to her with open arms, she said, “Nannygranne, I liked your story.”  Then she motioned for Nannygranne to lean over so she could whisper her secret.  Nannygranne bent low and Lilly whispered, “I’m glad you’re adopted, too.”  Then with a smile, she bounced into the arms of her mother.


I am a mother, grandmother, nanny, and writer—with a passionate concern about children, all children. With the help of my son Travis (who has a graduate degree in apologetics) I hope to share some thoughts that will be helpful to all who have the same concern.

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