November 11, 2020
I’m Rachel, and I was adopted—not once, but twice!
In 1995, a couple by the name of Jun and Gigi Escosar welcomed me into their family through adoption. I legally became their child, and they became my parents.
I vividly remember the time my parents explained to me that I was adopted. I was around four or five years old. They broke the news to me through a story book called How I Was Adopted. It was literally about a little girl sharing to the readers how her parents adopted her and how much fun it was to be in a family. It showed a life full of love.
“You see that little girl? You’re just like her. You didn’t come from mommy’s tummy, but we chose you. You were meant to be for us.”
OH MY GOSH. THAT IS SO COOL.
I remember getting so excited and how amazing it felt to receive that news because, in my mind—unlike all of my childhood friends—I was unique. I was added into my family in a different way. I can still recall the next day. I went to school feeling great and excited and the first thing I did upon entering the classroom was yell, “YOU GUYS, I FOUND OUT I’M ADOPTED!” to a bunch of other five year olds.
Clearly, I was loud and proud about it back then—and I’m no different today!
I grew up in a time where adoption, or being adopted, had a negative stigma. I guess it’s still around even to this day, noh? I’m sure you have heard the statement, “Ampon ka lang,” in many teleseryes, where the child from a rich family finds out from one of her siblings that she’s not the “real child” of the parents. Because she is just adopted, she has no right to anything. She’s not their “real child.” And then cue the iyakan, sampalan, takbo sa ulan, tragic accident, then amnesia or something.
Hindi ko maintindihan yung kadramahan nila kasi base sa naranasan ko, ang buhay ng isang batang inampon ay punong-puno ng pagmamahal.
The “ampon ka lang” mindset makes adoption seem like it’s something that should be hidden or something to be ashamed of, when in reality, IT ISN’T. This makes being adopted look like we have a limited access to our rights as children or that we have to strive to earn that right to be “real children,” when in reality, THAT ISN’T TRUE.
What happens in the adoption process? The child’s old identity is erased, and the new identity, “now child of ______,” is legally established and declared official. Everything on record appears as though the child had been biologically born into the family. And that’s what happened for me!
My parents bridged the gap by going through the entire legal adoption process: Going to court for adoption hearings, meeting all the requirements, preparing the home for my arrival—all for the sake of legalizing my identity as their child, so I would never have to experience being orphaned or abandoned. Once the adoption was approved, that was it! My title as “daughter of Jun and Gigi Escosar” was established.
The amazing thing about being adopted and understanding everything my parents did in order to claim me as their own is that they did it all because they loved me so much. It’s a personal reminder of what God sacrificed and went through just to bring me into His royal family and claim me as His child—all because He loves me.
Adoption is God’s design.
Adoption is at the heart of the gospel.
God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.
Ephesians 1:5 (NLT)
The whole reason Jesus came to earth and went through so much suffering was so that we could be adopted into God’s royal family and become His children officially.
When my parents first shared the Good News to me, I believed it right away because of how they lived out the gospel towards me. I saw, and still continue to see, so much of God’s unconditional, sacrificial love for me in how my parents treat me.
I actually have a younger brother, my parents’ biological son. Even though he is of their flesh and blood, there was absolutely no difference in the way they treated us. We had the same level of access to our parents, the same level of love and attention, and the same rights as their children.
My brother’s a cool guy; I’m so blessed to have a sibling that never used my adoption against me. I love that we never talk about how one has more rights over the other simply because of the way we were added into the family.
How odd would that sound?
“I have more rights than you because I was born through cesarean section.”
“No, I have more rights because I came through natural birth.”
“Oh, what about me? I was adopted.”
There’s a scripture in the Bible that shows a picture of this, actually:
And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 3:6 (NLT)
The Gentiles back then were seen similarly to how the world views adopted children today: alien, intruder, the black sheep. The Jews, on the other hand, were viewed similarly to how the world sees biological children today: pure-blood, heirs, the “real” descendants.
In a family setting, it would look like I’m the “Gentile” and my brother is the “Jew.” But because we were raised in a family that celebrates adoption and because we both understand that we belong to our parents, we both share equally in the rights that come with being their children. If my brother wanted to ask something from my parents, I could simply ask them the same thing, too. He has a phone, I have a phone. He has a room, I have a room. In the love, treatment, and security we received, there really was no difference.
My parents secured my identity as their child, but they primarily secured my identity in Christ Jesus. Because of that, I have the privilege of saying that I was adopted twice: once on earth, and forever in Jesus.
I’m not only loved by an amazing family but mainly loved by an amazing God that He would pay the ultimate price to save me, forgive me, and give me hope, security, and a divine purpose.
So, to the statement “Ampon ka lang,” I say, “Eh ano naman?”
We all have the opportunity to be a part of God’s family, and we all have the opportunity to become His children.
If you’re interested to know more about adoption, check out ROHEI Foundation.
Let’s talk! If you’re interested to talk about the gospel in light of adoption, feel free to send us a message!