On our most recent trip to Haiti, Jim and I experienced the most unbelievable bonding with our daughters. The girls were treating us like Mommy and Daddy on a whole new level that I could not have dreamed of in my wildest expectations. I wish I could convey how the adoption of these two miraculous orphans has touched our family and especially how it has impacted my spiritual growth. Without question, this has brought my marriage relationship to a whole new level. After seeing Haiti and being touched by these two precious beings, the things that previously seemed important and worth arguing over now seem ridiculous to both of us. Jim and I have a bond from this adoption process that again, I wish I could describe and I wish everyone could experience. Most incredibly, from a personal standpoint, I cannot begin to grasp how this adoption has brought my relationship with my Lord and Savior to a new level. Someone told me in the beginning of this process that the adoption of orphans is “living the gospel”. What I thought they meant was what I always knew the Bible told us. James 1:27 commands us, as Christians, to care for the orphans and the widows. But until this trip, I never understood that the adoption of orphans would actually allow me to experience the gospel. My heart can scarcely take it in! Ephesians 1:5 tells us that God “predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will”. No one ever explained to me that God adopted us – the Greek word in scripture for ‘adoption to sonship’ is the word for a legal Roman adoption. In order to adopt us, God sent his son Jesus Christ to redeem us so we could become his child. That was the price of my adoption. So when I look at these two little girls who were abandoned and hopeless, I finally understand that the true orphan was ME! I was abandoned and hopeless until God adopted me through his son Jesus Christ. How mind blowing is that? I think about the struggles we have been through for this adoption and I think how insignificant our efforts are compared to the process God went through to adopt me! He sent his own son to become flesh, suffer and die so I, Donna Varda, could be adopted into his eternal family. I think about the cost associated with this adoption and I think how could any amount of earthly cost ever compare to Christ’s blood that was shed to adopt me? I look at the hope and love in these little girls’ eyes and I totally understand how I, a sinful hopeless orphan, now have hope and a future and the love of my Savior Jesus Christ. The eyes of my heart were so opened on this last trip, I want to shout the adoption of orphans as true religion for everyone from the mountaintops. People say that Jim and I are doing such a wonderful thing adopting our beautiful daughters, and I know it appears that way from the outside. But what people don’t understand is that this adoption has been the most faith-building experience for me and that I am benefiting in exponentially greater ways than these children ever could. I now cannot imagine my walk with Christ without this adoption. I look forward with great anticipation the lessons my amazing daughters will continue to teach me about God’s adoption of me. God is just so cool!