Maybe such questions bothered me so much because they are being asked about me, all the time, within the echo chamber of my own fallen psyche and by unseen rebel angels all around. Are you really a son of the living God? Does your God really know you? Does this biblical story really belong to you? Are these really your brothers and sisters? Do you really belong here?
All believers in Christ, the Scripture teaches, will suffer-all of us. You will be glorified, Paul says, if you suffer with him. The problem with too many of us is not that we don't suffer, but that we assume that only Third World Christians or heroic missionaries are suffering. My boys didn't know that they were suffering in Russia; they would feel it as suffering now.
When my sons arrived in the family, their legal status was not ambiguous at all. They were our kids. But their wants and affections were still atrophied by a year in the orphanage. They didn't know that flies on their faces were bad. They didn't know that a strange man feeding them their first scary gulps of solid food wasn't a torturer. Life in the cribs alone must have seemed to them like freedom. That's what I was missing about the biblical doctrine of adoption. Sure it's glorious in the long run. But it sure seems like hell in the short run. . . .