Recently I was told that someone I love cannot be my family because they were not born into my family. Further I could face legal charges for considering her a part of my family. I find that odd since CPS placed her with my family because she had no one in her life that was her family, ( her mother and father gave her up for adoption and signed away all legal rights to her).
When she came to us, she was homeless, and had no person that fit the legal definition of “family”. So I feel it may be important to talk about what and who family is. Merrian-Webster says that family as: 1. A group of people who are related to each other. 2. A persons children. 3. A group of related people including who lived in the past. By this set the young lady I call my daughter is not family, but the definition of family is not finished yet ( Marrian-Webster online dictionary).
Under the heading “Full Definition of FAMILY” the very first statement is A group of individuals living under one roof and usually under one head. (Marrian-Webster online dictionary).
This one definition is key, it transcends the common definition of family to include others who live inside of a group that considers themselves a family. Now for the next part, by legal definitions held up in a court of law, a family can be considered a collection of persons who live in one house and under one head. This is from the following web site. Family.
According to studies that I did in my most recent college class, a family is designed in certain ways to provide legal accountability for the children inside that union. That is the “parents” are legally obligated to the children to provide for them. That is the entire reason for adoptions. It binds the parents legally to the children and is done to protect the interests of the child so that the parents cannot decide to just stop caring for the child.
In our case, we took in a homeless girl with no parents that were legally bound to her and once in our home sought out the legal advice of CPS who legally placed her into our care. While living with us under our care she agreed to follow or try to follow any and all rules that the head of the house set up. While in our home, I took care of the feeding and clothing and medical care that any parent is responsible for taking care of with their own blood children. If I had the money to go through the courts and legally make her a part of my family by the courts standard of family then I would have done so.
Now for the spiritual part of this lesson, all of my life I have grown up being told I was a part of the family of believers who were under the headship of Jesus. As a believer in Jesus, I am his child. I am a part of a family that is not made up of blood bonds passed on by mother and father. This is very important as it is also supported scripturally.
In Matthew 12: 46-50 Jesus was speaking to a crowd and was interrupted to be told his mother and brothers wanted to talk to him. He pointed to people not related to him, and said these are my mother and my brothers, who ever does the will of my father, is my mother and my brother and my sister.
Jesus changed the definition of family to include those who were not born into it. This means that when I call a fellow Christian “brother”, then he is my brother according to the definition set by my savior. This is special and powerful. It gives me a family to belong to. The young lady in question is in fact a Christian which means she is not a stranger but by the words of Jesus, she is a part of my family.
It was implied that I was lying because I say she is my daughter. The legal minded religious types of the time tried to trick Jesus similarly when he healed on the Sabbath day. Mark 3:1-6 tells a wonderful story of Jesus healing on a day that the law said not to work, and the law types felt that healing and saving a life was work. Jesus healed any way. My point is that there is the legal thing to do, and there is the right thing to do.
I felt that at the time, it was right to include her into my family. It was right to assume the responsibility of a parent for a child that had no mother of father. It was right for me to call her my daughter simply because I was acting in the interest of a parent and was in face and am still in fact acting in that capacity. If this is wrong, then Jesus was wrong to include those not related to him by blood as a part of his family, and if Jesus is wrong, then the entire world is doomed for hell.
I hereby proclaim to the entire world or those reading this that for me, Amy Marie Baize who was born Jasmine Robb, and is now Amy Marie Davis (due to her recent marriage), as well as Ashley Nicole Timmons (who was also abandoned by her family and was introduced into my family and to whom we have sworn the same love and support), to be my daughters. When my will is written and executed at my death, they will have equal share in my estate. They are my children not by blood, but by the very fact that they are both Christians, and by the fact that I claim them as my daughters. I love you both very much and will not back down from this commitment.