Thursday, May 23, 2013


Our good friend, Shanin Macaluso, mother of two biological sons and two adopted daughters from Russia, shared something with us that we really thought you all would also want to hear. Very cool! She and her husband Dan live in California and are greatly missed by their Atlanta friends!

I love my quiet times with God. I love how He reveals Himself to me in those times I set aside for Him. He never disappoints. I've been reading this book, The Bible, for almost forty years. If you took out all of the extras, like cross-references, definitions, maps, commentaries, etc. that it would be almost as long as the last four Harry Potter books put together. So picture the same forty years reading these last four Harry Potter books... I suspect I would have plateaued in all there was to discover before the end of year two, if I'm being really generous to account for symbolism and the like. 
On this particular day I was reading in John 14. Jesus is telling the disciples about how he is about to leave them, but to take heart. He will be sending the Holy Spirit to not just live among them, like He himself was at that time, but to dwell within them. He said that He would not "leave them as orphans." As we know, this promise of the Holy Spirit was for us as well. We, too, when Jesus left this earth, were not left "as orphans."
Jesus clearly wants more for us than to be without a parent to guide, protect and provide for us. And a quick look at scriptures shows us that Father God places a high value on orphans. (Check out James 1:27, Isaiah 1:17, Exodus 22:22-24, Deuteronomy 10:18, Psalm 68:5-6)
No Second Class Children in Our Family
When Dan and I felt that God had placed adoption on our hearts, we approached our children to get their take on the idea. We knew it was very important to explain that these children would not be second-class children, rather any adopted child in our family would assume all of the rights and privileges that they themselves had. We explained, to the best of our ability, how much “sharing” would be required of them -- their bathroom, the television, their parents AND their inheritance. We didn’t want the issue of inheritance to be a big surprise upon our death. Instead of half, each child would be receiving a quarter, an equal share, just like the scripture says.
Romans 8:16-18 “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs -- heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”
Ephesians 1:4-6 “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will -- to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.” (This One he loves, is Jesus, and I need to come back to him in a minute.) 
The Macaluso Family BA (Before Adoption)
Adopted Children Have Equal Inheritance
Maybe my kids also found some comfort that there would be two more people to share in the “suffering” that is chores! The scripture is clear that, although we as believers have been adopted, we have full “sonship.” We have equal inheritance with Jesus, who clearly was the child who did all of the work. Don’t we despise when we watch a tv show and some rich man dies and they read the will, only to reveal that the child who hasn’t seen the guy in twenty years gets as much as the child who spent the last twenty years caring for the elderly parent? It isn’t fair! But that’s how God sees us -- as children of equal status.
I do have to share my boys’ responses when we were explaining all of these things with them, not because they are relevant to my point, but because they make me proud. Kyle, who was 13 at the time, immediately said “I’m in. Let’s do it.” Sam, then 10--the younger and therefore picked-on brother- said “I have so many problems with the sibling I have... Why would I want another?” Oh, I love the honesty! But about fifteen minutes later he came up to us and said, “You know, everything natural makes me think ‘Why would I want this? Why would I want to share my stuff and everything?' But I really want to say yes, so it must be a God thing. Let’s do it.”
Dan, Shanin, and their new daughters in the orphanage in Russia
Too Good to Be True
I've heard this notion of the adoption of saints and being co-heirs with Christ throughout my Christian walk. I think after almost four decades, I’m finally starting to get it. And I really think my biological boys, who have now been with us for 20 and 17 years, believe it about their adopted sisters, who have been with us for just 6 1/2 years. But in spite of our last will and testament and our best efforts of encouragement, I believe that our adopted daughters (Sasha, adopted at 16 and who is now 22 and Elizabeth, adopted at 13 and is now 19) do not yet believe it about themselves. I think it’s because Satan feeds them lies to the contrary and, quite frankly, it’s just too good to be true, especially in the world in which they’d been raised. But that’s what the Bible says; we are co-heirs with Christ. 
Sasha and Elizabeth enjoy a grand airport Welcome Home!
It Gets Even Better!
But I think it gets even better, and this is what God showed me today... Please consider the most quoted and well-known verse in the Bible, and the verse that follows:
John 3:16-17 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
Even six-plus years after adoption, something hit me for the very first time: The Bible calls Jesus God’s “one and only Son.” He is, in essence, God's biological “only child.” What did He do with his one and only biological child? He removed him from heaven, sent him into a dark world that would reject him, mock him and ultimately kill him. Who did He do it for? His adopted children. Wow! 
God sacrificed his biological child for his adopted child. He gave Jesus unto death, that you and I might live. 
John 10:10b “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
That doesn’t sound like a second-rate child at all! We are not an afterthought! Isn't this a beautiful picture of the intensity of passion which God feels towards us, His adopted saints? Isn't it also a beautiful picture of how we adoptive parents feel about our adopted children?
Kyle, Liz, Sasha, Sam

Father God, we pray for this revelation to break into the hearts of our adopted children so that they can step up and take their rightful place -- both in our families and in the Kingdom. May they be overwhelmed with the knowledge of Your love for them and may their identity be 
Beloved Son/Beloved Daughter of The King, Highly Favored, Deeply Loved, and Richly Blessed!

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  1. Powerful words of truth. So moved by your story and God's story. Susan

    1. Susan, Shanin tried to respond, but for some reason her comments didn't go through, but she said she was so glad it encouraged you.
      Thanks so much for the comment!

  2. Thank you, Shanin, for sharing this beautiful message! Your family is a precious picture of God's unfailing love.

    1. Ruth, Shanin tried to reply but her comment didn't go through. But she said thank you!
      We appreciate you taking the time to leave this encouraging comment!

  3. Knowing your whole family Shanin, Sam's first response doesn't surprise me at all ;). I think this is the most real anyone could make the biblical picture of sonship. Thanks for sharing. Love you!

    1. Jenn, Shanin tried to reply but for some reason her comment didn't come through, but she said thanks and she loves you too!
      We really appreciate you leaving a comment!