We celebrated the news that James's adoption is approved by having pizza, cake, and ice cream after school yesterday. Some of James's friends came over.

We are praising God for James's adoption approval. I was thinking yesterday, as we rejoiced, wept tears of joy, hugged, celebrated, about how the Bible says in Luke 15:10 "10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents."

James's new legal name is now James Gonzales Symanzik.

Our Heavenly Father knows each of us by name (Isaiah 43:1) and gives each of us new names (Revelation 2:17, 3:12).

Just a few of the many examples of God changing a person's name can be found in Genesis 17:5 (Abram to Abraham), Genesis 17:15 (Sarai to Sarah), Genesis 32:28 (Jacob to Israel), Mark 3:16 (Simon to Peter).

We each have been adopted by God when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour.
In my mind, to adopt a child here on this earth is to follow my Heavenly Father's lead. True religion, He says, is to care for the orphans and widows (James 1:27)

Other verses about caring for children and adoption - -

Psalm 68:5-6 -

Father to the fatherless, defender of widows-
this is God, whose dwelling is holy.
God places the lonely in families;
he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy.
But he makes the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.

Matthew 18:5 -
"And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me.

1 John 3:1-2 -

See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don't recognize that we are God's children because they don't know him. Dear friends, we are already God's children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is.

Romans 8:14-16 -
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God's Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, "Abba, Father."For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God's children.

Galatians 4:4-6 -
But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, "Abba, Father."

Examples of Adoption in the Bible - Exodus 2:10 - Moses adopted by Pharoah's daughter; and Esther 2:7 - Mordecai's adoption of Esther.