today i witnessed a miracle. this life-altering event has parallels to my own life, but seeing it with my own eyes today simply floored me. i was sitting in the courtroom anxiously waiting my friend’s, wayne and stephanie, turn to legally adopt two boys that they have had as foster children for over a year. the older of the two, jayden, sat by me in his new white shirt and tie. he was sitting as still as any young, energetic boy could. i was also having a tough time being as still and quiet as the courtroom demanded, but we were both pretty successful. after the official court proceedings began with another family, jayden’s eyes began to wander about the room. that is when he saw it.

jayden and xavier's case file

the lady beside him, a case worker, was holding in her lap a large stack of binders filled to the brim with papers. on the spine of one notebook it read jayden v. jayden kept turning his head and looking at it and then he said, in not so much a whisper, “that’s my name!” the case worker quietly whispered, “yes, this is your file.” then it hit me like a ton of bricks.

while this was a physical adoption, i couldn’t help but think of my spiritual one. as i looked at those thick notebooks, i could only think of my case file. oh how it must be filled and marked with good intentions, works, impure thoughts, darkness of the heart, shame, religion, guilt, and tons of sin. there is no way i could ever defend my record. i could not be “good enough”, go to church enough, or wish it away. my case file in the best condition equaled filthy rags. i would most assuredly be found guilty.

then my friends stood and went before the judge to officially say that they would assume all responsibility for these boys. the case file size didn’t seem to matter to them. they loved these boys as unconditionally as humanly possible. they would do what the boys couldn’t do for themselves and that was to welcome them into their family and clear the record of all that was listed in the case files.

oh what a picture! i, too, am a recipient of such grace. my sins are countless and i am in need of a Savior who will do for me what i cannot do for myself. and He did! Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” i have been adopted into the family of the King of Kings. He also sweetly reminded me again this morning to “fear not” for He has redeemed me. He has also “called me by name” i am HIS! i don’t deserve such a gift, but His mercy is endless and His love is perfection.

this Christmas as i celebrate the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ, i see Him with fresh eyes as my Father. my case file has been canceled by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. my soul has found mercy and my heart wrapped in grace. i am indeed a part of His forever family. may i live out each day forever grateful for His glory. my life in Him is a miracle indeed.

the burns family of five with the judge

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 hepredestined us to be adopted as his sons 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. ”

thank you wayne and stephanie for your humble example of loving til it hurts, daily sacrifice, and the heart of the Father. you two were “Jesus with skin” to me today. a gift these weary eyes welcomed!

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    • dandi – thank you so much for honoring our family in such a way – i will love to somehow save this and share it with the boys someday. Everything you wrote is so true and humbling. I too am amazed and grateful for my forever Daddy in heaven, for my Jesus and how He rescues and redeems and heals and my forever family in the Lord! And so that makes you my true sister! Thank you for sharing your heart! I love you.

  1. Aaron Hatfield Reply

    Well written Danielle! I’m proud and honored to know Wayne Burns. He will be a great father to those boys and raise them correctly. I’m sure his wife will have her hands fll keeping all those boys inline. Good luck Burns clan!

    • danielle Reply

      amen to the poor stephanie and all the boys thing! 🙂

  2. Mike Dewees Reply

    Thanks for putting that in words, what a great job. Wayne and I have shared many times the paralells between our adoption and his and Steph’s. I am so thankful for their willingness to love and parent these boys, and Josh, and grateful that the process went so smoothly. I too was blessed to witness the finalization of this stage of their journey.

    Thanks again. Roll Tide!

  3. debra dewees Reply

    wonderful observation! the boys are truly blessed as are wayne and stephanie. our God is godd.

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