For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.” —Romans 8:14-17 NKJV

I’ve had the great privilege of being adopted three times in my life.

The first adoption came when I was almost two years old. I had just spent a month of foster care in the hospital, recovering from those two years of severe neglect. During that time, God was preparing a special older couple to step out in faith. They did so, not knowing if I would ever gain the ability to talk, walk, or even sit up, and the extent of any other damage was still unknown. With this couple’s great love and care and God’s amazing grace, all is well these sixty-something years later. I am left with only minimal physical and other reminders of another mother’s choices. Those reminders do not hinder but enhance my walk with Christ and keep me dependent on Him, and because they stepped out in faith, Mama and Daddy will forever be heroes to me.

Another adoption came about in my life. Another hero. Another face of faith that I want the whole world to know. A woman of love and care, the picture of Christ to me and to everyone her life touches.

Ralph and I were just a young couple, with little ones in tow and a whole lot of growing to do, when we first came to Eliot Baptist Church. From our first day there we were enveloped, loved on, and cared for by everyone. But one couple loved us in a very special way: Hap and Diane. This couple has spent a lifetime loving children but never had any of their own. Yet God brought a whole tribe of kids into their lives to pull close and to be their spiritual mom and dad. They chose Ralph and me to be part of that wonderful family.

Our gentle, kind, humble Hap went home to be with Jesus many years ago. He leaves a Hap-shaped hole in our hearts that will be filled when we see him again in Heaven. Thankfully our mom remains here, and we all continue to love on and care for each other as her sons and daughters. She is our mom. We are her kids. We belong to each other. Every one of us can attest to that. We do not bear her name in the way that I bear Mama’s and Daddy’s name, but we all bear her and Hap’s name in Christ. Their imprint is stamped all over our hearts and invades every fiber of our being. They have significantly helped to shape who we all are today. Our relationship with her is deeper still because of the bond of Christ we share. He is the glue that binds us all together.

That bond leads me to the most important adoption of all: The one that Mama, Daddy, Hap, and Diane all so beautifully pictured for me in living color. That adoption came on the warm summer evening of July 1, 1971, after I had deeply wounded Mama and Daddy with a bout of stealing. In his deep hurt, my dad responded to my earnest apology by turning his face and back on me as he walked out of the room, leaving me standing there in my shame. In time, he would heal and forgive. But God used that sorrowful moment to show me that my sin wounded Him and separated me from Him even more than it had from my Daddy. That night, I asked Christ to forgive my sins and to come and live inside me. He did! Instantly! Completely! From that moment on, I am an adopted child of the King with all the rights and privileges of one blood-born. I am a joint heir with Jesus.

Jesus has promised that if we confess our sins, He will forgive us. Right in that moment and entirely. Then, He comes to live inside us through His Holy Spirit. Permanently and fully. He adopts us as His kids with all the birthrights, benefits, and responsibilities.

In that new relationship, He doesn’t want to be invited in and left in the foyer of our hearts, standing there with His hat in His hands while we go off about our day. He wants and deserves full access to all and every part of us to do as He sees fit. That means everything we do, say, think, watch, participate in, travel to, and focus on will now be filtered through our desire and obligation to honor Christ and His Name. His life to us, our life back to Him. What a valentine!

Father, thank You for the beautiful examples you brought into my life who helped me and taught me what it means to be adopted by You. Help me to continue honoring them and You well with my life. I love You, Lord!

In Him,
Donna Perkins




Sweet Selah Ministries

To inspire a movement away from the belief that “busy is better”
and toward the truth of God’s Word that stillness and knowing
Him matter most—and will be reflected in more effective work and service

To offer biblical resources and retreats that help women pause (Selah)
and love God more deeply as they know Him more intimately (Sweet)

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6 Comments. Leave new

  • Margaret Fowler
    February 20, 2024 1:16 am

    Donna, what an incredible and inspiring message. thank you with all my heart. God bless you and I know this message will be a testimony that is very meaningful for all of us. I feel honored to be your sister in Christ.

  • Thank you so much! God is soo good! So gracious! Soo kind! Soo generous! Soo merciful. And He’s our DAD❤️

  • Thank you Donna for sharing just a small part of your life.
    We are bringing up two of our grandsons and though we
    don’t feel we need to take the step to adopt we have full
    guardianship till they are 18.
    We know God has placed them in our care for a reason
    and we are doing our best under His guidance to bring them up
    the way He would like them to be.
    God Bless you!

    • Donna V Perkjns
      March 4, 2024 12:56 pm

      Thank you so much. WOW! That’s a life change and step off faith for you. What a blessing you are to your grand children.

  • Cindy Lowrey Connor
    April 13, 2024 1:59 pm

    Thank you Donna for sharing how God showed up for you to remind me, that he always shows up for me! Blessings to all who spread Christ’s love to others!! I have 2 adopted grandchildren who came from a very troubled home and I am so grateful for them. I will share your story with their parents.


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