October Baby, recently released in American theaters this past March, is the story of an 18-year-old girl named Hannah who learns that her life is the result of a failed abortion and that she is adopted. You can learn about the movie and watch the trailer here. Feeling angry with her parents for lying to her, Hannah decides to go to the town where her birth certificate was signed in hopes of finding her real mother. Hannah also finds out that she had a twin brother named Jonathan, who also barely survived the failed abortion but died shortly after. Throughout the movie, many scenes unfold that reveal to us that Hannah feels unwanted—by her adoptive parents, by her “friends,” and even by her birth mother, who denies the abortion when Hannah eventually finds her. Hannah watches her birth mother deny her to her face and then go outside to her husband and daughter; the birth mother’s current little girl was clearly wanted, but she, Hannah, had not been worth wanting. That is how Hannah feels when she sees her birth mom's little girl. However, Hannah writes “I forgive you” on a napkin and puts it on her birth mother’s desk, and she goes back home with her parents and realizes that she is wanted. She ends up having a conversation about the pain in her heart with a priest who asks her, “What was your brother’s name?” “Jonathan,” she replies. “Jonathan would want you to live your life, Hannah, and live it to the fullest,” he tells her. The movie ends with Hannah’s parents dropping her back off at college. Hannah is walking away but turns around and starts running back to her dad, and he runs towards her too. She goes into his arms and says, “Thank you, Dad.” “For what?” her dad asks. “For wanting me,” says Hannah, smiling.
In class this semester we have learned about adoption, and how God literally adopts us as His own children. Adoption places us into a family to which we did not naturally belong. It frees us from the former relationships of authority in our lives, and our Heavenly Father becomes our new authority. It means we receive all the rights and privileges of being a member of His family. And once we are adopted, we are adopted forever.
Several of the most important people in my life were adopted by their earthly parents, including one of my best friends. Her father wrote a journal for her while he was in Europe searching for her and adopting her as a baby, and he gave that journal to her on her 21st birthday—the story of how much he loved her and wanted her from the very first day. Our God also gave us this gift—the Bible—the story of how much He loved us and wanted us from the very first day!
Whether we were adopted by our earthly parents or not, it can be easy to listen to the lies of Satan that tell us we are (or were) not wanted, as Hannah struggled with throughout the movie. But the truth is that we were and are wanted by the God who gave us our very lives! Not only did He want us to exist, but He wanted us to be His children! Dr. Corsini told us once, “You are worth whatever someone is willing to pay for you.” God was willing to pay Himself for us! Think about that. He paid the ultimate price so that He could adopt us and bring us into His family. He wants us that much.
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1