Perhaps the most famous adoptee in history is Jesus Christ. He was the only begotten son of God, given to all mankind to atone for our sins. When you think about it, God is Jesus’ birth father. The holy family was built by many elements of adoption.

God was always present in Jesus’ life, but Christ was adopted by his earthly father – Joseph the carpenter. Joseph took Mary to wife and raised Jesus as his own among his other children. “Is this not the carpenter’s son?” (Matthew 13). Joseph was there when Christ was born in the stable. He must have held the baby Jesus in awe. He raised the son of God. Joseph protected him, even fleeing to Egypt when Christ was endangered by King Herod.

Mary, Jesus’ mother, faced an unplanned pregnancy. Considering the time period of Jesus’ birth, it was likely that she was very young. She faced the shame associated with being single and pregnant – Joseph would have put her away if he didn’t know the Jesus was the son of God. But she was brave when the angel Gabriel came to tell her that she was to conceive the Son of God.  “And Mary said, be it unto me according to thy word” (Matthew 2).

Jesus knew He didn’t come from a traditional family. At twelve years old, he knew that God was also His father. When his earthly parents found him talking with the elders at the temple, he asked them, “Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?” (Luke 2). He meant the business of his Father in Heaven, rather than Joseph the carpenter. He respected and loved both his earthly father and his Heavenly Father.

Adoption is the way God sent us His son. If we didn’t have adoption, we wouldn’t have Christ. The nativity story is one of ultimate love from all sides of the adoption triad.