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Episode of 'Parenthood' on the Power of Adoption

A 2013 episode of the TV show Parenthood focuses on Joel and Julia Graham's attempt to adopt a young Hispanic boy named Victor. After living with the Graham family for awhile, Victor starts to open his heart, but then he suddenly draws back again. He refuses to eat meals with the family, fights with his future sister, and expresses direct hatred to Julia, his future mother.

Julia is afraid that Victor will never return her love and she begins to doubt the decision to finalize the adoption. At one point she tells her brother Crosby: "We've had all this time together, and it just doesn't seem like we're progressing …. He just doesn't like me. At this point, it's so hard to know that that's gonna change …. [maybe] I shouldn't be his mom."

Later in the show Julia tells Victor, "[We're] going to choose a date next week to finalize your adoption. You know what that means?"

"Not really," Victor replies.

Julia says, "That means we're gonna go to court, all of us together, and we're gonna stand in front of a judge and we will promise to take care of you. And we'll probably sign some papers and we'll be your mom and dad from now on. Does that sound good to you?"

Victor says "Sure" even though it's clear he doesn't understand what adoption means.

But then in the next episode Victor finally understands the significance of his adoption. As he's racing through the house playing football, Victor accidentally smashes an expensive vase. When Julia races into the room, Victor says, "I'm sorry. I'll pay for it."

"It's okay, you don't have to pay for it," says Julia. "Let's just go back to the no-football-in-the-house rule."

Victor then asks, "So you're not going to change your mind about adopting me?"

Julia responds, "No. I'm never gonna change my mind."

Unable to wipe the smile off his face, Victor responds, "Okay." The knowledge of his adoption and of his parent's unconditional love helps him to bond with his parents.

Possible Preaching Angle:

Scripture tells us that God has adopted us, not because we first loved him but because he first loved us (1 Jn. 4:19). Like Victor, we all break the vase—we disobey God and make a mess of our lives. Even then, God still loves us. He will never kick us out of his family.

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