My last name is difficult to pronounce and usually elicits snickers from non-Japanese. Nonetheless, I am very proud of my family name. We are five generations of Japanese-Americans. Family members have served with the United States army during World War II and during peacetime. My father was a successful dentist in Oahu, Hawaii. My name is relatively unique for Japanese surnames. As I have often shared with others whom I first meet that if they met another person with the same last name, I am probably related to them.
When I was about 8 years old, my father shared the truth about my family name. His mother was married to a Japanese man, his biological father. But soon after he and his two older sisters were born, his mother and father divorced. My grandmother met my grandfather and namesake just before World War II. He was a widower with two young boys. He enlisted and served with the American army intelligence in Burma. Before he enlisted, he married my grandmother and adopted my father and his two sisters, giving them our family name.
I was quite surprised when my father shared this revelation, but it did not diminish my pride for my family name. In fact, I was honored that I would be adopted into this family, a decision made many years before I was even born.
...just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.
Ephesians 1:4-5 (NKJV)
I did not have a choice with my grandfather adopting my father and his two sisters. But I did have a choice when I became an adopted son of God through Jesus Christ. By His grace and mercy, God led me to a dear brother in Jesus Christ who spent many hours answering my questions about Christianity. When I confessed and repented of my sins and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I became an adopted son of God.
I am proud of my adopted family name. But I am even prouder to be an adopted son of God!
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.