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Good morning friends.

A story: Fred and Alice had been happily married for a good few years, they had everything they needed in the material sense, but one thing was missing from their lives. They had not been able to have a child. So, they decided to investigate whether or not they would be able to adopt. They entered to process and after what seemed forever, were told they had been accepted. And, one day they went to meet the little baby boy who would be their son, and shortly after that first meeting they were able to bring Steven home.

After a couple of years, as often happens, Alice found out that she was pregnant and another baby boy, James, was born in into the family, and Steven had a big brother.

I met Fred and Alice later in their lives, but the stories of these two brothers were often shared.

Sadly a short time after I got to know Fred and Alice, Alice passed away.

I went to visit Fred and his sons, and was interested to listen to the boys sharing how they were brought up. Both knew that the circumstances around their births were different, but both knew that were loved, knew they were special. It seemed to me that it was a wonderful testimony to Alice and Fred that they gave each of their sons all that was required for them to grow up in a loving a secure home.

Fred said that someone asked him one time if he treated James more favourably because he was his proper son.

Fred said I just told him, “No way, I love both my sons the same. You see, we chose to adopt Steven, but in a way I think somehow, we were also chosen to be his mum and dad."

There is a man in Scripture who had the attitude that Fred had. His name was Joseph, and he was the earthly foster dad of Jesus.

We all know the account of how Mary found that she had been chosen to bear a son who would be the Son of God; we know it as the Annunciation. But sometimes we forget that Joseph was also chosen.

We find the story of Joseph in Matthew’s gospel. Matthew 1: 18-25.

Joseph was, at first dismayed to find that Mary was pregnant, but after God spoke to him in a dream, he stepped up to the mark, and took on the role of earthly father to this special child.

Joseph, cared for Jesus, he protected him, he taught him a trade, and with Mary gave him a loving and secure home to grow and develop.

Joseph is not mentioned much in Scripture, but when he is we see a man of integrity and humility who trusted God and faithfully carried out the task set for him.

Up and down the years there have been people who followed his example, and we are blessed to know such men and women, who have given their love and care to children who maybe had a difficult start in life, bringing to them a sense of security and a place to truly call home.

God bless them, and God bless you this new day.

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