When my sons arrived in the family, their legal status was not ambiguous at all. They were our kids. But their wants and affections were still atrophied by a year in the orphanage. They didn't know that flies on their faces were bad. They didn't know that a strange man feeding them their first scary gulps of solid food wasn't a torturer. Life in the cribs alone must have seemed to them like freedom. That's what I was missing about the biblical doctrine of adoption. Sure it's glorious in the long run. But it sure seems like hell in the short run.