It’s been over two years since my husband and I began all the hard work associated with adopting a little boy from Latvia. The first step was obtaining Erik’s (husbands’) Latvian Citizenship as we learned that Latvian citizens who reside in the U.S. could receive a referral of a relatively healthy child of any age range (see my previous post for more details here We are adopting (again!). After about a year of collecting/filling out paperwork, last November (of 2016) Erik and I were finally able to put our names in the hat for one boy, ages 4-7, with moderate health issues, from Latvia. We were told by our agency that we would be presented with up to three referrals and would most likely be able to travel during the spring or the summer of this year (2017). I was so excited with the idea of traveling as a family this summer and finally giving Logan a little brother. And, for the most part, finally completing our family. This is a big deal for me as we have been in the process of building and completing our family since I turned 30. I’m now in my mid-40s.
That’s fifteen years and counting, people.
Spring came around, so I emailed/bugged my coordinator for an update. Still no word.
Then early summer came, and I emailed/bugged my coordinator again. Should I start switching bedrooms and buying clothes? Can I be doing anything to get ready? My coordinator said to hold off, as there was still no word.
The fall came, still no word.
Late fall came and I received an email which was very discouraging.
I will get to the email in just a moment, but I want to first tell you about a documentary called The Star of Bethlehem, as it relates to our adoption situation.
Here is the gist of this Christmas documentary:
A lawyer/researcher/computer nerd named Rick Larson conducted research to figure out the mystery of the Bethlehem star, and whether it was a true, astronomical event which announced the birth of Jesus Christ, the Jewish King. From Wikipedia:
As a lawyer, Larson examined the text of Matthew, finding nine pieces of evidence in the nativity passage. Using astronomy software to return to the skies over Judea by using Johannes Kepler’s math to calculate positions of celestial objects, Larson thinks he found all nine elements found in the book of Matthew. He also believes that the Star of Bethlehem, is Jupiter, a wandering star, and it stopped over Bethlehem during its retrograde motion on December 25, 2 BC.
But here is the coolest part of the documentary (and why people are really watching it). So apparently, a triple conjunction of planets and stars occurs not once, but twice during the time of Jesus’ conception and birth. The first one (at his conception) occurred when three stars/planets aligned:
- Jupiter (the King planet)
- Regulus (the King star, connected to the Leo the Lion constellation – Jesus is from the tribe of Judah, which is associated with the Lion of Judah)
- Virgo (the Virgin planet).
Do you see all the connections with the Christmas story?
Nine months later, at Jesus’ birth, another amazing and extremely rare triple conjunction occurred:
- Jupiter (the King planet)
- Regulus (the King star, connected to the Lion constellation)
- Venus (the Mother planet)
How cool is that? No wonder the Magi, those who studied many prophecies and predictions using the stars, came running to Bethlehem to check out the “one who is to be born King of the Jews.”
For the skeptics out there, let me fill in a bit of historical context. Back during this time in history, most people depended on the stars in the sky for navigation and predictions (and even magic: think astrology). The whole entire shipping and nautical industry depended on the stars for direction and navigation. Later, the Sextant was invented to help sailors to navigate using the stars. (Many years ago I read a really cool book about this called Carry On Mr. Bowdich.)
Apparently, this Bethlehem triple-conjunction-star was a HUGE deal back in the day; think of a widely noticed phenomenon, much like the solar eclipse that just occurred this summer (of 2017).
Rick Larson says:
This conjunction was so close and so bright that it is today displayed in hundreds of planetaria around the world by scientists who may know nothing of Messiah. They do it because what Jupiter did makes such a great planetarium show. Jupiter appeared to join Venus. The planets could not be distinguished with the naked eye. If our magus (Wise Men) had had a telescope, he could have seen that the planets sat one atop the other, like a figure eight. Each contributed its full brightness to what became the most brilliant star man had ever seen.
So here is the bad news we had received about our adoption: our coordinator told us that more and more Latvians are adopting older children, and that what we are looking for seems be “more popular” with Latvian citizens (which is great; I’m so happy more kids are being adopted). But here is where the news broke down: we are “number 13 in line” for getting one boy, ages 4-7, and that she didn’t think we would get a referral “anytime soon.” I also found out later that we can be bumped by a Latvian family at any time. She also said that we should consider changing our home study to allow for either an older child, a sibling group, or a child or children with moderate special needs. And here was the kicker:
“Oh, and by the way, you should start to update your home study (in other words, re-do a bunch of your paper-work) sooner than later because everything expires soon.”
I was discouraged with this news. It put me in a foul mood about this adoption specifically and adoption in general. Erik and I talked about it and decided that we are now open to raising the age range, possibly adding a moderate special need, and here is the kicker: allowing for a sibling group of a boy and a girl.
I can’t even imagine going from three kids to five, but I’m just not sure how long we will wait for a referral if we don’t adjust our home study to reflect reality.
So how does our adoption relate to the Bethlehem star?
1. God is all about timing.
Timing is important to God. He had to line up two planets and one star (and not just any planets, very special planets with specific meanings) in order to announce the birth of his Son, not once, but twice. Timing is really important to God, not just with the ‘big things’ but with the little things, too. I can safely say that it must not have been God’s timing to adopt up until this point in time.
2. God’s timing seems slow.
I have often wondered about the slowness of God’s timing and have grown impatient with it numerous times. But think about how slowly those stars and planets seemed to move to the naked eye. Each day they were a bit closer to each other, but only barely discernible. However, stars and planets actually move very fast in space. So really what seems slow to us, at the naked eye level, may actually be the speed of light in space. This really messes with me, but the bottom line is that even if it seems slow to me, it really may not be slow. It may just be that it seems slow to me.
3. God’s timing is perfect.
Everything had to line up perfectly in order to have a big miraculous splash to announce the birth of Jesus. God had to send Gabriel at just the right time to announce to Mary that she would be the Mother of Jesus. God made Elizabeth pregnant at just the right time so that John could be the fore-runner of Jesus. Mary and Joseph left their home at just the right time to travel to Bethlehem for the census, so that Jesus could be born in a manger, in Bethlehem, in order to fulfill prophecy, as well as to the be at the precise place where the triple conjunction seemed to “stand still.” God even had to allow some “back up” time to get everything and everyone aligned perfectly, including the start-time of the Magi, the location of the Shepherds, and the alignment of the stars in the night sky. So with all of that being true, I can safely assume….
If God is in control of the timing and events of the birth of his own Son, then surely I can trust Him to be in control of the timing of our adoption.
4. God will usually give you just enough information to help you to walk in faith and believe that His timing is perfect.
He did this to me just two nights ago with a devotional we read at dinner time. I will put a portion of that devotional in my closing paragraph.
Before I close, just a little Christmas confession: I have found that I am more frustrated and impatient with this adoption than I was with the previous other three! I guess I’m tired of all the B.S. that’s associated with adoption. From the waiting, to the paperwork, to the re-doing of paperwork, to the back and forth, to the issues with the kids that you have to think about and pray through first, and then deal with secondly…I’m just kinda sick of all of it. Deep in my heart, I’m starting to think that this may be our last adoption, at least our last “on purpose” adoption. I am still open to orphan hosting down the road, and if that leads to another adoption…great! But I am in my mid 40s and don’t feel like doing this over and over again. Adoption is just plain hard. Is it worth it? Of course! I have my three beautiful kids to show for it and I would’t trade them for the world.
But adoption is really hard. And there is always a wait built into the process. At least there has been for us.
And we are smack in the middle of our wait.
In closing, Khloe (our daughter) read a devotional at dinner just two nights ago that really spoke to me and reassured me that God’s timing is perfect and He is completely in control of our adoption. Here is a portion:
December 21: (This is God speaking, by the way)
I have a perfect plan for your life. But I don’t show it to you all at once. It is like a road that you must travel one step at a time.
Sometimes the road feels blocked, or it opens up so slowly that you feel frustrated. But then, when the timing is right, the way before you suddenly clears. All that you have longed for and worked for is given to you freely – as a gift. And that is when you catch a glimpse of my power and my glory.
Just keep walking along the path I have prepared for you, depending on my strength to keep you going. Expect to see some miracles – and you will. Not everyone can see my miracles, but those who live by faith can see them clearly. When you walk by faith going step by step with me, you are able to see my glory.
— Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young
This adoption has been a huge step of faith, but at some point, “when the timing is right, the way before you suddenly clears. And all that you have longed for and worked for is given to you freely – as a gift.”
I can’t wait for that day to occur! Lord, help me to wait patiently and purposefully.
P.S. For those who believe in the power of prayer, we would appreciate your prayers that the Lord would allow us to adopt one or two children in His timing. But I pray that the timing would be sooner rather than later. :). Because it’s already been two years. Please pray that the child or children would be a wonderful fit for our family, and that Logan would especially click with his new younger brother. And, if possible, that we could all travel as a family to Latvia to adopt. Thank you so much!!
PSS: For those who are interested: The Biblical data points of the star are as follows: it signified birth, it signified kingship, it was related to the Jewish nation, and it “rose in the East”; it was not known to King Herod; it appeared at a specific time; it endured over time; it was before the Magi as they traveled south to Bethlehem from Jerusalem, and then  it stopped over the city of Bethlehem.. (source, wikipedia)
PSS: all research for this post was used by googling “The Star of Bethlehem”, watching portions of the documentary, plus Wikipedia. You can find Rick Larson’s website at www.thestarofbethlehem.org.