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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

A Virgin Birth and an Adoptive Family

God can do anything. Of this I am firmly convinced. How He forms families is beyond me, simultaneously both wild and wonderful.

I have family members to whom I do not feel particularly related, and non-blood relatives to whom I would give my last drop of blood. My husband and I share no genetic connection (and that’s more than some of you can say!), other than forefathers who had large noses and foremothers who had moustaches (his side, of course). But we are strongly related, even if not by blood.

For us, Hanukkah and Christmas are totally normal, not a stretch of the imagination by any means. The fact that Hanukkah (the Feast of Dedication), a Jewish holiday, is mentioned only in the New Testament (John 10), and that Christmas celebrates a virgin birth with God coming to dwell among us, does not require me to suspend any rational powers of reason. But then I don’t believe in Santa Claus, so maybe I’m not mainstream these days.

I look at 324 Messianic prophecies written in the Hebrew Bible, hundreds and thousands of years before, telling when, where, and what the Messiah would do. Mathematicians say that if only one person fulfilled 48 prophecies (not 324), the odds of that would be one to 1 followed by 157 zeros! But one person fulfilled all 324 and His name is Jesus.

I’ve heard all of the other arguments: that Israel is the “suffering servant” of Isaiah 53, etc. For many years, it was thought that dishonest Christians, monks hidden away in some monasteries, had pencilled in this chapter that describes Yeshua to a T. But with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls only six decades ago, we see the same prophecies included in manuscripts dating 1,000 years previous to anything in existence up until that time. There goes that theory.

This brings to mind the famous short story penned by Jewish American novelist Philip Roth, “The Conversion of the Jews”. It tells the story of teenager Ozzie Freedman in post World War II America and his theological questions posed to the local rabbi. The rabbi insists that the virgin birth of Jesus is impossible, which leads to a showdown with Ozzie on the synagogue rooftop, refusing to come down until Rabbi Binder answer why, if God is all-powerful, why He could not create a Divine birth if He chose.

Winner of a 1960 National Book Award, the story raises important issues faced by many families such as ours. Not just how Jews can believe in Jesus, but for us, it goes a step farther when you add the mix of adoption.

Our children are ours through adoption, not blood. I have no problem with this. We chose this route. I see it as Divine dealings in the affairs of man, the children being rescued from pain and suffering, none of it their own making. We discussed it one recent day in the car, where all good conversations take place until an ice cream shop looms on the horizon. I had just dropped the boys at one activity, and the girls were headed to their own sporting event.

“It’s only us three girls,” Sashenka giggled in the back seat. “Just like in Russia, da, Mama?”

They couldn’t get over the fact that I could drive, or take care of them, or do any of a variety of things unknown to their previous little patch of Russian countryside.

“Da…. Can you imagine, out of the all of the people in the world (and there are six billion), how we ended up together? God saw you and He saw us, and He put us all together in a family,” I start.

“And Misha and Grisha,” Mashenka adds, reminding me of the dogs–as though I would forget! If ever there was a closer connection, I did not know of any. Slit our paws and mingle our blood, and you could not have a stronger bond.

I continue.

“Did you know that Mama and Papa met in Israel? We were from different places, but we ended up working there together. That’s how God can bring people together from all around the world, people who are just right for each other.”

“Wasn’t Jesus from Israel?” Sashenka wondered, her almost-nine-year-old brow furrowed in thought. The girls were similar to Ozzie Freedman, trying to make sense of it all.

“Yes, He lived in Israel.” I acknowledged, anticipating more questions about Divine plan and intent….

“So when you were very, very young, did you see Him there?”

Talk about pause for thought-!

“Um, no, honey. He was before my time…” I say slowly.

Or was He?

Jesus the promised Messiah is for all time, and for all people. He is the creator of all individuals, and all families, coming to dwell with us, renew us, and make us whole. He is the therapist par excellence, the redeemer who will save us from our sins, and save us from ourselves.

I have a favorite song, one among many, for this time of year. Performed by the Trans Siberian Orchestra, its lyrics kept me going forward during several years of dark holidays when we felt we would never bring home Petya’s friend Pasha. Ensconced behind the high walls of a Dickensian institution, Russian officials felt he was unadoptable, an invalid-idiot to be relegated to the margins of mania. We saw none of their diagnoses and kept believing for our own Christmas miracle and homecoming of a child in which others could not believe. For four long years, we fought for the impossible, the Divine “Da” overruling the Russian bureaucratic “Nyet”. The past would be forgiven, the future be rewritten.

It is my prayer for you today: believe, and open your life to the realm of all things being possible!

Here are the words to “Anno Domine”:

“On this night of hope and salvation
One child lies embraced in a dream
Where each man regardless of station
On this night can now be redeemed

Where every man regardless of his nation
Ancestral relations
On this night the past can fly away

And that dream we’ve dreamed most
That every child is held close
On this night that dream won’t be betrayed

All as one
Raise your voices!
Raise your voices!
All as one
On this Christmas day!

All rejoice
Raise your voices!
Raise your voices!
All rejoice
Anno Domine!

On this night when no child’s forgotten
No dream sleeps where He cannot see
No man here is misbegotten
And this night’s dreams are still yet to be

Where every man regardless of his nation
Ancestral relations
On this night the past can fly away

And that dream we’ve dreamed most
That every child is held close
On this night that dream won’t be betrayed

All as one
Raise your voices!
Raise your voices!
All as one
On this Christmas day!

All rejoice
Raise your voices!
Raise your voices!
All rejoice
Anno Domine:  Play Song Here: 06-anno-domine

 

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