Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Why Adopt...The Bennett Family
How did we come to the decision to adopt from Guatemala, or internationally for that matter? I could sum up my answer in one word: HOPE. Just as God calls His servants to serve in different fields and locations, He calls His people to care for orphans in different ways. We felt called to bring one of the fatherless into our lives to care for as one of our own. For those He calls to adopt, He calls each family to meet a need in different ways. This gives me great HOPE for the staggering numbers of orphans in the world! If we were all called to adopt from one country, children elsewhere would be without HOPE. I so am thankful that there are families called to foster and risk opening their hearts to children, even if it is only for a short time. I see families that are called to adopt domestically as one of our greatest deterrents to abortion in this country!
As a family, we are confident in our calling to be serving the body of Christ locally. We have been asked about one day serving as missionaries abroad, and our response is that God has given us a passion for the people in the Midwest and until He changes that, this is where we will serve. With that said, He still gives us a desire to see other people groups come to know Him. We pray for and support others who are called to other countries. We saw our adoption as a way to spread the Gospel to another people group that we were not currently reaching out to.
Why Guatemala? I had first started thinking about adoption when I heard stories of families adopting from China. After some research, I learned that we would not qualify to adopt from China for another two years, putting our youngest children at least four years apart, probably more. We felt that an adopted child would feel closer to our family if there was not such a big age gap. So, the search was on again. Daniel and I went on a mission trip to Spain in October of 2006 and developed a love for the Spanish speaking culture. This helped us narrow the world down even further. After the Lord ordained a meeting between a family that had adopted from an orphanage in Guatemala and our family, the adoption committee at our church began pursuing a mission trip to this orphanage in Guatemala. We met with the family again and gained a vision for the serving opportunities at the orphanage. The mother told us stories of the dozen or so families that were currently adopting from there from their church. This one church was sending families, at that time, almost every month to bring home or visit a child. Their family had even traveled together to work at the orphanage after their adoption was complete. As we first were considering starting an adoption ministry at our church, I heard stories mentioned about how churches were coming together to clear out entire orphanages. That church seemed to have the same vision!
Daniel and I quickly saw that this would be a great way for our family to minister long-term to this people group, not just our daughter. We can reach this beautiful place by just driving three hours and then a quick four hour plane ride, followed by a couple hours commuting from Guatemala City to the orphanage in the mountains…a relatively short journey given the size of the world. We are grieved about how Guatemala is now closed to adoption, but continue to pray and support the fatherless in that country. He has a perfect plan for each of those children.
Our daughter, Ellie, has been a God-ordained addition to our family. The challenges are not always as delightful as her little dimples, but the Lord has been gracious to us and taught us so much through this precious child. Ellie is a joy and ever-present picture of our own spiritual adoption!