Now that we are ending the homestudy phase, we are entering the waiting and preparing stage. Our church encourages those who are adopting to contact friends and family for prayer and an opportunity to be involved in helping financially. Before deciding to adopt ourselves, Whitney and I were excited to be able to help other couples bring children into their home.
Donations to couples adopting are tax-deductible. Those who wish to contribute can make checks out to Bethany Baptist Church. Don't write our name on the actual check, but include it somewhere in the envelope. Any funds we raise in excess of what we need will be used for other couples in the process of adopting. Checks can be sent to:
Bethany Baptist Church
7229 N. Knoxville Ave.
Peoria, IL 61614
Here's a copy of the letter we are sending out.
February 18, 2007
Dear Family and Friends,
Dear Family and Friends,
In the Spring of 2005, in my role as Family Pastor at Bethany Baptist Church, I began noticing that God was using foster parents in our church to reach children with the gospel in an amazing way. As I was struck by the effectiveness of a ministry that brought children into Christian homes, I tried to think of ways that our church could start a ministry that would encourage families to become foster parents. While I was thinking this through, Andy Lehman with Life International contacted our church to see if he could meet with us to discuss his ministry. In June 2005 we met and Andy shared his vision for partnering with Bethany to begin an adoption ministry.
Originally, God called Whitney and I to help other families in the process of adoption and foster parenting by coming alongside of them. “Open Hearts, Open Homes,” Bethany’s adoption and foster ministry began in the spring of 2006. As I presented the ministry to others in our church, I was surprised at how the Lord had already been working in the hearts of His people to do His work. We held several well-attended informational meetings and started a Bible study with nine couples. The study lasted ten weeks and by its conclusion five of the couples were in the process of adopting. Of the remaining four, two have already adopted and were providing mentoring for the class and the remaining two are fairly confident that they will begin the process of adopting soon. In just a few months, about $35,000 has been donated.
As Whitney and I went through the Bible study, several things happened. First, we became more aware of the need for Christians to step forward and care for these little ones. Second, we began to see the fulfillment of the vision to have people from Bethany bringing young ones from all over the country and the world into their homes to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ. Finally, God showed us how we might be able to adopt ourselves.
All this to say: We’re expecting…to adopt! Recently, as “Open Hearts, Open Homes,” began planning a mission trip to an orphanage in Guatemala, Whitney and I saw God calling us to adopt a little girl through this orphanage. We are excited about this ministry and can not wait to see what God is going to do in our lives, the lives of people in our church, the lives of our current children, and especially in the life of our future little one.
Originally, the exciting part of “Open Hearts, Open Homes” was that it allowed us to come alongside others who were in the process of adopting and be a part of bringing a little one into a Christian home. If this sounds exciting to you as well, prayerfully consider how God might have you involved in this ministry. We are estimating that the adoption costs will be between $25-30,000.Perhaps He would have you pray for us, or financially support us, or even work in your church to meet the needs of little ones.
By His Grace,
Daniel, Whitney, Hannah, Austin, and Noah Bennett