Note: This post is from 2007. We are no longer adopting, as Guatemalan adoptions were closed at then end of that year, and as of 2012, have still not reopened.
Below is a support letter I sent out to people on our mailing list.
Dear Friends and Family,
We are writing to let you know of our latest joy—we are expecting our fourth little girl! No, Wendy is not pregnant. We are adopting from Guatemala. Due to the current process of adopting from Guatemala, we are hoping to bring Arianna home in mid to late 2008. Since we will get her when she is between six to nine months old, she will probably be born this spring, which means her biological mother has only recently discovered that she is pregnant.
You may be wondering why we are adopting from Guatemala at this time with all the upheaval going on in their government and since we already have three girls. The simple answer is that we are following God’s leading in our lives. Wendy and I have always wanted to adopt, and about three years ago, we started looking around for options. Through a series of circumstances (“tiny miracles”), it became clear that we should adopt from Guatemala. Factors such as the duration of the required trips, our annual income, the desperate needs of the children there, and our love for Guatemalan culture were factors in our decision.
The children of Guatemala are living in desperate despair and a nightmare of devastating poverty. Many are simply surviving off of other people’s trash, while some turn to crime. Girls especially are vulnerable to the sex trade and abusive situations. As in many countries in the world, girls are considered by family members to be less worthy of life and respect than are boys.
To make matters worse, Guatemala’s economic and health care system leaves mothers with no option but to give up their babies. Many children are abandoned in the garbage dumps or jungles while others are simply left on the streets to die.
God has put it on our hearts to make a difference in the life of one of these Guatemalan children, and we are thrilled about this call. Our conviction is that adoption is one way we can live out our call as Christians to “look after orphans and widows in their distress” (James 1:27). Jesus said that he who “receives a little child in my name receives me” (Matthew 18:5). This doesn’t mean all are called to adopt a child into their homes. There are so many ways to respond to these callings of God. But at this time, we feel God is calling us to respond in this tangible way. We all know that children are a gift from God (Psalm 127:3), and we cannot wait to receive our fourth gift from the Lord.
We began the process about four months ago by looking for an adoption agency. All God’s Children International stood out above the rest because they have an orphanage in Guatemala that is not your typical orphanage. They care for each child as it were their own (see www.hannahshopeguatemala.org)
Once we had an agency, we began the paperwork and have now completed our dossier and home study. As hard as this process has been, we still feel the hardest thing has been to realize that we can only bring home one child…for now. But great joy was found in the fact that $5000 of the cost goes to help all the children in the orphanage.
Because of the long paperwork process, and the way things can quickly go haywire, we ask you to pray with us and for us during these next few months. With your prayers, we can all be involved in bringing Arianna home. This is one way you can make a difference in a child’s life that might otherwise have been left in the jungle to die.
To help you pray for us, we have enclosed a prayer card to put on your fridge, in your Bible, or tape to your bathroom mirror so that you can remember us and join with us in this journey God has blessed us with. Once you’ve finished this letter and found the prayer card, we ask that you read and pray through the prayer card right away. We believe your prayers will be heard and honored by a loving God who is the strong defender of the fatherless and will take up their case (Proverbs 23:11).
As you have probably guessed, the process is not free. It will cost us somewhere in the vicinity of $35,000 to adopt from Guatemala. Yes, we cringed too. But then God allowed us to see it from His perspective. First, He owns everything, and makes what He owns available to us for our use when we do what He asks. Second, how can we put a price on the life of a child? Third, it is when we are weakest that God steps in to show His strength so that He might be glorified (1 Corinthians 1:26-29).
Note: The rest of this post contained fundraising information, which I have removed.