Saturday, September 25, 2010

Miraculous Day

Today is Jana's 16th birthday. As I woke up this morning I was reminded of what great and wonderous deeds my savior did for me. He brought this beautiful girl to Brad and I just in the nick of time but of course always in his perfect time. We celebrated with a family dinner and were joined by two of Jana's Latvian friends.

I thank God for the miracles He performed so that she would have a forever family and we would have a daughter. He began this work long before I ever knew her name and I thank those of you who hosted her, prayed for her, and let her go so that she might be untited with us as He intended. We love her beyond words and know that our family and our life is enriched because she is in it.

Thank you all for your continued prayers as we continue this adoption journey.

I stand amazed in the presence
of Jesus the Nazarene,
and wonder how he could love me,
a sinner, condemned, unclean.
How marvelous! How wonderful!
And my song shall ever be:
How marvelous! How wonderful
is my Savior's love for me!

Phillipians 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I800 sent

Our I 800 has been submitted to USCIS and we are waiting on final approval. Once we get that we should be able to get our court date in Latvia.

Jana will turn 16 this Saturday. We are so excited that she is with us and we can celebrate together.She will have friends celebrate at the ice skating rink and then home for some cake and ice cream :)

We are enjoying out break and spending time catching up on much needed sleep. Brad wishes he was home too :)

Thank you all for your continued prayers.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Home Sweet Home

We have been home a week and we are finally recovering from jet lag. Jana started school Tuesday and is doing very well. She was so excited after school because so many people were so nice and helpful to her. We received our letter from the ministry yesterday and will be submitting our documents to USCIS as soon as our documents arrive back from our agency. We should be making our next trip in about 2 months.

We thank all of you for your prayers and your encouragement. He has used each of you to touch our life and the life of an orphan. We are praying for God's provision and sending out the following letter to friends and family. We covet your prayers and if God calls you to support us financially we thank you for your sacrifice on ours and Jana's behalf.

Dear Friends and Family 09/06/2010
It is with great joy that we share with you our plans of adopting another child into our family. Many of you have already been praying for us on this journey and we thank you for your prayers. For those who do not know, we are adopting a 15 year old girl from Latvia. Her name is Jana and we had the joy of hosting her this summer as part of New Horizons for Children orphan hosting program. When we agreed to host her we were told that it would be nearly impossible to complete all the required documents to get her adopted in time and that her window of opportunity for adoption was nearly closed. We prayed over this decision and God clearly impressed upon us that he was in control and we were to take a leap of faith. What man determined was impossible has been possible by the hand of God and we have just returned from our first of three adoption trips to Latvia.
This journey started in April when Brad and I began praying about the call to adopt again. We prayed for a clear sign as we knew financially it would be impossible to complete on our own. God answered our prayers with a huge sign (a car tag that said ADOPT pulled in front of our car the moment friends were asked to intercede on our behalf) and confirmed the desires he had placed in our hearts. After many weeks of prayer and meetings with our pastor we decided to try the orphan hosting program over the summer and see where God would lead us. As it turns out, He had a bit more accelerated plan than we had anticipated and in June we started the adoption process prior to Jana arriving for the hosting trip. Jana turns 16 in September and once an orphan turns 16 they are no longer eligible for adoption. We did not know how God was going to make this happen but we trusted his call and leaped in faith.
The biggest challenge for us is not opening our hearts and home to another child, but it is in finding the finances to make this happen. We estimate our total cost for adoption fees, document preparation, home study, airfare, travel, attorney fees, etc. to be $35,000 for Jana and more if we have the possibility of adopting her cousin. We are still waiting on the court’s decision regarding Izabella. That’s certainly money we don’t have, but we know God is faithful and is leading us to trust Him. We have borrowed as much as we can and have paid for nearly $20,000 with loans and gifts from friends. We are praying and trusting in God for His provision.
The Bible is clear that our responsibility is to take care of orphans and widows. For some of us it is through adoption and for others it is to support orphans through financial gifts. It is difficult for us to make our needs known but we also know that if we don’t we have not allowed others to partner with us in taking care of this particular orphan. We appreciate your friendship and the generous gifts we have already received for our orphan hosting. We ask that you pray and see how God is calling you to support us in His plan for Jana. There are two ways you can help:
1. Prayer: Your prayers for us already have been answered and God’s hand has been clearly guiding this process. Jana has been allowed to travel back to the US with us throughout the adoption process. We ask that you would cover her and our family in prayer. She will begin school tomorrow which is a source of anxiety for her. We also ask that you pray for the boys as they adjust to a new sister. We ask that you pray for our family that God will give us the wisdom, discernment and resources needed to care for Jana and bring her up in our Christian home.
2. Financial Support: Please consider making a tax deductible donation to help fund the remaining $15000.00 in adoption related expenses.
Lifesong ( has graciously set up a fundraising account for us to raise funds to help pay the “ransom” to bring Jana home permanently where she can grow and discover her own relationship with Jesus Christ. If you would like to be a part of God bringing Jana to Himself through our family, you can send your tax-deductible gift between now and November 1st to the address below. Lifesong is a trusted organization administering the funds on Jana’s behalf, and will pay adoption expenses out of funds received.
Please make checks payable to: Lifesong. You may preference how the donation might be used by writing “preference Benton#1475 adoption” in the memo section of your check.
(*Note: In following IRS guidelines, your donation is to Lifesong which retains full discretion and control over its use. You can also make donation online using Lifesong paypal account here and be sure to enter preference Benton#1475 Adoption.
Thank you for investing in the Kingdom through prayer and finances – it will be an investment with an eternal return! (Matt 6:20) We’ll give you an update with a picture of Jana and details as we receive them. Please pray this entire process will glorify God and fulfill His purposes!

Sincerely in God’s service,

Paula and Brad Benton

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Visa Appointment Done :)

Today we went to the Embassy and Jana had her visa appointment. All went well and we will pick up her passport tomorrow.

On the way home from the embassy we passed a donut shop which we had never seen before and so as soon as we returned to our hotel we journeyed to find donuts :) They were really good too. I had Boston creme and Jana had chocolate with cocoa krispies on top and Brad had chocolate covered with peanuts and we all had a hot drink.

The Hare Krishner's were out in large number today dancing and chanting down the streets. They attract much attention. How sad.

Tonight and tomorrow are suppose to be very stormy and windy so we may be couped up a bit.

Our friend Patty will likely come home from the hospital tomorrow. We thank you all for your prayers. God heard and it was his will to restore her health. Thank you God!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

1st Day of School in Latvia

Today was the first day of school for Latvian children. It is a neat day. The students all dress up in their best clothes. They bring their teachers flower(nice) and watch concerts and get books and then by lunch time they are headed home. The city was filled with teenagers hanging out and partying with their friends. Some drunk I might add sadly. Lots of police presence. It was very interesting to watch. I was expecting to go to town and it be empty but instead it was the busiest we have ever seen it.

We shopped at the central market today. There were some interesting things to be found. We walked for about 3 hours. Whew was I tired.

Now onto homeschooling :)