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Day 9 of 21 Day Challenge…

Yesterday I really loved sharing with you a little from our kids.  I pray you were able to get a sense of our family and how wonderful our 3 “big kids” are 🙂  So today I wanted to give Daddy a chance to share his thoughts as well.  I’m honored to introduce my guest writer today…my awesome hubby…Juan Benito.

Many people have asked me why we chose to adopt a child, especially since we have 3 biological children. And the follow up question was, “Why would you adopt a child with Down Syndrome?” I hope that I can answer some of those questions with this post and provide insight into the process thus far. First I will clarify that initially our goal was to be foster parents and if any of our foster kids ever came up for adoption then we would be willing to adopt.

I honestly believe that a child should always have a home and home should always be a safe place. I also believe that when the Bible says that we should care for orphans in James, that it means exactly that. Just because I believe that it doesn’t mean that it was simply to accept.

Prior to Jana joining our family, Jen and I had talked about foster care and adoption as something that we wanted to do. However, if you know me then you know that I am a very analytical person. I had a ton of fears that kept me from saying yes. I was worried about our finances, transportation, not having a big enough house, etc. How would we make things work? And to be honest I was comfortable with where we were as a family. I had it all planned out. Jaylen would be turning 18 in 10 years and Jen and I would have all our kids working, or in College, and we would be child free. So why would we start all over.

A few months ago our pastor was talking about how we make promises to help and do things for others but yet fail to act on those promises and at times fail to even do anything. So the challenge was simple; instead of promising to do everything, just do something. The next day I found myself talking to a social worker at work about how many local children were being placed out of county because they didn’t have enough homes to place the kids in local Foster homes. I decided then that I would do something! I would trust God! We (our family) would step out in faith and take care of all the things were within our control and get cleared to be Foster Parents and we would let God take care of the rest. I accepted the fact that God would provide and realized that my selfish desires was not a good enough reason to say no.

Our families desire was to provide a home for whatever child God placed in our care and to love them, for however long they were with us. Growing up I was blessed to have my best friends dad in my life. After a very difficult episode in my life I found myself feeling alone and honestly homeless. My best friends dad’s comment is something that I was never able to forget, “I can’t promise you the world but I can promise you a home”. So we set out to do the same thing. To provide a home and love for whatever child God placed with our family.

I will apologize in advance but because of our pending court case I am unable to provide specific details about our process at this point but I will do the best I can.

I was at work when Jen called me to inform me that our social worker had called to let her know that there was a 2 month old baby that needed a home and they felt we would be a good fit. However, there was a catch. Would we be willing to adopt her, and she had Down Syndrome. I can honestly say that my immediate answer was Yes! I don’t know why, it just was. 3 days later I held Jana for the first time and I knew immediately that we had made the right decision.

As I held her nothing else mattered. I didn’t see a foster child, I didn’t see Down Syndrome, I saw my daughter and I immediately fell in Love with her.

We have had Jana for 3 ½ months now and my love has only grown deeper and I have become the most overprotective father ever. Please understand that it has not always been easy. We have faced many obstacles. Some of those obstacles have been financial, personal fears, legal barriers and at times wanting to punch someone for making inappropriate comments. Despite all that we have faced and the unknown to come I would not change a thing. I cannot imagine our family without Jana in it. Jana has helped us to look beyond our self-centered perspective, our narrow view of life around us and she has helped us step out in faith.

Jen and I have gone to bed at times scared and praying about court dates, Dr’s appointments, assessments, transportation and finances. And God has answered and shown Himself to be faithful and true. That doesn’t mean that all of our prayers have been answered but all of our needs have been provided for and we have seen the Love of God through the actions of those around us.

Many have said that Jana is blessed to have us. Although their intentions are good they are so wrong. We have been and are very blessed to have her in our life. Jana has taught us so much about Life, Love and Faith and she has only been with us for 3 months. I am excited about what is to come and I am looking forward to seeing what God has in store for our beautiful baby girl.

In closing I want to say thank you. Thank you to all of you who have supported our family, have lifted us up in prayer and have loved our Jana.