When A Sponsor Becomes Family

When you find yourself wanting to help, but you just don't know how, sponsoring a vulnerable child's education is a great place to start! You never know where your sponsorship could lead...

My name is Julia, and me and my husband are French. We are the parents of two beautiful children that previously were fostered at Bethel.

Our personal sponsorship experience at Bethel is definitely connected to adoption! 

One evening in 2012, we saw the picture of a 9 year old little girl on Bethel's website and read about her. We weren't looking for a child to sponsor or adopt that day, but we both fell in love with her and were determined to make her our daughter. As we worked hard along the process to become her parents, we decided to be her sponsors. We were already sponsoring several children in Myanmar and had experienced the beauty of sponsorship in itself, especially as we got to go and meet these wonderful children several times. Open door after open door, our lovely sponsored girl became our wonderful daughter in 2014! In the meantime, sponsorship allowed us to follow our daughter's updates, celebrate her birthday but also get to know all the beautiful Bethel kids and the Bethel family as a whole. 

By that time, we had especially noticed a little boy who seemed close to our daughter and, although he was paper-ready for adoption, had not been chosen yet. We were touched by his special story and we started sponsoring him, soon deciding to try and make him part of our family. Again, the doors opened and in 2016 we traveled back to China with our daughter to make him our son and her little brother. 

During this second adoption trip, our daughter was able to visit with her best childhood friend from Bethel. She had kept thinking about him and was wondering about his life and about whether he could be adopted. We were not in a position to adopt him and decided as a family that we would become his sponsors. 

Sponsorship allowed our family to follow his updates, send him presents and also advocate and pray for him. We loved getting to know him and learn more about Bethel's City Life project located in downtown Beijing. One day, we learned that he had been matched to a family...who were also his sponsors! We rejoiced about this life-changing news and even more so when we realized that his family comes from the town where I had been an exchange student in America years ago, and that we even have a friend in common from my teenage years! Our children will definitely be able to keep in touch and sponsorship played a part in giving a deeper meaning to their friendship. 

Sponsoring a child at Bethel means financing a life-changing project for so many children. We know from the inside that Bethel gives visually impaired children a unique place where they can overcome a rough start and grow up showing the world how capable they are. Our story -like so many others- also tells that sponsorship is more than a small monthly financial transaction. It is about learning and receiving much more from these amazing kids. It is about making special bonds across the globe, thus creating a family surrounding these children -both individually and collectively- as they wait for their own family to find them.  

We have started sponsoring another Bethel child, Lizzie, a generous girl with an amazing smile. Lizzie comes from the same orphanage as our son and our daughter knows her well, too. We can't wait to follow her updates, advocate for her and witness what's in store for Lizzie’s future!

If you would like to learn more about Bethel Sponsorship, click here!