Rebekah Batterink and Sharina Mastrolacasa of Strathroy look through an album of their lives after coming to Canada from the Families for Children Ophanage in India. Batterink is planning a fundraiser for the group Oct. 23 in Wyoming.
Rebekah Batterink wants to help the people who helped her start her life in Canada.
The Wyoming woman was adopted from the Families for Children orphanage in India by Michelle and Hank Batterink in 1995 when she was just two and a half. Now she’s hosting a fundraiser for the orphanage which still takes care of unwanted children in India.
Batterink doesn’t remember anything about her former life in India but knows young pregnant women rejected by their families and boyfriends would come to Families for Children and leave their children behind. “At that time six to nine infants could come in one morning alone,” she says.
At the time, adopting children from India was easier. Now, Batterink says, the Indian government has cracked down on adoptions to foreign countries, changing the role of Families for Children. They now provide shelter for children, educate them and help “get kids back into society” with training.
Batterink says she is blessed t have been welcomed into the Batterink family and often thinks what life would have been like had she not come to Canada.
“A lot of the desire to do this is because I did think about if I had stayed in a home in India and what sort of life would I have?
“Then, there was not a lot of education and training,” says Batterink who is working on a degree in Christian Counselling.
“When I think about what it could have been for me not just the lifestyle…coming to the Batterink family I’ve come into a Christian family…my faith would not be part of me at all…I’m grateful I was adopted…still a very good home, but I wouldn’t have been able to come to this faith.”
And she says living in India would be completely different. “Even the young women there, the lives they live, they’re still not treated with respect…still a struggle for young women and girls.
“It would be a very different life.”
The fundraising dinner for Families for Children will be Oct. 23 at the Covenant Christian Church. Tickets are $25. The dinner starts at 6:30 pm and there will be musical entertainment and a silent auction.