Tuesday

My Valentine's Gift (Announcement)

I think I've made it clear that I'm married to an amazing guy. Not only is he the bravest man I know, he's a quiet artist. He delights our kids with his unbelievable Play-Doh sculptures and pencil portraits and occasionally keeps himself awake in church sketching our pastor. (I never said he was perfect).

He has an eye for color and loves making things with his hands.

With a bit of copper, a dab of silver and more love than I deserve, he made this necklace for me for Valentine's Day--a big surprise:


The word Upendo in Swahili means love.

He made this sculpted African copper necklace in honor of my upcoming trip to Kenya.

We also hope in the future to sell these gorgeous handcrafted necklaces to help pay for.......


our future adoption.




122 comments:

Jennifer Eastland said...

Yay! You will love adoption...we have adopted four boys (and been blessed by a surprise pregnancy and birth of a daughter) and would go get more if we had more money! Congratulations!

Southern Gal said...

Congratulations! What an exciting adventure. Love the necklace, too.

dawn said...

wow. how exciting! congrats! The necklace is very special.

But Momma said...

Oh my goodness!! That is so awesome. Praying for ya'll!!!

Jessica said...

Very thoughtful and creative gift! Look forward to hearing about your adoption journey.

grace said...

When I was younger I ALWAYS wanted to go to kenya.
sounds like so much fun.

And adoption?! what a great time to start reading! I'm looking forward to the journey

grace said...

When I was younger I ALWAYS wanted to go to kenya.
sounds like so much fun.

And adoption?! what a great time to start reading! I'm looking forward to the journey

Emily said...

What a beautiful necklace! Your husband is very talented. Congrats also on your future adoption. Is this a recent decision?

Shealynn Benner said...

Your husband is amazing! What a priceless gift! Brought tears to my eyes. Congrats on the future adoption! That is fantastic!

Charity said...

Congratulations on your adoption decision! I am excited to read about your adoption journey, as my husband and myself are also considering adopting.

love said...

beautiful. all of it.

we have been forever changed by adoption and look forward to God revealing our next child, too.

i look forward to following your journey!!

amber @ classichousewife said...

Yay!!

I wondered if your kids' suggestion a while back was going to be taken to heart or not. ;)

So awesome to watch people work in our lives, isn't it??

Blessings!

Dawn said...

That is just awesome!!! Congrats.

Blessings upon you all!

To Think is to Create said...

It's so lovely, what a guy! I'm so happy for you and your news...wow. We have had adoption on our hearts, well before this last pregnancy and the loss of our baby, but even stronger now. I'm excited to see what God has in mind!

xoxo
Arianne

Wifeof1Momof4 said...

Congratulations! Adoption! Whohoo! The necklace is pretty too ...

I'm excited for you/ya'll. :)

Heather said...

That is a beautiful necklace!!
Congratulations on the decision to adopt!

I thought about sending the rest of this comment as an e-mail but there may be other readers of your blog who would benefit from the information.

I always recommend the book "When Love Is Not Enough" by Nancy Thomas to anyone considering adoption. I used to work in a Christian therapy center for children with attachment disorders - most of them had been adopted or were in foster care. It can be incredibly difficult for the adopting family to know how to deal with the issues that arise from attachment disorders.

Nancy Thomas is a Christian who has fostered and adopted many children who no one else would take because of severe attachment disorders. Because of their pasts, many children (though not all) who are in the position to need to be adopted are at a high risk of having an attachment disorder. Her book is a wonderful resource for helping a child through that and also for helping infants avoid it later in life. It is very eye opening! You can order the book through her website attachment.org and you will also find some great articles and other good information there.

I will be praying for your family as you make this big step!

Lori said...

Oh my goodness - how exciting! Count me in - he did a beautiful job. You've got a very special family.

Elizabeth said...

YOU'RE ADOPTING!? THAT IS AMAZING!!!!!!

Kingdom Mama said...

I just burst into tears!

It's beautiful...

ALL of it!!

Jenni R. said...

So excited for you and sobered at the journey you are endeavoring on (thinking of costs and time) seeing our friends go through this process.

Have you read Jill Savage's story of God's miraculous provision for their son's adoption? Amazing! She is the director of Hearts at Home--the story is on her blog.

Blessings to you and your family!

thediaperdiaries said...

So excited to go on this journey with you!! We plan to adopt our next child and can't wait to see what God has in store for us.

The Herd said...

Love the necklace and the cause behind it and future ones! Congrats!

Tamsyn said...

What a beautiful necklace! It is so special when someone makes something just for you.. so much love and thought. We would also love to adopt one day.. we are just waiting on God's timing for it. :o)

JenT said...

Wow that is awesome: both the necklace and the adoption news! Hope everything works out well for you guys.

Jennifer said...

Wow! How exciting! And the necklace is beautiful. He did a great job!

Staci said...

Gorgeous! I would certainly buy something like this. Can't wait for him to start selling.

apaprikao said...

What a beautiful and thoughtful gift from your husband! He is very talented!

Congratulations on your decision to adoption!!

ryleeandnoahsmom said...

I'm all giddy after reading of your intention to adopt!!! I guess your kiddos have been praying up a storm, huh? We just received word last Friday that we are now officially certified foster parents for the state of NY, so now we are just waiting on a call to have children placed with us. Our ultimate goal is to adopt several children through the system. It sounds like you and I are both starting a similar road. Any thoughts on whether you will adopt internationally or domestically? Perhaps you'll adopt and African orphan?

Blessings to you and your family for making such a wonderful, life changing decision. I know God must be smiling on you right now.

melanie said...

this is beautiful.
and your decision is as well.
I'm sure you've been through many hours of prayer and tears and excitement as you've searched for the wisdom that holds up this adoption.
Blessings and Prayers!

Tina said...

You're married to a real gem <3 (I am, too!).

Adoption! YAY!!

The Mommy said...

And now I'm crying! Congratulations!

Stephanie said...

Oh yay! I am rejoicing with you and can't wait to hear more. I love the necklace too. I'll be praying along with you for this new chapter.

Kim said...

What a wonderfully amazing gift! Keep us posted on selling them!

Good luck with the adoption! Can't wait to follow along on the journey!

mary beth said...

That is the sweetest thing ever! He is talented for sure! I have someone I would love to buy one of those necklaces for...can't wait! Thanks for sharing the journey with us...we are blessed to read how the Lord is leading you in this next chapter of life!

Olivia said...

Great necklace and yay for adoption! Our whole community has united in an adoption club of sorts. At some point in the future we hope to empty our county's foster system. I feel like adoption is a huge part of God's Kingdom plan!

Jelli Bean said...

So pretty, how thoughtful! I just love it when husbands do something unexpectedly sweet like this. Yes, you have a winner. And for the record, my husband (also involved in ministry) plays cell phone games or sudoku in church...otherwise he wanders out and chats with all the other ADD friends.

Bailey's Leaf said...

There are lots of fantastic children right here in the states that need homes. Right in your backyard, in fact! Our daughter is a domestic county adoption. She was cocaine positive at birth, born to a drug-addicted homeless prostitute. Our child is nothing less than a wonderful gift from God.

Prayers to you to be guided to the child that God has waiting for you.

Jennifer said...

Yea for the adoption decision!! It's an amazingly wonderful roller coaster ride! I'm wanting to start my 2nd adoption this year. I'm so excited to follow your journey! Best wishes!

Allie said...

Praise the Lord! That is so awesome! What a great family your future little one will be adopted into. Put me down for one of those necklaces too because they are beautiful.

mommieof4munchkins said...

I think you have yourself a keeper! That is such a beautiful necklace in more ways than one. Congrats on making the decision to adopt.

Robin said...

Whoa, what a way to unload your big news! Congratulations! I didn't know T was an artist. The necklace is beautiful.

Kendra said...

Oh my goodness! Congratulations - that is SO exciting and not what I expected as an announcement. Can't wait to hear more about him/her!
Kendra

Jen said...

what a beautiful creation, and so special!

Kelly said...

So exciting! Congrats!

nicole said...

Beautiful! All of it! Reading about so many others starting the adoption journey has planted a seed in my mind/heart, but I'm not sure what that will mean for us in the future. What a great gift you all will give and receive.

MelaKamin said...

congratulations! What a wonderful example of love and compassion you are setting for your children. And, what a great necklace - I have no doubt those would sell very well. What a gifted artist he is! Many blessings to you all.

Christie O. said...

how WONDERFULLY AWESOME! and how wonderfully awesome it is for you to share your wonderful gifts of faith and love with a child who so needs it. I have always wanted to adopt and I've been working on my husband on it (he's starting to come around). All my blessings and prayers to your family. xo

bridget {bake at 350} said...

Just amazing!

Kim said...

How exciting! Congratulations on your decision.

You are an inspiration to so many Kristen - keep up God's good work!

Lynn said...

What a wonderful surprise...both the necklace and the announcement. Amazing.

Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction said...

I discovered your blog via Bridget (Bake @ 350) and I love it... What a beautiful necklace!

Amy @ Finer Things said...

You are just full of {amazing} surprises! :)

imadramamama said...

How exciting!!!

Michelle said...

Congratulations, that's wonderful! I'm new to commenting, but enjoy reading about your adventures. We are praying about adopting in the near future. It's hard to be patient!

For anyone interested in adopting waiting children:

www.brittanyshope.org

They have spoken at our MOPs group. They're amazing!

Stef said...

that absolutely makes me want to cry - what a great husband!! And adoption - wow!! Great news!!

Amy @ Living Locurto said...

How exciting to be adopting!! Good for you:-)

oh amanda said...

*shiver* I'm so excited!!

Ryley @ That's My Family! said...

Oh congratulations!!!!!

I am so excited for you and to follow you on this journey. I will keep your family in my prayers! :)

Love the necklace..

Sarah@VintageChic said...

Congrats! That is exciting!

missy said...

how exciting! i feel so privileged to have experienced the miracle of child bearing through giving birth and adoption. love the necklace. can't wait to follow your journey as you turn the world upside down and your family is turned a little upside down for HIM (in a wonderful way) too! :)

NeverEnoughTime said...

woohoo!!!!

congrats!!!!!

Tammy said...

Beautiful!! He needs an Etsy shop...."THAT Man". ;-) And so excited about your future plans.

Surviving the Smiths said...

Yay kristen. Can't wait to follow this journey.

Jennifer said...

Perfect...

jennibell said...

Yea!!! Go to http://longingforafrica.blogspot.com/ and follow their journey!!! I "introduced" you to her a month or so ago. . .I know that you both could encourage each other through this process!!!! So exciting :)

Myra said...

I'm SO thrilled for you guys! We are incredibly interested in adoption...just waiting God's timing.

Ashleigh (Heart and Home) said...

Oh Kristen,no words... just chills and tears over here. So thrilled for you. Much love, friend.

Kimba said...

You're doing it!!!!!! WOW!

I'm so unbelievably excited for you, my friend. I actually have tears in my eyes.

Kim said...

Congrats - a very exciting time and a beautiful necklace!

Kristen said...

Oh my! How y'all bless me! We are still making decisions about the where and when, but there's such a peace in the knowing! Love y'all sooo much!

Erin said...

I am so excited for you!! Congrats! May your family continue to grow in His love.

Beth @ In Good Cents said...

Congratulations! That's beautiful. You will give that child a wonderful home!

Jamie~ said...

Oh, my goodness! I just got all misty eyed. God bless you all as you embark on this amazing journey!

Melanie said...

YAY!!!!! I am so happy for you! Tell us more :) (and your husband is such a sweetheart!) Praying for you!

julie said...

YEAAAAAAAAAAA! Sooo excited for you all! That necklace is very unique in the adoption fundrising world....we all want one! Are ya'll headed to Ethiopia, or are you going to try for Uganda or Rwanda?!?

Cathy said...

Oh my goodness!! That's awesome!

...just got goose pimples.

Cathy said...

...about the necklace AND the adoption!!

Cherie said...

The necklace is amazing!! What an amazing guy you have!!

Dawn said...

Wow! That is beautiful!! Our youth group sent 32 students & staff to Swaziland last summer. If you do "love" in Swati, I bet I know who you could sell a bunch of those to! Congratulations on the upcoming adoption too!

Brittany Amber said...

Hi! Tears welled up when I saw your Valentine's Day gift. What a sweet husband you have. You are blessed.
Also, I am thrilled to hear about your adoption. Wonderful! I wish everyone would adopt. I also hope to someday.

It Feels Like Chaos said...

Beautiful necklace! So excited about your adoption news!!! I know your sister went through it so you have a great resource there but if you have any questions, feel free to let me know - itfeelslikechaos@yahoo.com -- we are nearly to the waitlist phase on an Ethiopia adoption.

goofdad said...

Congratulations!

I look forward to reading your story as it unfolds. As a recent foster parent myself, I can tell you it will definately be an adventure!

Our Little Blessings said...

I look forward to hearing more about your adoption process! My friends adopted from Africa and there little ones are so precious.

We have adopted twice. Love, love my girls!!!

Chrissy said...

Those are beautiful! And I'll be praying for your future adoption!

Whitney said...

The necklace is gorgeous- and even more so because your husband made it. That is awesome. Congratulations on your future adoption!

LifeAtTheCircus.com said...

I am so excited for you! Insert squeal of delight when I read this on my reader. :-) Looking forward to following your journey!

And your hubby did a fantastic job on your gift... he is so thoughtful!

Lee said...

Ha ha! I knew this was coming. From the mouths of babes...

Dory said...

You are so incredibly blessed! But of course you knew that! :)

Amy@ MomsToolbox said...

Sweet and SWEET! I knew you were an amazing lady with an amazing family, and more than just THAT family! :)

Mollie said...

Precious, precious, precious. Love y'all!

Lora @ Motherhood Moments said...

Sweet gift and I'm so excited for your adoption adventure! I am very interested in adopting, but my husband isn't right now. I'm hoping someday God will change his heart about adoption and it will be a possibility for us!

Your Frugal Friend, Niki said...

Praise God!

I have such a heart for adoption, as my hubby and I are in the process ourselves.

I will pray for you and your new child.

:)

Marci @OvercomingBusy said...

What a fabulous story! Beautiful necklace. Thoughtful husband. Great announcement!

Kari said...

THAT family is now THAT CRAZY family:))) I'm soooo proud of your decision to adopt. It's the craziest, challenging, amazing, miraculous adventure!!! I SIMPLY LOVE the necklace your hubby made you.. I want one:)
Congrats Welch Family!!
xoxo

Jan said...

Nothing showed me God's grace more clearly than the adoption of our daughter- God Bless!

Ginger said...

That is beyond beautiful and beyond awesome.

So personally sweet.
Ginger

Suzy said...

Beautiful necklace, what a sweet husband, and CONGRATS with sugar on top about the adoption!!! That really makes my heart smile.

zeelandchick said...

Beautiful gifts--all of them: the necklace from your hubby, your marriage, your hearts, your blog, your service, your love to your family... Brings new meaning to your blog name. I think you should change it to We ARE that family!

Rachel said...

How beautiful! Praying for your adoption fund and your future child.

Kiki said...

Congratulations! I'm so excited for you.

And, I knew it! I read the title and remembered our conversation at the restaurant and just knew. Who can tell their kids, no we can't adopt?!

So excited to read about this journey!

Jennie said...

Turning "the world" upside down for Jesus is one thing--making it personal and turning your lives upside down is another. You're really showing your commitment and love--and I wish you all the very best! Awesome news. Good luck and God bless!

Amanda said...

Oh hooray! What a wonderful announcement!!!

em-jay said...

Congratulations! Exciting news!

Kelly said...

What a wonderful blessing your husband is to you and your whole family is to a precious child! I will be praying for your family during this journey!

ALVN of WhisperWood Cottage and Junkologie said...

So special! In so many ways!

Tiffany said...

Oh, what a wonderful blessing! Congratulations. I will be praying for you as you embark on this journey. The necklace is gorgeous! Your husband is so creative and thoughtful!

Rachelle said...

That's amazing! I'm so happy for you, Congratulations! :)

And, I love the necklace! :)

Rachelle

RLR said...

Congratulations!!! And the pendants are lovely!

Heather said...

What a meaningful gift. I "knew" it would only be a matter of time before you made that announcement ;) Congrats!

Jeanette said...

SO excited for you! Our church has an adoption ministry. It is called Open Hearts, Open Homes.

Here is their blog address if you are interested....

http://openheartsopenhomesministry.blogspot.com/

There is a family leaving tomorrow to pick up two new members of their family from Ethiopia.

Adoption is close to our hearts as 4 of our nephews have been adopted. It is a true emotional ride but worth every minute!!

Amy @ Raising Arrows said...

How wonderful! The necklace is just gorgeous! What a guy!
Blessings,
Amy

Jackie said...

How beautiful! Both the necklace and the fact that you will be adopting! Best of luck to you! Looking forward to following you on your blog through the process.

The Glamorous Life Association said...

I just choked on my coffee.
So shocked really.
But very happy for you!
And I love that necklace.
Sign me up for one k?

Elaine said...

Your necklace is amazing. Your husband is truly an artist. Congratulations on your decision to adopt. I look forward to following your journey.

Amy said...

Very exciting!! Congrats!! :)

Jill said...

Congratulations! Adoption is one of the best things we ever did! You can read our adoption God-story at http://www.jillsavage.org/2007/12/adoption.html. I hope it encourages you!

Marybeth at www.babygoodbuys.com said...

What a fantastic announcement! Congratulations!

Melissa R said...

Very exciting! Congratulations :)

Sarah said...

I just stopped by from TCB. I love your blog, but after reading this post I love it even more!!! We too are adopting. It's so exciting and scary. I'll keep you in our prayers. Feel free to stop by anytime!
God's blessings,
Sarah :D

Beth said...

I'm so happy for you...but not too suprised! I knew this is where God was leading you! I, too, have been thinking of this very thing for over a year and praying that my hubby gets on the same page!

BTW...love the necklace...good job on your hubby's part!!!

Yours hopefully thriving said...

How awesome that your kids have encouraged you into such a great work, we're hoping to foster/adopt further along the road of marriage (we're not even six months wed but adoption has been on my heart for many years). God's richest blessing son you and yours Kristen. May He bless you all in caring for His own.
Grainne

jen said...

Love the necklace . . . but I love the announcement more!