I believe that I have the best and most wonderful friends anyone could ask for! My wonderful friends Julie Sliger and Hannah Kelly have decided that they are going to do private photo sessions to help raise money for our adoption! These two ladies are the most creative people I know and they are very talented at photography! Please check out Julie Sligers blog for detailed information! http://thememphissligers.blogspot.com/
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Kevin and I have been blessed with such a wonderful response of support by God's people since we have announced our plans to adopt a child from the Congo. We are delighted that people have committed to pray for us and support us financially through this adoption process. God continues to confirm His Will through our daily lives. I rejoice in God’s faithfulness and love towards His children. Scripture proves over and over that God IS faithful and God IS Love. From the beginning of mankind, God had a plan. His plan was not thrown together at the last moment because He saw that something needed to be done to save mankind. God is the Alpha and Omega, who was, and is, and is to come (Revelation 1:8). We see at the very beginning of scripture in Genesis 3:15 that God’s plan was to send a Savior. Sending Jesus to save sinful man was God’s Plan A.
Rescuing and saving our precious little one is our Plan A. When we view our adoption through the lens of the Gospel then we see that this is something God has had planned for us all along. God has orchestrated the events in our lives to point us towards His will for us to adopt a child. Although those events have been difficult and heart breaking at times, we have learned so much more about God’s love, comfort, and faithfulness then we ever would if our plans had worked out as we saw they would go. We feel absolutely privileged to be part of God’s Plan A. Please continue to pray for God’s provision during this process. We deeply appreciate your support and prayers as we work towards bringing Baby Weldon home.
Monday, October 24, 2011
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! God has been so faithful to us! Our Adoption Open House was Thursday, October 20th. We had a great turnout of over 70 people. The support was overwhelming. I had the opportunity to present the what, when, where, and how of our adoption process. It was very touching to be able to share our desires and longings with a group of supporting people. The presentation, which we videoed and hope to make available soon, centered around how our adoption of children displays God’s adoption of us as children. As Debbie and I grow to learn more about the adoption process, we are really growing to know our Lord better. His adoption of us was so costly! Imagine, the life of His Son to adopt us! Why wouldn't we be willing to adopt a precious young one into our family?
Our guests were so gracious and wonderful!
Going into the Open House, our adoption account was right around $400. A small portion of the $5000 we needed to get started ($2900 agency fee & $2000 home study fee). We prayed for God to provide and He is faithful in answering our prayers! At the Open House, we sold a few fair trade items, t-shirts, and buttons along with accepting donations.
Fair Trade Gifts Table
When all was said and done, we raised over $800, bringing our total fund to $1200+. Well in the days following, the donations kept coming in and today we are thrilled to say the our adoption checking balance is now at $3400! We have enough to send in our initial agency payment! We still have a long way to go in our fundraising efforts, but this is a small step in bringing home baby Weldon. Like I said before...Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Thanks for all your support!
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Since Debbie and I announced our plans to adopt from the DRC, we have been overwhelmed with kind responses. Some have congratulated us as if the baby were already here. Many have promised to pray diligently and support us faithfully throughout the process. A few, and this fills our hearts with joy, have even began to consider adopting a little one into their own family! Most of the responses have been very positive, but many people still ask the question “Why?”. Now, they don’t always ask this with words. Sometimes they ask with their tone of voice or facial expression, but they ask it all the same. It’s an understandable question. Why are you adopting? Is there something wrong physically preventing you from having kids? Why Africa? Are you crazy? All of these questions are legit, and yes, we just might be crazy! Questions like these are one reason we wanted to have an Adoption Open House early on in the process. This Thursday night at Gum Springs Baptist Church, we will try to answer these questions and give everyone the details on how God is leading us. Until then, here is part of our thought process.
|Supplies and decorations for the Open House! Buttons will be given to those who are willing to donate!|
Ephesians 5:1 “Be imitators of God”
When I became a Christian, one of the first verses I was pointed toward was Ephesians 5:1. There scripture says, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.” I memorized this verse and thought about it over and over in my mind. From my spiritual infancy, I knew that God wanted me to be more like Him. So I started with what I knew about God, and then I tried to obey. The idea of imitating God is not foreign to us. We know that we should be more like Jesus. This is God’s goal for our life; to conform us the image of His Son (see Romans 8:29). Ephesians 5:1 has always maintained a special place in my life. God is holy, so I want to be holy. Jesus loved, so I want to love. Jesus forgave, so I want to forgive. And so on. In the past two years, Debbie and I have walked through some difficult times. God has used these difficulties to build our character, strengthen our marriage, and teach us about faith. God is in the habit of using suffering to sanctify us! (see Romans 5:3-4, James 1:1-2). He has also been revealing more of His heart to us by teaching us about Holiness and Redemption. God is holy, so we want our lives to be full of holiness. God is also redemptive, so we want our lives to be a living example of how God rescues the lost. God being Holy and Redemptive is what makes the Gospel so amazing! We also want our lives to be a picture of God’s redemption.
|Congolese children eating in the orphanage.|
John 14:18 “I will not leave you as orphans”
Another verse has become very special to us and it is eternally linked to Ephesians 5:1. This verse is John 14:18, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” Now if you go and read some adoption blogs, you are going to see this verse plastered everywhere. We are not the only couple that has been melted by the display of love found in John 14:18, and I think that is a good thing. It means we are not crazy! We are not out of context. Jesus spoke these words directly from the heart of God and it resonates with His people. Jesus said these words to His disciples just when they needed to hear it. In the previous chapter, Jesus told His disciples that He was leaving them and where He went, they could not follow. Jesus was going to the cross to die, to the grave to be resurrected, to heaven to return again victorious. The disciples did not fully understand everything Jesus was going to accomplish for them, but they did understand one thing...He was leaving them! They were going to be alone. Jesus spoke love and hope into their situation with a promise, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you”. Through Jesus, God promised not to leave His children alone, confused, fatherless, hopeless, and lost. God is growing Debbie and I to see that being an imitator of God means not leaving little children alone, confused, fatherless, hopeless, and lost. God has gone to great lengths to rescue us, free us from the curse of sin, and make us his children. God’s rescue of us was costly and extravagant. We want to be wiling to go to extravagant lengths to rescue a child (or children) in need, no matter the cost. A child is worth it! Our God is worth it!
“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world” - James 1:27
Monday, October 10, 2011
This weekend was our youth girls lock in with 32 girls in attendance! We had such a fun time dancing, playing games, and doing girly things! When I pulled into the church and I saw all these students standing outside I thought “Why are all these people at the church?” I had no earthly idea that we would have such a great turn out for this event. Needless to say I felt a little overwhelmed! Thank the Lord for Godly women willing to give up a Friday night to spend time with these young ladies.
Our pastor’s wife, Christy McCosh, gave a short devotional on being a girl that is set apart for Christ. Everyone was very attentive and willing to take a break from all their activities to listen to her devo. Afterwards, I had an opportunity to talk to a couple of young girls about my relationship with Jesus. Kevin and I have learned that so many of our students genuinely want to live for Jesus but they are bombarded by so many difficult influences that it is hard to choose Christ everyday. I told these girls that Kevin and I truly believe that Christ is worth it. If I didn’t believe that Christ was worth it then I wouldn’t have spent the last 7 years of my life serving the youth at Gum Springs!
My heart is overflowing with gratitude for Christ’s love for me as his child. We live our lives with gratitude and thankfulness that Jesus gave his life for us. He rescued me and redeemed me when I was far from Him. God continually reminds me of his provision and mercy through our circumstances. Since we have announced our plans to adopt from the Congo we have had an awesome response of support and encouragement from our friends, family, and church. We are truly excited to see how God works this all out for His glory. Romans 8:28 says, “All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Praise the Lord that we have this promise! Jesus is always worth our time, our love, and our whole lives!
Beautiful Young Women that attended our Lock In!
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Last weekend Kevin and I decided that we needed to unplug from our normal life to pray for God’s provision and guidance about adopting. Kevin booked a cabin in Pigeon Forge and we hopped in the car after I got off work and we were off to our mountain retreat. God’s peace and blessing flowed freely during our prayer time and devotions. Our cabin was completely secluded and the weather was absolutely beautiful! Let me tell ya, Fall is my FAVORITE time of year! Kevin and I were able to sit on our cabin’s front porch and fill out Children of All Nation’s adoption application for the Democratic Republic of the Congo. As we clicked from page to page of this application we prayed for God’s favor and wisdom as we completed each question. Once we clicked "submit" we were submitting not only to our adoption agency's requirements, but we were letting go of any notion of our plans and submitting to God's plans! The Bible says in Jeremiah 29:11 that God knows the plans He has for us! God has a plan for Kevin and Debbie Weldon as well as that little helpless orphan on the other side of the world. It will be such a glorious day when our paths unite us as a family forever by His grace.
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
What led us to Adoption….
Kevin and I have always discussed adoption as something that we would desire to do sometime in our future. I believe that we may have even talked about adoption on one of our “getting to know” you dates. Being a wife and a mother has always been the calling that I believe Christ has given me. In fact, on one of those “getting to know you” dates I actually told Kevin that I wanted to be a wife and a mother when he asked about what I wanted to do in life. I thought that I scared the living daylights out of that poor man. Instead, the statement that I thought scared him actually made him realize that he wanted to pursue me. Now here we are 7 ½ years later getting ready to embark on our next journey in life. Adopting a child!
Kevin and I have had the strongest desire to be parents for over 2 years now. This desire has caused us to pray much about what God's plan is for our family. We have always had such a deep desire to raise children to glorify and love the Lord. There have been some medical issues that have thus far prevented us from having biological children. We have certainly felt at a loss for what to do many times over the past couple years. Last November, Kevin and I discussed what our next step in life should be. Adoption kept coming up in our conversations. We teach our youth group students 3 questions to ask themselves when they are facing a decision. Those questions are, “Does this glorify God?, Does this make me look more like Jesus? And Does this help others see God’s truth?” We took our own advice and applied those same questions to our situation. No matter how we examined adoption we kept seeing that it continually lined up with God’s truth in scripture.
As Christians, we all have our own adoption story. It is a beautiful story of how our loving God adopted us as his children. We are all adopted by Christ Jesus. We were orphans destined for death but Jesus chose us to be his children and he placed us in His family. Ephesians 1:5 says, “He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will.” Oh, the beauty of the Gospel. Praise the Lord for the kind intention of his will! We greatly desire to adopt a child into our home and life just as Christ has done for us. There are 143 million orphans in the world. Children who are designed and created in the image of God are left homeless and helpless. Kevin and I desire to make that number One Less! One less hurting. One less hungry. One less fatherless. One less unloved. God will make us a family forever by grace!