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.


  1. 6


    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

  2. 7


    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

  3. 11


    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!!

  4. 14


    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!


  5. 16


    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 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!

  6. 20


    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!

  7. 23


    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)

  8. 28


    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.

  9. 29


    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!

  10. 33


    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!

  11. 34


    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!

  12. 35


    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!

  13. 36


    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.

  14. 37


    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.

  15. 38


    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!

  16. 39


    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.

  17. 42


    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!

  18. 45


    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.

  19. 46


    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.

  20. 47


    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

  21. 54


    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:

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

  22. 60


    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! :)

  23. 75


    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?!?

  24. 79


    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!

  25. 80


    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.

  26. 82



    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!

  27. 91


    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!

  28. 92

    Nicole says

    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.


  29. 94


    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!!

  30. 98

    zeelandchick says

    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!

  31. 100


    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!

  32. 101


    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!

  33. 104


    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!

  34. 106


    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!

  35. 110


    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….

    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!!

  36. 114


    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.

  37. 116

    Elaine says

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

  38. 121


    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 😀

  39. 122


    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!!!

  40. 123


    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.

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