Sunday, December 14, 2014

Tent Streching

"Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes."

It's been a while since we posted...Zeke is more fun than working on our blog.  We are still waiting for the finalization of Zeke's adoption (which is why we aren't allowed to post pics yet, but hopefully in the next few months).  If there is one word that could describe the last 10 months of our lives it would be JOY.  Zeke is an absolute joy and delight.  Sarah Young says this in regards to Abraham and Sarah, "[They] had to wait many years for the fulfillment of [God's] promise, a son.  How their long wait intensified their enjoyment of this child!"  We're thankful we didn't have to wait as long as they did, but even in our 7+ years of waiting we find ourselves experiencing the same intense joy.  Children TRULY are a blessing from the Lord.

Zeke is now 10 months old and we feel God's stirring us to "enlarge the place of our tent" (to begin the adoption process again).  We've secretly been having this conversation since the day after we brought Zeke home.   The beginning stages of adoption are like any new endeavor; more unknowns than knowns and more questions than answers.   The few things we do know are the following:
  • God is calling us to adopt again
  • He's leading us to adopt from South Africa
  • We will work with Bethany Christian Services
  • Our child will most likely be 1-3 years old
  • This will be a 2-3 year process
  • Upon referral we will be in South Africa for 5-6 weeks (w/ Zeke)
  • God will PROVIDE again for every need!
Again we find ourselves at a place where God has to come through because we cannot do this on our own.  We look at the task before us and are COMPLETELY UNABLE to accomplish this on our own.  As with the last adoption, we find ourselves stepping out in faith knowing that if God isn't in this, it simply won't happen.  We are encouraged by the words "what is impossible with men is possible with God" (Luke 18:27) and by the facts that the Lord cares for the orphans and He funds what He favors.  This actually isn't about Kat and Isaiah building a larger's about the Lord being glorified and ultimately showing a picture of the way He went through great lengths and paid a great price to bring humanity into His family.  Now that we have Zeke we know that NO PRICE is TOO GREAT, no paperwork is too cumbersome, no wait is too long, and we would do it all over again to have him as our son.  If we, as faulty humans, can love this much, how much greater is the Father's perfect love for us, His children!?

 So we would love your prayers for the next steps:
  • Second application
  • Home-study
  • Raising funds ($40,000-$44,000)
  • The birth mom
  • Protection for our child in the midst of their circumstances
Our community has been so consistent in caring for us and being so generous...we're SO thankful and overwhelmed by your love.  Be on the lookout for the new South African Minus One logo, new t-shirts, and more opportunities to support and pray. 

With much love and great anticipation,
The Whelpleys

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Shouts of Joy

This is the first time we are writing a post as parents!  Let us just say it one more time, “THIS IS THE FIRST TIME WE WRITE AS PARENTS!”  Wow...

Tuesday, February 18, 2014, we became Ezekiel Jackson’s parents.  It will forever be known as his “Gotcha Day”.  There are so many things we want to share right now but those things will have to wait since we are soaking up as much Zeke time as possible.  For now we will just give a few updates:

  • Amazing Grace Adoptions made Tuesday so special for us.  They videoed the moment we first laid eyes on him, had a time of prayer and a small ceremony, and walked us through pages of documents to sign with much love and excitement for for our new family (all the while Zeke slept in our arms).
  • Yesterday we took Ezekiel to a doctors appointment (btw...the way we found our pediatrician was such a divine appt.) and after looking him over, the exact words out of her mouth were, “He’s perfect!”  Glad we aren’t the only ones who think so! :)
  • We also went for our first family walk around our neighborhood.  It was the warmest day we’ve had in months.
  • Today, he had his first blow-out, followed by his first bath and a little photo shoot.
  • Right now he’s snoozin‘ away and has been a DREAM for us!!  Both nights he has only woken up twice to feed and went straight back to sleep. 
  • We are loving EVERY moment of this!

We have been so overwhelmed at the Lord’s provision in this whole process especially in the past two days.  Our community has surrounded us in every step of this adoption but recently they have by cleaning dirty dishes (the day before we got Zeke), taking our car to be cleaned, dropping off meals, diapers and clothes, and any other item we might need (i.e. toilet paper...thank you Dietz’).  We are overwhelmed with gratitude by your generosity!  

This morning Isaiah fed Zeke while Kat looked through her Bible finding places she wrote any notes about this adoption.  We were amazed as we read through them (mostly in Psalms).  We came across this particular verse from Psalm 126:5-6 that has been a constant tide of truth and encouragement through our journey.  It says, “Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall come home (with Ezekiel and) SHOUTS OF JOY...!”

The moment he was in our arms all the tears and years of longing faded into overflowing JOY!  We cannot wait to share our boy’s sweet face with the world, but that will have to wait until the adoption is finalized.  We so appreciate your continued prayers and support as we adjust to our “new normal”. Thank you for being part of the puzzle in making our family complete.

Love to you all,
The Whelpleys

Monday, February 17, 2014


The Lord has been gracious to provide... a phrase that we believe has marked our adoption journey.  It is with GREAT JOY and an OVERWHELMING sense of AWE that we share the following news...

Saturday evening we received a call from our adoption agency telling us about a little boy in need of placement.  The agency director began to tell us the story of OUR SON.  We listened eagerly and felt a peace that he was the one we’ve been waiting for.  We were asked to take some time praying through the situation, in which we completely agreed.  We were absolutely shocked, excited, terrified, and at peace all at the same time.  That night we prayed, telling no one but our Father, and as we did, that peace remained.  Before going to bed we prayed that the Lord would make it clear if this precious boy would be our son and specifically asked God to give us a dream to confirm this.  Well God is faithful to answer the prayers of His children...that night Isaiah had a dream of God stamping (much like in a court case stamping approved) the word “PROVISION”.  He felt God was saying this is my way of providing.  In the morning we looked up names that meant “the Lord will provide” and wouldn’t you guess a name came together that we would never have expected...

So this Tuesday we have the privilege of bringing our son home: Ezekiel Jackson (which together means: the Lord has been gracious to provide).  God has ordered each step in this long process and we marvel at His careful attention to details (i.e. flooding of our house a month ago and everything being finished and put back into place literally 10 minutes before we got the call:)).  

We have been overwhelmed by the community God has surrounded us with and we are SO EXCITED to add Ezekiel into the mix.

We covet your prayers as we adjust to loving, nurturing, and caring for our new son!  Although we cannot wait for you all to see him, we will not be able to post pictures over email or internet until the adoption is finalized. 

With grateful hearts,
The Whelpleys