“Culturally, we need New Beginnings. We need more New Beginnings,” declared Ryan Dobson, keynote speaker of New Beginnings 2016 Celebration of Adoption.
The night began much like past events, but the atmosphere held more anticipation. Perhaps the anticipation came from the attendance of Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant and his wife, Deborah. Or perhaps it came from the sell-out crowd’s waiting to hear Ryan Dobson, best selling author and son of Dr. James Dobson.
Masters of Ceremonies Lauren Steward and Matt Laubhan kicked off the night by introducing New Beginnings latest video “Adoption is Missions” followed by remarks from Gov. Bryant, who praised the work of New Beginnings and stressed the importance of caring for the children of Mississippi.
“There are no accidents,” he said, “there’s only love.”
New Beginnings and adoption is love for the children around the world who need forever families. However, the work of New Beginnings and Celebration of Adoption would not exist without the faithfulness of Rev. Stephen and Dr. Evelyn Drury. Tom Velie, President of New Beginnings, presented the 2016 Adoption Service Award to the Drurys, founders of New Beginnings
“I never imagined sitting at that old typewriter what this would become,” Dr. Drury said as she accepted the award.
Rev. Drury reminisced about how New Beginnings started with a cardboard box and old typewriter in a building near the Tupelo airport. He commended the work of Tom Velie to whom God has given a passion for adoption and New Beginnings.
Following the presentation of the Adoption Service Award, Kent Elliot, Pastor and a member of the New Beginnings Board of Directors, introduced the Dr. Evelyn Drury Endowment Fund for the Anna Grace Farmer Adoption Center. The fund will ensure the center is maintained so birthmothers and adoptive families have a comfortable, safe place to come. The fund also opens naming rights to specific rooms within the center.
As guests finished their dinner, Ryan Dobson took the stage, speaking about his family’s experience with adoption. In the experience of adoption there’s both a birthmother and an adoptive family who have experienced hurt and grief.
“In Romans 8:28 the Bible says ‘all things’ and it means ‘all things’,” Dobson stressed. “He can take your pain and grief and turn it into something good.”
As he talked about the moral relativism of our current teaching, he also wove in stories of his life growing up as the son of James Dobson and of raising his own two children. Eventually turning the conversation back to New Beginnings and its work.
“They are saving lives in China. They are saving lives here,” he said, “not just temporarily, but eternally.”
And that message, Adoption is Missions, sums up not only Celebration of Adoption 2016, but the theme of New Beginnings and its work.