Friday, December 28, 2007

fourteen weeks waiting

This was our fourteenth week, otherwise know as 3 1/2 months, of waiting for our referral.
I'm still waiting for a response from our agency's (AWAA) Director of Programs. Because of the Christmas holiday, we were to direct questions to her. I'll let you know what I hear.
We are hoping and praying for good news in the beginning of the new year.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

We just made a birthday cake and sang the Happy Birthday song in honor of Jesus' birth. The cake topper, perfect I think, is part of the Fisher Price Little People nativity set. My friend Lisa got it for us. After all of the hooplah is over at your house, take a little time to celebrate the birth of our Saviour. Without him, there is no hooplah.
Thanks, Susan, for the hyperlink instructions. I have arrived! ;)

Frohe Weihnachten, Ya'll!

(That's Deutsch Texan for Merry Christmas One and All!) We are having a quiet day. We got back yesterday from a wonderful trip to Austria. Marshall got to snow board and I got to relax with a stack of books, hot tea, and BBC Prime (can you say What Not to Wear marathon?). So refreshing! Sophie and I played in the snow and I made a snow angel...yes, I'm 30 years old, but when there is that much snow, how can you resist? Pictures to follow.This is how we travel...Sophie on my lap. No kennel for this girl.
There's the world champion snow boarder!
This is our hotel/guesthouse. It was beautiful and comfortable with only 70 rooms. Nice and cozy.
This is me building up the courage to do my snow angel....
Sophie loved the snow...more each time we went out. I think her paws got used to the cold after a while and she ran and jumped and stuck her face in it. Fun to watch. Yes, she's wearing a pink coat. Now, don't think we're "those kind of people". She did not like it at first, but when you live in this climate, a pink heart quilted jacket is a must to go outside for extended periods. It really keeps her warm...thanks Mom! Our friends brought their pug Rambo and he sported a manly argyle sweater. Sophie loves Rambo.
I did it....I dove into the snow and waved my arms and legs....note to self: next time, lay down carefully (and not in jeans) as to not get snow up under my coat which results in a wet bottom....for a few hours.

On the adoption front: We hoped for at least a referral and some pictures of our children by now, but it was not to be. So we're holding on, praying and trying to, dare I say, enjoy the wait. I'm confident that the new year will bring some action our way. Some days it's easy to get frustrated and wonder why in the world we have to wait so long, but then I'm reminded that God is indeed in control. Now don't let that fool you...I am not a super woman without a care in the world. It can be overwhelming to be so in love with children on a different continent and no way to know who they are...yet. I think when all is said and done, we'll be able to look back and see at least some of the details of why we waited.

I'm dreaming of what next Christmas, Lord willing, will be like. No sleeping in for these Coens.

Merry Christmas! And remember....

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. Luke 8:11

I'm off to make our birthday cake for Jesus....more photos to come!

Friday, December 21, 2007

thirteen weeks waiting

That's 3 months and 1 week. Or how about 91 days. Whichever you prefer is fine with me.
This week did go by quickly. We had our last Bible study day for PWOC. We'll kick back off in January. It was a wonderful first half of the year.
Lots of referrals in blog world this week too. I spent my share of time reading stories of the "call" and rejoicing for these families from other agencies. I wish I could link you to their blogs, but I'm not that saavy....yet. I need to figure that one out. I've seen a lot of blog entries with hyperlinks and cool stuff like that. Give me a break people! I'm doing the best I can here. But I will work on my blog skills.
I'm also following a few families that are in Ethiopia picking up their children as I type. So much fun!!
I've emailed our agency (AWAA) and asked about our wait time. There is a PCS looming and I hope to get a better idea of the time frame we're looking at. Hopefully I'll get an answer and I'll let you know what that is. We said we would not get nervous about our referral until the New Year came without one. And the New Year without a referral is almost here.
Oh, we did find out where we're moving in May. Fort Bragg, North Carolina, here we come! We are both really excited and think it's going be a wonderful adventure in ministry. I've been picking the brains of friends that have lived there. It's hard to get good information about where to live, etc. from a web site. I have a good friend that lives there too, so I can't wait to be reunited...hi Jammie!!
I must get to bed. Thanks for checking in!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

jingle all the way

We got up early this morning and ran our community's Jingle Bell Jog. It was cold, but had to be done. I ran it the first year we were here, but Marshall was gone. Last year we did it together and this year I convinced him to run ahead of me (he's fast, I'm slow, but he's sweet enough to jog with me) and I ran with my friend Lisa Marie. She is in the picture with me below. Go Lisa Marie!! This was her first 5K and she did GREAT!
That's all for now. :)

Friday, December 14, 2007

twelve weeks waiting

Twelve weeks ago today, our dossier was mailed to Ethiopia. I can't believe that was 3 months ago! In some ways it has slowly inched by and in other ways it has flown by.
Yesterday we received news that four of the five families in the 3 Oct batch of referrals made it through court. Hopefully this means court dates for the 19 Oct referral group and new referrals to come soon.
I put in our tee shirt order last week, so those of you who ordered, they should be here in a few weeks. I'll promptly hand deliver to you or put them in the mail. I heard from the couple that is helping us with the venture and they are in Oklahoma...covered literally in ice. So it may add a week to the production of the tees. It's hard to print shirts with no electricity! Thanks for waiting so patiently!
So...twelve weeks closer to our children. Thanks for checking in!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

new look for the ark

You're at the right place...we just have a new look.

Ya'll I have to be honest.....I'm getting discouraged.....I've been getting discouraged. Feeling like there is no end in sight where the adoption is concerned. Just being honest. If I can't be honest on my own blog, where can I be?

I'm impatient and I admit it. I know God's timing is perfect. I really do. I just want to know who our children are and I want to get started being their mom. I feel like we're soooo close but sooooo far away from a referral and then a court date (lately the courts are backed up and many are having trouble getting through) and then an embassy date and then a travel date.

Lord, You are in charge of this journey...I want to enjoy it with You!

So in the midst of my pity party, I thought I'd be constructive and make over the blog. Hope you like it!

Ok, enough about me. Let's talk about the Lord and me.

I can't have a public pity party without also sharing how good God has been this year. He has kept me so close to Him, throughout each step we've taken. He's taken me to new levels in Him and I am grateful. I will always look back on 2007 as a year of such mercy, growth and change. May next year be even more exciting as we continue this journey together, me striving to be more like Jesus, and the Lord loving me just as much as He always has....even in the midst of an ugly pity party.

Friday, December 7, 2007

eleven weeks waiting

Eleven weeks under our belts and not sure how many more.

Praying today that the court appointments for the first group of 5 families went well. I'll update when I know.

We are now #9 on the main list as a family accepted a referral for a waiting group of 3 siblings. Praise the Lord for bringing this family together! Isn't this adoption stuff exciting?! I sure think so. I feel really privileged that God has called us on this journey.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Help stop this terrible disease!

Wow! We have so much! Stuff that is. I was talking with a good friend today about simplifying and then I came across this video.

Since returning from my missions trip to Ethiopia this summer, I find it hard to forget the everyday amenities and conveniences I enjoy. Brushing my teeth with clear, running water, directly from a faucet. Taking showers (without flip flops) that last entirely too long because the water is so wonderfully hot and clean. Walking barefoot in my home, not scared of what's on the floors. One towel for my head and one for my body. More food than two people can eat yet I find myself at the grocery store a lot because we have no food in the house (what?). Too many pairs of shoes to choose from every day. Standing in front of a closet jammed pack with clothes, saying that I have nothing to wear. Dusting a bookshelf with an entire shelf full of Bibles....what translation do you need? Carrying big sacks of plastic bottles out the the recycle bin because I've had a lot of fresh bottled water to drink, as if the water from the tap isn't good enough. Medical and dental care within walking distance. I could go on and on, but you get the picture.

We are so blessed with so much. So many don't have the very basics that we sometimes take for granted. Six months after the missions trip, I'm still trying to figure out what to do with that experience, with what I saw, heard, smelled and tasted. Praying the Lord will show me a tangible way to do SOMETHING meaningful for Him for His people.

Here is the Scripture I took away from Ethiopia:

Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom He promised those who love Him? James 2:5

And here is something for us to wrestle with:

Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead." James 2:15-17

And and:

"The King will reply, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." Matthew 24:40

I believe the Bible makes it clear that we are called to tangible ministry to others. Hope you'll chew on this with me....

Sunday, December 2, 2007

ANY news? We'll take it!

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life." Proverbs 13:12

So we did get some news last week. Sounds like we shouldn't jump every time the phone rings for a while. I'm not totally complaining because I said before that any news would be good, as long as we knew something about what was going on. So...

Two sets of familes (5 each) got referrals in October. The first set has a court date on 7 December. The agency won't ask for a court date for the second group until the first group successfully goes through court. They won't be giving any more referrals until both groups get through court.

At least we know, that's all I keep thinking. Sure, I'd love to see my kids' faces before Christmas and jump on a plane to meet them. But we can relax and trust the Lord that our time is coming.

Let's pray for the families that do have pictures of their children and want so badly to get through this last step. I hope December 7 is a day of rejoicing and another court date will be quickly set for the next group.

Also pray for the families that are soooo close to referrals, as well as those who feel so far away from their glorious phone call.

We're number 10 on the list (but there are several "lines": single child, siblings, unrelated, unspecified gender, etc). We feel so very close to seeing those sweet faces.

My heart is a little sick, but I know this wait it worth it. And the way the Lord is piecing this all together will just get Him more glory. I'm all for that!

As always, we ask you to pray for the Coen kids and their parents who are waiting expectantly to love them with all of their hearts.....and then some.