Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Why We Are Adopting

This one's a little lengthy, but there's not really a good place to stop and break it into two parts...

It's been a little humorous the past week or so.  Most people who know us really well, knew that we were eventually going to adopt - so our announcement that we'd started the process was no surprise to them.  But to some...we definitely got that, "Huh? Are you crazy? Don't you have kids?" look.  Some people even squirmed a little, not really knowing what to say - and that's fine.  But between the looks, awkward body language, and sometimes outright saying it, people wanted to know why.  Well, my friends, I would love to tell you...

When I was about 12ish years old, I watched the movie Free Willy - you remember it, the one with the foster child who spray painted graffiti at SeaWorld and then became incredibly attached to the giant whale while doing community service?  Besides the fact that I just "aged" myself...that was when it clicked for me that there were kids without parents.  "Annie" became real to me in that moment, too.  I remember at this time in my life taking my first mission trip to an inner city, and finding that not every child - even those with parents - had the same loving, stable home and family I did.  And I couldn't believe there really were kids without a mom and dad at all.  It just didn't seem fair in my pre-teen mind.  So I decided then that I would do something to change that.  I would adopt someday, when I got older.

Fast forward several years and this desire never changed...I would adopt a child.  The love for at-risk children deepened and grew within my heart as I got older.  I went into social work to change the world for these kids. 

I met my husband my senior year of college.  We'd been dating a few months and we both knew that this relationship had a big potential to really go somewhere.  It was time for us to talk about where it might go and make sure we were on the same page as to how to get there.  I had only a few non-negotiables for a husband: 1) He would love me with as great a love that my dad had for me; 2) He would be a man who followed Christ and would lead our family in the same way; and 3) He would adopt. 

I already knew numbers 1 and 2 had been met, but we hadn't discussed the third one.  It was time, though, because I knew in my heart of hearts I could not marry a man who was not open to adoption.  So I said, "I'm going to adopt a child some day.  Are you in or are you out?" He wanted to know why - could I not have kids?  I told him as far as I knew, there wouldn't be any problems with me giving birth to children. And then he sat there and looked at me.  I could tell he was thinking.  I almost started to get a sinking feeling because I really, really liked him and thought he was amazingly handsome...but I was prepared to walk away.

Then he says to me, "You know...I've absolutely never thought about it.  But sitting here, I can't think of a single reason why we couldn't.  Or shouldn't."  Sorry, ladies...this amazingly handsome, godly man who sees no reason not to take care of fatherless children is mine forever and ever...

The desire for adoption grew and grew in our hearts and we waited patiently for many years.  We were waiting on God's timing because all things work so much better in His time.  (Hear me repeating that to myself right now????)  We had Anna Beth in 08 and sweet Lynnsie totally surprised us in 09.  In January 2011, we both knew it was time to grow our family, but we were really praying for get pregnant or start our adoption.  We started researching the original adoption route we had, which was foster care (another time, another blog post).  About 3 weeks into our research, I got a "sinus infection" that upset my stomach.  Enter Creek and the answer that we needed.  In September of that year, I held my sweet boy.

Finally, finally, FINALLY we knew that this was the time to start.  Our kids understand that there are boys and girls who don't have a mommy and a daddy and they've asked us, "Why don't we just bring them here so we can be their family?"  Yes, girls, YES!!!

Up until a couple of years ago, though, I just felt like this was the "right" thing to do - it made sense and would make things right for at least one child.  But then through several conversations with friends and as my relationship with Christ grew and I really began to see what Scripture says about orphaned children...I knew that the desire in my heart was not just to make things right for a child, it was a special calling God had placed on my life and on Jacob's life.  Don't get me wrong, I still think it's just the right thing to do, that it just makes sense...if there's a problem or a crisis with an obvious solution, well...But it is also so much more than for us.  It is how He would have us to respond to these precious, vulnerable, fatherless children. 

So essentially, it went from a response to Free Willy/Annie to obedience to God.

So, yes - we have our "own" kids...their names are Anna Beth, Lynnsie, Creek and one in Colombia who has a name and face that I don't know, yet.  But he is mine.  My son.  My child.  I am his mommy.

And, yes, - I am crazy.  And what makes me crazy is that there are children who go to bed at night with no one to tuck them in.  And there babies who don't cry anymore because they are only 1 of dozens of babies in a room, sometimes multiple babies to a crib, whose cries went unheard so they stopped.  And it makes me crazy that there are children who belong to the government.  The government!!!  Because no one else has claimed them as their own.

So, that's how we got here.  And we're so happy to finally be here.  And please....please....if you have questions...we want you to ask.  We want you to know. We want you to be comfortable talking to us because we need you to talk to us about it.  Because when you ask about it and talk to us about it, we know that you care.  And we know that you're with us...

Monday, January 28, 2013

About That Minivan...

It looks like its gonna be time to soon join the minivan club soon. Why? Because last week I went to the post office and...

I've waited many years for this, knowing for a very long time that is one way that God would grow our family. We are excited and I am, at times, fighting the urge to freak out.

Our kids are excited. We've already seen that they have a love for fatherless children and shown us that it makes complete sense to them to bring home a little boy who doesn't have a mommy or daddy. They talk about him often. And that makes me happy.

We are adopting internationally, from the country of Colombia...more about that later. We should hear from the agency in the next week about the next step in this process...and it's gonna be a long one. We probably won't have to get that minivan for about 2 years.

We beg you for your prayers...


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Praying Over Green Beans

We had a heartbreaking tragedy occur in our town this past week involving a very young child...a baby, actually. The family that this tragedy happened to lives next door to a couple in our "out of this world amazing" Sunday School class.

After learning about this incident, emails began going back and forth among class members asking what could we do, what they needed, how could we help and so on. It was finally determined after talking with the family, that they needed a large meal, enough for 20 people, tonight to feed the extended family who was in town for the funeral services.

Anytime we do something to reach out and love on others, I look for ways to get the kids involved. I truly believe that in order to teach them and to help them grow a servant's heart, we have to start early. They are like little sponges when yet are small, soaking everything up.

So for this broken hearted family, we signed up to take a green bean casserole. I let the girls pour stuff in, stir the ingredients, and scrape the last bits from the mixing bowl into the baking dish. During this time, I explained to them a little bit about what we were doing...taking food to a family who was really sad and really needed to be loved right now.

They wanted to know how we knew them and were a little confused when I told them that we didn't know them, but someone else knew them and told us they needed love. I want them to see and know that as Christians, we are to love everyone. We are to reach out to everyone.

That's what the church is supposed to be. It's what it's supposed to look like. It's a picture of true Christianity...loving others in Jesus' name. Reaching out to the broken hearted even if we don't know their names. Taking them something as simple as a green bean casserole. It's what, as a mommy, I want my kids to know and understand and live out every single day.

But we didn't take them the casserole just so I could have a teaching moment with my kids, we did it because they needed it and because that is how Christ would have us to respond.

Please pray for this family. I can only imagine how broke hearted they are...

Saturday, January 26, 2013

My First Project(s)!!!!

Y'all I did my first "project"! It's a simple one and, yes, it does look like I cut and sewed my fabric upside down, but I still did it!

I actually had the fabric right, but as I was sewing it together ... with the fabric cut right side up, I messed up, so the front had to become the back making the fabric look upside down. I can admit my mistakes.

The best advice I've been given over and over in learning this machine is to not be afraid of it and pick some simple projects to do that will help me learn. I found the cutest fabric scrap buster project on Pinterest where you make letters out of fabric scraps.

So I pulled out the scraps and grabbed the wooden "C" off of the end of our cabinet, traced, cut, stacked, pinned, sewed, and trimmed. Super easy! It took me about 30 minutes from start to finish and I very proud myself in the end!! Perfect? Far from it. Completed? Yep.

Afterwards, I even practiced a little free handed appliqué. My machine does appliqués but I don't have any backing or adhesive yet to put in the hoop and let it go to town. I am loving this!!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Insta Friday

Sew much fun this week with getting Charlie, having jammies time, walked along a swampy boardwalk, Creek continued to eat us out of house and home, and Anna Beth completely melted my heart when she said, "Mommy, my friend gave me some change at school today. I want to use it for orphans.". She is so my kid! There was also another big thing that happened, but didn't make it to Instagram or the blog yet, but stay tuned :)

Happy Friday, my friends!

Sew Crafty...

  Y'all, I am so pumped!! Last Tuesday, I got a sewing machine.  Then I took it back on Friday night.  Then I ordered the REAL one that I had wanted in the first place...a sewing and monogramming machine.  Yay!! Have I mentioned I only recently learned how to sew on a button with just a needle and thread? Yeah, that's only happened in the past year or so... Anyway, I was a little intimidated at first, but then I just dug right into the box and started playing around with it. 

I am not lying when I say that I immediately texted this picture to my mom and friend and said, "I sewed a straight line!"
I even tried out a couple of the different styles of stitching...

Then I laid this scrap fabric on top of each other and sewed it together...and it stayed together!!!

Would this be like a hem?  Or something??? Either way it was straight and it was sewn together!

Then I just had a little fun and did a swirly thingy...
The possibilities are endless, my friends.  ENDLESS!!! Let the sewing games begin in 3...2...1!!!

Monday, January 21, 2013


Hi.  I'm Charlie.  I'm the newest Coleman.

I make Anna Beth smile a lot, especially when I chase her.

I'm pretty cute.

Sometimes Creek steps on my face,
but I don't mind because I'm pretty laid back.

Lynnsie's a little nervous around me and she'll only barely touch
 my toe or ear if I'm asleep, but I'm sure we'll be great friends someday soon.

I like it here.  They even gave me my own
shoe to chew on and play with whenever I want.

I think I'll keep this family.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Insta Friday...What a week!!

Fun filled week this past week!! AB got fancy for the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Creek proclaimed the need for a beach vacation with his adorable shirt, Lynns was sweet as ever, especially as she loved on Creek!! The girls got a hunting lesson, I'm convinced ABs love for the piano is as great as mine, toe socks rock, Jacob's awesome, and hopefully I have a new hobby!! Happy Friday, y'all!!!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Where Memories Are Made & Milk is Spilled

  I love my kitchen table. Before we moved into our house, Jacob rigged up some ropes in order to lower it down from this "loft" area in his grandparents shed. It was quite the show!! It's rectangular and has room for guests.
  But it's more than just a table to eat around. It has history. It was once a part of Jacob's family and served as the kitchen table for him. When my parents house burned, his parents graciously opened their storage shed and told them to use anything they needed. So for a while, it served as the kitchen table for my family. And now, it serves as our kitchen table. It's pretty cool that way.
  Growing up, family meals were a big deal. We always, and I mean always, ate together as a family. No distractions. It was the same time every night and it meant we were all together. I grew up knowing that family meals were important and it was something I wanted to continue when I had a family. Thanks, mom and dad :) Family meals were important for Jacob's family, too, and he had the same desire for our family meals that I did. Thanks, Dale and Gaye :)
  But our table has more than history, it has memories and memories in the making and stories to share.
  Like the fun crafts that I do with the girls...and the evidence left behind. I could probably scrub it off real good, but where's the fun that? It gives it character.

  And the time AB practiced her letters...with a sharpie. Just in case I forget how to write my ABC's...

  Lots of yummy meals have been consumed here...

  It holds times when, no matter the disagreement we've had, Jacob and I have been forced to sit across from each other and, without fail, one of us will catch the other's eye and conflict melts away as we remember that we're a team, with the same goal of raising our kids and leading our family in God's will, and just how much we love each other.
  It's a place where we've been reminded of our many blessings and of God's provision for us.


  It holds so many funny stories about the kids that I really can't even begin to write about them.
I love our table and all the things that are stored in the wood that its made of... except the crumbs that I cannot get out of the cracks that separate each section. Yeah, those kinda gross me out.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Insta Friday

Coffee, sweetness, and the Bible. Here's our week in pictures. Happy Friday, y'all!