Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Merry Christmas to Us!!

I had an entirely different post swirling around in my head for today - but then we got a little early Christmas present, so, you know - obviously I have to share!! And now I can't even remember what the first one was going to be about!! Ha

I got a call from our social worker this morning and our dossier has been


Write it down on the timeline and celebrate because Colombia says "Yes, we believe you would be good parents to a child from our country.  We'll just let you hop on the 'ole waiting list for a bit!"

Y'all, this is a huge step.  We sent a large stack of official documents and evaluations and more personal information that I can't remember to Colombia on October 1...about 10 weeks ago.

The "timeline" given is about 2-3 months for dossier approval once you've submitted it.  However, in the past several months a LOT of changes have been taking place with Colombia adoptions and their process.  The biggest one - international families can only adopt children from their waiting child list...no biggie for us because that's the route we were already on.  

Colombia then began asking follow up questions to dossier's that were submitted. "Tell me more about what doctor your child will see..."; "How have you specifically prepared for...."; etc, etc.  They just added a little extra in their screening process.  However, this little extra step can push back approval by 6 - 8 weeks.  Their questions have to be translated to us, we have to answer, our answers have to be translated and submitted, someone has to get back around to looking at our answers.  Slow-moving, I tell you.  So, instead of a 2-3 month wait for approval, some families were waiting close to 6 months...I know some that have waited longer than that.  

So....2 weeks ago Beth told me that they did have a follow up question for us - "How did we know we were prepared/could handle the medical special needs we had listed in our dossier?"  She had already written a reply for this question and had our in-country attorney review it before receiving the official request for more information.  Well, because our in-country dude is stellar...he just sent it on.  ICBF read it, said "Oh, okay.  Yes, they are ready/know what they're getting into/whatever the actual words were....they're APPROVED!"

Fast forward to this morning - which we did not know the above conversations between in-country dude and ICBF had taken place already - Beth calls me.  She didn't share the above conversation with us because she wanted to know for SURE. We're just chatting a minute and talking about Christmas plans (y'all, this girl cares about us as people...as a real family, with hearts and issues and love and all of that - couldn't recommend a better adoption agency than Lifeline if you're considering it because while she is a one of a kind social worker....they're all awesome up there!) and then she says, "Well, do you want a Christmas present today?"
Honestly, I thought "How sweet, they probably send their families a little something for Christmas."
But I said, "Yes!!"
She said, "Your dossier's APPROVED!"


And then I cried.  And I think she cried a little, too.  And my kids were running around pouring water into their cups of goldfish while wearing their jammies and/or a princess dress with high heels. But, whatever, I tell ya!!

So - Colombia says we're fit parents.  Thank you, hard-working-on-behalf-of-fatherless-children-in-Colombia officials.  Thank you so very much for this tremendous Christmas present :)

The really cool God-thing....ICBF shuts down about this time each year for a month surrounding the holidays.  Since we hadn't heard anything from them - we were very much expecting approval to at least be in mid-late January!! God can do anything and I love that about Him - among many other things :)

We were homestudy approved on my birthday, dossier approved for Christmas...I'm just gonna go ahead and put "My kid" on my Mother's Day wish list....

What happens now...
we keep waiting.

For how long...
dunno know.

What are we waiting for....
an official match with our kid.

Can I give you a guesstimate...
3-6 months from now, but we're not holding tight to that.

Then what....
we wait some more.

How long...
3/4 more months-ish.

we GO GET HIM!!!!!!

Merry Christmas!!

Monday, December 16, 2013

What Love Is This....

This weekend, my family had the honor of sharing our testimony for Advent during our church's worship service.  When Maggie, our children's ministry director, first asked me if we would - I may have teared up a little...or a lot.  Being able to share about our adoption journey and glorify God and all that He has done just about makes my heart explode with joy.  Our family stood together in front of the church and this is what we said...

In January of this year our family started the journey of adoption.  It’s a journey that will lead us to a little boy in Colombia, South America….you might’ve heard of it J

It has been a long year full of home study interviews and paperwork.  Our family has been so blessed by all of the encouragement we have received from our family, church, and friends.  Watching God provide close to $15,000 to our family in less than 6 months was nothing short of miraculous. We continually stand in awe of all that He has done not only for us, but in us this past year.

We are now in the agonizing part of this journey where all we can do is wait – we wait for approval from Colombia and then we wait to find out just exactly who our son is.

About 2 months ago, we thought the wait was over.  Our social worker presented us with the file and picture of a precious 2 ½ year old little boy.  Almost immediately – we said ‘Yes! We want to be his mommy and daddy.”  We believed we had found our son and it was so sweet to look into his eyes.  We promised him love and a family – two things he had not had in his short little life.

A few days later, we found out that we would not be able to adopt this sweet boy.  There had been miscommunication between the Colombian government and our adoption agency.  Our family rejoices for this sweet boy – he couldn’t be ours because he was already being adopted by another family.

But our hearts were broken…crushed under a weight of grief that we could not explain.  We had been told to guard our hearts and not fall in love too quickly, but you can’t commit to being child’s mommy and daddy without loving them with the full force that comes from a parent’s heart.

But even in the midst of that experience and knowing that it could happen again, we have felt peace.

-    A peace that surpasses all understanding.
-    A peace that tells us to stay with God, to remember who He is, 
to trust in His plan, to know what He is for
-         A peace that comforts our broken hearts
-        A peace that we ask God to surround our son with at this very moment
It is the peace that came to this earth on the night Jesus was born.

Luke 2:11-14
“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying. “Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace and good will toward men.”

Even though Jacob and I were both terrified to be up there, speaking into a microphone, it was very special for us and our children...who wanted to know why they didn't get a turn to talk in the microphone =)

But then the most special part happened....

After the service, a beautiful young woman came up to me and called me by name.  She said she wanted to briefly tell me her story.  She said her mother brought her home from Honduras 31 years ago.  She said she was not the first, second, or third child her mother had tried to bring home.  She said her mother's heart was broken and her journey was tough - but she knew that God had ordained her mother to be her mommy.  She encouraged me in that God knows who our son is and that He has the big and perfect plan, no matter how painful it is.  She said her song for her mother is "What Love Is This"...which is one of my all time favorites.  

What love is this, that you gave your life for me
And made a way for me to know you
And I confess you're always enough for me you're all I need

This song is written about the love Christ has for us in that He laid down his life to make a way for us to be in a relationship with Him.  She said, "You know...my mom did that.  She laid her heart down for me over and over again so that I could be hers.  Hang in there, you will get to the son God has chosen for you."

I couldn't thank her enough for her encouragement and for sharing her beautiful story with me.  

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Apparent Project - A Win/Win Fundraiser


I am so incredibly excited about this last fundraiser for 2013.
The Apparent Project is absolutely wonderful.
In an effort to prevent children from becoming orphans due to poverty,
The Apparent Project teams up with local mothers and fathers in Haiti.
These men and women create beautiful, handmade bracelets.
The Apparent Project then purchases these upcycled bracelets from the artists,
giving them the ability to provide for the basic needs of their children...
food, clean water, clothes, shelter, education...
things most of us take for granted every single day.

The Apparent Project's passion...

"Our name reflects our passion: We want to see Haitian families stay together. Skill development and employment addresses the needs of families before they are at the point of desperation, driven to give their children to an orphanage because of exteme poverty. After all, the vast majority of Haiti's "orphans" have not been orphaned by parental deaths, earthquakes, hurricanes, or floods, but are children of living parents who gave them up simply because they knew that an orphange could feed their child. Lagging adoptions, overcrowding, and lack of accountability has made many orphanages less than adequate homes for children, who often develop severe emotional problems such as reactive attachment disorder. This is why we think of our artisans' guild as an "un-orphanage." We are finding creative ways for Haitians to be self-employed so that they can take care of their own children with dignity and joy."

This fundraiser is a total win/win situation.
When you purchase one of these beautiful pieces of jewelry, you are helping 2 families.
You are helping one family overcome extreme poverty and STAY TOGETHER! You are helping


However, as we all know, there are children who could not stay with their families, like our son.
And there are families who are adopting these children, like our family.
Purchasing a bracelet also helps to bring our son home to us, forever!

The bracelets are $8...$4 to the artists to keep their family together and $4 to the adoptive family to help with expenses.

Each bracelet comes with a tag featuring the actual artist who made the bracelet and his or her story.


Each bracelet is multi-colored, beautifully crafted and upcycled from cereal and cracker boxes, oil drums, and trash paper.

These bracelets would make great teacher gifts, Christmas presents, stocking stuffers...
or a "just because I want one because they're so pretty" gift to yourself!

To order:
Click the "Coleman Adoption Fund" - PayPal "Donate" button to the right.  In the comments section, please enter how many bracelets you want and the address to mail them to.

Send me an email at:
jmalcoleman at gmail dot com

Find me on Facebook and shoot me a message

Or if you see me at church or around town, let me know and I can meet up with you!

Shipping is 50 CENTS per bracelet.

Thank you so much for considering a bracelet as an amazing Christmas gift! You're gift will not only be to the person you love - but also to the mother or father who created the bracelet, their children, our son, and our family.

Merry Christmas!!