"If I were to ask God why He lets poverty and injustice exist, why there are so many orphans and why He does nothing about it, I am SURE He would ask me the same ..."

author unknown

About Us

My name is Jessica and my dear sweet hubby is Kelly. We have three beautiful girls, big sis and little sis plus our newest little baby sis :) Welcome to our site where we will blog about our journey to grow our family through adoption in Africa.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Fingerprints

So, after a 2 and a half month wait for our fingerprint appointment, we finally got the go ahead! Go figure, it was scheduled for the busiest month of the year and the busiest week of this month. We took all three girls with us and left bright and early on Monday morning. Our appointment was for the office in Charleston, so I thought it would be fun for us all to go and then to do something fun while we were there. I really wanted to go see some historical sites since it goes right along with our history this year, but the weather was cold and rainy, yuk!

So, we made it to the USCIS at right about 11:30am, we were barely there for 15 minutes, in and out and fingerprinted. The girls were very well behaived, but they were a little disappointed that they couldn't actually watch us be fingerprinted.
No cameras allowed inside, but we snagged a picture in the regular building area.

So after a long car ride where mom made them do school work, we headed to the SC Aquarium for an afternoon of fun.  We got to see a sea turtle (the highlight for mom!)



 And the kids got to see Scuba Clause, so cool!  Later, he even had some elf helpers join him....



Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

From the Cote Family!  We are so blessed and thankful to our Saviour today for humbling Himself, leaving His throne and joining us her on earth as a baby, of all things!  



Christmas Card 2011

Click above to see our Christmas video!




Sunday, November 13, 2011

Okay, let's get it out in the open, I'm a terrible blogger. Haven't been here to actually write in forever. Several reasons for that...one, let's face it, I have a crawling eight month old (she's been doing that for two months) and two older ones in need of an education...that in itself is enough reason to not see me on here too much. The second reason, back in August, I attending a Encounter weekend at my church. We were supposed to fast for several days leading up to the weekend, but I being the breastfeeding mom and all could not safely fast from food decided to fast from computer. I stepped back from everything Facebook, blogs and emails for the week and it was very eye opening. I realized that too much of my time was being sucked in. Some of it was even good stuff, not just mindless Facebook. I read a couple blogs of really wonderful Christian women, but I realized that week that it was too much time on the computer and not enough in my Bible and not enough time with my kids. Even good thinks like Christian adoption blogs can become idols...ahem. So there you have it. A few reasons you might not see me around as much.

One more small reason, okay, so it's not so small....I'm feeling a little raw when it comes to all things adoption. I feel like we are dragging our feet, but not really meaning to do so. We keep trying to move forward and can't seem to. I know, vague...

Here's a solid example I can give you, I sent in our I-600a (fancy numbers for our application to be fingerprinted by the FBI) back at the end of September, we still don't have a fingerprint appointment...what is up with that?!!

Need another?....my sweet hubby had a great idea to have a golf tournament as a fundraiser....yeah, not so much. We had a wonderful couple at church help us get prizes, we tried to advertise, we had very little response and then we had to change venues at the last minute. Now we are thinking it would be best to wait till after Christmas and when it warms up towards sping. To say we are disappointed is an understatement.

My best friend said the other day that she was starting to really think that both of our adoptions weren't just about the adoptions, but about the journey. I think she's dead on. It's about the journey Kelly is on, the journey I'm on...sheesh, literally as I am writing this, it dawns on me...my blog, that I named in a giddy new adopting mom state is called Our Journey to Africa! Even a year and seven months ago, God already knew that it wasn't about bringing a baby home, but so much more. It is the journey that we are on in the process.

It's been painful, it's been scary, it's been overwhelming, it's been joyfull, it's been awe-inspiring, it's been humbling,

and it has taken a lot longer that I thought or planned.

Honestly, some days I wish I could go back to being blind. Blind to the things beyond my narrow, middle class, church-going, homeschooled little world. I wish I could go back to drinking coffee or eating chocolate without the knowledge that I now have of the injustice that goes on just so we can enjoy these seemingly simple things. I wish I could nurse my baby in peace without anguishing over what the babies in "the bottom" of my own town are eating.

Pruning hurts.

But if I want fruit in my life, I have to let Him prune.

Honestly, most days, I'd rather not.

What am I learning in all this?

Specifically tonight, I'm learning that His promises are true, He will not change his mind. He will give my dreams wings and I shouldn't have to force open the doors to get there. I am learning surrender and not be afraid. To say your will Lord.

"Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you."
1 Chr. 28:20

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Trot to Adopt

Register now for our 5K Run/1M Family Walk and spread the word.  PLEASE choose our family when you register to run/walk.  Thanks so much!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Save the Dates!

So, more info to come, but wanted to let you know of two events we are involved with.

First, we will be hosting the Cote Family Scramble, Driving Caleb Home (our very own golf tournament!) That will be held on November 19th at the Gordon Lakes Golf Club.

Second, January 28th will be the second ever Trot to Adopt.  A 5K run and family 1 mile walk.  We are participating along with 3 other families, each of us signing up runners/walkers to raise money to bring our babies home!

Please mark these on your calendars and PLEASE walk/run for our family in January!!! ;-)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Great Couple of Days!

No time for real blogging, but the last three days have been great ones!

Sunday, my oldest sweet girl was baptized!  Both girls told me several months ago that they had asked Jesus into their hearts, what a blessed momma I am.  Big Sis has been talking about being baptized and this Sunday we finally went with it.  She is the one I struggle with the most, I can't wait to watch God work amazing things in her life.  Her heart is as big as they come.

Monday, in my hands, fresh from the mail....THE FINISHED HOMESTUDY!!!!!!
I went into overdrive adoption paperwork mode last night, so much I can now finish up with this wonderful piece of the puzzle finished!  Little boy, your momma wishes you were here NOW, but I'm comin' as fast as I can.

Today, Tuesday Sept. 27th, my sweet niece was born.  Just three hours ago.  We have prayed for this little life for years and then for very different reasons we have prayed for her over the past months and weeks.  She comes into this very broken world, with her life, very different than it should be.  But, today and in a week (physically), I will be praying over her for God to do a miracle in her mother's life and then in her life.  In Jesus's name I claim this sweet girl for His Kingdom.  What God has planned, the enemy is trying to snatch away and turn into evil.  I will not stand by and idly watch, no I will not.  I am an aunt for the first time for real!  Not that I don't have a special place for all my by-law nieces and nephews, I do love them.  But, it's so exciting that my baby brother is a daddy, I pray he does it well.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

6 Months and Adoption Day

When Baby Sis was born, you can bet a few short days later, I looked at a calendar to see what our "adoption day" would be, you know, the magic age when our agency would let us come back.  It felt odd that it was 9-11, but somehow fitting.  That was the day our country will always remember those lost, but now it was a day of hope and a life added to our family.

Now we are so excited, that we did NOT have to wait the whole six months to get back in the saddle with our adoption, but I still sort of think as today as adoption day :-)

What's happening with the adoption you say?  Well, we are finished with the homestudy!!! Again ;-) We should have a hard copy that we can send off to get our fingerprints appointment this week!!!



So, happy six month birthday to my sweet baby girl, wow, where is the time going?!




And happy adoption day to my sweet boy.  Has he been born, is his birth mother still pregnant, or is he only a sweet child in the Father's hands still being formed by his Creator?  Whichever it is, I am thinking of him today.

What were you doing?

Ten years ago, I was strolling along with my hubby downtown in Chania, Greece.  I was pregnant with our first child, we had a special night ahead with a sunset cruise (that was canceled because of high winds) and dinner for two.  We stopped in some shops and then sat down at a cafe for a milkshake.  That was when we noticed the TV, the sound was off and the subtitles were in Greek, but we could see the pictures and the headlines....

and we knew....

something was wrong back home.

We went on with our evening and when we got home I turned on the TV....and I was glued to it for the next week.

Our lives along with our country were changed forever.

We will never forget.

Friday, August 12, 2011

No more pearls before swine

I'm having a hard time lately dealing with people. Specifically, people who are not like minded when it comes to what I think is close to God's heart. I'm having a hard time feeling 'proud' to be an American. Because more and more, I am finding that the two problems above are intertwined. I'm starting to think that the American way, is not thinking about God's heart.

Since I was young, I had heard the stories about foreigners not liking Americans. I never understood why...until recently. I have encountered some people that are what I am starting think of as American Snobs since we started our adoption of a little boy in Africa. These are the ones that even after a little thought want to know why Africa, and if they are really bold, why NOT the US. I'm not Talking about simple curiosity, I'm talking about offended that we would go all the way over there to get a child when there are plenty of them here....according to them.

Really? Where are all of these starving children in the US? Where are all these children dying of preventable diseases? I'll tell you...they aren't here. They don't exist. There are orphans here. And I am not negating the fact that some of them have a very bad situation. I'm not denying that they would love to be adopted, to have a forever family, a mom and a dad. (Heck, we will probably also adopt from the US one day!)

What I am saying is that these children do not have a death sentence if someone doesn't act. I'm saying that our gov't system is so screwed up in certain states that it's darn near impossible to adopt a foster child.

I'm saying that in a country in Africa the size of Texas, over 25,000 children have died...

in just 3 months.


And when I say something about that on Facebook, I'm blasted because I don't know how many will die today in the US.

I'll tell you how many....

5 children will die today in the US from abuse or neglect.

These children will die because a parent or the adult in charge of them will beat them or not care for them properly.

Pure evil.


 Not because there is no food in the 4 grocery stores within 10 miles of our homes, I was just at two of them....there is still plenty of food.

300 children will die today in the Horn of Africa, because their parent or adult in charge of them can't feed them. How does that invoke a reaction of "well, we need to take care of our own country first"? How does that not bring out compassion? How does that not break your heart?  They are saying that 800,000 children will die before ethos is over....how can we go on without action?

Um, and quite frankly, it's not the point, is it?

The point is, that this child is dying right now.


And we are not doing anything.  We are not even talking about it in the news!

My thoughts, I once heard that compassion was like a muscle, it needs to be exercised. I think that we are not using this muscle.  We rarely exercise compassion, for our own people and very rarely for other nations.

I'm starting to not even want to share this broken heart of God's with others....seems like so many people just don't care.

I'm starting to understand when it says in the Bible to not throw your pearls to the swine...seems like so many people just. don't. care.




So, if the picture makes you uncomfortable, go ahead and close the blog, but if in you, you can hear your heart echoing God's heart, if you can feel it start to break, go here and do something, anything....

Friday, August 5, 2011

It's finally top news

Africa is finally making the top news. It doesn't make me happy though, it means it's bad, very bad. Wishing I could head over and scoop up and handful of children tonight and save them from a certain death...of starvation.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Monday, August 1, 2011

Child Abducted from Home: Ransom Required

The police are reporting that the other night a child was abducted from their home.  The parents have been contacted and the ransom is set.

Have you seen this quirky girl?

No one is even questioning that the parents will do all that they can to find their child.  The child that God had intended for them to raise.
Has anyone seen this spunky child?

No one is disputing that they should beg or borrow the money to ransom their sweet baby.

Have you seen this child?

No one says, "Well, if God had planned for your family to go though this, He would provide a way to pay for it and it wouldn't include going into debt."


Now, I may ruffle some feathers with this post, but here are my thoughts, take them or leave them.  I have come across more than one post over the past weeks on debt and adoption.  The general feeling seems to be that Christians (if they are following the Bible) should not be going into debt to adopt.

Now, I know all about Dave Ramsey and I completely agree with him that we should not tie ourselves down to debt.  This country (including me) have such a terrible case of the "I want it now" syndrome that it's going to oh sorry, it already has kill our economy.  

What I have a beef with is people pretty much condemning families who choose or must use debt to adopt.


Why?


If only 7% of Christians would adopt, there would be NO MORE ORPHANS.

Why would you discourage the 1% who are actually willing to go?

                                                     

Not all of us are finically supported by friends and family through fundraisers.

Not all of us have lived in the same town all of our lives and are connected and networked enough to raise $30,000.

Not all of us have an income to support an adopton up front.


                                                     

I can tell you this much....

If my daughter was kidnapped today and a ransom was offered up for her release.  You can bet that I would spend the rest of my life paying back any amount the bank would be willing to loan me so that I could ransom her.

Do I hope that we can raise enough money for our son?  Yes

Do I want to borrow money? No




Will I do whatever it takes to ransom him?  Yes


***Just to let you know, no children in this post were abducted ;) they are safe and sound tucked in their beds.

Friday, July 29, 2011

What if she had no mommy?

Baby Sis is 20 weeks today!


The other day, I was changing Baby Sis's diaper and making her laugh and I actually thought out loud, "What if you had no mommy?  Who would play with you and make you laugh?" 

What if???

Let me tell you a little about my sweet on her 20th week birthday.  

She is a momma's girl.

She smiles at just about anyone who makes eye contact and she melts everyone's heart that stops to talk to her.

I think her favorite place is W*lmart because there are so many people there and they all want to stop and soak in some of the smiles.

She hardly ever cries (don't hate me, just read on).   I mean, she sends out a little fuss when the diaper is dirty and no one tends to it fast enough and she puts up a good attempt at the mad cry when she wakes up from a nap if her momma doesn't nurse her fast enough, but she really never cries (except for the last 5 minutes of the car ride home from church on a Wednesday night...an hour after her bed time).
 *Disclaimer : she either does not cry because third baby's are perfect gems send from heaven, or her mother spoils her rotten, because she is the third...or a little of both.

So, what would this little gem's life look like if she were an orphan?

Would she smile at the drop of a hat?

Would her eyes twinkle when the little old lady stopped by to chat with her?

Would she cry more?

Would she be rolling over or grabbing her feet?

What would her life look like?



And with all those thoughts, I wondered about my other girls, what would their lives look like....

it almost made me sick....




How can we not adopt?

How can anyone not consider adopting?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

My heart aches for Africa

I am wondering today, what food my son or his birth mother have to eat right now. This is one of many articles that talk about the looming famine that is hovering over the Horn of Africa.

But I had to look for it.

It's not one of the 36 featured stories on the Yahoo front page.

It's not one of the 10 World articles on Yahoo News.

Why is no one talking about the fact that 10 million people don't have enough food to eat...right NOW?

Could this be my Caleb?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday


*Its not the best picture quality, but oh such cheeks!

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Big 10



Ten years ago, I went to the courthouse with my awesome hubby and said I do.

There was no fan fair.

There was no white dress or flower girl.

There wasn't really even much of God in that day.

But, we had love, a baby on the way (yes, we did it all backwards).

And over the next several years, God would pull us each to him and even closer to each other.


10 years

2 countries

3 states

4 babies (one in heaven)

and one baby (adoption!) on the way

I love you babe!


Friday, July 8, 2011

Need a good laugh?

Well, here you have it...

Today, I cleaned my tush off, then I cleaned some more, and then made the kids help me clean for the "adoption lady".

Then about 3, Baby Sis woke up, I fed her, changed her and asked Little Sis to "babysit" while I showered for the homevisit in about 2 hours.

Turned on the water, got in, started washing my hair


and Little Sis runs into the bathroom and says,


"She's here!"


I answered...

"Who's here?!!!" (though, deep down inside I already knew)

Little Sis, "The adoption lady!"

Yes, she had come 2 solid hours early, and arrived precisely as I was shampooing my hair!!!

So, knowing one dog would attack (okay, maybe not really, but she would scare the you know what out of her) and one would jump on and possibly knock her over.....I said what any mother would say,

"DON"T answer the door!!!"

And I franticly rinsed my hair, jumped out of the shower, wrapped the towel around my head and put a robe on, calmly proceeded to answer the door....

We both had a good laugh at her miscalculation of the time and I was secretly happy that she had stopped at DQ and said if she hadn't, she would have been even earlier. (I would have been sweaty, dirty, in my cleaning clothes with no bra on, ahem...)

So, if she was looking to surprise me, she did, though yesterday might have been worse (because the house wouldn't have been clean)....

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Homevisit Day!

So, we are busy (or I should really say I am busy) cleaning. Our sweet social worker is coming this afternoon to meet Baby Sis and to have our homevist for our update. We haven't seen her in a year, and while I would have hoped that we would be making travel plans right now to bring our precious Calab home, I am just as happy to show our sweet girl off and to push forward with going to Africa.

God has taught me several lessons over the past year and unfortunately I still may be in the proccess of learning (what can I say...I'm stubborn like that sometimes). I do know that the longer we are in this, the more I need to point everything towards Him.

He is the reason we are going to Africa, (lets face it, staying home would be much easier)

He is the reason we are adopting, (cause we make pretty cute babies ourselves, and as my hubby would say...it's so much fun! Ha!)

He is the reason we have opened up our hearts to something other than a healthy child, (more on than to come)

He is the reason we are making this whole decision (it would be much easier to chase the "American Dream"



"...once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act."
Proverbs 24:12

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

To do list

*Clean house and keep clean before home visit on Thursday.

*Type up co-op weekly homework assignments.

*Fill out six (6!) grant applications.

*Survive one more week of swimming.

*Make doctor appointments for Kelly and I.

*Go to said dr. appointments.

*Start training to run this 5K.  Thinking of doing the C25K....as soon as I can pull myself out of bed before 7am.

*Figure out how we should pay for Little Sis's 4 cavities and 1 crown and the laughing gas that is NOT covered by the dental insurance...and then make that appointment.

*Take care of 3 meals a day for my family :) and snuggle baby in between. (this may seem like a given, but during the summer I struggle to cook, combine this with a year of morning sickness and third trimester unwillingness to cook, I should probably cook....)



I am aware all of these are not adoption related...or in any kind of order.  Just thought I'd give you a glimpse.

Monday, June 27, 2011

A heavy heart, but hope...

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
John 10:10a


for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,  but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
Exodus 20:5b-6

A daily battle rages for our souls.  What sins are you passing onto the next generation?  Call to the Lord to break the chains.  

Only One can do it.

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
   because the LORD has anointed me
   to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
   to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners
,
to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
   and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
  and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
   instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
   instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
   instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
   a planting of the LORD
   for the display of his splendor.

Isaiah 61:1-3


July 16th, 2011
 7:30am - 2pm
*Volunteers needed to hold signs on the street, to wash cars, or to run the bake sale.  Email me or Facebook if you'd like to help or for the address so that you can stop by and get your car washed.  

*One or two volunteers needed to go to Panera Bread to get the free left over pastries from the day on Friday night and to bag or wrap them individually for sale on Saturday morning.

*Two volunteers needed to bake some goodies for the bake sale, ideas: muffins, cookies, or brownies.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The money anxiety

So, I've been having some nerves over money for the adoption.

Just trying to be transparent here. (Disclaimer: there may be some selfishness coming out in this post!)

We've been in pregnant/new baby mode for awhile now, but now I'm trying to be in adoption mode. But the next, very soon big chunk of money we will need is stressing me out just a bit. I see other families that are adopting have super successful fundraisers and am truly happy and cheering them on. I'm so happy they are rescuing an orphan and adding to their family, but then, I am so disappointed knowing that we did the same thing and came out with less than half of their results.

Why?

Why do we put in the same effort and have poor participation?

I wonder what lesson God is teaching me in this?

To trust Him more....I am trying

To lean on Him and not myself....it's sometimes so hard

That money is an idol of mine....probably, ugh, seeing that in type almost makes me ill.

I hate money, I do. Sometimes I really just wish it did grow on trees so I could do all the good that I want to with it, but what would the end result be? Would I depend on money more than God? Maybe.

I hate money...

I need money....

I wish it was all or nothing....

Now, I guess I'm just rambling...



I'm praying and trying to give it all to God.....and we're having a car wash on the 16th... :-)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Ears are Pierced!


Both of them!!!!!

And yes, it was touch and go there for a bit.

Little Sis wanted to get her ears pierced for her big number seven.

If I had to guess before hand, I would have told you she was going to do as well, or better than Big Sis.

It. did. not. go. well.

We could have waited 30 minutes for another worker to get there and do both ears at the same time, but daddy was on lunch break, so we went with it.  After all....Big Sis did one ear at a time, no problem!

The first ear done....

and she cried....

big, crocodile tears.

And she refused to let the lady with the earring gun anywhere near her.

We begged and pleaded with her....

and she cried louder....

Finally, mommy sat down in the chair with said birthday girl on her lap and told her she was going to let the lady pierce her other ear, she had no choice in the matter.

And finally, as the store filled with more and more customers, as the lady with the earring gun was losing her patience, we succeeded in
forcing
getting the second ear pierced.



Don't judge me, you may think I'm a bad mom.

All that matters is that when the birthday girl was asked 5 minutes later if she was glad I had made her do it, she sheepishly grinned and said yes.


Birthday a success.





Ears pierced.


And the lady even gave me a hard time about it as I paid...she informed me that younger was better, if I wanted them to have earrings, just bring them in when they are babies.


I didn't even get into the fact that this was a privilege that my girls have by reaching a certain age.


No, next time, we will just do both ears at the same time...

Monday, June 20, 2011

New Hair Do and a T-shirt

So, it was time for a new hair do!  I had my hair trimmed about 3 weeks before Baby Sis was born so that I'd be ready for her early arrival.  Ha!  She decided to wait until the day before her due date to show up.  

I headed to a sweet lady's place from church and said, what do you think?

And this is what she came up with...I love it!


She did curl it up for me, by alas, I don't even own my own curling iron, gasp!  Little Sis wanted to know where my curls went..hey, I had to shower for church!



Also, I finally ordered my own fundraiser t-shirt, it's awesome.


A warning.....they run small.  Especially small if you order the ladies fitted style. (You have been warned...now order one!) ;-)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

And I will be your Father, 
and you will be my sons and daughters, 
says the Lord Almighty.

2 Cor. 6:18


 I did call my oh so sweet step dad.  I love him dearly.  He is so good to us kids, to the grandkids, and the best to my mom. 

But, I didn't call my real dad, my earthly father.  No, he is not someone that I look up to, not someone that I respect, and not even someone that I have a relationship with.

The Bible says to honor your father and mother, so I will not spew his mess here. But's it's there, preventing me from having a father.

That's okay, I am comforted by the verse above, the Lord promises that he will be my Father, I am adopted into his family, and He accepts me as is daughter, the daughter of a King.



I do want to take a minute to say that the best dad I know happens to be my sweet hubby.  He is such a wonderful dad, loving my girls, I couldn't have asked for a better man to be the father of my children.



Happy Father's Day to all the daddy's out there.

And to those of you who do not have an earthly father you can lean on or call for advice, there is One who will love you above all else!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Cake

So, several weeks ago Little Sis started telling us her cake "plans".  To say that these were anything but extravagant would be an understatement.

First, she wanted a serpent cake, like the basilisk from Harry Potter, complete with the big stone statue that the snake comes out of.


Then, she said instead she wanted a 3 tiered cake with chocolate shaped frogs around the bottom.


Clearly, the child has been watching too much Cake Boss!


So, when I explained that there was no way on this earth that her mother was that talented (heck, I'm doin' good to get a box of cake mix and whip it together), she stared thinking a little simpler.

And, we seemed to be on the same page.


Before I knew what she had told Daddy what she was thinking, I pictured a chocolate iced cake with some like of colorful icing circles.

She told her Daddy that she wanted M&Ms and Gummy Bears....perfect!


My big girl LOVED her cake!



Seven!  She's SEVEN!


Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Title of the Email was....

Welcome to the Ethiopia Program!

Today, we are officially, officially, officially accepted back into the Ethiopia program.  Praising God and trying to get my "adoption" hat back on in the mist of swim team and Vacation Bible School.

Ready, Set, Go!!!!!

SCT Now 5K Run

Yes, you heard right....run......

uh!  I DON'T run people.  Seriously, I like to swim, I like to walk, I like to do the stair stepper, but I really don't like to run all that much.

But, our church is participating in a 5K to raise money and awareness for SCT Now and I thought of Big Sis.  She likes to run and well, I thought this would be a nice mother/daughter thing for us to do together.

Over 2 million children are enslaved around the world, many of the children in the orphanages around the world have this fate to [not] look forward to.  If you don't know anything about SCT Now, please check out their website, it's a great organization geared at taking the predators off the streets.  Because the truth is, as soon as you rescue one child, another is taken to replace them.

So, get read, set, GO!

Please consider sponsoring both of us!

To donate to my run, click here.

To donate to Big Sis, click here.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

She is Seven!

Seven years ago, I gave birth to this pretty, sassy, fun little girl.  





She is our Little Sis, or now know as Big Sis by the adoring baby ;)
Happy birthday sweet girl!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Summer Fun and a Family of Five

So, the kiddos have been on official summer break for 2 weeks now.  They have all had plenty of sun and water.  Even Baby Sis got her oh so cute baby bathing suit on (and rocked the swim diaper just in case) for her first jaunt into the backyard $15 Walmart swimming pool.  It was a nice splash and play difference from the grueling hour of swim practice the big girls have had 5 days a week for swim team.

Even Daddy had plenty of fun getting to be the first to introduce baby girl to the water.
The big girls got cold fast, but had a blast!


And just like bath time, little miss loved the water!

And finally, we had enough forethought to plan our first ever "family of five" picture.  (Well, and we had to have one to submit to the agency for our new application.)


So, introducing the Cote Family of five....
until there are six......

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Thanking God for my Family

Our application and new family of five picture has been submitted and we wait.  I've made doctor's appointments and homestudy appointment trusting God will allow us back into the Ethiopia program officially, and soon ;)


So, it's been a lot of drama around these parts, not drama directly related to us, but by one or two degrees.


Needless to say, I am so thankful for my sweet husband who is laid back and not only puts up with all of me, but he also bends over backwards to be a very giving husband. I think that's one of the pitfalls of marriages these days, we as a society are so concerned about me, me, me. A marriage can really only be successful if you are focused on giving to your spouse. You have to focus on their needs, giving them what they need.  Marriage is an act of sacrifice, it's not about you!

One of the best books that is my mantra for a healthy marriage is His Needs, Her Needs by Willard F. Haley. It is a wonderful book that was very eye opening for me, explaining that while we all have our top needs, most of the time men and women's top needs are literally the opposite of each other. And that we (as naturally selfish people) will try to give our spouse OUR OWN top needs. See the problem? If I need conversation as one of my top needs, that cannot be one thing that I give my hubby if it's way down at the bottom of his list. I need to find out what his top needs are and give those things to him. It's what we did when we dated, but it gets put on the back burner a lot when we settle in for the long haul and get complacent in our lives and marriages.






So, off my soapbox! Needless to say, this week I am cherishing my husband and everything that he does to sacrifice for me.

Second, I am hugging my kiddos extra and especially my sweet miracle baby. Truly, all babies are miracles from God. If you have carried a baby in you womb, given birth to them and then watched them grow up, be thankful. Not all mommies will get that chance. Yes, they can adopt, they get to be a mommy...but not without heartache. This week, a bloggy friend of mine had to deliver her 20 week baby girl and instantly give her over to God. She has already said goodbye to 4 babies through miscarriages. The tears flow freely for her and I have never even met her in person.

Times like this, I ask God why, what is the reason for this level of pain. And then I remember, it's sin. My sin, your sin. That is why there is pain and ugliness in this world. How I long for Christ to return on days like that. I actually feel guilty that I have Baby Sis, how easy it is for us. I would give the gift of my healthy pregnancies to her if I could.
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