Thursday, December 24, 2009


What an amazingly wonderful, emotional and perfect day!!!
We received an email around 10:30 this morning (I didn't see it until about 1:30...but that's another story...LOL) that we passed court and Samuel Jacob is officially a Koceich!!!!
Praising God from whom all blessings flow!!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Year End Tax Deductable Donation Opportunity...

Just in case I missed someone in the email I sent, here it is...

Hi Friends,

To start, Matt and I can't tell you enough how blessed we feel to have each of you walking beside us in encouragement, prayer and financially on this journey to Sam. You are more of a treasure to us than you will ever know!!!

Although I hesitate to share this because of my prideful self, I know I should.

There is a fund with our agency that we have qualified for called the Eternal Family Fund. It is a tax-deductable donation and I know some of you may be looking to meet a certain amount of donations before the end of the year. We have qualified to receive up to $6000 through this fund for all donations sent before our court date (which is Thursday, December 24th) Any donations sent after that date will not go towards our adoption (unless we do not pass court, if that happens I will find out if they extend the deadline for donations)

You can donate online by following the link below or you can mail a check (if you would like the address to mail the check just let me know, but those would have to be mailed by Monday to have a chance of making it on time)

Eternal Family Donation - Adoption, International Adoption, Christian Adoption Agency

Please do not feel pressured in any way to donate if you are not led to do so!! God has a perfect and wonderful plan for our family and He will provide for our every need!

Again, thank you so much for all you each have done for us!! There WILL BE one less orphan in the world because of the love, encouragement, prayer and/or financial support from you!!!

The Koceich Family

p.s. Also, if you haven't heard about our awesome adoption t-shirt fundraiser visit out adoption blog at

Saturday, December 19, 2009


I am sooo excited about our adoption t-shirts. They were designed by the owner of a t-shirt design company who graciously gave us cost and allowed us to use his awesome design!! I LOVE these shirts!!!! What a great way to support an adoption from someone you know and promote adoption at the same time. There are over 147 million orphans in the world and you could be a part of decreasing that number!

We have a limited amount, but plan to buy more as needed. I have set up a Paypal button to the right if you would like to purchase through Paypal, or you can send a check and we will get a shirt to you as soon as possible. Be sure to let us know the size(s) you need.

The shirts come in men's and women's fits and we can even get child sizes.

The cost is $20 per shirt with all proceeds going towards our adoption!!

Thank you so much for helping bring baby Sam home!!!
And, check back on Christmas Eve...if we pass court (only 50% do on the first try) we will post his picture!!! He is so very perfect and wonderful!!!

Love you all!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Taste of Culture...

We had a great night out with a sweet family who is also adopting from Ethiopia. As a matter of fact they received a referral for a beautiful baby boy just less than a month after we did! I am so excited to share this process with this family and to have them (and, joyfully, others as well)in our lives to walk this path and to share in the experiences of international adoption.

This past weekend we took our families to an Ethiopian restaurant in Dallas.
It was a great experience! The restaurant was pretty empty when we walked in and I was a bit nervous, but we had been told by a trustworthy source that the food was delicious, and indeed it was!! We ordered two different dishes. One was called Kereje kitfo and was like a spicy ground beef with greens and cottage cheese (but the cheese looked more like a feta cheese to me). The second dish was called yebere sega tibs and was like a cross between fajitas and barbeque. However, both dishes were WAY spicy!!!! I drank two Sprites to get through it and ate more injera than meat, but honestly, I LOVED the taste!!! The injera is a bread that they serve the meat over and they give you lots of extra injera to use as a utensil. So fun!! The kids were pretty hungry still when we got home...LOL!

I also got a second care package together for Sam. Another wonderful family from our group has volunteered to take it for us and we are so grateful. These images are only of the little outfit and toy, but are also adding a recordable greeting card that we each said "I Love You Y****") (well, I said, "Mommy loves you Y**** and Matt said Daddy and so on so that he would hear a name with a voice. I hope they play it for him often, but at least I know the wonderful Root family will play it for him! His Nani is also sending him a soft Christmas toy.

I am sure Christmas will be tough knowing that he is not here. I am sad to not get to experience his first Christmas with him, but I know he is being well taken care of and that God has surrounded him with His angels. I pray that he sleeps peacefully each night and that he knows in his heart his forever family is coming soon!!

We love you precious Sam and can't wait to hold you in our arms!!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I read this on another families adoption blog! I LOVE IT!!!

Twas the Night before Christmas--for the parentless............

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the land
there are parentless children, with no toys in hand

No stockings to be hung by the chimney with care
no hopes for a family soon to be there

Their beds are not snug--but cold and quite bare
there are no goodnight kisses--no one to care

While we in our homes, laughing in delight
all settle down for a Merry Christmas Eve night

When in some one's heart--there arises a clatter
there are children in need--who's lives really DO matter!

Away to the computer please go in a flash
to see the sweet face with whom YOU could be matched!

While a child you see--their beautiful face all aglow
could this be MY child--could I already know??

When in the dreams of the orphan--what always appears
is a family to love them, to care and hold dear

As you stare at that child--your heart beats real quick--
for you know in your heart that sweet face will stick

More dreams sweet children have--to call parents by name-
come mama! come daddy! come family to claim!

To the ends of the earth--your heart seems to call
now child--I'm coming--I wish for you ALL!

So on a plane to your child--over rooftops you flew
to hold this dear soul--a wish did come true

And then in a twinkling-I saw through the door
this child of my heart-that was waiting no more

As I got my camera and was turning around-
into my arms did he come with a bound!

He was dressed in many layers from his head to his foot
and into my heart his life was just put

there was no round face--no plump little belly
just sad little eyes, and legs shaking like jelly

In a swirl of a pen, and a stamp and a seal
my world became brighter--like I could suddenly feel!

We spoke not a word--they weren't needed at all
and I knew in this moment where I got this call

God layed his hands on my heart--and to the occasion I rose
and He could do it for you--this question He'll pose.....

It won't be a shout--no not even a whistle
it won't be real clear--but faint like a whisper

Can you make room in your heart--if you try with your might?
And make a difference for one--help them see the light?

I can see you exclaim as you hold your child tight--
Thank you Lord for this gift--you got it EXACTLY right

Monday, November 30, 2009


We received our court date today of December 24th
CHRISTMAS EVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We are beside ourselves with excitement!!
Precious baby Sam, we are coming sweet one!!!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Care Package #1

Samuel Jacob,

Wow...I still feel like I'm dreaming!! I've stared into your eyes, wondered what your thoughts are, prayed for you to be healthy and to feel at peace and loved, and dreamed of the moment I will be with you to hug, kiss and love on you! You are so precious to me and to be able to see you now is such a gift!!! I feel this sense of urgency to protect you and watch over you, but I need to trust in your heavenly Father who has not for a moment left your side these past four months! I so wonder what it has a been like for you, what you have felt and experienced and I have to trust that God has protected your heart and given you the security and comfort and love at this time of your life when you need it so desperately!
So, with no other options but to trust in Him, I wait and pray, cry and smile at your sweet little face and store up all of the love I have for you and bottle it up until I can just let it flow!! I love you precious Sam!!

And, here is a surprise coming just for you! A gracious family is blessing us by bringing this care package to you as they travel to pick up their little boy!!
I hope you can sense that we are coming and soon you will be in the arms of your forever family!!!

I love you,

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

BABY SAM!!!!!!!!!

We saw your precious face around three this afternoon. By God's almighty grace we have seen your big beautiful brown eyes and sweet olive skin. You are a miracle. God reminded us today of an amazing verse in Genesis: "I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you." Gen. 28:15

Samuel Jacob you are loved more than anything in this world. Your life is a rich story filled with meaning and purpose. Our family is forever blessed because we now have a sacred gift from Father God--the chance to call you brother and son. Praise God in heaven!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Grab a Kleenix...

I came across this poem on another adoptive family's blog.
I read it and sobbed!!
I hope I can convey to Sam one day how grateful I am to his birth mother and how courageous and unselfish she must be!!!


Once there were two women who never knew each other

One you do not remember, the other you call Mother

Two different lives shaped to make you one

One became your guiding star, the other became your sun.

The first one gave you life, and the second taught you to live it

The first gave you a need for love, the second was there to give it

One gave you a nationality, the other gave you a name

One gave you a talent, the other gave you aim

One gave you emotions, the other calmed your fears

One saw your first sweet smile, the other dried you tears

One made an adoption plan, that was all that she could do

The other prayed for a child, and God led her straight to you.

Now, which of these two women, Are you the product of?

Both, my darling, Both, Just two different types of love.

---- Unknown

Monday, October 26, 2009

Adoption Fundraiser...

We are excited to launch one of our adoption fundraisers!
We now have an online coffee store (partnering with One Love Coffee).
please check it out and pass it on!! Coffee Shop

As many of you know International Adoption is expensive! We have trusted that God will provide from the beginning and feel this coffee shop is one of the ways He will fund the adoption and bring baby Sam home.

Here is a link to the cost breakdown of adoption!
If you are considering adoption, don't let the numbers scare you!
Everything on this Earth belongs to God and we all know His heart for widows and orphans (James 1:27)! If He is calling you to adoption, He will provide the way!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

On-Deck Email!!!

Praise the Lord, he is holy! We just received our "on-deck email" which means we're getting closer! Our agency says that we could get a referral anywhere from 1 to 3 months, but nothing is set in stone. We read that one family received their referral 1 week after getting the on deck email! Isaiah 25:1 says: "Oh Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago."  Thank you Jesus for letting this adoption journey be part our your plan for our family. We love you!

3 months...

We've been waiting three months since our dossier arrived in Ethiopia.

If the timeline continues we will probably get a referral sometime in December! What an awesome Christmas gift!! That would put us traveling maybe sometime in March!

The courts have just opened up in the last couple of weeks and court cases are being heard! Just as AW has said, about 60% of the families who have had court dates have passed! My heart hurts for the families who didn't pass but I have been encouraged by their understanding that God's timing is perfect!

We are #9 on the unofficial waiting list for our agency. However, because of the courts closing for rainy seasons there aren't many families traveling right now which means the transition home isn't going to have room for new children for a while. The next travel group that I know of leaves in mid November!

We continue to pray for the orphans, orphanages and the loving Nannies and AW staff! We also daily lift up baby Sam's family! Praying that they know how much God loves them!!

Hoping to have news soon!! Until then thank you so much for the prayers and support!!!

Love you all!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sweet Baby Sam...

We've been on this adoption journey for over a year now. It's been a year of mostly ups so far, but as we get closer we are experiencing some of the "pains" of adoption pregnancy. The roller coaster ride of not really knowing a timeline, but thinking I might sorta have one figured out, to okay, maybe I don't have it figured out, has been, well, a ride!! :) But this last couple of weeks, for the first time, I've really felt that Sam has probably been born and the reality of what he and his parents/family might be going through right now has been weighing heavily on my heart. Having three children already, I know that immense love that exists from before your children are even born. Knowing that his mom is feeling that love for him and at the same time experiencing some severe issue that will cause her to have to let him go just breaks my heart! I am so grateful for a God who has a perfect plan for Sam and his life and for knowing that He loves and has a perfect plan for his mother as well brings me peace. But I know that doesn't mean that she won't have to experience the pain of losing a child. I pray for her daily. I pray for strength and I pray that God has put an understanding deep in her soul that the family who will adopt her little baby boy will love and cherish Him and raise Him to know the Lord and to know that his mom sacrificed out of love for him.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Hannah's Prayer - 1 Samuel 2:1-2

"My heart rejoices in the LORD; in the LORD my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance. There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God."

We rejoice! We praise God for the blessings He has given and those yet to come.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Two Months and Counting...

Today marks two months since we became DTE (dossier to Ethiopia). We are getting more excited each day with the realization that we will have our baby home with us soon! Of course with international adoption you really can't predict a time table and I know, from the experience of others, not to have my heart set on a certain time frame...but guess what, I have my heart set on a certain time frame! It really is okay though because above all else God's timing is perfect and He has chosen our son from the beginning of time for our family! His blessings abound!!

Speaking of blessings (excuse me while a ramble just a bit)I was thinking today about the icing on the cake, and the sprinkles and the cherry on top. I was counting my blessings this morning which I do frequently because I know that I can't be grateful and anxious at the same time (did you know that is a proven fact). I had a realization that His perfect gift of salvation is enough...the cake, so to speak, but He doesn't stop there! He lavishes us daily with blessings. So many times I overlook or just take for granted the blessings, but He continues to give them not desiring recognition but instead just to LOVE me! Even, or especially, through the times in my life where I have grieved, God brought about the "cherry on top" through my suffering! I know that He is close to the broken-hearted (Psalm 34:18) and my prayer is for the hurting in the world to feel that LOVE! To know that He is waiting to be your personal cake-decorator!!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

One Year Ago...

Well, I missed it yesterday, but still had to post! One year ago (and a day) we submitted our application to America World to adopt a baby boy from Ethiopia. I can't believe it's been a full year! In that year we have filled out countless pieces of paper, gone through the home study process, had a million things notarized and re notarized (or so it seemed), given our fingerprints, gotten passports, read books, prayer-prayed-prayed, laughed, cried, dreamed, feared, and celebrated each and every step! We feel so blessed and grateful that God has chosen us to walk this journey and that He will so abundantly bless us with the care of one of His precious children! We love you so much baby Sam. We are getting so close to holding you in our arms!! Praying that you are being surrounded by His angels and that you are loved, warm, fed and that you feel safe and secure until we are united as a family!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

What a Blessing...

We have been abundantly blessed in so many ways, and this group of people is just another undeserved blessing God has showered on our lives! Each of these families lives nearby and they have all adopted and/or are in the process of adopting from Ethiopia! This is a great group of Christian families that we will be able to surround ourselves with who share such a wonderful bond through Ethiopian adoption and faith. Our children will have friends who are sharing the same experiences they are and whose families love the Lord! It doesn't get any better than that!! We are soooo grateful for these families!!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

One Month Waiting...

Today marks our first full month waiting for our referral of baby Sam!!
We now have bunk beds assembled and in Max's room and I even bought our little man some shorts. One pair is the bright red color of the Ethiopian flag and the other pair is the bright green color (no yellow in stock)and they were on could I pass that up?

We are getting sooo excited to meet him!!

We ask anyone reading this blog to please join us in prayer as God leads you for all of the orphans in Ethiopia and the families that will have to give up their children for so many reasons. Also, please pray for the workers in the orphanages and transition homes to have energy and wisdom as they work hard to care for these precious children and that the adoption programs in Ethiopia would continue to run smoothly and be supported by the Ethiopian people.

Sorry for the snap-shoty picture. I had to rush in there before Max fell asleep for nap so I didn't grab my wide angle lens or bother to pick up the comforter sitting on the bottom bunk...but you get the idea! Max's comforter is red, but it's in the wash right now. They both have fun animals on them, many you might find in Africa. We got them at, love, love IKEA!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Our Dossier is in Paris, France

Just for fun...we are tracking our Dossier on its way to Ethiopia. It went from VA to NJ and on to Paris! Lucky Dossier.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Dossier To Ethiopia (DTE)

Our agency let us know that our dossier was starting its FED EX journey to Ethiopia today. They also gave us a tracking number so we can see where it is.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

God's Grace 1.2

Yesterday we were unexpectedly blessed with Cindi's business doing better than planned! Yesterday was also the day we had to pay our mid-payment fees. To God be the glory!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Austin, Texas!

Greetings! Today was a milestone for us as we finally reached the top of Paperwork Mountain. We hit the road around 8:45am and drove our dossier to Austin so that it could be certified.

**this is Cindi hijacking the blog (Matt has been the author so far) but you know me...gotta share the pictures! I am kicking myself for not remembering my camera for our trip to Austin, but thank goodness for the iphone camera...not so bad!! Here are a few fun shots from our trip and thoughts I want to remember!

The first shot of the day! Matt suggested I take a photo of the sign and when I noticed the reflections I knew what a cool shot that would be!! So fun!

These shots took us about 10 minutes. It isn't easy taking a picture of yourself with an iphone. We had fun in spite of (or maybe even because of) the looks of the people around us wondering what in the world we were doing. I so love that Max was totally oblivious to the stares and just having fun being silly with us!

After our trip to the state secretary it was off to the nearest Kinkos to get everything copied and mailed off. That took longer than expected and we had to bribe Max with Reese's Pieces to get through it. It was pretty much lunch/nap time for him and he was letting us know this was not his favorite thing to be doing!

Can you see the state capitol on the mirror!! Love this shot!

One of the best things about this trip was getting to visit with my best friend and her family! We celebrated getting our dossier certified with a bueno lunch at a restaurant in Austin called "Trudy's". I highly recommend them!! Then Jennifer's husband Shannon took us to the highest spot in Austin with the most amazing view of the city and a lake/river (I'm not so good with details) ;) But, it was beautiful!
It was hot and here are the sweaty kids to prove it!

On the way home Shannon and Jennifer told us to visit the Baylor Bears (they are Baylor alumni). Max (and Matt) LOVED it! There were two bears and they were sooo cute. Max deserved to do something fun for him after being so patient the whole day!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Last of the Dossier Project

We are going to Austin tomorrow, so today is our last day to complete the Dossier. We frantically made the rounds and got reference letters retyped and notarized. It took trips to two different banks to get the last of our dossier documents notarized. Then we faxed all of the Dossier documents to our Family Coordinator, Terra B., so she could check them and give the final okay.

Monday, July 13, 2009

God's Grace 1.1

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do,and he will show you which path to take.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)

That's the beautiful thing about our Father. He's not up in the sky, hiding behind a cloud, keeping secrets. He has written us a love letter made up of 66 parts, commonly called the Bible. In one place He reminds us that His ways are not our ways. The huge cost of an adoption makes no "common sense." I heard someone say, "they should be paying you to adopt a baby!" I'm glad it doesn't work that way. There's no trust involved in getting. Now giving, that's another story.

Remember, our $8,000 mountain from last post. Ok,I think we can agree that that's a God-sized trust issue. Since the last post, we received an email from our adoption agency about a free fundraising opportunity. It's cool. Check it out at

Saturday, July 11, 2009

God's Grace 1.0

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9

I want to write a few posts on God's grace. I'm hoping they serve two purposes. For those of you who aren't quite certain that your heavenly Father loves and cares for you, I want you to witness his amazing provision. These "grace" posts can become the "seeing is believing" guideposts, because they are things that only Almighty God can accomplish. Or maybe, you're a believer and are in a 'desert place' and need a faith boost. Either way, God's grace is all we need!

Here's the task: In a few short weeks, we need to come up with $8,000 to pay for our next round of adoption expenses. We don't have that kind of money. There are alot of problems like this in life that only God can solve. We applied for a grant through Stephen Curtis Champan's (SCC) Show Hope foundation. I can't wait to watch how God will pour out his grace over our adoption, for Baby Sam's sake. To quote a SCC song, God does "make all things new."

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I-171H came today!

Today was a great day. We've been waiting on a form called the I-171H to arrive. It came in today's mail! Praise God. This is a form that you apply for that let's you adopt a child internationally. We are tying up some loose ends and then we will be able to drive to Austin to get our dossier certified.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Big Day-Fingerprints & Garage Sale Part 3

This morning we were finally able to get our fingerprints made for our I-600! Then we came back and had part 1 of our second garage sale. This made upfor our rain delay during our first sale. Today we took in a little over $300, praise the Good Lord!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Fundraiser Thermometer

Our dear friends Bob & Jan asked us how much we still needed to raise. We told them about seven thousand. They took it upon themselves to draw a fundraiser thermometer on the whiteboard of our Community Group class and asked everyone to rally around us to help raise the money. They are angels.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Garage Sale Fundraiser- Part 2

We sold some more big items today. The rain finally came around 1pm which forced us to shut down earlier than planned. To God's glory we made a little over $2,000!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Garage Sale Fundraiser Part 1

Today we had our first garage sale to help fund our adoption of Baby Sam. God was so good to us. Many friends donated fine items for us to sell. Matt tacked up signs letting people know that all money made would go to getting Baby Sam. One kind soul named James was in the neighborhood house shopping, stopped and got out. He handed Matt $40 and said he just wanted to help. The weather was overcast which made the day even more perfect.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Criminal Background Check & Fingerprints

We went to the Mansfield Public Safety office and paid to get our background checks. The lady said it would take a few days and then we can go back and pick up our paperwork. That was the easy part.

Next, we drove to Fort Worth to get our fingerprints made. We got to the Immigration office and two security guards acted like we were interupting an important video game. One was kind to take our paperwork that proved we already paid to get fingerprinted. A minute later, a very intimidating man appeared. He asked what we wanted and then told us we couldn't get our fingerprints done without an appointment. We told him that there is no phone number or email to make an appointment. He took our number and said he'd look into it for us.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Final Home Study Visit

"God is love." -1 John 4:8

Matt drove up to meet with our social worker for his one-on-one meeting. This completed our part of the Home Study. Adela said that she should have all of the report finished by the end of the month. Then we submit a copy to USCIS and wait on our I-171 form!

Here's what we have left (errand wise) to wrap up our Dossier: fingerprints, 'no criminal record' check, and 2 passport photos.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Home Study, Parts 2 & 3

"Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God." Matthew 4:4

Our social worker, Adela, is a saint. She offered to combine two of our sessions which saves us some time. Go Adela! Today she interviews Cindi and then me and Cindi. Adela asked us about how we discipline the children. She also reminded us about the special needs children who need forever families. Another question was why we wanted to adopt a boy. Next Monday is our final Home Study visit!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Home Study Part 1

"Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you." -2 Thessalonians 3:16

Finally, we have made some progress. Our passports arrived a couple weeks after last post! Tonight, our social worker, Adela, came and asked us some questions about why we want to adopt from Ethiopia. The visit went great. She stayed for dinner and we set up times to complete the remaining three visits. If all goes well, we should wrap up the Home Study by the end of March.