Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Photo Day: A Sneak Peak at Cute Kids

Hello!

When picture day comes around every year at ANIJA, students are given a "día de colores"or "colour day" where they can leave their uniforms behind and wear whatever they like. They come dressed in their best. In many cases, the pictures we take are the only ones they have to hang in their humble homes. Here is a sneak peak at some of our cuties. Can't you see glints of mischief some of those eyes?

 

 



        

I'm sure that I've mentioned it before, but we always have children that need sponsors. Please contact the Kids Alive Canadian office or US office if you're interested.

Thanks for praying for us as we work with kids like these!

Marcie Cooper

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Adoption: How long will the wait be?

Hello!

It seems like every time I see someone that I haven't seen for a while they ask, "How are things going with the adoption?" The short answer is, "Still slow." We updated our police clearances while we were in Canada this summer (since our province now requires them yearly) but that doesn't really have any impact on our wait time. 

The longer and more complicated answer is that we're 48 "days" out. Our file was logged into the system in China on January 29, 2007. They (people in China) have currently processed files up to December 12, 2006. Forty-eight days' difference. That doesn't sound too far off but, considering that they processed less than 35 days' worth of files in all of 2013, it will still take a while. That's an average of almost three days per month. This year started off at a faster pace but seems to have slowed down again. So my best guess right now is to expect a referral sometime next fall. But you never know what might happen. I'm praying that we can travel to China before all of our paperwork expires again (the beginning of 2016.)

Thanks for asking and for praying for us!

Marcie Cooper



Saturday, August 23, 2014

Back to School

Hello!

It's hard to believe that we're back to school already. Even this little guy is going!


He didn't like the snack the first day (rice pudding) and the second day said, "I never want to go to school ever again!" On Friday he was thrilled with the crackers and juice. Hopefully he won't complain about going back on Monday. He's been really stubborn about learning Spanish so doesn't understand or speak very much. Hopefully four hours a day will change that quickly.


The report from the first day of grade 1 was, "Only one boy hit" and on the second day, "No kids hit." Yes, we work with at-risk kids. Please pray for their discipline and self-control.

Grade 5 with a male teacher seems to be a success. We get glowing reports daily. Thanks for your prayers as we've been starting another school year with Kids Alive here in the Dominican Republic!

Marcie Cooper


Monday, August 4, 2014

MK Hugs


Photo by Mary Milec

A quick hug and I’m off on a new adventure. 
I can’t wait to get on the plane.
I wave good-bye, follow Daddy’s lead, 
Then walk through a funny machine.

The plane ride is long and new people await 
To greet with a hug or a kiss.
Don’t know who they are so I’ll hide if I can 
And hope and pray I’ll get missed.

Two years have gone by and I’m going to visit 
A place that I sometimes remember.
I hug my friends but promise that I 
Will be back soon enough next September.

It’s Grandma and Grandpa! I’m happy to see them 
And run to them fast as I can.
I see them on Skype but it’s just not the same 
To put arms all around a computer.

Who’s this strange person who wants a hug 
And remembers me from being little?
I’m not quite sure but maybe can manage 
To hug them just a little.

Time to go again and I’m happy and sad 
For soon I’ll give hugs to my friends;
But aunts and uncles must stay behind 
And cousins just don’t understand.

I’m back for a while and settling in 
When another MK has to leave. 
I’m holding her tight while her mom says, “Time’s up.” 
Don’t know if I’ll see her again.

The cycle continues. I go back and forth 
Between hugs of hellos and good-byes.
I’m hugging much longer though Mom says, “Let go.” 
I now know much more about time.

I have friends in two places and relatives scattered 
To love, and to hug when I can.
Reunions are joyous so travel I must 
Though it’s hard to leave loved ones again.

So if you’re hugged tighter and longer than normal, 
Just squeeze me a little bit more.
Parting is hard but more hugs will be given 
On the other side of the shore.

Marcie Cooper






Monday, June 23, 2014

Mangoes

Hello!

It's mango season in the Dominican Republic. Mangoes come in all different colours and sizes and our family (except for one picky eater) loves them! Our boys also love to play under the mango tree in front of our building. Here are some pictures:
Lots of mangoes
(the bottom one is from the tree by our house)
A little mango tree we saw on our vacation
A mango the size of a pineapple
"I can get it!"
"I want to fill my truck up with mangoes."
Boys and trucks under the mango tree
 Do you like mangoes? What's your favourite way to eat them? Fresh? Frozen? In fruit salad or a smoothie? Mango crisp, anyone? I like them all!

Marcie Cooper



Friday, June 13, 2014

Waiting

Waiting.

Sometimes it's hard to wait. It's hard for my kids to wait for birthdays, vacations and visits from grandparents. They can't wait for a trip to Canada. We wait for mail to come every two weeks and for missionaries to come back from being away. And we've been waiting to adopt a baby from China for a very long time. I first wrote about it on here in 2012. In 2013, I thought it would still be over a year of waiting but now, in 2014, it might still be another year. We wait for news from China that comes every few weeks or couple of months. It seems like forever in between. I check an adoption forum and Facebook group more often than I'd like to admit. I calculate the days in between referrals and average the amount of files processed to guess when we might get a call. Then I start to question if we're really supposed to be in this process after over seven YEARS of waiting and more to go. But every time I question it, something significant happens. Take this week, for example. I felt like I was waiting for a lot of things. I was waiting for replies to several e-mails and to hear about an appointment I was trying to book for our time in Canada. I was waiting for news from other missionaries and waiting to find out if we were approved for an adoption grant we had applied for. I was distracted and kept checking the computer every time I walked past it. I started to wonder if we were really supposed to keep going with our adoption. Then, last night, I went to prayer meeting at church. I debated whether or not to put our adoption on the list of prayer requests. I heard another lady share about her daughter getting into a private bilingual high school that cost way more than her family could afford. She was praying for scholarships. A humble mom was trusting that if God wanted her daughter to go there, He would provide the finances to make it possible. I added our adoption to the list and prayed that God would, once again, provide for our needs and make it clear that we were to continue. 

Today, I got a lot of e-mails. I got my appointment booked and heard from our missionary friends. But the most exciting e-mail was from ABBA Canada telling us that we're receiving a grant to help with our adoption agency expenses. It was an answer to prayer for us and for family and friends praying with us. Our wait for a baby (or toddler?) from China will continue but we trust that it is God's plan for our family and that His timing is perfect. Thanks so much for praying for us. 

Marcie Cooper 

But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; 
They shall mount up with wings like eagles, 
They shall run and not be weary, 
They shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31





Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Director's Retreat

Hello!

When Paul took on the role of Director of ANIJA, he wondered how hard it could be. He would oversee directors of academics, administration, sponsorship and spiritual life. People were already in place running the bakery, AWANA, a homework program, and a youth club. No problem, right?

An ANIJA student at work
In reality, Paul is a school principal and more. Most of our three hundred plus students come from difficult backgrounds and living situations. Some of them really know how to cause trouble! The school is still growing and, the year after next, we'll have two classes per grade up to Grade 8. Paul has put a whole manual of policies and procedures into place and is still working on improving practices. With the help of the other directors, he manages over fifty staff. He also has to prepare for teams that come to help with construction and other projects. There's always something going on! It's a great ministry to be part of but it's also nice to take a break.

Last week-end, we went on a retreat for Kids Alive directors of schools, care centres, and children's homes here in the Dominican Republic. A few of them were missionaries like us but most were Dominicans. It was a great group of people!  

I was having camera trouble but managed to get a few pictures during free time. The slackline was my boys' favourite!






Now we're wrapping up the school year with just two more weeks of classes and then exams. Even Grade 1 students write exams! New sponsor students have been chosen for the fall and teachers will soon need to be placed. There are always challenges for directors! Please pray for Paul as he leads ANIJA and for our other site directors around the island. They have big jobs but also big rewards as we see children's lives changed.

Thank you!

Marcie Cooper