Friday, November 2, 2012

The Cole Family ~ 31 Families of HOPE: Day 2

Meet the Cole Family!: Troy and Stephanie Cole, Branson, Emily, Caleb, RyLee and Artem {who just came home 2 months ago!}

Stephanie, what first tugged on your heart about the Fatherless?

The Father himself tugged on our hearts for the Fatherless. I (Stephanie) was pregnant with our fourth child (RyLee) when God began to press deeply on my heart His mandate to care for the Fatherless. I first wrote it off as crazy pregnancy hormones, but He kept piercing my heart over and over and over again. When I finally told my husband, he confirmed that God has been laying the exact same thing on his heart. We prayed together about it for a year and knew that it was time for us to “step out of the boat”!

Tell us one unique thing about your family/ministry.

We are actually praying right now about starting an orphan/foster care ministry at our church. God is “lighting a fire” in the hearts of many families at our church for the Fatherless and we want to assist and support them in any way that we can.

What was one challenge either before, during or after your child(ren) came home?
The biggest challenge for us so far has been balancing how we have been parenting our biological children, up ‘til now, and how we are parenting Artem, since bringing him home. It’s very difficult to transition a strong-willed 2 yr old into his forever family. God however, is using this time to refine us, as parents. Some days are harder than I ever imagined, but I wouldn’t trade a second of it because He’s using it to make us more into his image. He’s teaching us to love unconditionally as He does. He’s teaching us to truly see our children through His eyes and not our own. He’s showing us just how much he loves us….not because of anything we’ve done, but just because he does!

If you could tell a family that was considering adoption one bit of advice what would it be?

Don’t let the hard times discourage you! Is adoption hard? Absolutely!! Does it require complete sacrifice at times? Absolutely!! BUT, watching God move in your family in miraculous ways will leave you awestruck! You will learn to completely depend on Him and give Him glory for every moment! Adoption will change you from the inside out…..more into the image of Him.

What verses were especially encouraging to you during your adoption journey?

“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14
“Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” Psalm 27:14

Share one blessing that has happened because you said YES and followed God on this journey.

One of the greatest blessings along this journey has been seeing our older four children develop a heart and love for the Fatherless, as well. Hearing them thank God for bringing their precious baby brother into our family and seeing them love him unconditionally has, at times, left us speechless. It hasn’t been easy for them, but day after day they’ve been pouring themselves into their little brother, expecting nothing in return. Hearing them tell him how much they love him and how much Jesus loves him, brings you to your knees in praise!

If you could share one other thing that is meaningful to you on the topic of adoption/orphan care, what would it be?

One of the most important parts of adoption is support. This is a journey that is not meant to be walked alone! Having someone to share your heartache, worries, disappointments, joys and triumphs with (that understands exactly what you’re going through) is a MUST! Don’t be afraid to share exactly how you feel (the good, the bad and the ugly)! God will bless you with some of the most amazing friendships you’ve ever had when you’re willing to walk alongside someone else, pray for one another and share each other’s burdens!

Thank you, Cole Family, for sharing HOPE with us here at Reaching Hearts!  Be sure to check out the Cole Family's Blog so you can see God continue to work in and through their family as they all settle in together.

You can link up to this series by using the code below.


You can also find info about a new devotional for adoptive/fostering mommas at

Be sure not to miss the rest of the "31 Families of HOPE" series:

Day 1 ~ Templeton Family

1 comment:

  1. Loved reading this! Adoption never ceases to be shockingly beautiful!!