She and her husband, James, are the parents of three boys, Jimmy, David and Daniel. How their family came together is a story of love and trust.
The two met in 1989 when they were both attending the Church of God of Prophecy General Assembly. He was supervisor of the gate guards, one of whom she had dated. But Allene and James happened to see each other and ... there their romance began. They married in 1990.
James is originally from Kansas and had come to Cleveland to attend Tomlinson College, and stayed on to work. Allene’s dad had served as a pastor in Kentucky.
The couple lived in Cleveland for a year, then Alabama about two years before moving to Kentucky, where they were caretakers of the Kentucky COGOP state property. Their first son Jimmy was born while they were in The Bluegrass State.
But God had another plan for the Coxes — a move to Kansas.
This was a step toward the adoption of David and their coming to The Church of God. They didn’t know they were living across the river from their “son” in Indiana and didn’t know things were being put in place for the connection that brought their second, but oldest, son home.
Allene said, looking back, she can see why her husband was moved by God to “pack up and move” to Kansas. Cox was raised in Olathe, Kan., but he wasn’t sure why he felt the urge to move back to Kansas to pastor the church in Wichita. Jimmy was almost a year old when the family headed for Kansas.
In the meantime, an elderly grandmother made a call to a local church in Kansas, inquiring as to if any there would adopt another child, since she didn’t feel she could take care of him. David, almost 4, had been abandoned to his grandmother, coming to Indiana by bus from close to the Mexican border. She knew there were several couples in the Olathe church who had adopted children and the grandmother was hoping her grandson might find a home with someone there.
The call for help reached the Coxes. God, Allene said, had already prepared her husband. He had had a dream where he saw a young child falling and no one was there to catch him. So when the late-night phone call came, the confirmation was sure and the answer was quick. “Tell them ‘Yes.’”
David, of course, has always known he was adopted — that he was “hand-picked.” Sometimes things were complicated. At first, there were a few children who mocked him as being adopted, but his parents taught him through the Scripture how God instituted adoption for His own children — consider Jesus himself, Moses and other great leaders and biblical characters.
Then along came another brother, Daniel, actually conceived on the move from Kansas to Georgia in 2001. And in 2009 at The Church of God Assembly, Cox was appointed to Tennessee as state overseer.
Life just keeps changing, but when God arranges things, Cox said, things come together.
The boys have all been home schooled and this month, Jimmy and David both graduate from high school. The two older boys, Allene said, have different personalities, although David is much like his dad. “Jimmy is the quiet one and David comes on loud.”
And the way they learn is different, also. But some things they have learned together, she explains, even though they are three years apart in age. All three sons know what it is to love and to be loved and God is the center of all their lives.
Sometimes she is asked, “Do you love one more?”
“No, but differently,” is her answer. She explained they have different needs and love is expressed differently and personally.
Allene said her advice to young mothers is to keep your family first — “the economy may fail and not get a lot better, a career only lasts so long, but what’s most important is the investment you make in your marriage and children.
“Children don’t come with manuals,” she added, “but I can’t imagine parenting without the Word and the support of others and the church,” referring to biblical examples of Timothy, his mother and grandmother; and Naomi, Ruth’s mother-in-law.
“My mother influenced me with her wisdom and sincerity in caring for her children,” Allene said, “and I want to pass that on.”