Tuesday, November 13, 2012

We are home!!

We have been home almost 2 months now... gosh do I neglect this blog!! Wonder if anyone will even read this...lol It's been a real time of transition and growth for us all!! The boys are sweet and want to integrate ...yet of course still miss Addis and all that they have ever known. Their English gets better all the time... and so does our Amharic. Our biggest struggle was food choices to begin with... everything tastes so different here and that's hard to get used to. We also have had issues with boundaries and rules and what it means to be in a family. Adoption related, new life related... hormonal pre-teen boy related things have led to many a Cha Cha... 2 steps forward 1 step back... 2 steps back 1 Step forward... it's always a dance. The boys are all integrating well and learning what it means to be brothers of many. E has had the hardest time because he isn't one to take crap from anyone. And the boys are so used to instigating and picking in usually a fun way!!... but still annoying to a little brother. So he just doesn't deal with them...lol N is learning that there are other kids to show off for... a bit overwhelming and hard to share for him some times. Over all the first month was one of those holy crap what did we do... kind of months. This second month has been much better...easing into a routine. A and B have made friends with the son of dear friends of ours and they spend afternoons with each other. Gives us all a bit of a breather and we are all happier when we come back together. It's been such an amazing blessing. I will try to post a bit more ... share more of what the adventures of older child adoption... it's sure been a ride :) I will also share pictures soon!! WE are having family pics done on Saturday... so excited about that! Many blessings y'all.... or whomever is still reading...lol

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


I am so sorry I have taken so long to update this thing... it would mostly have been whining and I do enough of that on FB...lol

But yep... you read that right... TWENTY ONE MONTHS after the beginning they are coming home!!!

I leave Friday morning to head to Ethiopia... my Embassy appointment is on the 17th and then... We are HOME on Sept 22!!

Hub's is staying home with the kiddos and holding down the fort while we are gone.... he's so amazing at that and such an awesome house husband!! :)

Thanks for all that have checked in and loved and prayed for us!
I will make every effort to come back and update much more after we are home with all our new family fun..

Until then......

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Have I shared with you in the past that I am not a good waiter?

Well... I am not.

I feel like I need a WA meeting. Hello my name is Andrea and I am not a good waiter.

I miss my boys. Period. It's time for them to come home.

A has to go through a test to see if he has TB which will take another 6 weeks and then I am not sure what then happens with the Embassy.

B's paperwork is waiting because the person in the government office that's supposed to do it is 'out' ... who the heck know for how long. Seriously I am NOT in love with the fact that important government people can just be gone... when ever ... for as long as they want.

Ready to have them home!!!

We had to move our fundraiser to a blog instead of the Charity Site because it went down please visit here A Long Way Home to donate... and please share on your blog if you can!


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Help Us Bring them HOME!!

We are having a fundraiser to bring our new sons home... can you help? Or share on your blog if you feel so led? :)
B's Birthday is on June 7th and we can't think of a better birthday gift for him. Can you spare 13.00? To help him home?

Go here to see how!!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

And then there were 2 More!!!

We are so excited to announce that we are now the proud new family for B and A ...!!!

A little back ground on our story….
We were a family of 4. Two parents, 2 kids and a dog…the kids were teens and life was comfortable.

Then God had other plans. He shared the story of adoption with us through Steven Curtis Chapman’s family. We decided to move forward…after many mountains were moved we were able to move forward with the first adoption of our N at the age of 2 years old in December of 2006.

While we were there we fell in love with the people and the country and decided we needed to go back.

Two years later we began the process of adopting our second son who had been a waiting child for more than a year. He became very ill while in the country and wasn’t expected to make it. Our pediatrician gave us the grim news after reading his charts from Ethiopia that he wouldn’t live. We gathered in the living room as a family to pray.

E survived but his road to health was hard and long. When we landed in the states after only knowing him for 5 days we spent the next 12 in isolation and then many others with Dr’s and surgeries. But he’s healthy and strong and hardly ever ill any more now.

Last year in January we decided to take the leap one more time…only this time we knew there were 2 more, and that they would be older kids. I, Andrea, had been to Ethiopia leading mission trips and I knew that the older kids were the ones that needed the love and homes…since the littles are usually scooped up first.
Through prayer God helped us choose A and B, not related boys through the agency that we had used for E’s adoption.

I went to meet the boys while on a mission trip in June 2011 with my daughter and mom, dad stayed home to take care of the other boys, cause he’s good like that. 
Final paperwork was filed to get the boys submitted to court in July …. Then ….. nothing.

November came and in a desperate plea I asked for a Christmas gift to go back to see the boys and see why our papers weren’t moving.

We were told in December that both boys needed to have their files completely redone which could take months.

Those months stretched to May 4th when we were given the rights to parent both boys in Ethiopian Court. Almost a year to the time I met them for the first time.
In the mean time we found that Dad, needed to have surgery … this has taken a huge toll on finances we had saved for our return trip to bring both boys home in July (our hopeful time frame) … so we are asking for help from those that cannot or choose not to adopt but want to help in some way to bring them home.
So that’s where we are… and why we are asking…

Thank you for reading! Thank you for sharing! Thank you for Giving!

And we now need your help in a huge way! We are raising funds for the trip home. Please check out our fundraising site... we need 5500.00 to get them home... we know he will provide!!

Our Un-Shower ... Thank you for your help and for sharing this with your friends!!

Saturday, March 31, 2012



Finally got a court date!

After much back and forth and me and about the end of my rope... God knows huh?... we got a court date!!!

This is technically for A because miracles of miracles he was the one submitted. They are working very hard to get B's case done. There is a piece of paper that needs to get competed so that we can talk to the judge about both of them.... I am still not sure how that will work out.

I am leaving on April 23, our court date is May 4 and I am coming home on May 5. Twelve days ... still doesn't seem long enough, but I cannot wait to get there to see our boys and my A's and new friends to meet. :)

This court date means that if we pass we will be declared their parents... then we wait another 8-10 weeks to pass Embassy and can bring them home... in a perfect world we will have them home before the end of July. He can do it! He can move the mountain!

I am going alone for this trip... but D will come with me for the Embassy trip and to bring the boys home.

Please pray with us that we are able to get this piece of paper for B. The orphanage director for the place that needs to get this paper is apparently very ill... or recovering from an accident... I am not sure which. Either way he could sure use prayers for healing. He moved A's mountain... Lord we ask you to move B's mountain!!

Ethiopia... HERE I COME!!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Random Catch up Stuff

Well, first news is that I am not going to Ethiopia at the end of March. That was a tough blow!! When I was in ET with the boys in November I felt for sure that we would be back there in February to get our court date done, as that dream started to fade, I made plans in my heart to go at the end of March. Hoping to go with the BEMM team and see the boys at the same time.

I was getting pretty anxious... and then madder than heck at our agency who could not seem to coordinate conversations so that I could make those plans and get the ball rolling.

It is extremely frustrating to be told you will hear something repeatedly and then not hear it. Or only get a partial answer. I was about at my wits end when finally we got the news that we could not schedule an appointment with the judge during the time that I had hoped to be there. I was heart broken... and the news came on the day that I think my hormones were at an all time out of wackiness... I think I could have crawled in a hole and stayed there. I did just go to bed and cry.

The next day though, I was feeling much better and a little annoyed at my drama...lol

We got further news though that we SHOULD have a court date in April!! Praise the LORD... now I have to be careful not to refresh my email too much. :)

There is a meeting Wednesday to see about that last piece of paper for B's case. Please pray with us that we hear good news about that... and we are able to get his case submitted too.

On another fun note. We went out Saturday night with the kiddos to the mall. D needed new shoes, we went to dinner and S needed some make up stuff. There is an indoor play place in the mall that the boys love, and it allows them to run off some steam.

D was looking for his shoes so I took the boys to the play place by myself. As I sat down, I noticed a 4some sitting down the way from me. I knew right away that they were Ethiopian. I was so excited... except I have this very odd shyness when it comes to asking people where they are from. No one believes me when I tell them that... but it's true. So I text D to hurry up... cause he doesn't share my shyness.

He came and sure enough... they were. Turns out that one couple pastor's an Ethiopian church here locally... WHO KNEW WE HAD ONE?! and the other couple is actually half Ethiopian half Philadelphian. The man is in the military and met his Ethiopian wife in Italy. We struck up a wonderful conversation and exchanged phone numbers. It was so so cool!!!

The young woman married to the military guy was so so sweet! She said she feels lonely sometimes and we chatted and talked about getting together. They all said they would help me learn Amharic, and we could help them with English. :) AND they have a social get together every 2nd Sunday of the month.

Yes... some day I will get over my shyness.

When we parted the young momma gave me the biggest hugs and kept saying "I am SO happy, I am SO happy" Thank you God!

On another cool note... remember these posts after my first mission trip to ET?

We have been given the privilege of becoming a sponsor family for them. What a way God touches lives huh? I was talking to my brother T in ET and he said that the momma was very sick, and I asked him about a sponsor family through Adoption 1:27. We are so excited about this opportunity!

ok, I am the one excited because I feel so connected to them... this just makes my heart feel so full.

On home front news: S is preparing for graduation, prom and her senior trip to Disney... wow! She is a senior!

The boys are extra excited about Spring and Summer and cannot WAIT for their brothers...lol they talk about them all the time.

Well.. that's about it for the catch up. Praying for B's paper work and to hear something about our court date.... oh on a side funny... D mentioned to me the other day that perhaps he would go to Ethiopia this time and I could stay home.....??????............. To which I said "Have you not lived with me over the past several months?! Why would you even THINK such a thing?!"

Silly guy...

Hope to post good news soon.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

It's a no go.... again...

Didn't get any news.

Still waiting....

Still don't know why B's case is waiting on 1 paper... where it's coming from or why?

Still don't know if A was submitted?

I am beyond frustrated...

I did get an email from our agency last night that expressed frustration on their part too with the non answers coming from ET. Our rep will be in Addis this coming week and if we do not hear from them beforehand... we will hear from her personally by Friday. At least that's a step...

So... KEEP praying for us and for them.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Could it be????

Looks like A's paperwork is going to be submitted to court this week!!!

Just a few short weeks ago we weren't sure we would have ANY papers to submit, and this week they will be placed in the court system!

B's papers still have 1 stinkin piece to be completed. I think it's a dreaded MOWA letter?... but I don't know.

It's been a really long 8+ months waiting to be submitted to court.. it's almost surreal to think it may actually be happening.. This mean that we will be in Ethiopia within the next month or so!!! WAHOOO!!!

We hope to hear something about B's paper this week.

What they will do it submit Abel's papers this week and then as soon as B's are done they will submit his, and then make sure they know that the 2 are together. D and I will only have to go for one court trip, and then wait for them to pass.

PRAYING they both pass quickly then are submitted to Embassy to be home by June??? One can wish right?!

This means though that we need to start getting busy with making the money we need to bring the boys home. We need to get busy working on selling our Africa's in my etsy shop.... or you can see them on my facebook page. PLEASE SHARE IT! :)

We also have a very cool partnership going on with my dear friend... she is making amazing trivets and coasters. Please check out her page and see what you might like... SHARE it too... PLEASE :)

We will need about 2000.00 to pay for their tickets home... thank you for your prayers and help!!

This journey seems to have a light at the end of it's tunnel!! Praise GOD

Friday, February 10, 2012

Hope Comes in the Morning

It's funny that when God gives you insight, He then gives you some semblance of peace.

We have found out that A's paperwork is completely finished and B's is only one piece away from being ready for court submission. It's a miracle!!!

It looks like we may have a court date in March...or at the very latest April! SO excited about that.

The conundrum is that I was planning to go with BEMM to meet the momma we sponsor and to spend some time with the ministry as well as work on some other things while there in March... and at this point it's on hold. I TOTALLY trade getting my boys with that... but am still a little sad to possibly miss that.

It also means that we need to come up with the money to be able to travel 2 of us, instead of just me.

Gotta get some Africa's sold!! :) Please check them out ... and share with your friends if you aren't ready to buy one yourself. :)

I CANNOT wait to see my boys again and be able to for REAL call them our sons.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


I have struggled.

Seriously, struggled these last several months.

I can't begin to describe to you how I have felt other than unhinged, emotional, and unsteady.

When we found out in December that it was possible that we would not be A's parents it kicked into high gear. The waiting and wondering, the praying, the crying out to God... the feeling that my heart was being ripped from my chest.

If God had not set into motion a relationship a year ago that's flourished into one of family and love... then A would not be now moving into court submission.

I have text a few friends truly concerned that I just could not get a handle on my sadness and ache for all that is in Ethiopia. I am a momma with her arms empty of 2 beautiful boys who I know and love. Have met and hugged and kissed and had call me mom. I have seen their smiles, and tears... I have seen them interact with their friends and nannies. I have watched them with my big A's. They have been grafted into my heart... and they are not here.

I grieve what they will miss. I grieve what they will no longer have. I grieve the special bond that is between Ethiopian people.

Yesterday I had an aha moment.

I believe I grieve so strongly because my boys are going to need me to understand. They are going to grieve it too. They will on a level I will never understand.... but I KNOW... a tiny piece of it. This is some ways gives me comfort... to know that perhaps there is a purpose to my own pain... yet it makes the ache for them that much deeper.

My boys are going to need someone here to GET that what they miss is a piece of their being.

B with his boundless energy and sweet shy smile... and A with his soft voice and sweet demeanor... will for sure have many wonderful opportunities here... but it doesn't replace what they will no longer have.

They will no longer be in an orphanage you say? Well no, they won't but those people have been their family for more than 3 yrs each... they have bonds... they have roots...they have family there. It's sure not the same as family, but it's what they know.

So I am learning to embrace the grief... feel and cry myself through it.. because my boys are going to need me to cry with them ... grieve with them. And we will heal and grow through it.

Friday, February 3, 2012


So excited to say that we are finally moving in the right direction! :) So excited!!!

The mountain we needed to move was moved. God is so very good!! And He's contining to make things happen.

On the home front there's exciting things happening as well. The boys got their report cards yesterday and N got is first EVER O for Outstanding in Work Habits!! :) And E is now above grade level in subjects that just weren't clicking for him before!! How very cool is that?!

S has been promoted in her her job which means a raise and more hours which is awesome considering the fact that she now has a car payment. The joys of adulthood huh? We are picking out prom dresses and planning graduation.

Fundraising for my trip to ET in March with Because Every Mother Matters AND too see the boys.

Here is a sample of one of the newest creations:

It's 18"H x 17"W each are had distressed and stained so no 2 are exactly the same. The proceeds go towards my trip. 45.00 plus shipping any where in the US. Let me know if you want one... they go pretty quickly! :) LOVE IT!!

Thanks for your prayers and your support!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Mountains Tumbling

Well we have a bit of movement! YAY

B's case only needs one more piece of paper and then can be submitted to court! That's a major step in the right direction.

We still have some issues with A's paperwork. Luckily God has placed some some amazing people in place to help. The mountain seems to be crumbling... rock by tiny rock.

It's been such a hard road. It feels like I am dealing with pregnancy hormones, only this is worse cause at least you know after 9 months there is a baby. In this case... we are on month 12, and still no guarentees....

What has been the best blessing is watching the way people have stepped up. We have had prayers from around the world, texts and phone calls from so many friends, and love shared from places we never could have imagined.

Even had a wonderful friend offer to help us fund raise for my March trip! SO cool!! :)

Busy making more Africa's... wait till you see the newest creation... Loving this creative side. :)

Thanks for the prayers!! Can't wait to share the mountain has crumbled! :)

Friday, January 27, 2012

New African Connections Listed

It's been so fun making these wall creations!

We have a couple of new creations ... Check them out
Have had most of them sell out as I make them... be sure to get yours as a gift for a fellow adopting parent, for your new child as a gift... as a beautiful addition to your collection of art. ;) ok... I know that last one is a stretch, but the stained one in particular is beautiful in person. :)

Thanks for helping me AND Because Every Mother Matters

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Why am I still here?

I was talking to a man on the phone the other day about my thoughts for the 501c3 I want to start…I have been trying to nail down the concept and information, and was talking about grants and start up costs with him.

He was very intrigued by my idea and then was astounded when I said I had been to Ethiopia 5 times already. Then I was sort of astounded. Really?!! I have been there 5 times? To Ethiopia?! Wow!

Usually when I tell people that I would live there if I could, I get the blank stare. And then the ‘oh really?..... Well that’s NOT for me!” And I giggle.

Today someone said to me that they couldn’t believe I didn’t already live there. And to be completely honest with you, I really can’t believe it myself.

In a conversation with another friend I said to her “WHY?! Why do we want to live in a third world country? Where there are parasites, inflation is CRAZY, there aren’t freedoms there like here, electricity and water are unpredictable and we would be the major minority?” She said…” Cause we’re crazy”

Are we?

Are we crazy?


But maybe not?

You know what else is there? Beauty. Love. Joy in the little things. Family connections that defy blood relations. There is a pride there that is …. different than what American’s feel which is more entitlement and conceit. The poor help each other.

When you talk to a lot of Ethiopians they would tell you that they may want to visit here, but not live here in America. I think that speaks volumes.

I was talking to my brother T the other day and he asked me why Ethiopia was cursed and so poor? Why had God forsaken them? I didn’t have answer to his perception… all I could give him was mine. That there is so much more beauty and strength in Ethioipa than anywhere I have ever seen. That I have heard from more than one person that they FOUND God in Ethiopia… not that He had forsaken it. I don’t know why there seems to be so much more pain and suffering there than anywhere else? I don’t know why there is such abject poverty. Not that God causes these things to happen… but perhaps in some grand scheme it’s to help people like me and others to realize that there is so much more to life than the car we drive, or the house we live in, or the clothes we wear? Perhaps it’s to help us catch a glimpse of what God wants us to see in others? Perhaps He wants His people to remember to think outside of themselves and at each other?

Logistically I am still here because of E’s meds. Right now they are not available in Ethiopia in the formula we need them to be in, so we stay here. His life is more important than any soul desire I have to live in his country of birth.

When we have A home and stable on meds… and get E on a formula we can travel with we will re-evaluate. I learn more and more that I want my children to know their country, know the beauty, know the hardships and the strength.

Until then, I will pray for those that I miss. I will cry my tears of longing. I will cry out to our Lord for guidance and strength. I will continue to ask for perseverance and wisdom in how to follow Him and serve His people. Right now, clearly my place is here.

In the future? …. As my brother A says… God Knows.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A little update

Life has been a little crazy around here... waiting in limbo has been the hardest part.

We are still waiting for news that B's case has moved through the local court and can be set up to move into the federal court and get us a court date.

And we are still waiting to hear that the 2 pieces of paper have been obtained for A's case to know that he will be ours. I think that's the hardest part ever. The not knowing. It's been the hardest part of this journey. Knowing him, having met him, loving him already and not knowing if he's going to be our son.

There are people around the world praying for him and for us... and we know He sets the lonely in families...we just pray that this lonely one gets to be in this family!

A sweet fellow adoptive mom and new friend was there a couple of weeks ago and sent me a videos of both boys. SWEET! :)

I am working on setting up a 501c3 to help families with travel which will in turn help some of the projects we work with in Ethiopia. I am really excited about this. I am ready to move into a new season in life!! I will let you know more as it comes closer.

I am trying to get to Ethiopia in March, praying it will be able to include a court date!! :) But I will be doing some ground work for the 501c3 and going to with BEMM to visit the mom we sponsor.

I have started a little fundraiser that I hope will help. Check it out here,

Thanks for the prayers!! I will be posting some pics and updates on the littles soon! They are growing like WEEDS! :) God is Good!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

A little piece of Africa

Hey guys!

I know I haven't been here to update much :) I figure you don't want to hear me whining about the fact that we are STILL waiting on paper work. We have had some pretty cool situations happen though that I think will be the thing we need to get the ball really rolling.

Any way... I am going to Ethiopia in March.
Either for a court date for my guys ...or just to visit them cause it's truly been too long to be away from them. I will also be visiting Dessie with Because Every Mother Matters to meet our sponsored mom!

The thing is that we need money to make this happen... surprise!!! :)

SO.... I thought of this fun idea to bring a little bit of Africa to you... although made in America...
Here is the page with all the information.

Even if you aren't interested in purchasing one, we would love it if you would share it with your friends!!!

Thanks so so much!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011 In Review

2011 has been a blessed year over all. We had some losses but many many gains... and as it ended last night I was feeling so very excited for what lies ahead for 2012.
Here is a short pictorial of our year. Not in order of event...as the pics weren't in order...lol but you get the gist.

Our sweet Gabriel's heart decided to cease and he went on to doggie heaven. We still miss the giant love!!!
My little tiny grand mother went on to be with the lord in February. Leaving behind an amazing legacy of service and mission. And my very favorite man... her husband. He's doing remarkably well for an old guy...missing his life long love.
My dear friend S lost her husband, who was our worship leader at church in March to cancer. She and I didn't really know each other before his death... but have become like sister's since his death and have sort of adopted their family. Only God can produce this kind of beauty from those ashes.

We had fund raisers for our next Mission trip to Ethiopia.... backed goods, Chili cook offs, yard sales... God provided it all.
Took our annual trip to the Outer Banks of NC.

Visited family for Easter.
Had an amazing rap concert at our church. Christian Rappers. Brothers. On fire men of God. Now our new blessed chosen family members!!! God is so good!
Got to experience Ethiopia with both my mom and my S. What a joy to share that with them.
Met some awesome friends in person while in Ethiopia.... love that you can fly across the world and meet with friends that you have only spoke to online in your own country...lol
Got to spend time with my brother T and my friend N.
Had a memorial with the WHOLE family in July to say a farewell to my grand mother. What a wonderful time!

Was blessed by my kids on my birthday!!
Kids started school.
Went back to Ethiopia in November to visit my boys... wish I could insert their pics here!!! But also got to make other wonderful family and create memories that will last a lifetime. Best trip ever!!! :)
Enjoyed Thanksgiving with the family... :)
Enjoyed Christmas with them as well... the ornaments above represent our grandparents ... they were together on Christmas ... even if only in spirit.
We don't have our boys with us as I had dreamt... still not sure when they will come home. I am planning another trip there this year to visit... since the process looks like it will be much longer than planned.

I am also hoping to visit with my friend Steffany from Because Every Mother Matters... while there in ET. As I have visited the country more and learned more about it's people, gotten to know them and love them. The more I see the need that this organization fills is the best. It's along the lines of what I have always thought. Stop the orphan crisis before it starts. Instead of building a place for women to live that are HIV+ as I had envisioned.... meet them where they are. Empower them and lift them up! LOVE it!!

Also planning another mission trip in October/November... if you wanna come let me know. :)

I have also begun the makings of a new business myself... one that I pray will help other families while also providing me the opportunity to go back to Ethiopia more often and help sustain some of the wonderful ministries that are already there on the ground. I am working on the business plan now and can't wait to share it with you... check back in.

My one New Years resolution is to start running again. In that last picture up there I can see that I have let myself go too far and need to reign it in. :). So tomorrow... it begins... too tired from last night to start today .... :)

Looking forward to new business... new boys... new adventures ... new me... in this new year!!!

Can't wait to see what yours holds in store too!