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Well, I’ll be!

As soon as you are perfectly content WAITING…guess who just emailed me to say our home study has been submitted to AGCI? Yep–our home study coordinator said our study is being submitted TODAY to AGCI. Kuddos to the hubby for jumping through the last hoop! And super kuddos to our home study coordinator for working away anyway in good faith that Richard would jump through successfully for us:). Yay! Happy. Relieved. Excited.

Now we just wait to see when AGCI approves and if they want any revisions. If they want revisions, we revise and resubmit. If they approve, our coordinator notarizes our home study and we send in the final with our dossier! Can I get a da-se-YAY!? It won’t be long now and we’ll officially be on the list! Super YAY!

Now on the burner…20 portrait sessions to edit and a trip this weekend to Columbia. We’re so excited to meet the Johnson family finally in person and see the Oatsville family while we’re in Brentwood too! What fun families to celebrate finally being done with paperwork with!!! Thank you God that we are not alone in this beautiful calling…and most of all—Lord, I am SO humbled that you would call us to be parents again in this beautiful way. WOW. I can’t wait to bring our little baby home! (I literally teared up today when Donna emailed me to say our home study was being sent today!)

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Kim - October 29, 2009 - 3:50 pm

Congratulations!
Totally jealous that you will be in our hometown of Brentwood and hanging with our buddies the Johnsons & Oatsvalls.
Have a GREAT visit!
Love & Blessings from Hong Kong,
Kim

Amy - October 29, 2009 - 4:30 pm

Yay! We just got word that our home study was approved today but we still have some hoops to jump through and I just pray that our dossier documents are all correct!

Beautiful Mess - October 29, 2009 - 4:38 pm

Praise the Lord! That is awesome!

Terri - October 29, 2009 - 5:55 pm

What a beautiful family you have! Congratulations on your upcoming adoption!

emily v. - October 31, 2009 - 7:34 pm

Yay! Love it!! Doesnt it feel GREAT to have that paperwork done!! Celebrating with your family!

Fall fun…

My only adoption update today is I got a phone call today that went like this:
“Have you or Richard ever lived in another county in GA besides Fulton???”
“Me, no. Richard…would college count?”
“Yep”
Awwww man. I knew exactly where she was going. Richard went to UGA in Clarke County. Gotta call Clark County now and get the DHR to fax a clearance of his background. Gotta have one for every county you’ve lived in. She said I’d need to know the address of where he lived too. Hmmm…anyone know the address of the SAE house at UGA? After we get that…we should be good to go.
I’m learning with adoption when you think you are DONE…you are just CLOSE to being done:)
Just another sidetrack created by God to put us in line at the PERFECT time to carefully line us up with OUR baby…the one He chose for us before creation. I am going to wait patiently Lord.
On waiting:
“If the Lord makes us wait let us do it with our whole hearts! He is worth waiting for. The waiting itself is beneficial to us: it tries faith, exercises patience, trains submission, and endears the blessing when it comes. The Lord’s people have always been a waiting people.” -C.H.Spurgeon
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Kim - October 28, 2009 - 11:05 pm

Precious photos. Longing for a pumpkin patch in Hong Kong!
Love & Blessings,
Kim

Beautiful Mess - October 29, 2009 - 6:24 am

I love your attitude. It is teaching me so much.

I am not adopting (yet-oohh…weird to type that :)–sometimes those timelines many of my wonderful adoptive mommies have freak me out–but you have so encouraged me by your attitude. Many of them encourage me too, but…

Just wanted you to know YOU are an encouragement.

3 Blessings - October 29, 2009 - 9:23 am

We are right there with you. Who knew it would take so long to approve a homestudy. Our dossier is just sitting on the table waiting to be shipped with the approved homestudy. I keep telling myself though that this is all in God's timing, so since it is not ready, it must mean our baby is not ready.
Blessings,
Amy

Happy birthday Richard!!!

Today’s my hubby’s birthday. He’s in a meeting ALL day–so although he normally gets an email to my blog—he won’t be in the office today so he won’t see this post until tomorrow. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! He’s coming home early so we can hang out a bit—Laney is off to gymnastics at 5pm and he and Parker have their regular soccer practice (he’s the coach) from 6-7pm. THEN…

As a surprise…I have our sweet sitter coming over so we can go eat this…

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ETHIOPIAN!!!
I know, I know, I know…you are jealous you don’t get to eat this for dinner…right?!
Our home study agent is working away completing the final draft of our home study! Not sure when it will be emailed to AGCI for approval but it will be any day! As soon as it’s read and approved from AGCI, she can get it notarized, make copies and off our dossier and check will go to AGCI! I CAN’T WAIT TO BE WAITING, FINALLY IN LINE and on to the next step of bringing our baby home!
Stay tuned for the birthday Ethiopian dinner out. Won’t my hubby be so excited I took him here for dinner;).
Seriously—it’s time to celebrate being DONE with our paper chase and a little bit closer to our 4th child!
We are ALMOST officially paper pregnant:)
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April Watson - October 28, 2009 - 11:45 am

Andrea, Ethiopian food is my FAVORITE, but I haven't found any good restaurants around here… where are you going? Happy birthday to Richard! Today is my brother's 21st birthday and our nephew's 1st birthday, too. Big day! Thanks again for working with us on Monday. The little one slept hard and long after that. He wore himself out screaming for you! We continue to pray (and rejoice!) for you as you chase down this new little love. Keep the updates coming!

melissa - October 28, 2009 - 3:44 pm

That is the only problem I have with foreign countries, the food! All I ate in East Asia was peanut butter sandwiches and chocolate ice cream from the man down the street. Oh, I hope Richard likes his wonderful meal! A lot of people like Ethiopian food! I guess I should try it!

So close…but so far away…

Isn’t that an 80’s song??? We are SO stinkin’ close to being able to mail in our dossier that I could almost POP. I had a sitter today—and this is what I did…

  1. Dropped Parker off at school, Laney off at preschool and put Frank down for a nap…sitter here out the door I go.
  2. KINKOS! Color copies:). I wanted all the color pictures in our dossier to have color copies for the full effect:). Man, color copies are expensive! I’m just sayin.
  3. Home study agent emailed to let me know our doc never forwarded her our lab results. Drove to doc office. Doctor was out of town…for the week. EEK.
  4. Picked up Parker at noon–we went to the book fair and bought the SWEETEST book for our new baby. I can’t wait to read it to him. Parker bought a Carebears book for Laney. He bought a Spiderman and Batman book for himself. And we bought 2 insect books to donate to his class.
  5. Took everyone home to join Frank and our sweet sitter.
  6. Drove down town to lab. Got copies of all our lab work.
  7. Drove to put lab work in home study agent’s mailbox.
  8. Came home, got kids—jotted to Publix for birthday cake and balloons. Surprise birthday party for DADDY at the Denton’s house. Good times!
  9. Daddy acted excited when he opened up his birthday gifts. Laney had wrapped two of her Disney princesses. Parker gave him one of his PlayMobil knights. They were so proud!

OK…so it was a full day and probably more than anyone wanted…but I think today was my LAST day of running errands. As I pulled up in the lab for lab work I felt like I was going to a prenatal visit. All of these appointments and errands are part of my “paper pregnancy” and each errand is for a purpose…getting our sweet baby home! I am getting ever excited to hold him, love him and for him to finally be home with us!!!

On a side note–please pray for all the children and babies of Hannah’s Hope—our agench’s orphanage. Many babies have been getting sick. Please ask the Lord to protect these babies and children. Praise God for baby Zek who was in the hospital for pnemonia and got off oxygen yesterday! Many of the babies there have been hospitalized recently—so please join us in praying for wellness and for God’s protection of these tiny, precious, sweet little lives. Please pray for our son—wherever he is…that God will protect him and keep him safe. Our wait will officially begin VERY soon…and I’m getting so excited to be closer to going over and bringing him home!!! (And of course…pictures to follow of the birthday event…I forgot my camera—yes it’s true—but Jett got a few for me so I’ll share those soon:)

XOXO,
Andrea

P.S. I think I may have some super fun news ahead!!! OK…it’s super fun news for me anyway!!! Better than the recent movie news? Completely:) Don’t you hate it when someone tells you they have some news but don’t share it;). For real—it’s just around the corner and as soon as it’s in place…I’m disclosing…so stay tuned. No, I’m not pregnant. But I’m just as excited!

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milreb - October 27, 2009 - 8:51 pm

The paperwork is crazy. It's amazing any of us get a homestudy completed and dossier submitted. Now that you have all this experience, you can't let it go to waste after this one. You will have to put it to use on adoption #2!

melissa - October 27, 2009 - 9:18 pm

Now I can make a comment! I do not have a blog up and running, but I am working on it! I have started a profile on google. Thanks for talking to me so much today! I know God is leading me, so I will trust him to guide our steps. Whatever that my mean! I emailed a couple of the people who are adopting from Uganda to ask them what agencies they use. I will keep you updated! I hope Richard had a good birthday! Melissa

The Young Family - October 27, 2009 - 9:40 pm

Ahhh…adoption #2?! Richard just said today that he doesn't think he can handle the paper chase again! hmmm…funny b/c I'm the one who has done the chasin! What's he talkin about?! Hee, hee. Yes, not adopting again will be very hard to do! I just want a number for #1!!!

Karen & Brad Hernke - November 1, 2009 - 6:59 pm

I know all about your crazy running days. Just when you feel you ran your head to get alot done and then….stop…u must take a step back in time to fix something in the line of paperwork. We are currently adopting 2 kiddos from Ethiopia. Here is our blog if you would like to follow. http://www.hernkekid.blogspot.com
I love reading you blog!!! Hang in there…we will all get our gifts from God someday:)

God Bless,
Karen

Family pictures for dossier

I’m patiently waiting for our finished home study to be completed and then approved by AGCI. We’ve got every last item in our dossier completed…but one thing we lacked until today was family pictures. I’ve been SO busy with portrait sessions and not a moment to schedule our own…so today after church and naps…I got out the camera and decided to use the self-timer! Self timer pictures is one thing I had yet to do with the family…and I have to say it was so much fun…such a sweet memory of us all laughing at mommy running back and forth!!! Here are a few from our rigged up tri-pod…too funny of the fam…everyone looks happy in this one except Laney–I think she is confused what we are doing running back and forth here…

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And baby Frank doesn’t know why I’m laughing so hard! I barely made it back in my seat in time for this one!
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Okay…we are obviously having more fun doing pictures this way…
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Frank looks so confused here! “Why are they yelling for us to look at the camera with no one back there?!”
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Ok…maybe this isn’t working so well…still—a GREAT family memory!
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We needed an image of Richard and I together…so I got my 5 year old son to man the camera…
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And another by Parker of mommy and daddy…
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Parker was having so much fun that he wanted to get me and Laney-bug too…
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And one of my little man to end on…
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Frank is going to be one sweet big brother! I could just gobble this kid right up!
I’ve sent all of these to a 1 hour pickup and now we’re just waiting for our homestudy to be reviewed and approved!!! Once that is done…our dossier and check can be shipped asap! YAY!
I can’t WAIT to have a number…very, very, very SOON!
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Kim - October 26, 2009 - 2:26 am

Beautiful photos of your beautiful family!
Love the fact that I can feel your anticipation as I read your posts.
So excited to follow your journey!
Love & Blessings from Hong Kong,
Kim

Beautiful Mess - October 26, 2009 - 7:05 am

Those are some cute photos!

Praying for your adoption! God is SO good!

Jenn - October 26, 2009 - 7:21 am

cute photos…GREAT memories!! WAIT FOR US! We are right behind you 🙂

Jenn

crispy - October 26, 2009 - 7:45 am

Found you from another Ethiopian adoption blog. We are also about ready to turn in our dossier to AGCI. Looking forward to connecting more.

Cris

3 Blessings - October 26, 2009 - 9:37 am

Love the photos…they definitely show the love you have for this baby.
Blessings,
Amy

Are These Kids All Yours? - October 26, 2009 - 10:54 am

Can't wait to see a number on your page soon!!!

Amy - October 26, 2009 - 5:14 pm

I'm dying right along side you 🙂

I love the last picture of Frank!

It will be really cool if we end up next to each other on the list! I think we will end up very very close to each other! If you're right in front of me then I will know when we're number one and that would be really nice 🙂 I think we're going to be going through this entire agonizing process together and hopefully we will get to celebrate together in Addis Ababa if we get in the same travel group!

Karen & Brad Hernke - October 26, 2009 - 5:56 pm

Great pictures!!! What a very cute family. We are waiting for our change of country form and then we can send our dossier in to Adoption ARK. It's driving me crazy because teh dossier is all ready to go out but we need that one paper!! We were with Russia for a year and all of our paperwork expired and now we are happy to be adopting 2 kiddos from Ethiopia!! Here is our blog: http://www.hernkekid.blogspot.com

Keep the posts coming…I love reading them.

God Bless,
Karen, WI

milreb - October 26, 2009 - 6:14 pm

What a beautiful photo of you and your daughter. Your son apparently inherited the photographer gene. You are so close to The List!

Melanie Strobel - October 26, 2009 - 7:28 pm

Wow I love your blog! You are amazing to me- all that you do and I can feel God's energy in all you say on your blog. I know you reached out to me some time ago about photography and I wanted to thank you for that. Your photos are so gorgeous and I cannot wait to see who God has in store for your family. Very soon you will be "ON THE LIST." It is a great feeling as we have only been on the list for a couple of months and our numbers keeping dropping. We cannot wait to know her. Take good care and God bless! Melanie