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Our weekend in Tennessee…

We took off for Tennessee to see cousin Tom play in his LAST high school football game. It RAINED…they still played…so Rich took the older two while I stayed back with baby. We didn’t want a sick lobster for Halloween. Yes, he was a lobster. Yes, he is a boy. Yes, he’s wearing tights. (All questions my husband asked as I dressed him for the night)

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Banging on the pot = Fun. Thinking he was going to be dinner…not so fun. I thought it’d be a fun picture, but Frank though…not so much.

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For those of you concerned about Frank, before you call our adoption consultant/social worker, please note this image after the pot picture…see–a happy lobster again:)
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I’m tellin’ ya—the Young family knows how to do Halloween! This is how we went trick-or-treating…Uncle Buck on the tractor, trailor pulling all of us and Tom on the golf cart behind making sure no one was ever left behind. Here’s our crew getting ready for the night

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And some of the rest of our crew—cousin Emily, cousin Lucy and our college friends the Middlebrooks…we are so excited they are now in Columbia…one of our family’s church’s new pastors…such a small world! (Or maybe I should just say BIG God instead!)

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And what do we like to do after a loooong, cooooold hayride??? A family bonfire of course! Too much fun! I think Columbia, TN is our new favorite place for trick-or-treating!!!
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What a fun night! Bare with me…I’m going to work backwards here…to top of Halloween fun…guess who we met for breakfast that morning?! The Johnson Family!!! Kristi’s video was one of our inspirations in our adoption beginning—and I also found our agency (AGCI) through Kristi. It was such a joy to meet this family and sweet Lucy Lane finally! Frank and Lucy are the same age too…so it was fun to let them play together. I could just gobble this family up! All 5 kids…just precious!!! Here are the mommies with the almost 1 year olds!

Some of the Oatsvall team joined us too!!! Gwen and her girls joined us for breakfast. It was such fun to spend time with these precious families and for our kiddos to all get to play together…and of course to talk Africa, adoption, Ethiopia and Uganda with these new friends too…You can check out Gwen’s blog and follow her story here: http://oatsvallteam.blogspot.com/ 147 Million just got some bran new t’s in…Gwen is sporting one of the new long-sleeve t’s here…these will be my Christmas gifts to family (sorry family…just try to act surprised when you open your gifts) You can buy yours here (the new ts will be up in a week or so online): http://147millionorphans.com/
And guess what lobster turned ONE today?! Yes, our little Frank! I’d add those pictures—but I think today’s post is already overflowing with pictures. I’ll add those next week to distract me a bit from getting too antsy waiting to hear if our home study is approved or if revisions are required. They said 5-7 days to review…so if it went in on Thursday…hmm—I’m trying not to think about it and just wait on the Lord’s perfect timing.
Thank you Kristi and Gwen for a fun Saturday morning!!! And thank you Buck Young family for an INCREDIBLE family weekend! Can’t wait to share the 1st birthday pictures! And secretly can’t wait to share when we hear back from AGCI!!!
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Kim - November 2, 2009 - 5:20 am

Is it okay to be totally jealous?
Just kidding.
So glad you got to meet and enjoy the friends I miss so dearly!
The Halloween photos are precious too!
Love & Blessings from Hong Kong,
Kim

Jenn - November 2, 2009 - 11:56 am

So jealous…in a good kind of way…sort of 🙂 WISH we could have been there…it looks like a WONDERFUL weekend!

Jenn

Peter & Amy - November 2, 2009 - 5:43 pm

Looks like an awesome halloween. I don't think you should worry about the 5-7 business days. That is what they told us and it only took them 2 days to review the home study last week so I bet you should get news very soon! Let us know 🙂

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