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Richard and I are heading back to "school"…

One thing at a time…now that we’re done with our homestudy paperwork, we just have our physicals and our parent education to knock out…and well some educating before we can say Adios to our homestudy. SO…we’re officially being educated—and this should make for lots of interesting time together (have you ever had to sit in a room and be serious with Richard or I?! Or better yet, take an online course with both of us in the room trying to pay attention and listen…I’m worried about failing here!) So…we have to complete these online courses before our home study can be approved…and we need our home study approved so we can get homeland security approval…and we need homeland security approval to complete our dossier…just one of the many things that will make up our dossier. So…off to school we go…here’s a list of our online courses we have to complete—um…asap, be tested on (no cheating Richard!) and receive credits for…

Adoption Education, LLC Training Courses
– Attachment and Bonding
– Behavioral and Mental Disorders
– Culture and Identity
– Effects of Institutionalization
– Effects of Stress in Early Life
– Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
– Malnutrition
– Prenatal Exposure to Drugs and Maternal Smoking
– Sensory Integration Disorder
– Special Regional Considerations
– Travel and Transition
– Waiting Parents and Lifebooks
– Eyes Wide Open Completed Workbook and CD

Got that?! Any one have Cliffnotes I can borrow;). OK–Richard and I didn’t go to college together so this should be fun! My sister reminded me today that I need to see everything as an opportunity rather than another thing to get done or do. This is all for an absolutely BEAUTIFUL end result!!! And important to do too! OK…now finding time to get all the courses in;).

And speaking of end results…if you haven’t heard the ring tone I’ve assigned to AGCI in my cell phone you have to totally check it out in my previous post and boogie with us:). Parker and Laney do a dance that I am sure the African community would love! Actually…if you ever saw Can’t Buy Me Love and remember the African Anteater Ritual Dance…their version of dancing to my cell phone is pretty close…I’ll have to video that one and put it on my blog for sure!

Are These Kids All Yours? - September 28, 2009 - 8:59 pm

Oh yes, the classes….well they are great, and sooo much fun. Ok well maybe not really fun, but they are informational. So just remember to get as much out of it as possible. Just don't let them scare you either. Jason & I always say if everyone read and believed everything they ever heard about adoption- no one would do it!!!!

Top 5 Big Things for this week…

1. 4 photography sessions on Tuesday (EEK! 4?! Yes, 4. But Andrea, I thought you only shot one a day. Why yes, you are right. But with my crazy paper work chase balanced with kids being sick, doctors visits. little sleep and reschedules due to a week and a half of rain…I overbooked myself for Tuesday. It has happened before—once. But that made 2 in a day–not 4. Forgot to write one down and already had 3…and now I have 4 sessions on Tuesday…the *ONLY* day I work of the week…so it should be a busy one. Have a EVER shot 4 full 1 hour sessions in a day? Nope! Do I think I can handle it? Do I have have to answer that question? Ummm–email me on Tuesday night and see if I still have a pulse. EEK!

*UPDATE:) Ahh…my new favorite client and new VBFF just moved to Thursday! YAY! Ok…now only 3 on Tuesday so I can breathe and will do hers on Thursday while the older 2 are in preschool and grab a sitter for a couple of hours for Frankie baby. This at least helps me breath!

2. Adoption Physicals on Wednesday! Lots of tests…and you all *KNOW* how I feel about needles! But this will ALL be worth it in the end! AND Laney has her monthly dermatologist appointment Wednesday afternoon too. Ahhh…a day of doctors!!! Praise the Lord though that she doesn’t have MSRA like they thought before and we’re just going for checkups!!!

3. OCTOBER! My favorite month of the YEAR! I always wanted an October baby just for October birthday parties! Hmmm…who knows–maybe baby #4 will have an October birthday?? Or maybe October will be the month we celebrate a “Gotcha Day” instead?? Regardless, October is my FAVORITE month of the year and it starts THIS Thursday! Yippee! (Now…gotta get my calendar out to start planning our pumpkin patch trip, carving day, and all that Fall fun!)

*Also on Thursday my package w/ our check and notarized material arrives to AGCI (our agency)…and we start on our dossier (final paperwork collection before we get put on the wait list!). How fitting…the first day of my favorite month we get another step closer to our baby! AND on Thursday…my rocking 17 Bible study girls come over at 7:30! LOVE OUR GROUP!!! They are the COOLEST girls and with the most PRECIOUS hearts…I feel SO blessed to have each of them as friends and accountability in my life!!! (YAY…now I really can’t wait for Thursday!)

5.  And FINALLY…FRIDAY—we take off for an adoption conference in Franklin, Tennessee with our entire crew! I’m the photographer for the conference and we’re so excited to be a part of it! It is going to be AMAZING to be among so many other families who have a heart for the orphans of the world and who have taken the plunge to grow their family through adoption. We are attending these breakout sessions at the conference:

-Implementing a Balanced Orphan Care and Adoption Ministry in Your Church
-Transracial Adoption and the Multi-Ethnic Family of God
-A Wholistic Church Campaign for the Fatherless
-Wholistic Care for Orphans

We’ll be staying with Richard’s aunt and uncle in Columbia, TN and scooting back and forth to the conference with Mr.Frank in tow. He’s not on bottles just yet—so he still has to go where I go…can’t believe he’ll be 11 months this Thursday too! Parker and Laney are going to get to stay behind in Columbia and Richard’s aunt and uncle are both so excited to have them for the weekend while Rich and I (& Frank) go to this conference to learn how we can better impact the orphans of the world.

OK…so that’s it for this week;). One day at a time in the Young household! I doubt I’ll be blogging this week…so if you don’t hear from me—you know why! I’m sure I’ll have a funny story after Richard and I get our physicals on Wednesday…and did I already say that this is the LAST thing left to do for our HOME STUDY!!! YAY! One step down…now the dossier to go!

Kristi J - September 27, 2009 - 9:29 pm

oh, my…you're gonna be in Franklin?? That's just one minute down the road…Ok, so you have to come meet LL and the gang!! Do you have a free minute?? too fun!! kristi

The Young Family - September 28, 2009 - 6:40 am


Frances - September 28, 2009 - 8:32 am

My name is Frances Worthington and we are adopting from Uganda. We will be at the conference this weekend too! Hope to see you there. Our blog is

See you there!

The Young Family - September 28, 2009 - 11:46 am

About to email you Frances!!! Would love to meet up at the conference!!!

Jehovah Jireh!

This post is gonna be short and sweet as it’s been a loooong week. Richard was out of town Monday to Wednesday night…then Parker tossed his cookies 6 times today so he was home from school with me and baby Frank. I had completed everything for our homestudy and it’s time to mail in our first big chunk of change. When I say big chunk…it’s a really big chunk. I was specifically praying that enough orders would come in and we’d have all we needed by this Friday…and as soon as the sun set tonight (Thursday) every last penny we needed came in. I just wanted to give the Lord praise in this post for being our Jehovah Jireh! I am humbled and amazed how He has already provided, led and given us confirmation that this is His path for our family—how He continues to have His hand on this adoption! I’m even more amazed in the miracle of adoption…how my heart feels and how things keep panning out. You always here people talk about “the miracle of childbirth” but I’ll have to say there is something uniquely, miraculous about “the miracle of adoption”! Trusting God for what is ahead and to always be our great provider…

Kim - September 25, 2009 - 2:59 am

What a beautiful post honoring our Great Provider! And AMEN to the "uniquely, miraculous" journey through "the miracle of adoption".
Love & Blessings from Hong Kong,

Beautiful Mess - September 25, 2009 - 6:31 am

Praise God! That is so encouraging!

Are These Kids All Yours? - September 25, 2009 - 5:44 pm

We have a song here at camp about Jehovah Jireh. It sooo reminds us of how God is our Provider. Amazing to see your journey & celebrating with you!

Kristi J - September 25, 2009 - 11:38 pm

yayyy…praise God…He is so good 🙂 kj

Vital Records…

Gotta love paying UPS $30 to overnight a package to Vital Records…$30 to overnight that sucker last week and then guess what I found in my mailbox yesterday? A return from Vital Records saying I forgot to include a copy of Richard’s driver liceanse to prove it was him asking for a certified copy of his birth certificate. Well, I’ll be! I ordered mine from Kentucky ONLINE and it was here in a few days (granted I paid $40 to have it expedited). But did Kentucky ask for anything? Nope. Scarey? Maybe. But I’ve heard GA Vital Records can be a mess to deal with, so I guess I should just be glad they let me know so quickly (a week later). Now…take TWO for our attempt to get certified birth certificates for our home study and dossier…our paper chase continues!

Each hurdle, I feel closer to our baby—and each set back I am reminded that God is PERFECT and His plan for us is true to scripture (Romans 12) good, pleasing and perfect. He is working all things to the good (Romans 8:28) of those who love Him—who have been called according to His purpose. So, while the paper chase and hoop jumping of adoption may some times be aggrevating…it is also joyful as I remember that this is God’s way of carefully and perfectly putting us in line at the PERFECT time to line up perfectly with the child He has chosen to be in our family. Ahhh…just the labor pains of adoption I guess. But part of the beautiful miracle too! Yet, I’ll keep ticking and jumping through the hoops and not giving up for our precious one!

So much for the $30 overnight to Vital Records. Looking back I know God just shakes His head and laughs at me every time I tell my new VBFF at the UPS store to RUSH ship…overnight…graffiti the package so they open it quicker! Yet Hebrews 12:1 tells us to throw off everything that hinders us and RUN THE RACE that God has set before us with PERSERVERANCE! SO…off to make copies of driver’s liceanses, graffiti another envelope and yes—pay for the package to be overnighted AGAIN! I’m comin’ sweet baby! You are worth EVERY hoop we’re jumping through! How the Lord must love you…and how we love you already…to give us the passion and strength to run this race until we hold you in our arms!!!

Ashley Scott - September 22, 2009 - 9:59 am

Hi Andrea! I have been reading your blog for a couple of weeks and thought I should say hello. My husband and I also live in the Alpharetta/Roswell area and are adopting through AGCI. You amaze me with your speed in getting so many of the steps accomplished so quickly. Praise the Lord for your energy and dedication! I really enjoy reading your blog and hope we get the chance to meet sometime!
Our blog:

Ashley Scott

3 Blessings - September 22, 2009 - 10:27 am

We are right there with you. I could not believe how much the different prices were to overnight and expedite the birth certificates and marriage certificate. I also was amazed that Arkansas would send my b/c with no ID but my husband's from Illinois required a signature. We are becoming very educated on the ins and outs of adoption paperwork 🙂

Are These Kids All Yours? - September 22, 2009 - 1:09 pm

Yeah, have had to remind myself of those things over and over….as I wait very impatiently!!!!!! Just have to rest in God….which is just hard sometimes. Definitely worth it & you are getting closer!!!!!

Kelley Brown - September 24, 2009 - 11:07 am

Hey! I can totally relate…there seems to constant glitches along the way. But I love having a friend go through all of this at the same time as us! Loved your sweet comment on our blog, and hope to catch up even more. I'll be following your journey of adoption as well! 🙂

Rain, rain go away…but until then we are…

trying to find creative things to do inside! WHEW! With our paper chase home study process (and with the lurking paper chase for our dossier) we were in need of a little fun this weekend and play time! Granted, I’m having so much fun doing everything as each step is one step closer to our baby…but I actually welcomed the rain this weekend as my photography sessions were cancelled and I was just chillin’ at home with the kiddos. Of course until our adoption is complete, I’ll keep shooting–but I’m really looking forward to taking a long break and just playing and having days like this…time to make your own wrapping paper:)

Step One:

While baby and preschooler are sleeping…and after 5 year old has had at least an hour of quiet time:)–convince him to help get ready for birthday party by helping with this project. We used kraft paper and finger paint (our favorite finger paint to use is Blick–the wash off is easy peasy…so easy that Parker can wash it all off himself while I get another color ready)

Step 2:

Get messy! Paint those fingers and hands…this is Parker’s favorite part…

Step 3:
Press Away! Of course it would have been adorable to add Laney and Frank’s handprints to this…but we’ll do theirs next time! This was special time with Mr.Parker and it made him feel so special to have this time with mommy:) Keep in mind you have to wait for the handprints to DRY before actually using it as wrapping paper…so this is best to do the day before the party—OR you can do like we did…just a couple of hours before and we set up a box fan to make it dry faster. Parker thinks using the box fan is really cool…and of course your best option when it’s pouring down rain outside with no help from Mr.Sunshine!

BLOGIMG_4493 copy

Step 4:

Pop a bow on with matching paint colors and die to your perfectionism and let your 5 year old sign his OWN name! Wa-la! Ready for the birthday party!

After church we met up with some sweet friends and let our kids run wild in the sprinkles at the Avenues. Found a few steals at the Gap…and I’m having a hard time buying much of anything as we save, save, save for our adoption and stare at pictures of babies and children in Ethiopia—so I needed a t-shirt or two as my closet is slim…and found a great buy from product (RED) which gives 1/2 of the sale back to Africa…the shirt says “What We Choose To Buy Can Change the Course of Life on This Planet” To see more RED products:

And on the calendar for this week for adoption stuff:
1. Phone conference with our agency at 12:30pm on Monday (fingers crossed my kids will go down for naps early so I can focus:)
2. Turn in other half of copied documents to social worker
3. Check the mailbox everyday;) to see if Rich and the kids certified birth announcements arrive
4. Encourage Richard to go to the mobile fingerprinting on Thursday for state
5. Richard’s portion of interview with our adoption consultant later this week!
6. Begin dossier document collecting and mail in approx. 1/3 of adoption cost to our agency (their portion of the adoption–the other installments will be for the international agency, medical and travel fees…lots of fees;).

The Lord is our Jehovah Jirah! Our great provider! He will meet all our needs according to His riches and glory! We will continue to trust in Him to meet our needs for this adoption, for our future and for our family. Our trust is in Him alone.

Thank you for being a part of our journey!

Are These Kids All Yours? - September 20, 2009 - 8:57 pm

busy busy busy!!! Love those pics! Hang in there with all of this craziness…you are making great strides!

Kristi J - September 21, 2009 - 8:23 pm

Great idea on the wrapping paper..i'll have to give that a try some time…such cute pics, kj