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Category Archives: Orphan & Widow Care

An unexpected blessing…

Really–today you don’t want to hear how I’m still surviving…how I had to have a few mommy time-outs and count slowly to 10…or how every sweet child in our crew at some point today either spilled their milk or water at breakfast, lunch or dinner. (Use sippycups you say?? Momma can’t find any matching tops!) […]

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Meredith - October 5, 2011 - 6:13 am

Thank you for sharing, Andrea!! God has certainly worked miracles in our daughter’s life and in ours, so I am praying that the Lord will continue to do what only He could do. Love you, friend!!!

Meredith - October 5, 2011 - 6:15 am

I meant to say what only He can do.

my revelations in our homeschool – {& Rico Suave, Brad and David}

The kids and I got to Skype daddy-o today in Zambia. He got to see our precious Beatrice (our sponsored child) today! You can follow along with the adventures of Rico Suave, Brad and David on Kristin’s blog at It was SO good to see him–and hear his voice. The children LOVED hearing from […]

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megan - October 4, 2011 - 9:00 am

My little guy is only 9 months old…but the more I hear about homeschooling, the more interested I am in it!

Sandi - October 4, 2011 - 10:24 am

I homeschooled for a year. It changed the way we do everything from family games to homework. I learned little things like my oldest is a visual learner & aces vocab/spelling tests when I make paper flashcards with pictures from google images. Even weekend fun trips incorporate learning in ways that I probably wouldn’t have thought of unless I had homeschooled. I am so thankful for that time & the treasure trove of silly, happy memories. Cherish those moments, you are getting the opportunity of a lifetime!

Rory - October 4, 2011 - 5:05 pm

Totally agree about the homeschool revelations! While I am so thankful for that one year of preschool my oldest had with her amazing school and teachers, I would not trade the past (almost) 3 years of homeschooling to have back more “me” time. Oh, some days I look at the piles of laundry and what to crawl in them so no one can find me, but even in those hard moments I am blessed with an opportunity to show my children Christ, to be around them (cause Lord only knows it goes by too fast), and to genuinely get to know my children and enjoy their company. We have seen the best and worst of each other, that’s for sure!:) You’re doing a great job! Keep up the good work in the trenches and know there are other mamas in the foxhole with you.:) Your kids are gonna turn out awesome!:)

Rory - October 4, 2011 - 5:07 pm

sheesh. nice advertisement for homeschooling when this mama can’t even spell!:)

Emily Schulz - October 4, 2011 - 7:58 pm

oh, I need to hear this today and let it sink deep. It’s been a LONG one at home with my 4!!

Desiree - October 5, 2011 - 12:16 am

What an awesome post Andrea! I couldn’t agree more. I thank God everyday for the opportunity to homeschool my children. The moments we can be present for are so worth being behind on housework! Thanks for your heart!

Lisa - October 5, 2011 - 11:00 am

So lovely to hear these encouraging, real words, Andrea.

D - October 6, 2011 - 1:33 pm

I love your blog. I teach a preschool class (3 through 5) and I have definetly incorporated some “homeschooling” tactics in the way I teach.

JJ - October 6, 2011 - 10:41 pm

I love to hear this Andrea. I’ve been homeschooling for 3 years now and even though it gets really hairy some days, I would never ever change it or go back to the way it used to be. I keep reminding myself the importance of “being in the world, not OF the world.” My kids too have the hugest hearts for the orphans and they are not distracted by all the things that kids typically are when they go to a school every day. I love being able to raise little God warriors, after all that is the most important thing in life. It’s not going to matter how much money they make (because they went to 10 years of college and were the smartest in their class), or if they play pro sports, or if they are the most popular at their high school if they have a weak faith in the Most High. I can totally relate to what you are going through right now too. My husband is in the military and gone A LOT. We have 5 kids ages 1-9. I’m hoping we can connect in March at the retreat. Is there still room?

for the Joy of the Lord…

I’m folding laundry. But all I can really think about is her. And millions of others–just like her. Another pair of shorts. And another. And another. How many shorts does an almost 7 year old boy need anyway? Yet, those like her…only have the clothes on their little bodies. That’s it. I live in a […]

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Makenzie - August 3, 2011 - 10:07 pm

Praying for you and your family, Andrea!

Meghan Dempster - August 3, 2011 - 10:10 pm

That pretty much sums it up 😉

Ali - August 3, 2011 - 10:10 pm

You are an inspiration to me…your passion for being right in the center of God’s will is refreshing, exciting and motivating! Thank you for your obedience to His Spirit. For your love for the orphans and the widows. For your willingness to share your poetic voice with all of us here. May You continue to be blessed in all that you do.

ASH - August 3, 2011 - 10:11 pm

Sometimes, there is so much on my heart that I don’t even know where to begin. I want to move, but He says wait. I want to act, but He says “Be still.” I want to see and understand, but He says, “Not in this lifetime, my child.” Thank you for the reminder…the reminder that, when we are following God’s call to care for the least of these, sometimes what we need to DO is “Be still in the presence of the Lord and wait patiently for Him to act.” Because He will. He WILL act on behalf of these precious ones. If I sometimes feel lost and confused HERE, without having taken the journey you have just taken, I can only imagine how you are feeling…maybe overwhelmed and unsure where to begin after seeing raw NEED in its purest form. Praying for your heart as you sit before Him and wait patiently for Him to ACT.

Lauren - August 3, 2011 - 10:12 pm

yes! awesomely beautiful! praying with you dear friend… that the Lord would make it clear. Maybe you are to have two new babes – one from Zambia AND one from China… wouldn’t that be incredible?! I will pray for direction with you!

Erin Whitener - August 3, 2011 - 10:17 pm

Beautiful. And why not consider it?? What can look like a winding road to us is a straight path to the Lord because He knows where He is taking us the whole time. Don’t worry about what anyone says! xoxo!

Mama Mimi - August 3, 2011 - 10:21 pm

How painful the wait can be. Praying that God reveals to you which direction to take. You are such an inspiration Andrea! I know how much I am uplifted just by READING your words/thoughts/ect.

Esty - August 3, 2011 - 10:21 pm

I knew it was her. I knew because you hold her like she is yours already. Your body language spoke volumes and I was sure from Moment #1. See how your head cocks towards her? How your arms cradle her? Now look from those photos to all of your FB photos of you holding Frank, Issac…it’s the same, Andrea. You hold her like she is your daughter. Enough said. Mommy. Go and bring her home.

Dennis Neal - August 3, 2011 - 11:09 pm

I once again am challenged by your words, as I look at the news of the world and the US is urging for help for the horn of Africa as refugees are pouring in to Ethiopia and other surrounding countries and the scripture that comes to my mind as I read ur blog tonight and the news is in ISamuel 17:29 and David said “what have I now done? Is there not a cause?” The devil is out to occupy our minds and are time to stop what God has planned for our lives. The answer for me is prayer and fasting,it will always move the hand of God to bring answers.

Staci - August 3, 2011 - 11:25 pm

Praying for you and your family right now… beautiful, heartfelt post.

Holly - August 3, 2011 - 11:30 pm

“Your comment was a bit too short. Please go back and try again.” : the message I got when I tried to leave my comment, which was simply… “love.” ha, ha. 🙂 anyways…love!!

amy - August 4, 2011 - 7:48 am

Oh I so hear the longing in your post. Praying for you. And no you can’t “save them all,” but maybe God did call you to this one. If all Christians answered the call as they should, then no one would appear to be trying to “save them all” as they would all have families.
amy in ga

Tracy Sheehy - August 4, 2011 - 8:21 am

Exactly!! You said it all. I had a conversation with two friends yesterday and I know they think I am a freak but we were made for so much more than just living the American dream!! Laying it all down for Jesus! Thank you for sharing!

Alison - August 4, 2011 - 10:24 am

Wow, will be praying that God makes His will perfectly clear to ya’ll Andrea! Excited to see where He leads!

Renae - August 4, 2011 - 10:36 am

I get it Andrea! I totally do….I’m with you bloggy friend…praying, waiting, interceding for the Lord to show you what to do next!:)

Rory Cookman - August 4, 2011 - 10:38 am

I’m not saying I’ve heard from the Lord or anything, but this is just the kind of thing that bears His mark. Is it crazy? Sure by all the rationale of the world. It’s the good kind of crazy. And by saying that I’m not trying to make it sound like the answer is all sewed up neat and tight. What I am saying is that I will be praying and fasting for you today. It is a privilege that you share your heart with us and we will protect that. It is going to be awesome and evident as the hand of God begins to work in ways we can’t even imagine, and you will keep in perfect peace as your mind stays steadfast on Him.
Your sister in Christ,

keely - August 4, 2011 - 11:38 am

beautifully written. i could repost your exact words (but i wont) on my blog as its the tears that flow down my face as i walk through each day. although i have never held these two particular girls and although there are mountains in the way of adopting them… they are on the forefront of my mind and prayers daily. not to mention that i REALLY struggle living in America- would much rather sell everything and move to Africa, but thats not where He has lead my husband at this time, so i sit and pray while i wait. your words bring a lump to my throat. there is so much more than this life we are living.

Kristin - August 4, 2011 - 12:11 pm

Praying that the desires of your heart will lead you to your child. You are so evidently sold out to God, He will not confuse you. He will lead. It’s not by chance that your children are your children. God brought them to you and you to them, He’ll do the same now, no doubt.

Kristin - August 4, 2011 - 2:49 pm

WOW! I love how you are so willing to be obedient to the Lord. He has you in the palm of His hand. You are living a life exactly how God wants us to live life. We are made for soooo much more. Something I heard in a sermon just a couple months ago really spoke to me….”delayed obedience is disobedience” I believe that if you’re feeling this strongly about this little girl…you know it in your gut, you have to jump! God will be there! I will be praying for you, the little girl, all the children that have so much less then my four and for your family as you step out and see what God has in store for you next. You are an inspiration to me…radically living out the Gospel. I feel so blessed, once again, that God led me to your blog and that you are so willing to share your heart with all of us. Thank you.

Kelly - August 4, 2011 - 2:49 pm

I am reminded of a Francis Chan sermon I saw one time where he was talking about setting up a fund that he could not access so that all the royalties from his book could go there. Elders from his church said he should save some for himself: “What if there is an emergency,” they asked. Francis Chan then replied, “You don’t think [the child sex trade in Cambodia] is an EMERGENCY?!!!” Sister, follow God! KEEP YOURSELF FROM BEING POLLUTED BY THE WORLD! (I think that too often we all forget that part of James 1:27!!!) And, I don’t like smog, anyway! !)

Julie Johnston - August 4, 2011 - 3:01 pm

Love you Andrea! The Lord will show you what you should do…and when He does…do it regardless of how it will look or what others wil say! (Though I can promise you that you will have a host of mommas and sisters in Christ here praying for you and cheering your family on every step of the way:) You will probably have a group of mommas wanting to bring their kiddos and come with you to Zambia for 3 months:)

Kelly - August 4, 2011 - 5:14 pm

Hi there! A good friend of mine lives in Zambia with her 6 kids (one of whom they fostered/adopted recently). I’m sure she would Love to chat with you about it and might even be able to help with housing and all the little logistical stuff. Not sure if you already have connections there, but just wanted to throw out a line to you…message me if you think it might help. God bless!

Ia - August 4, 2011 - 5:55 pm

Andrea, reading your latest blog made me excited that there are people who are willing to live way outside the “norm” of our society. It hit me how sad it is that no one wants to adopt because they have enough with their own children. Yes, I understand that thought also. But it seems like God has called you to be a Mom in the best way. I read from your blogs that you have plenty to give, you have room for them to live and your heart is plenty big enough to follow God’s will. Ask God if your heart and longings are what his will is. If you prayed about it and you can’t seems to let the desire go away, isn’t that God speaking.

Melissa - August 4, 2011 - 6:56 pm

Andrea, I don’t know you beyond your blog, but I love your pure heart. I love that you question the normal in our society and wonder what else we are called to do. I love that you make me feel normal, because so many people look at me like I’m crazy when I question those same things. Many blessing to you as you pray and listen to the Lord.

Dawn - August 4, 2011 - 7:06 pm

Andrea……your heart is the Lord’s. Your eyes have seen, and your hands have touched those that most don’t want to know about. Because that is where HIS HEART is…….you are no longer the same.

I want to tell you – YOU ARE NOT CRAZY!! You are loved by a Savior that is wild and does things no one else would. You are filled with a Spirit of compassion that is overflowing!

I LOVE YOUR HEART!!! Not just saying that. I LOVE IT because I get it!!! We all have to do what we are being called to do. Whether it is move to another country, do the amazing work you are already doing, or adopt 8 children and drive a 15 passenger van. DON’T LET ANYONE tell you that you can’t save them all. Because you are soo very right….we can’t save anyone- only God can. BUT we can act. We can act in ways that make others laugh at us. I say – let them laugh!!! Because the JOY in our hearts was given to us by our Heavenly Father and that is worth MORE than 20 sets of clothes, and more stuff that won’t satisfy.

Thank you so much for being soo honest and open. You inspire me! PRAYING for you and for your amazing family and what God is doing in and through you all for HIS sake!!!!! 🙂

jess - August 4, 2011 - 8:06 pm

so well said – you (or I, or anyone)cannot save even one. but the incredible, incredible news is that the world has a Savior! and that He would allow us the privledge of serving Him, of hearing His voice – beautiful!

Kim - August 8, 2011 - 1:26 am

How I love your heart. Join the friends who are praying for you! Love & Blessings, Kim

“Go to all nations”…and that includes us mommas

After my first trip to Zambia four years ago, I received several surprising comments from people who would ask me about my trip. They were from other moms, asking me HOW in the world I could leave my children to go to Zambia. How could I risk making my kids orphans to go see orphans. […]

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Sandi - August 2, 2011 - 1:05 am

I am learning that even when we are stuck at home God will bring people into our lives daily whom we can serve; the mother working at the gas station struggling to pay bills or the child at school who doesn’t have any clothes. Organizations like Wiphan are such a blessing because you can make a difference with a click of the mouse to give. It’s pretty miraculous how he changes us, molds us, & shapes us through bringing us in just the right place, at just the right time, with just the right resources if we are open & willing…It just makes me smile…I can’t wait for the day I can go to a church without the video, the audio & just the voices of the fatherless raised in his honor…

Mama Mimi - August 2, 2011 - 2:12 am

I fretted SOOO very much about leaving my Lil’ Man to go to Ethiopia to meet our Lil’ Miss….but when I was there, I was FINE. It was the leaving that was the hardest. I definitely missed him…but I was surprised that it wasn’t impossible. I know its probably a little different going to Africa to meet your daughter {or pick her up} vs. a mission trip….but even THAT doesn’t seem impossible to me anymore. What a great post – looking forward to hearing EVEN MORE! =)

Kelly - August 2, 2011 - 7:10 am

You have explained my outlook on missions and mission work EXACTLY!!! Favorite part? “I don’t always feel called to go to Target, but I go.” I’m totally using that next time I hear that excuse! !) Sometimes I just WISH people could HEAR how they sound to the Holy Spirit! What if you’d listened to THEM instead of HIM?!

Rory Cookman - August 2, 2011 - 8:41 am

This is me, standing up and clapping. My favorite line, “Well I don’t always feel called to Target, but I go…” I agree that the Great Commission is for everyone. I rarely leave my children, as in my husband and I haven’t been away but like two nights in the last 3 years (only to celebrate our anniversary). God opened up the door for me to serve in El Salvador for a week at the end of October this year and I went through all those things you talked about above. But in the end I came up with the same answer, as did my husband. I don’t go galavanting across the globe. My children ARE my mission field for the majority of my time, and I love them deeply. So hard to leave them! But… Where God leads I will follow, and I can’t wait to take my children with me someday. Keep it up Andrea!

Mary Beth Picker - August 2, 2011 - 9:43 am

Oh, I love EVERY SINGLE WORD. I’ve faced the same questions, but I’ve never seen the answer spelled out so beautifully. Thank you!

Renae - August 2, 2011 - 11:20 am

I can’t tell you how you’ve increased my faith by just hearing these words! I totally believe everything you have just said, and I feel the Lord calling…..WITH ALL my family(6, soon to be 7 kids;))! Just waiting for that “invitation” to come…wherever He will lead! It’s freeing to know you are held in HIS hand wherever you go! Keep preaching Sister! And let me know if you hear of any “job” openings in Africa:)!

Alison - August 2, 2011 - 3:37 pm

LOVE this, Andrea! Jody and I got to take our first mission trip together last summer to Vancouver. We left our kids for 9 days, and my parents were so sweet to keep them! I thought I would miss them like crazy, and I did…but I knew that God had called us to minister in Vancouver that week, and He gave us such peace. I know He will give us that same sense of calling and peace when we leave them twice to go to Ethiopia for their baby sister…and anywhere else He may call us to go in the future! 🙂

jennifer gniadek - August 3, 2011 - 3:00 pm

i so appreciate this post, trying to get ready for my first trip to west Africa and so nervous yet waiting to see how God pulls this all together

Lisa - August 8, 2011 - 10:09 am

Andrea, I have never heard of read someone speak of this issue before, so it was refreshing and so true. We mums have NO excuses, but we do like to hide behind our kid-size excuses. I am serving the Lord full time in Thailand with my husband and 3 kids. It’s so true: the leaving is the hard part – but once you’re here and you can see what God is doing in your life to mold and make you more like Jesus…well, I wouldn’t want to be back in Australia….and I don’t! I am honestly exited about what else God is going to change in me so I can bring him more glory – but yeh, it takes going, and totally dying to myself.