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Post 5 – The Best Years of My Life {The story continues…}

I’ll go ahead and tell you–this post has to come in 2 parts (so don’t be mad when it ends abruptly). Had to do 2 parts because 1…it is THAT sweet of a year and 2…because Amy Levy is my ‘soul tender’ and we meet on Monday night to tend to one another’s souls {which […]

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Elle J - May 3, 2011 - 1:18 am

Oooooh, Andrea!!! Way to leave me hanging … but you know I will be back tomorrow/whenever you post Part 2 of Post 5. =) xoxo

Christy - May 3, 2011 - 5:55 am

First Mitzi’s story, and now yours – you girls are changing a culture’s way of thinking and I am blessed to know you even from afar!

Kandra - May 3, 2011 - 7:59 am

Can’t wait for the second 1/2!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ People misquote that bible verse all the time… 1 Corinthians 10:13…love what you said about your “desperate need of God.” Beautifully said.


Kim - May 3, 2011 - 9:54 am

I can’t wait to hear more!!

Kim - May 3, 2011 - 11:36 am

Tomorrow can’t come soon enough. I know I’ve said it before … but I feel certain you gotta best seller in the making! Love & Blessings from Hong Kong, Kim

Kristin - May 3, 2011 - 11:47 am

Thank you for your post today. I’ve been home 4 weeks with our little guy from Ethiopia and today you helped me to realize that what we are experiencing with him is healing. THe first 2 weeks were great! Then the next two followed with hospital stays and many doctors appts. Thank you for reminding me that healing, not just physical but emotional healing is a process…one that could take years. God is so good! Our lives are so full of the richness He so wanted us to experience. Can’t wait to see where He’s leading you next.

Lisa - May 3, 2011 - 1:56 pm

Andrea what a cliff hanger!!!! I can’t wait to see where God is leading you and to see the rewards of your obedience!

Kelly - May 3, 2011 - 2:28 pm

Oh my soul, tears flowing…my favorite part…”something powerful happens when the word orphan is taken away and made your child instead…” I pray too that many many more orphans will be called sons and daughters instead! Its wonderful to watch your journey and it helps encourage me in mine and the new things that God is calling us to do… I feel the same way…like really Lord? Now? ๐Ÿ™‚ But you’ve got it right…it points us back to our need for Christ in what He calls us to do and Him receiving the GLORY!

Dawn - May 3, 2011 - 3:54 pm

He he he….that is if I can squeeze a shower in the day for myself? just kidding…kind of.

LOVE hearing God’s crazy for you!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ You know when you are soo very desperate….that you HAVE to HAVE HIM!!!! That is where we should be. Not where I want to be – well because I have lots of control issues, but God has a funny sense of humor on that too ๐Ÿ™‚

Alison - May 3, 2011 - 5:51 pm

AMEN, girl!!! If we could handle everything on our own, then we would walk through life not realizing our need for Him. So glad that He puts us in places where we have to totally DEPEND on Him! It’s truly the sweetest place to be! Can’t wait to read the rest of the story…

Tiffany - May 3, 2011 - 10:38 pm

Oh no…I have to wait until tomorrow for the rest…so not fair! ๐Ÿ™‚ Wonderful post…so true…being called, being stretched, being completely changed…love your heart – always listening for God’s voice.

Elizabeth Smith - May 3, 2011 - 10:57 pm

…hoping what I think is what is coming….
love you andrea!

[…] Post 5 – The Best Years of My Life {The story continues…} […]

Mama Mimi - May 4, 2011 - 2:29 am

“If I only live with what I think I can bear – then how can I live knowing my desperate need of God?” –> SO POWERFUL FRIEND!!!!

(Post 4) – One of the Best Years of My Life – Part IV

Two of these “Best Years” series posts in a row? Well, I couldn’t help myself as I laughed at Frankie baby this morning. My cup runneth over. THIS baby’s birth…changed me as a mom…as a person…and I had no idea what I was missing… The days were long and the years seemed to fly by…and […]

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Lauren - April 15, 2011 - 1:40 am

Hi Andrea! My name is Lauren and I met you a LONG time ago, back in 2001 after your year in East Asia, as I was considering going. I remember you told me, “You WILL meet your husband there”! And I did! And you know him! His name is Brett Dooley. We have just returned to East Asia and I have been turned onto your blog by some adopting moms here. I had to comment on this post, because we also had a very long road in conceiving our second child (whom I am expecting this July), and your post definitely captures the new gratitude I have as a mom while longing for a baby, and the joy that comes in expecting that long-awaited miracle. I had no idea what a miracle our first son was until it took us 1.5ish years and a miscarriage to get pregnant again. Thanks for sharing this as a best year, it’s a great perspective to have as heart-wrenching as I know it was. Your family is so precious!

Christy - April 15, 2011 - 7:15 am

Oh, I can’t read enough from you – I think you should write a book! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for reminding me to enjoy my kiddos in the here and now, in every moment, not just looking to what’s ahead!

Kandra - April 15, 2011 - 8:08 am

LOVE you! Enough said. Your real and authentic and that is why I know God has called you to such a divine purpose…you reach women at a level that I don’t know if YOU even know yet, my sister.

Thanks for always been honest…it is beautiful.

Joy Kinard - April 15, 2011 - 9:05 am

I love this sweet story of your life!

Sara - April 15, 2011 - 9:23 am

Love the story. I also love the picture of Frank with Richard in the background. It looks just like the big boy Frank we now know!

Kim - April 15, 2011 - 9:58 am

Every chapter just keeps getting better!

Audrey - April 15, 2011 - 3:53 pm

That was so beautiful and my story is so similar with our first two being wonderful surprises and then trying two years for our third son, and here we are on our own journey to Ethiopia for our daughter. Your story is beautiful and I look forward to the next chapter; you’re an excellent writer and your words gush the glory of God all over the page. Bless you.

abby - April 15, 2011 - 4:00 pm

just beautiful. and now I don’t feel so silly for taking pictures of my girls almost every day. they are the most precious gifts.

Dawn - April 15, 2011 - 6:54 pm

Love hearing God’s story of your family ๐Ÿ™‚

missy - April 16, 2011 - 9:54 pm

i am AMAZED at how frank has looked just the same from the very first minute he was born!!! that expression on his face is just so FRANK. i love it!

[…] (Post 4) – One of the Best Years of My Life – Part IV […]

(Post 3) One of the best years of my life – Part III

Exactly 14 months and 2 days from our 1st wedding anniversary, we welcomed our first child into the world. While I was certain we’d spend our first years just me and my beau–and who knows maybe I’d convince Rich to take a trip across the world with me to visit China while I still had […]

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Kim - April 14, 2011 - 1:09 am

Lovin this look back series. God continues to reveal our common connections! Six months of colic with our 1st born. And I have relatives to confirm it was not the witching hour fussiness at the end of the day so many Mom’s complain about. OOOHHH! I say all the time, he got all that fussiness out in the 1st six months … cause he has been a DREAM toddler, big boy, tween, and teen. Cannot wait for post five!
Love & Blessings from Hong Kong,

Kim - April 14, 2011 - 1:10 am

“Learning to be less concerned about my heart plans” … that is the nugget of truth I needed today! Thank you for this reminder! Love & Blessings from Hong Kong, Kim

Chrystal - April 14, 2011 - 10:10 am

so-so precious! ๐Ÿ™‚ Makes you realize just how fast they grow up. I had 3 kiddos really close in age, too.. 11 months a part, so I TOTALLY get this time of your life. ๐Ÿ™‚ A lot of that time for me was a blur.. total mommy-mode 24/7.. feedings, diapers, playing, baths, no sleep…. but ah, I would never for a second trade it for anything in the world. We never left our house, either…. and going to the dr. office was a HOOT! It would be baby Addi strapped to my chest in a sling, and me pushing a 1 & 2yr. old in a double stroller… oh, the looks I would get. It doesn’t help that I’m only 4’11.. people stared at me like I was some teenager out of control (hahaha). ๐Ÿ™‚ Love reading this series of posts from you… ๐Ÿ™‚ makes me smile!

Kelly - April 14, 2011 - 2:28 pm

These rememering posts are great! I SO get you with the two very close apart and reading your experience, I felt like I was re-living my first mommy days… we had a lot of the same experiences! ๐Ÿ˜‰ The time does really blur together, I still can’t believe my “baby” just turned two and her big brother will be three very soon.

Alison - April 14, 2011 - 4:08 pm

Love these posts! And I can totally relate to those early Mommyhood days! We had our 3 kids in less than 3 1/2 years and I was sick with all 3 pregnancies! Sometimes I was just in “survival mode”, but those years were so precious! So thankful for them!! Can’t wait to read post #5!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

[…] (Post 3) One of the best years of my life – Part III […]

(Post 2) – One of the Best Years of my Life – Part II

Finally–it’s time for another “One of the Best Years of my Life” posts!!! Post 2 (and you’ll have to bear with me as I lead up to Post 5…I’ll get there eventually with some news in that post–but to understand it fully…Post 2, 3 and 4 must precede it!) I knew tonight was the perfect […]

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allie - April 1, 2011 - 11:15 pm

yay! i love reading these stories and am excited for the next 3 installations. Joel and I had the same Bebo song sung at our wedding. LOVE it.

PS sorry for being a random commenter–though we did meet super briefly at the Wiphan Waddle (we were the family w/ 2 girls against the wall after the race–the same ones that know Shelly & Joy and are pursuing adoption in Uganda with Lifeline)

Debb - April 2, 2011 - 12:19 am

Awwww……such a sweet real-life story! So glad that God blessed you beyond your wildest imagination with your husband! Amazing what blessings follow when we let God lead us, huh?!?!? ๐Ÿ˜‰ To many many more happy years!

April - April 2, 2011 - 3:08 am

Hey…u went to Banff!! That’s just one province from me:) I am glad u enjoyed it!

Christy - April 2, 2011 - 6:38 am

Wow, such a great story!!! I had the same song played at my wedding, and I too had to fight longings to go back to Germany or the Philippines after doing short term trips there and them both asking me to come teach there… but having to come home to pay off college loans first and then shortly after, getting engaged. I honestly have forgotten how much I wanted to go back and this is making me think about it again and wonder if God will somehow use all that someday to help me pursue some kind of international ministry like He has for you! ๐Ÿ™‚

Joy Kinard - April 2, 2011 - 8:54 am

Wow! What a beautiful love story.

rachel - April 2, 2011 - 10:10 am

pretty sure you should just write a book….love these stories!!!! hugs.

missy - April 2, 2011 - 10:58 am

such a beautiful story of REAL love.

Kim - April 3, 2011 - 9:59 am

Lovin this series. And the reminders that our “best” seasons are the ones we grow in our dependence upon Him.
Love & Blessings from Hong Kong,

Erica - April 3, 2011 - 10:11 am

I loved this post, Andrea. Can’t wait for the next ones ๐Ÿ™‚ I have to tell you, I was wearing overalls when my husband proposed to me too!! I always laugh when I look back at the pictures!

[…] (Post 2) – One of the Best Years of my Life – Part II […]

One of the BEST years of my life… (Post 1)

If you HAD to pick 5 of the BEST years of your life–what would they be? I am standing amazed at how God works…so for the next couple of weeks when I have time–I want to share 5 different posts…this one being the FIRST…of what I like to call the 5 best years of my […]

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missy - March 24, 2011 - 12:01 am

this post is very near and dear to my heart, of course. so fun to hear about that year. i can picture what a sensation you were rockin’ out on national television. can’t wait to read about the other best years!

Lara - March 24, 2011 - 12:20 am

You haven’t changed a bit! Neither has Melissa. What a sweet memory. My grandparents have done a lot of ministry in that country as well and have some wonderful stories (my Grandpa is a six foot tall white man, so he kind of stuck out!)

Christy - March 24, 2011 - 6:53 am

Love getting a peek into your life, Andrea, and love that you still found ways to sneek in that encouragement and challenge to us at the end! ๐Ÿ™‚ This reminds me a lot of my time in the Philippines, though it was only one month. Lots of fun and lessons all together! ๐Ÿ™‚

Future Mama - March 24, 2011 - 8:52 am

So sweet! What fun this post has been to read. And of course, I can’t help but look at the children and think…will our child look like that?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Much love,
Future Mama

Shelly - March 24, 2011 - 8:56 pm

LOVE this one! ๐Ÿ™‚

Erin Crenshaw - March 25, 2011 - 2:32 pm

I loved reading about this year in your life, Andrea!!!

Hannah - March 27, 2011 - 3:48 pm

Beautiful lessons learned. Thank you for sharing them and causing me to reflect on my time there as well.

Melissa - March 31, 2011 - 12:13 am

I don’t think I ever saw this picture! How cool that I was there to welcome you home…it took me a second to remember this. Wow! This symbolized a lot before we even knew it! Us welcoming one another home from adopting our babies. AMAZING! Love that you are remanicing these times. Can’t wait for more!

[…] ultimately He shined through and was glorified. And this post shines the most light after reading Post 1, Post 2, Post 3 and Post 4 […]

[…] I lived in China (Post 1), I felt in my heart (EXACTLY 10 years ago) that ONE day I would return to China…that one day […]