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Great article…and a few finishing touches:)

I just ran across this article from CNN on one of my favorite chefs. A couple of things that makes my heart smile about Chef Marcus Samuelsson…

1. He was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

2. His mother died of tuberculosis and a nurse took he and his sister under her wing–and took them to an orphanage to be registered. He and his sister were both adopted by a family in Sweden where he learned his love for cooking from his grandmother.

3. He didn’t realize until he was a teenager that maybe it wasn’t normal to have 2 white parents.

4. He considers one of his biggest gifts in life getting to meet his birth father and his half siblings.

5. He told CNN: “I always feel like the biggest luxury I have is that I am connected to poverty. I come from a clay house in the country in Addis. No water, no electricity, no nothing … I think it is my responsibility to represent poverty. Talk about it and also show there’s lots of happy togetherness, family and love.”

And then on a personal note…

I added a few extra statistics to our slideshow. And one little note at the end:). Just a reminder that following God’s plan isn’t always easy–but…IT’S WORTH IT. OK…so you’ve probably already watched this once, but aren’t Gotcha Day/Family Day slideshows the most fun to watch over and over again;)?! if you are a numbers person–you might like the added touches to this one:) Can you tell I’m cocooning and not getting out much;). I’m busy trust me…but my blog is my outlet these days;)

And a statistic I didn’t add—but found overwhelming. Did you know???that if you took every orphan in the world and got them to hold hands you could go around the entire world THREE TIMES on the equator? Ok…so that may be hard to imagine—so let me break it down. If you had these orphans hold hands in a line, you would see over 1,700 orphans per mile. If you were to follow that line of orphans holding hands, driving 60 mph, you could drive 24 hours a day seeing 1,700 orphans every mile, hour after hour, day after day without stopping for over two months, and you would still see orphans holding hands. (taken from Orphan’s Hope)

Can you imagine–driving and driving and driving and driving…nonstop driving…and STILL seeing orphans…face after face after face…heart after heart after heart—and this is the reality of how many there really are. They are here in the U.S.–they are in the Foster Care–they are in institutions and camps–they are across the ocean severely malnourished. And to think—WE can stop driving…stop our busy lives…stop our spending and change OUR LIVES for just one. Yes, I said–change OUR lives. I’m learning more and more…I’m the one being changed most here at our house. I am the one being blessed. I am the “lucky” one.

I once heard an adoptive mom say, “I feel sad for families who don’t get to experience this.” It’s hard. It’s trying. But, it’s the gospel. It’s what we were made for. I wasn’t made for manicures, vacations or even the luxury of a good night’s sleep. I was made to store my treasures in heaven and to shine Jesus out of my heart. After just 2 weeks of the hard stuff, I can totally see why people keep growing their families through adoption, why foster care families continue to love by giving their hearts away and why orphan care ministry staff work for little to nothing. Loving with His love and living through His power is addictive…it’s powerful. And there’s no other way I would want to live.

Alison - July 12, 2010 - 1:31 am

Love this post!! So well said! Soooo thankful that God has called us on this journey! Just posted Isaac Temesgen’s video on my blog! I LOVE it!! What a precious baby and precious story!

Elle J - July 12, 2010 - 1:37 am

You made me cry all over again watching your video!! But I will do it again, and again. =) No words to match what you said regarding the stats. Here’s another statement that hit me today from a woman named Amy commenting on

… God is watching His precious ones all.the.time. Can you imagine His heart breaking? He must ache knowing that we live in such filthy excess and watch and do nothing. Please do something. Everyone can do something.

april - July 12, 2010 - 4:40 am

Hi late night friend! I realized you and I both seem to do most of our blog/online stuff at night…i’m guessing for the same reasons too…our Isaac’s! :0) LOVE the quote you mentioned at the end! I will check out your video! I am doing our gotcha video right now and hoping to be done with it in a day or two! :0) Already tonight my husband and I were watching what I had done and he was even crying! :0)

Kelley Tegen - July 12, 2010 - 6:53 am

Thank you. Really, thank you. We’re just on the brink of praying about adoption wondering where, when and how. We’re more than challenged by your precious story and just this morning I was convicted by your words. I even posted about it.

So just to let you know your words are appreciated. Keep writing!

Kristin - July 12, 2010 - 7:06 am

Andrea– When I first told a good friend of mind about our Markos, the first thing she said was, “Do you know about Marcus Saumuellson? I love him!” I immediately looked him up and discovered the things you wrote. So cool. Thanks for sharing!

Heidi - July 12, 2010 - 8:52 am

Andrea, we have walked this journey together through each other blogs and to finally have our boys home is such a blessing. Your words have comforted me along the way! Thank you! I love all your videos! they brought tears to my eyes! As I still have family in Woodstock I hope some day our paths will cross! Praying for you and the transition home! Check out our video if you haven’t seen it yet on our blog .. feel to post if you want .. take care and thanks again for your words .. they always melt my heart!

emily - July 12, 2010 - 8:57 am

Wow. Remind myself frequently that sleep is overrated anyway!! The visual of driving and driving is too much to comprehend……..

Karen - July 12, 2010 - 8:58 am

Beautiful, beautiful. Wiping away tears as I am typing. Words do it no justice.

Elizabeth Smtih - July 12, 2010 - 8:59 am

Cried through the whole slide show. Isaac is absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!! What a treasure he will be to your family!

Meredith - July 12, 2010 - 9:01 am

I love your video. Thank you for sharing. I am going to link it to my blog.

Alisha Robertson - July 12, 2010 - 11:03 am

He is so adorable Andrea… loved seeing his journey. AMAZING that he gained 10 lbs that fast. Wow!

Jessica - July 12, 2010 - 11:34 am

I thought I’d introduce myself. I follow your blog and haven’t posted much. Your blogs are very encouraging. I appreciate your transparency. You are stepping on some toes with this post and I love it! Keep speaking the truth sister. Love the video and you have a beautiful family…you are right it is a perfect picture of the gospel!

Andrea - July 12, 2010 - 11:58 am

Blown away by your comment of driving and continuing to see orphan after orphan, my heart aches for them. Your gotcha video makes my longing desire to hold our new little girl even stronger. I especially broke down when I saw you holding him up to the computer and showing him to his the rest of the family. I know that not only is the adopted child being blessed by this but it makes the other children realize a whole new definition of family. I say that having a sister who my parent’s adopted. As a teenager I knew I would some day do the same. Praying for your dear family and for many more families to be made complete!

Rory - July 12, 2010 - 12:21 pm

Love the video Andrea! Thanks for sharing with us. I have been praying for you and Isaac and that each day the routine gets easier and more sleep comes–although I know you’d trade sleep for precious time with any of your kiddos. You’re right. It’s always worth it!!

Billie Hobbs - July 12, 2010 - 1:11 pm

I never tire of watching Isaac’s “Gotcha Day” video. Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy, busy day to create and share it with us. It’s amazing to watch him grow in the love that surrounds him. I wish so very much that I was younger and healthier, because I would certainly do my best to decrease the number of orphans. Praying for all the widows and orphans every day. Hugs,

Bobi Bobbitt - July 12, 2010 - 3:27 pm

WOW! I really needed this today, Andrea! Have been feeling a bit discouraged as we begin this embark towards adoption, but you have confirmed for me that we are doing the right thing! God continues to use you to bless me! Love you!!! ps. sent your gotcha day out last night to my mom and a few friends, mom said I had her crying! Such a beautiful video and a beautiful baby boy!!! (:

Jennifer - July 12, 2010 - 5:44 pm

LOVE IT!!! Just posted about you on my blog today! 🙂 So glad your blog is keeping updated…I look forward to reading your posts! Praying in Abby’s passport this week!!

Tisha Alexander - July 12, 2010 - 9:00 pm

Wow, that was a wonderful… thank you so much for sharing your journey with us!

Sara Boney - July 12, 2010 - 9:25 pm

That was a good cry for me! 🙂 You did a great job with the video. I am so excited for your family on this great adventure God has for you.

Caytie - July 12, 2010 - 10:30 pm

It has been an absolute joy to be a part of this journey with you via the blog world. I have learned so much from you Andrea and am so thankful for you and your family and for sharing in all that God lays on your heart. This video was just precious and perfect and just made my heart sing!

Vicki - July 13, 2010 - 11:17 pm

…I wasn’t made for manicures, vacations or even the luxury of a good night’s sleep. I was made to store my treasures in heaven and to shine Jesus out of my heart. Yes, yes, yes!!!

Dawn - July 14, 2010 - 11:11 pm

I just found your blog through others and I will continue to follow it. I just watched your video and I have tears coming down my face! We adopted our son from Vietnam last May, but we considered Ethiopia. We still look to adoption #2 and the possibilities. We would love to adopt from VN again, but we aren’t sure. I still feel a pull to Africa. I have read a few blogs tonight and you are rekindling that fire in me again. I will be saying some prayers. Your family is beautiful!!

Kristin - July 15, 2010 - 2:35 pm

I’ve been following your blog for about a month now…I found it through Kristi’s blog. The Gotcha video is incredible and I just wanted to let you know that people’s lives are already being touched through it! We have been a waiting family 18 months now and hope to be bringing our baby boy home from Ethiopia within the next 7-10 months. It’s been such a long wait and videos, like yours, help with the wait! What a blessing little Isaac is! Your family is beautiful! God Bless You!