Monday, January 21, 2013

Andersen: Party of 7

"because the only thing better than 4 kids is 5 kids!"   

I can't even keep track of how many times I've said this phrase over the past week. Mostly in response to people's stunned looks when we say that we are getting another kid.  

Olivia's story is so interesting to us and has made us laugh over and over again. We first heard of Olivia before we knew her name. When Caleb's adoption was finalizing, we had heard from one of the social workers that Samantha, Caleb's birth mom, was pregnant again. This was just information we tucked away in our minds and celebrated Caleb becoming an Andersen. 

Fast forward to September of 2012 when Shaun (the deuce) came to live with us. As Caleb's biological brother who had been in foster care since birth, his case seemed to be moving toward adoption and the state wanted us to adopt him - if we were up for it - which we were :) So, baby Shaun moved in. Some time passed and later in September we were in court for Shaun and on that day DSS got custody of Olivia - who up to that point was living with her paternal grandmother. Because of her parents lack of moving forward with getting their lives together, the courts decided that she should be monitored more closely by DSS. Fast forward to November where in court again, the courts moved to change both Olivia and Shaun's plan to TPR (terminate parental rights) instead of the plan being reunification. So, at that point the judge ordered for them to be placed in a home together because after TPR comes adoption - most of the time. So, the social workers talked to us about taking Olivia as well. Which of course we said YES to. 

We recognize that this seems crazy to most people, but thankfully we're not most people!!  We believe what the Bible says about children (Psalm 127:3) and about orphans (James 1:27) and we have staked our entire life on these truths. and already we have seen God bless us over and over again for being obedient to what HE has called us to do. 

As we were preparing for Olivia's arrival one of the specific things we were praying for was Olivia's grandmother. She has raised Olivia her entire life and so this process and the thought of Olivia not being in her family forever are very hard for her and understandably so! We are so glad that Olivia has been loved her entire life. So, we have been praying for "grandma' that the transition would be as smooth as possible for her. Well, imagine our surprise when the social worker came by to tell us "grandma" was totally on board and ready for Olivia to come to our house. Wanna know why? Over Christmas break, Grandma won the lottery!!!  Crazy! I mean, who wins the lottery?!?!?  Evidently grandma does :)  and because she did, she wants to be able to travel with her husband and enjoy being retired. So, it made it all much easier for Olivia to come to our house. I love how every child that has come into our family has such a unique story - but the lottery just may be the most entertaining one :)

So, last Thursday, Olivia came to live with us. Cadence is over the moon excited about her being here. She has asked for a long time for a little sister and specifically a brown sister with curly hair - like her. And so we have delivered :)  We have been so grateful for Cadence these past few days. She is unnaturally gifted as a 6 year old with loving other kids - especially her siblings - except when they drive her insane. But literally, minutes after Olivia came into our home, Cadence had put her at ease and they were playing together. I am so grateful for her heart and how well she lives out loving others - even when she doesn't know she's doing it. She has made this transition SO much easier on Olivia than Chris or I ever could have. 

sibling pictures to show any family resemblance :)

 This is what our table looks like now for meals. Mom, we've finally filled our benches!!

Our lifestyle is a little crazy and so we cleared a few days on our calendar to help Olivia adjust to all the newness. After a day at home, we ventured out as a family of 7 to the children's museum. I counted 5 heads so many times on Friday :)

Creed and Olivia are about 6 weeks apart in age so this is going to be so fun as they grow up!

We took up a large part of the water table!

We're still adjusting to being a party of 7. Everything takes a little longer these days. Getting dressed, bathing, loading up in the car, making plates for meals - it's amazing how one extra is exponentially more work. But it's worth the effort! 
We are so blown away by the way God continues to put our family together. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What Can You Do with a Dollar?

I tried today to come up with a list of things that you could do with a single dollar. Here's what I've gotten so far....

If you take tax out of the equation the DollarSpot at Target would be an option and you can find some pretty great things there

There's always the dollar store where you can find all sorts of treasure and they ALL cost $1.00

You could buy a song on iTunes

Put air in your tires

Eat off the Dollar Menu at any of your favorite fast food restaurants.

and even Pay for a tooth if you're a cheap tooth fairy

OR another option would be to take your dollar and put it with lots of other people's dollars that have been donated to help bring baby Graham home. Ya know how to do this? Go to, click on the continent of Africa (it's the orange one) and donate to their adoption fund!

It's your dollar and you can do what you want with it, but as a Mom who has a few adopted kids, they sure are excited about getting a new cousin and you really don't want to make them wait any longer than they have to. Do you? :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Finishing up 2012

Only 8 days late, 2012 is complete!!  Mostly because tomorrow I need to post something of WAY more importance than these pictures. So, enjoy the rest of our 2012...

After Christmas we spent the rest of our week in FL enjoying some down time and family and friends. Here are the few pictures we took of our fun :)

Wilson Girls Date Night!!!
 and because it needed to be documented somewhere.....

 New jackets for the boys that were purchased on our date night
 and a trip to the Allen's house provided plenty more superhero practice time!

 When we got home - after our adventure (puke) filled trip home - we finally got the annual Christmas pictures taken. We are so grateful for all the fun stuff that was given to the kids over Christmas. 
I love how much they loved what they got. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Christmas Day 2012

 Christmas Day this year was so much fun!  We got to spend the entire day with family just hanging out and having a good time - just what Christmas should be like :)
Papa reading the Christmas story before all the present carnage started. The kids liked the pages that popped up - they were pretty fun!

 and then the presents began!

Cora Sue looking so sweet - don't let her fool you :)

Creed loved this cape and wore it for  2 day straight!

 obligatory stocking photos that should always follow brothers-in-law wearing TMNT pants

 Baby Shaun slept thru the first round of presents so he got to open his later. 
He liked it all and tasted everything to make sure it was great!

 Skyping with Liz and Shan. We are so grateful for technology!

 More fun presents!

Papa making sure Super Creed knows just how to fly!
 Uncle Luke came into his first - not so exciting because I'm gonna be a Dad - Christmas this year and really racked up with an IKEA storage unit complete with baskets :)  
This BobaFett hoodie made his morning much better!

Opening Stocking stuff. It's all very serious!

and after it was all over, we packed up a picnic and headed to the beach!!  Because when it's in the mid 70's and sunny on Christmas Day, you really should go to the beach. 

Cadence made this treasure of a video that I loved finding in Mom's pictures. 

Our spread at the beach!

There's an awesome new pirate ship playground at one of the local beaches and we had SO much FUN playing on it!

The Daddies did too thanks to the marshmallow guns :)

a picnic and some attempted naps - it doesn't get much better than that in my world!!

We are so grateful for a Savior and the fact that His coming to earth gives us not only life and a relationship with Him, but also the additional blessings of family that we get to celebrate with. Merry Christmas!!