Friday, May 4, 2012

Change the World For One

Ordinary Hero's "CHANGE THE WORLD FOR ONE" benefit last weekend was a huge success and it was wonderful to see so many of our adoptive friends and hear some of the most inspirational stories.  There was not a dry eye in the room after this beautiful video was played.  THANK YOU to Kelly Putty for asking our family to be apart of this!!!  We will forever be grateful to you for helping us find our sweet Getu!  

Getu was so happy to see Sue Hedberg, Director for Celebrate Children International
(Our Amazing Adoption Agency)


Had so much fun working on the Silent Auction committee with Ashley Miler & Lauren Capozzi!

I was thrilled to finally meet these two beautiful ladies from Utah, Deborah Schone & Stacy Hadlock! Can't wait to serve with Deborah in Ethiopia this July on the OH mission trip! 

Three of the Archie Kiddos with their buddy Nathan Putty

It made my day to see some of my Rodan+Fields colleagues come out to support the benefit.
I was able to grab a picture with 2 of them....Marjorie Weller and Nikki Russell

Last but not beautiful, amazing and inspirational friend Kelly Putty - Founder of OH

Already can't wait to start planning for next year's event!!!! 


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Bringing Getu HOME! Ethiopia with the whole Archie Crew!

Wow! I look at this sweet smile everyday now and still can't believe he's really here! GETU IS HOME!!!

January 20th, we landed in Nashville as a family of 7 and I cannot thank God enough!! People always mention how it's a great thing that we've adopted Getu and what a blessing we are to him....but TRULY we feel it's the other way around....He has BLESSED US so much more! He is the one that changed our lives....completely!  Forever!

We prayed and prayed about taking our entire family to Ethiopia to bring him Home and God showed me clearly that HE was in agreement! HE met every financial need for the cost of the trip. My bio children...ages 16, 13, 9 and 7 saw and learned so many things on that trip that I could never fully express to them or put into words.  They had to feel and experience it for themselves. Michael & I wanted them to see where their brother was from, how he lived and bond with him in his birth country before coming to the U.S. We wanted them to get out of the comfortable little bubble we live in and see the need.
Jasmine, Michael Jr., Jayla & Malik needed to see that their are children just like them...their ages....working on the streets...with nowhere to shoes...and most importantly no mommy or daddy to comfort or take care of them or tuck them in at night. They needed to see orphanages full of children that pray everyday and long for a family of their own.
Before getting on the plane, I prayed that their eyes and hearts would be opened and that they would never be the same!

Well...on the long way home on the plane after a week in Africa....I turned to Jayla (my 9 yr old daughter) and asked her what she was going to tell her friends and teachers at school about her trip.  She thought for a moment and looked at me and said "Ummmm......Life-Changing!!!!" The rest of the Archie family couldn't agree more!!!  Jayla said it Perfectly!  There are not enough words to express what Getu and this trip did for our family!  You cannot go to Ethiopia and not be changed! You can come home...but your heart is still there!  I can't wait till Jasmine and I go back in July with the Ordinary Hero Team! July 5th can't get here soon enough.  :)  

Honestly, I'm not good at story telling and blogging, but thank God for they say a thousand words!  Hope you enjoy this video of our life-changing journey in bringing Getu Home!

Again, we THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts for all your love, support and prayers!!!
We love you all!!  xoxo

Thursday, January 12, 2012

WooHoo!! We CLEARED January 9th!!! Our Son is Coming HOME!!!!

And we are taking the whole crew to Ethiopia with us!!!!!  Yes, all 6 of us.... Me, Michael, Jasmine, Michael Jr., Jayla and Malik.  I know some of you may probably think I'm crazy for taking everyone, but I just can't wait to see the look on Getu's face when he sees that his entire family came to bring him HOME!!!  Brings me to tears just thinking about it! This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for my children, one they will definitely never forget!

We leave this Saturday Jan. 14th and arrive back in Nashville on Friday the 20th at 6 pm. We would LOVE for you all to come and meet our sweet boy at our Airport Homecoming!!!  Everyone's Invited!

What:  GETU Archie's Airport Homecoming Party!
When:  Friday, January 20th
Where:  Nashville International Airport
Time:  6:00 PM
Airline:  Delta

We can't THANK you all enough for your love, support and prayers!!!

Can't believe our son is REALLY coming HOME!!!!!!!!   God is soooooo Good!!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Two Words...LIFE - CHANGING!!!!

I don't even know where to begin.
Two words sum up our journey to Ethiopia to meet our son....

The entire flight to Ethiopia, I couldn't sleep at all. My brain and heart couldn't stop thinking about the special moment that was about to happen. We were REALLY going to Africa to meet our son face to face!!!! 

The moment we stepped off the heart started pounding! Our driver picked us up and we went to the guest house where we were staying to pick up another family so we could drive to the countryside together to pick up our children from the orphanage.  I was in awe the whole time....looking out the window of the van....taking it all in. I couldn't believe everything I was seeing! Poverty beyond imaginable, but yet such beauty in the precious people there.  

We stayed in the city, but had to drive 2 hours to the countryside to pick up our son.  What a beautiful and quiet trip that was!  Again...we just sat there taking it all in.

On the way to the orphanage, we arranged to meet our son's Uncle so we could learn more about Getu and his sweet family! They were absolutely precious, happy to see us and welcomed us to their home.

The translator helped us communicate and we learned that Getu's parents died from diseases 4 years ago and that his uncle was too poor to care for him so therefore had to take him to the orphanage.  He told us that Getu is very smart, loves school and loves to ride horses. We also learned that his family is from the Oromo tribe and Getu speaks the language Oromiffa.
When his uncle started crying and told us that he gave his blessing before God to adopt Getu... hugging and thanking us for loving his nephew and becoming his family....I LOST IT y'all!  (you know that awful overwhelming lump in the throat feeling.)  We promised to bring Getu back to say goodbye to him before he leaves for America. I am NOT looking forward to that part at all. I'll be an emotional wreck. The thought of them saying goodbye to eachother breaks my heart.

Michael Jr. passing out candy to the children that live near Getu's uncle.

As soon as we got to the orphanage... the tears overflowed...I was heart was pounding!!! THERE HE WAS!!!! The moment we've been waiting for! Our son standing there waving with a big smile on his face!! He came right over to the van and we couldn't get out fast enough to wrap our arms around him!!

We had lots of Donations (thanks to many of you) to give to the children in the
village, orphanage and transition house.

The children from the village waited outside the orphanage gate
to see if we had anything for them too.

You can see what happened when Michael Jr. got the Candy bag out.   :)

It was so sad to watch Getu say Goodbye to his friends from the orphanage. He lived there for 4 years...watching kids come and some go. This was all he knew. 

Michael Jr. taught Getu how to play with the PSP on the drive back to the city. 

He Loved the iPad....

We had a pillowcase made for him so that when we had to leave and go back to America....he could see his family when he goes to bed and when he wakes up in the morning.  
Praying he finds comfort in that.

We had court the morning of November 3rd and I was a nervous wreck the whole time! The judge asked us some questions and then asked Getu questions in Amharic....making sure he knew and understood what was going on and that we were going to be his family and that he was leaving his country. I let out a deep breath and burst into tears when the judge looked at us and said "All of your paperwork is here, everything looks great, HE'S NOW YOURS! Congratulations!!"
There are not enough words to explain how we felt at that moment!
Getu officially became an Archie (our precious son) on November 3rd, 2011!! WooHoo!!!
Praise God!!
This is our first picture together after court with our new son....

There were many firsts for riding in an elevator, a bathroom hand dryer scared him, and he ate pizza for the first time.  We had so much fun together enjoying the city Addis Ababa.  He and Michael Jr. really hit it off and bonded right away. It was so wonderful to see them together. It felt like they've always been brothers.

Father and Son

LOVE him sooooo much!

Getu thought Skype was awesome! 
He got to see and talk to his other brother and sisters back home in TN....
as well as his Aunt Dana and cousins Josiah and Ava. 
 The BEST was when he was able to Skype with a friend from his orphanage that was adopted by a family in Indiana.  It absolutely made his day and his beautiful smile that just lights up a room made mine! You bet, one of the first trips we will be making as a family when he comes to go see his friend!

Our last day was absolutely heartbreaking! We had to take him to a transition house and say our goodbyes....not knowing when we are coming back to bring him home.  It has taken families many many months after they pass court before they receive their Embassy date. We had the translator explain to him what was going on and he asked "how many days and when are they coming back to get me?"  :(
I knew it was going to be hard....but I was not prepared for this!!! Honestly, I was sick to my stomach. The pain and ache I felt in my heart was overwhelming! Michael Jr. had a tough time saying goodbye to his brother and went to the van so we couldn't see how upset he was.  I've only seen my husband really cry 2 times in our 16 years together and this was one of those times! We bawled as we held our hurting, crying, scared son...telling him how much we loved him and trying to comfort and assure him that we ARE coming back and when we do....he will be with us forever.  :(

Friends and Family....Please continue to pray for us....especially for our sweet Getu. Pray that he will find comfort knowing that we are now his forever family...he's no longer an orphan..... and that we are coming back to get him. And please pray and believe with us that we will receive an Embassy date very soon so we can go back to Ethiopia and bring him home.  Faith Moves Mountains!

Having Getu home for Christmas would be the greatest gift of all!!! 

 We can't THANK YOU all enough for your Love, Support and Prayers!!! 
You have blessed us more than you'll ever know! 

The Archie Family

Michael, Crystal, Jasmine, Michael Jr., Jayla, Malik and Getu.