I was also born and raised in Germany. My family lived in Abe's home town until I was three, and then we moved away for ten years. We came back to the same town in 1989. I am the second oldest of five children. My mom named me after Corrie TenBoom. She read her book while she was recovering from a very serious accident which left her paralyzed on her left side, and she was told to abort the baby she was carrying due to the heavy medications and the condition of her body. But she refused, and I was born full term. I did have some drug withdrawals after birth, but I did not have all the problems the doctors had predicted. I have always been a tomboy and never been afraid of anything. I am a stay-at-home mom and LOVE it! With much daily prayer, I try to be whatever it is my day needs me to be-the Christian, the mama, the teacher, the listener, the entertainer, the librarian, the plumber, the cleaner, the financial adviser, the mechanic, the chauffeur, the speech therapist, vision therapist, the nurse, the doctor, the mower, the cleaner, etc, I also do have the privilege of earning a little extra money at nights when the kids are asleep working for an insurance adjusting company-transcribing reports, doing data entry, and answering the after-hour phones - all in my pj's. Every day is a new adventure, which is just what I love best.
The Beginning of Our Family:
Abe wanted to get involved in the church and approached my dad, who was the current assistant pastor. So, Abe became a part of our family! We sang in the youth choir together, taught Children's Church together, and he was at our house for dinner pretty much every day. We went on family vacations together and walked and talked pretty much daily, but we were "only" best friends. We started dating in 1992, got engaged in 1994, and got married in 1996. In 1995, we left our home country to study at Pensacola Christian College. Abe's major was Commercial Art, mine was Home Economics. It was NOT an easy move. It took two years just for Abe to overcome the culture shock! :-) The language barrier was not easy to overcome, so we started only talking English to each other because although English was also my second language, it came very easy to me. We stayed through the summer at the college to work and to immerse ourselves in the English language, but that was even harder than college itself! We finally went back home for the first time in December of 1995, almost one year later to plan our wedding to take place the following May. We got married in Germany after finishing one more semester at PCC, and we had exactly three weeks to apply for and be approved for Abe's green card. It had not occurred to us that Abe would not be allowed to reenter the United States under his student visa, until we went to the embassy to change my name in my passport, and we were told that his status had changed because now he was married to a United States Citizen. I have dual citizenship by birth. If you have ever dealt with the immigration office in this beautiful country, you know that this is practically an impossibility. We learned very clearly then that with God NOTHING is impossible. Miraculously and only through God and my mom, we were able to get everything submitted and approved in order the reenter the Unites States as scheduled in July 1996. We moved into our first home-a mobile home with two tiny bedrooms and no electricity for the first two nights. If you have never tried to live without air-conditioning in Florida in July, you should try it! It will give you a whole new appreciation of air-conditioning. :-) We only had to spend one night there thanks to some wonderful friends who adopted us as their own children and let us stay with them until we got everything turned on. We bought our first car after almost six weeks of not having a car, but just in time to start classes again. We got to travel to work with some German youth groups that had come for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. It was a privilege! We were able to finish one more year of college together, and then Abe took his first truck driving job so that I could finish college. It was by far the hardest and longest separation we ever went through. I was able to graduate that year, and Abe could go back to taking classes. He graduated in 2000 while I endured to grueling years at a bank in customer service. I started working for my nanny family, and after almost three years of working for them, they asked us to consider moving with them to Georgia. We prayed about it and knew this is what God had for us. We bought our first home and started renovating it from top to bottom. Almost seven months after our move, I found out that we were expecting our first baby. Within four years, we had four babies! We attend a Baptist Church. We love to serve the Lord in our church and our community! We are blessed beyond measure to have the best friends in the world here! We are learning each day what the Lord has in store for us. Below is a short description of our children. Today, they are 6, 4, 3, and 2 years old. We are SOOOOOO blessed!!!
Annalee is our oldest daughter. She was conceived naturally, against our and the doctor's best expectations. Annalee was born healthy and beautiful! We are still in awe of the miracle of her! I was able to take her to work with me for the first year of her life while I was still a nanny! And then I became a stay-at-home mom. Annalee was the most quiet, easy baby I have ever met. She hardly ever cried! She had severe eczema and cradle cap, and she still hardly ever cried. We later found out this was due to a nut, egg, and smoke allergy. When Annalee turned two, and she still was not talking I got concerned and asked our new pediatrician to refer us for a hearing test. Annalee was diagnosed with stenotic ear canals and as a result bilateral conductive hearing loss. Annalee had bilateral BAHA's implanted two days after her fifth birthday. It was the BEST decision we could have made for her. It was a long hard road to help her get caught up, but today, she is in a normal kindergarten class with some help of some amazing school staff and therapists. She is making huge strides, but is still delayed in some ways. Going to school and listening is very hard work for her. We are praying to start homeschooling next year. Annalee is very independent, and has a very big heart for those that are "special." She loves to laugh and giggle and will just make you laugh alongside her. She can be quite stubborn, which when applied correctly has been very useful to her! :-) School does wear her out, so when she gets home, it is best not to expect anything else from her for a while!Elliana (Ellie)
This is our family! Every day, we learn something new about each other. Every day is a new adventure. We can't wait to see how our family will change in the years to come! Obviously, we do have quite some experience with a variety of issues, and many of those experiences I wish I would not have had to learn on my own. If you have any questions at all about ANYTHING, please ask. We want to be used by God to be an encouragement, a source of wisdom, and an admonishment, or whatever we can be to the people He brings into our lives.