Friday, March 21, 2014


Yesterday we went to a botanical gardens-y type place. They also served wine, so I don't know what that qualifies as, but it was awesome.

And big.

(Side Note: For those just checking in...we (being me and Nosipho) are still in South Africa. Erik and I left for South Africa on February 11th and Erik headed back home to the States on March 12th. Nosipho and I are waiting for her unabridged birth certificate and temporary passport to be able to leave the country. Time of departure? Unknown.)

Back to our adventure. 
The gardens were big enough to need a map to walk around it. And since it seems that we have added a daughter to our family who is strong-willed, independent, and adventurous...she controlled the map. 

At first, I was trying to explain that you have to hold it right side up in order to really know where you are going. After a few minutes, I just gave up and decided to trust her (and the people in yellow shirts that actually knew where we were supposed to go).
I should learn to trust more because even though the map was upside down, she seemed to know exactly where we needed to go.

What looked upside down to me made complete sense to her. 
And though our journey took maybe a bit/way longer than I would have liked, we stumbled upon places that we never would have seen had I been in control of the map. 
Do you see where I'm going with this?

I've been struggling quite a bit with understanding why God isn't making things happen faster here on this end. If it were up to me and my AWESOME navigational skills, we would have been out of South Africa yesterday. 
But I'm starting to see little glimpses of the blessings that come from long journeys. (You would have thought this lesson would have been learned in that whole 3 year journey to adopt Nosipho, yeah? #slowlearner #foolmeonce?)

But even when I'm kicking, screaming, and awkwardly crying to old episodes of Hawaii Five-O by myself after sweet girl is asleep, I'm starting to hear God's voice a bit clearer. 

The map may look upside down, and this path may not have been the one you would have chosen if you were in control...
But the journey will be beautiful.
And I promise, I'll bring you safely to the exit. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Adventures of Nosipho: Volume 1

This probably goes without saying...but it has been one gloriously insane adventure so far.

God has taught us so much every step of the way and we are so blessed to have chance to call Nosipho our daughter!! We've cried, laughed, played, listened, rocked out, danced (thank you Katy Perry...again), and had our minds blown to how great this adventure is.

Here is a little snap shot of what the first couple of weeks have looked like.

Adventures of Nosipho: Volume 1 from OneEightyCC on Vimeo.

Thank you so much for all of your prayers, support and encouragement. We have felt them every step of the way.

"Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think." Ephesians 3:20

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

South Africa, Family of Three, and Katy Perry

My plan was to blog in South Africa during our adoption.

No one ever told me that having a 6 year old would not allow for that..easily. 

Touche Parenthood. Touche. 

But, in an effort to bring some news and updates to all of you, I decided to put down my obsession with Candy Crush (post bedtime), grab a glass of wine and go sit outside on the patio of someone's house to capture a few minutes of stolen internet! Boom. This is Africa. 

The last 2+ weeks have been a complete whirlwind. I liken it to the part of the Wizard of Oz where Dorothy has not yet figured out that she is in a dream and a house just crushed a witch. Oddly exciting, somewhat confusing. Definitely foreign. 

We arrived in South Africa after a long 37 hours of travel through too many different countries to list. The day following this, we met our daughter. Our beautiful, vivacious, energetic, independent, and amazing daughter. She is beyond anything we could have ever dreamed. God absolutely knew what he was doing when He weaved our family together.

We spent our first week visiting her each day at her orphanage, getting to know each other, and eating a lot of hamburgers and french fries. (Don't criticizes this unless you have a adopted a 6 year old from a foreign country. You literally do whatever it takes.)

Enter Katy Perry. We found our first days of bonding with her to be quite difficult. She didn't really want anything to do with us after Day 1. We tried everything. We were super cool. I mean, pullin' out all the "cool parent" tricks. I was like "Dang, Erik. We are awesome." Nosipho was like, "Not so much."
Who knew that Katy Perry and her Prism album would single handedly open up the door to instant bonding. With 1 (or maybe 500) plays of "Roar" and "Darkhorse", we were a VonTrap family miracle on our car trips to fast food. I'm 100% convinced that Katy would want us on stage with her. We have hand motions. 

After a week, we broke through. We officially took her to our temporary residence to live with us permanently. We spent another week in Durban and on February 27th, she officially became ours according to the courts of South Africa. It was...perfect. 
We headed to Cape Town the day after, where we will be for the next several weeks. Here we will be doing her US Immigration Medical Exams, applying for her Visa and Passport, and rounding up all loose ends to get us to our exit interview in Johannesburg (hopefully by the end of March). 

Erik will leave on March 12th to head back home and back to work. (I may have had a complete emotional breakdown today about being a single parent for 2/3 weeks. I mean, maybe.)

Our time has been sweet. The girl is a riot. A firecracker. I think she wants to be Katy Perry (perhaps Juicy J, we aren't sure). But, she has brought some serious life to this family. She is strong, beautiful, and will definitely change the world. We know it. 

We are proud parents of our sweet daughter, Nosipho (No-See-Po) Ruth Anderson, and would not/could not wish for something different. 

We will try to update you all more than we have, but for now, prayers prayers prayers abundant for bonding, paperwork, the African process, and each steps forward as we learn to parent, love, and grow as a family! 

And, if anyone didn't get tickets to the Katy Perry concert, you are welcome to come over to our home when we are back. Free show.