It's a story about international adoption, but more than that it's story from the heart. A Millbrook couple has four new children in their lives, all less than 5 years old, and all from different parts of the world.
Rita Andrews doesn't have just one arm load these days. "Come over here so Mom can brush your hair." She now has another....and yet another. "Gabriella and Lilly." And now there are four.
3 1/2 year old Lilly and her 5 year old sister Gabriella are new to the family. They just arrived here three weeks ago from Columbia. "She is a sweet princess. She is a mommie's girl." 2 1/2 year old Isabella is the baby in the family, and then there's 5-year old Giovanna who was the first child Rita Andrews and her husband adopted from overseas. They brought her home when she was just a baby. "That was the most joyful night of my life."
And, she says it's been that way ever since although there are a few challenging moments. Three of her four adopted children have Downs Syndrome. Therapy, therapy, therapy and doctor's appointments. I'm constantly on the go with that." But in spite of that, she says it's a calling."I just really felt that that's what the Lord was calling us to do. My sister's first born was born with Downs Syndrome. We really didn't know much about Downs until she was born."
And, Gabby doesn't talk much either. Rita Andrews thinks it's because she doesn't speak English yet. But, the challenges she says are all worth it because the Andrews are giving them a life and opportunities they would never have had. "Some days it's much more rewarding than I ever thought it would be, and just watching them grow and develop - their smiles and it's just amazing huh?" Rita Andrews says looking adoringly at her child in her arms. "Yeah? Little Isabella then flashes a huge grin and nestles her head on her mother's shoulder.
The Andrews also have two biological children - twins - 18 years old. Rita says it's been an adjustment for them too since they are no longer the only ones in the house getting the attention.