Friday, December 23, 2011

watch out dental school, here comes Brad T. Andersen

Three years ago when Brad applied to dental schools across the country we were sure he'd get into at least one. He had a great application - tons of volunteer and shadowing hours, a good DAT score, good letters of recommendation, a well-written personal statement. We had just gotten married, were still in college, and assumed that only the best awaited us when life would go exactly how we planned. When the news came in December of 2009 that he hadn't gotten into any of the 12 schools he had applied to, he took it at face value and was determined to apply again next year. He spoke with a member of the admissions committee who told him some things he needed to work on that would better his application and assured him that next year he'd be golden. He quickly found a job in Atlanta that he could support his little family with, and after graduation we made the trek across the country and moved our small amount of belongings into an apartment that we were positive we'd only be in for one year. We felt like we were in limbo. We knew we would only be staying there for one year, so everything we did in the meantime almost felt like a means to an end - just something to pass the time.
When June came around and it was again time to apply to dental school, Brad made all the changes on his application he needed to, sent it in, and was called back for an interview. We knew this was the year. We even went to Augusta and looked for cute little houses to move into, because we knew we'd be going there so we might as well go ahead and start thinking about where we'd live. December came around again, and we were both devastated to find out that he had once again not been accepted into dental school. To make matters worse, when he spoke with the admissions committee they couldn't give him one reason why he hadn't been accepted. They even told him that he should have been, but there wasn't enough room for everyone. I couldn't help but think, "Why him? Why not reject someone who had only applied once? Brad deserves this!"
When Brad and I first met each other I had no desire to date him. I thought he was a great guy, but I just wasn't interested. But nine months later after much persistence, dedication, and determination on his part we did end up dating. My wonderful and optimistic husband showed those same characteristics when going after another thing he wanted so badly - dental school. June 2011 he once again applied for dental school. He knew this was what he wanted, and he wasn't going to give up until he got it. He had done everything he possibly could; all we could do now was have faith and lots of patience.
On December 8th at 11am Brad got a call on his cell phone. He immediately recognized the area code from having conversed with the admissions committee so many times in the past two years. He knew they were either calling to tell him he had gotten in or that he had again been denied admittance. Sitting in his cubical at work he nervously answered only to be told that he had been accepted!!! He was so excited he couldn't get any work done the rest of the day.
I had been volunteering in the NICU all day and went to go pick him up from work. We drove home, I changed into pajamas, and he told me the great news. I made him wait in the bedroom as I hung up a banner I had been diligently working on for the past couple of weeks.
  Please ignore the pajamas. Brad conveniently waited to tell me after I had already changed. Also, I think it's hilarious that Killer is in the bottom of this picture not even paying attention to what we're doing.

That night we took dinner up to his parents' house and surprised them with the good news, and they took us out for dessert afterwards. The next night Brad and I went out to dinner at his favorite restaurant here in Atlanta to celebrate again.
I loved watching Brad go through all the documents he's saved over the years dealing with dental schools. He happily threw away old rejection letters and things he didn't need anymore. He made a pile of books to give away to some other unlucky student preparing for the DAT. He was so excited, and I was so excited to see him so happy. This good news has been a long time coming, and Brad will be the first to tell you that it has been one of the hardest trials in his life. While we don't know why the Lord put us on the path he did, we do have some pretty good ideas, and I'm sure throughout the years we'll come to understand even more. But for now, we're just happy to finally start the next chapter in our lives that we've waited so long for.
To inquiring minds who wanted to know more details than we knew at the time, Brad recently got his official acceptance letter in the mail. It came certified mail. Some guy brought it to our doorstep, and I had to sign for it in two different places. School starts August 19th, but he has be there August 15th for student orientation. As of right now, we still don't know what our plans are for when we'll actually move to Augusta, but we still have a while to decide.
Brad has said time and time again that this was all he wanted for Christmas. Too bad I didn't know sooner, I wouldn't have bought him anything :) Merry Christmas to Brad!

Brad & Courtney


  1. Brad is an amazingly persistant guy and deserves very much to be accepted! He will be an amazing dentist... maybe like the one in Ali's office that dresses up as sponge bob, Captain America, hawaiian tourist etc - better go the pediatric route!

  2. Courtney and Brad, I am sooooo proud of you both for your persistence and faith.

  3. Wahoo! Way to go, Brad! (But is it Augusta, GA or Augusta, ME... I believe there are dental schools in both places.) Either way, there's lots of camping and disgusting outdoorsey stuff to do in both places, so I'm sure you guys will love it ;)