Dec 29, 2009

Stuck Smiling

I have tried since my last blog post to write because a lot has been going on here. But every time I do, I start staring at this face and there is nothing more to say, I just get stuck, smiling back at him. I'll try again later.

Dec 23, 2009

Do You Recognize This Boy?

Does this boy look familiar to you? You might not recognize him at first, but stare into those eyes and be caught up in that smile and you will begin to see a slight resemblance to someone you've seen on my blog before. He is the same boy in the picture below.

There is only about 8 months difference between these pictures. But notice how much fuller his face is, the light that is in his eyes and the confidence in his smile as opposed to the last pic of him taken back in May. The difference: food everyday, a several letters from a woman who loves him and prays for him, and being taught about the God who watches his every step and counts his every breath. What did this relationship cost me? In money, only $272 dollars, $34 a month. What has he cost my life? There is no measure for that and there can never be. You see, this child is more than a kid in a Sally Struther's ad for humanitarian aid. He is my son. If he never steps foot in my house or held in my arms, the passion that I know for this child can never be extinguished. I will continue to pray for him, love him, share his story with others and advocate for him. This relationship has costs me my heart. A portion of it is with him and will continue to reside there forever.

This Christmas, help change a child's life. There are several amazing women who are still advocating for children to be sponsored through Children's HopeChest. Amy, still has children from Children's Home Ethiopia,which is where my precious Kaleab is today. Then there is this woman who is looking for sponsors for a carepoint in Swaziland. This Christmas, give a gift, give yourself to someone who is looking forward to smiling again and can't wait to start a relationship with someone just like you. Can't sponsor them all? Great, just start with one!

I have to give a big, huge Oklahoma THANK YA'LL to Sam and Wendi Henry who were kind enough to not only take my sweet boy's picture while traveling in Ethiopia, but they also brought the carepoint books (note the math book my son is proudly displaying) but also soccer equipment. Check out their blog and then check out their organization, which takes microgiving to an entirely different level!

Dec 17, 2009

A Record In Need of Breaking!

I almost have no words. For me, this is a milestone, but I will give it my best efforts:
For those of you following my life here, you will know that I have been harassing my church leadership to sign on with Children's HopeChest to sponsor a village of 600 orphans in Ngariam, Uganda since May of this year. I have been carrying these precious faces in my heart since May and this last weekend, I actually saw their faces in my living room. My friends Amy and Ben and Dan and Sarah flew in on Friday from Cincinnati, Ohio. My friend Brandi, flew in from Orlando. And a REALLY big deal from HopeChest, Vince flew in from Colorado. I had been fervently praying that my church would step it up. Everyone kept telling me that one church sponsoring 600 kids is close to impossible, that you couldn't ask one congregation to handle sponsoring that many children. But I knew that God had clearly set Ngariam aside for my church. We couldn't do this, but HE could. And I knew He would.

Friday night we opened up the profiles of 483 children. Reading their stories and hearing their heartbreaking setbacks that these children face, through no fault of their own. The seven of us sat in my living room and lovingly prayed over each face and asked God to provide for them.

Saturday we spent the day decorating the church and spending a precious time of prayer as a group simply asking God to move through our congregation.

Sunday came in a whirlwind. Vince and Brandi spoke about their experiences and God opened the floodgates of heaven and dumped it all over a church in Oklahoma City. We were broken as a group and walked out knowing that those kids belonged to us and we WERE going to take care of them. People were grabbing profiles and saying "this is my new family member". Parents were getting their children involved and engaging them in the process. We heard story after story of people stepping out in faith and sponsoring one, two, three even as many as SIX kids! But the most amazing part was watching people stand around after services "introducing" people to their newest family members! People talking about their "sons" and "daughters", praying for them and asking TONS of questions about how to do something ELSE for these precious kids. At the end of the day 396 kids had found sponsors! That is 82% of the profiles we had on hand! It was truly amazing to be a part of and I couldn't be more in love with my church. We also got word that we had the largest launch EVER at HopeChest! While it is not about winning or numbers, this is one record that I cannot wait to have broken. I am still confused as to why God lets me be a part of something so cool. He could easily do all this by himself, but allowing me to play even a small part is such a special gift.

While Westmoore Community Church is confident that all of Ngariam will be sponsored in the next couple of weeks, please keep us in your prayers. Especially those precious faces on my dining room table who are yet to be sponsored. We believe that we will have another 100 profiles within the next couple of weeks so we have a little bit to go, but what an amazing weekend. A culmination of dreaming, praying and love that only flows from my heavenly Father.

If you are interested in sponsoring a child and providing them food, love, prayer and a relationship with someone who is thinking about them, there are several women who are searching for sponsors for a group of children who are in Swaziland, Africa. Go HERE and change a life that needs you. Or go HERE and contact HopeChest about having your church, business, social group or online network sponsor an entire village, or just advocate among your friends for one or two children who need a sponsor. Come on folks, I am holding a record and it NEEDS to be broken.

Dec 8, 2009


I will admit, it has been hard to blog lately. Last week was a dream and as I sit here at my desk, I am torn between staring at a letter from a ten year old boy and pictures of two precious children, who prayerfully, the Ethiopian government will soon recognize as my son and daughter. All I feel is love. I wonder if this is how God feels when we do things that praise him? I am in awe and wonder of the precious things with which my Father has entrusted me and I am honored.

Dec 4, 2009

The Best Week Ever!

This week has been the best, EVER! On Monday, Le and I saw pictures of our children for the first time. We have spent the week calling friends and family. We also have spent the week preparing our church's launch next week of a carepoint of 600 orphans in Ngariam, Uganda. I also talked to a friend today who is SOOOO much closer to her adoption than anyone originally thought. Tonight, we went to the Queen (the Ethiopian restaurant in our area) to celebrate. There was no way our week could get any better. And then we came home and opened up the mailbox. You see, in May of this year, I fell in love with my first Ethiopian child,Kaleab. He is ten years old. He has no family and for all I know about him, although he is fed and goes to school, he has no one to love him. Le and I began sending him letters and pictures and praying for him. I just assumed that he had either not gotten our letters or was simply not interested in conversing with a crazy white woman who lived an ocean away. Until tonight. The end of my perfect week. When I popped open our mailbox, I was not surprised to see a letter from Children's HopeChest. I get them all the time, for a variety of different reasons. I almost didn't open it. But the desire to see if it was from Kaleab go the better of me. I almost fainted! It WAS from him.

It said:

"How are you Le and Lindsey? I am Kaleab. I have received your letter. Thank you very much. When I saw your picture, it is so nice. I am in grade A. I am ten years old. My school's name is Birhane Hiwot. I thank my God that he gave me such a great family. I love you and pray for you. Here is Addis Ababa the weather is hot. How is the weather in Oklahoma? I read the Bible verse that you wrote for me. My favorite story in the Bible is Luke Chapter 15. Please read it . I love you too!" Kaleab"

I was bawling! I couldn't remember what Luke Chapter 15 was about. I grabbed my Bible, handed the letter to Le and read. That didn't help my tears. Luke Chapter 15 is about the lost son! I looked at Le and let him know that I needed nothing else for Christmas, this was the best gift ever. If you are looking to give someone an amazing gift this year, click here and give someone a relationship with a child. I will never be convinced that Kaleab receives more from me than I do from him.

I leave you with a picture of the first child who has changed my life.

Dec 2, 2009

Details of The Call!

Things have moved so quickly in the last few days, I wanted to write this all down before I forgot. Monday started off as a really crummy day for me. I was stressed and work was BUSY! My desk is usually a mess. But Monday was even worse. I had my phone covered up with some papers and I was running from my secretary's office, to the copier and wasn't paying a lot of attention to where my phone was located (this was big deal because I usually keep it strapped to me during the day). At 2:53p.m. I looked at my phone and I had missed a phone call, (817) area code and there was a voicemail. I started to panic. But I had been duped before. I have a client that lives in the (817) area code and I about broke my neck returning her phone call three weeks ago, only to be extremely disappointed that it wasn't Gladney. So I clicked over to check my voice mail and I heard the sweetest voice in the world "Hi Lindsey, it's Kristen with Gladney." I didn't even finish the message! I dropped the phone and started screaming "I'm a MOM! I'm a MOM!" Hysterically laughing and crying, I couldn't form a thought. I didn't know what to do next. And then I remembered Le. I called him from my office on speaker phone and couldn't tell him what to do next, I was crying and laughing too hard. He finally asked me if I had been in a car accident! :) Luckily, my senior partner was in my office and was telling him to come here because he was a daddy! He left and drove the twenty minutes to my office. I called Kristen back while Le was en route and told her that I wanted to wait for Le to get to me but I just wanted her to answer one question: Was there one or two? She laughed and said "there is two and they are beautiful!"
I started crying again and called Le and told him that there were two! When Le got to my office, we shut my door and called Kristen back. The operator told us Kristin was on the phone and asked if we wanted to leave a message! I just said we would wait. Kristin picked up and said she would email us first the pictures. We saw his pic first. A bouncy bubbly 18 month old toddler, absolutely PERFECT. And then we saw his sister. 6 years old. Just as a PERFECT as her brother. Their story is very sad, but it is their reality and we are honored to be allowed to love them. Now we wait for a court date. More to come, I am sure, but for today, I am relishing in the new title of my life: MOM!