Dec 23, 2010

A Christmas Wish

This time last year, I was decorating our tree at home alone while Le was at the fire station. We hardly bought gifts because we were too busy staring at pics of two faces so far away in Ethiopia. Each time I looked at them, I wondered what they were wishing for and what they wanted most in the world.

This is still my favorite picture of all time:

This year, our house is a different dynamic. There is no silence, no space left under our tree for one more present and I know exactly what my two kids have asked Santa to bring. It only took two faces to change my life forever.
Miss R is definitely in the practice these days of asking us TONS of questions. Most of them I know or can fake an answer, but last week she threw me.
"Mommy. I love home. In Africa, I no have birthday, trick or treat, thanksgiving or Christmas." Here I have birthday, trick or treat, thanks giving and Christmas. Mommy, why in Africa we not have that?"
"I don't know honey."
"Mommy, I think all the world need that."
"I agree Ruta. I agree."
I hate not having had a better answer, but man that girl can come up with some doozies! But why all the world not have that? I'm not saying that bringing kids here to America, taking them to Chuckie Cheese and screaming for Buzz Lightyear is the answer to the global orphan crisis. But until the global orphan population decreases substantially or the Lord returns, I'm always going to advocate for families opening up their homes to bring in someone who is lonely.

I often get emails from people who ask "why Ethiopia" questions. My answer is always the same. We were obedient. That's where God called us. Will He call us to Ethiopia again? I don't know. Will He call us to adopt again? I am begging Him so!
There are so many kids who need love, a home, a family, someone to call their own. This Christmas, while you are in the midst of ham steak, wrapping paper and family, please remember that some where either next door or around the world, someone needs love, comfort, home and is praying for their Christmas wish to come true: YOU!

These two angels are currently in foster care and are paper ready to be adopted. They are considered a "special needs" because they are a sibling group and they want to be adopted together, even though they are not being fostered together at this time.
For more information about foster care or adoption from foster care in the United States go to or for more information about Jonathan and Katlyn go to
For more information about international adoption, email me directly, or check out or go to and put in "international adoption".
While I pray that your Christmas wish comes true this year, I am on my knees begging that the Christmas wish of every orphan and widow in this world is answered first!
Happy Holidays!

Dec 9, 2010

Ruta and Alazar's Gotcha Day Video

I didn't get it done before their referral-aversary, but here is Ruta and Alazar's gotcha day video nonetheless:

Nov 30, 2010


One year ago today I put my sister in a car, kissed her face and watched her head due west to start her new life in Phoenix. I travelled through the morning in a fog of tears. I was sitting at my desk trying to function, when my cell phone rang. I had talked to Kristen a few days earlier and merely shrugged off any idea of a referral and simply assumed she was calling to tell me that she had the answers to my questions. I was wrong. It turned out to be the phone call that changed my life.

It was a good thing one of my law partners took over, because I shut down. Every secretary in my office was trying to find Le. I was trying to keep from hyperventilating. It was going to take Le about 20 minutes to make it to and so I told Kristen that we would call her back. But I had permission from Le to ask one question: was there one or two?

I almost fainted when Kristen giggled: "there's two Lindsey. And they are simply beautiful."
Those "two" have changed everything. In an absolute fabulous way.

The first pic we saw:

Ruta and Alazar~one year ago today I sat at my desk and immediately fell in love with you both. Since the beginning of time the Father of Lights determined that I, a crazy control-freak, woman, would get to spend my life helping you both laugh, heal and learn to love. I am truly honored. Hugs and Love and Happy Referralaversary, Mommy.

Nov 25, 2010

No Longer A Joke

Each year as a society, we joke that if you aren't good you'll get coal in your stocking. This year, ALL I want in my stocking is coal. You see, I have some amazing friends who are changing the way we see coal and it's effect on the 3rd world.

An efficient, coal burning stove can save a woman 3-5 hours a DAY by reducing the amount of time it takes her to cook a meal for her family. 3-5 hours! Rachel Ray makes a meal in 30 minutes! This year your purchase of $20 you are sent a beautifully wrapped box of a piece of coal. In return, a family in Haiti receives a coal burning stove and since the stoves are manufactured locally in Haiti, you are helping several families.

Tomorrow as some of you get up early and head out the door for great bargains, log on and give a life changing gift to someone who couldn't be happier to receive coal in their stocking. Go here to read about the project. Spread the word and let's fill a ton of stocking with coal and a bunch of Haitian homes with stoves.

Nov 24, 2010

I'm That Brave

Tomorrow is the big day. People to go. Places to go. Yummy things to eat. A time for friends, family, food, football and fun. I should be cooking. Or cleaning. Or packing our car. But I can't. I have a million other things to do and waning time in which to accomplish it all. And yet, I cannot move. I am paralyzed knowing that across my city, only a few miles from my house, sits a mother whose heart is breaking.
You see, my friend Alecia,leaves in 12 for Russia. She is taking her husband and three small children and getting on a plane to bring two angels home, a 13 year old boy and a 6-8 year old girl.
But my friend Alecia may not be able to get on that plane. And only one thing is stopping her. Money. They have 12 days to raise $19,000. In order to save money, they went through a facilitor instead of an agency which saved them a ton of money. But with fees, tickets, travel costs, and immigration paperwork, it still adds up. They have applied for grants and loans only to be denied because they didn't use an agency. Does that infuriate you? It does me and it should you.

Now adoption is tricky and hard and a complete miracle of redemption. But it is expensive. Emotionally, physically and financially draining. Raising a teenager is no easy business but signing up for a teenager, well that's just God at work. I don't think I'm that brave. And I can't imagine sitting across town wondering about my two children across the world and wondering about how tomorrow I am going to be thankful. I know I'm not that brave.Our God is the God of miracles and tonight, while I know we all have a million other things to do, reprinting this post, donating some $, getting on our knees and asking the God of heaven to come down and provide for what He favors and shouting that this Thanksgiving we will celebrate two children finding their forever home, I AM that brave!

Go here to read the Horner's story and donate. Go here to my Etsy shop where a portion of everything bought goes to the Horner adoption fund.

Nov 15, 2010

For Fun!

I have so many people who ask me to help them with their adoptions and so many cool products that I come across and have fallen in love with that I wanted to start blogging about them. Le and I also have been praying about how to make our first Christmas with the kids special and not about the chaos and gifts that usually follow this season. So in order to capture all that I recently started blogging here:

I'll continue to blog here about life with the Andrews' clan but if you want a great place to shop, check out Our Different Christmas.

Nov 12, 2010

The Best Thing About Cold Weather?

What's the best thing about waking up to a frigid cold snap? An excuse to wear your favorite Toy Story hat outside of the house!

Nov 11, 2010

A New Blog

I've been thinking alot about doing a second blog for awhile. I finally jumped off and did it. I wanted a place to just promote people's adoptions fundraising, cool products that give back and sharing ideas for doing Christmas differently. Jump over here and follow along.

Nov 9, 2010

The New Me

We've been home almost eight months. Just typing the previous sentence makes me nostalgic. So much has changed, but the biggest changes I've noticed are internal. My kids have always been themselves, they've just adapted to be with us in ways that I'm convinced is nothing but pure divine scheduling.
I'm more patient, more scattered and am always running late (which kills me most of the time). I use to be fifteen minutes early. Now if we show up at all and we're all dressed from head to toe we're deserving of an attendance badge. I am slowly but surely learning to let things go, to get lost in the moment and turn off my phone. I've kissed sleep adieu and have learned that the best luxury in life is a babysitter. I've fallen in love with the hubby all over again. I find myself remembering what I used to be doing on Friday nights and I just feel sorry for that poor girl.
Laundry piles in specific places and is found in the most obscure areas. Belly laughing is my favorite past time and sleeping in is now defined as an extra hit to the snooze. I find that I get to be myself the most when I'm dancing, singing, screaming while making dinner and watching R & A challenge each other to a dance off in the kitchen.
Le and I plot and plan and schedule date nights, only to find we spend our time together laughing over whatever ridiculousness occurred in our house that week.
I use to love having people over so I could display my current culinary accomplishments and now having people over is preempted by "is pizza OK?"
I use to love the latest fashions, shoes (still do) and budget my next designer jean purchase. Now, I judge every clothing purchase by how well it can disguise Cheeto stains and I while I longingly drool over my favorite 4 inch heels, the thought of chasing a two year old in them is enough to earn them a spot back in the closet.
And in the middle of this ridiculous, hilarious craziness, I find myself lost in pure bliss. But the highlight moment of the last eight months was last night. I'm always putting on music because we all love to dance and Michael Franti has a song called "Say Hey" that Alazar can groove to like nobody's business. Last night we had the shuffle on my music player going, my mom was over playing with Alazar, dinner was on the table and we were bandaging Ruta's arm when suddenly "Say Hey" started playing. Alazar stopped, looked for me and told my mom "Oh...Allalar down. Me and Mommy's song. We dance."
He ran over to me and asked for me to pick him up and we boogied to our song and I couldn't have been happy to have had on house shoes.

And yes, we did have a tent in our living room for a few days. Just because Ruta convinced her daddy that she didn't want to sleep in it outside but in our house, because the new version of Le is a total pushover.

Nov 6, 2010

Orphan Sunday~November 7th, 2010

Tomorrow is Sunday. November 7th, 2010. To those who are plugged in with the adoption community, it's also Orphan Sunday. What is Orphan Sunday you say? Orphan Sunday is a day of awareness, prayer and a call to advocacy for those children around the world who have lost their parent(s).
I've had a lot of people ask if I am only passionate about international adoption. Everytime I get asked that question, I have to fight back the tears. The answer is and always will be NO! I myself have been adopted by Christ and that adoption was bought with His precious blood. Why then could/would/should I ever discriminate over one type of physical adoption over the other? I can't. I won't. EVER. Every child deserves a family. A home. A support system of love, hope and promise.
I've heard a lot of people say that not every one is called to adopt. I believe that to be true, but everyone is called to care for the orphan and the widow and the oppressed. While adoption is not the solution to the world orphan crisis, poverty or oppression, it is a solution. There are many, many ways for one to be involved in making a difference in the life of an orphan. As we enter tomorrow and spend the day reflecting, be open to asking God what He would have from you and then be strong enough to hear the answer.

Nov 4, 2010


We missed you today Lala. Alazar asked at breakfast, lunch, dinner and bed time prayers that we pray for you and Papa Chu. While this is not any different from any other day, today it just hurt a little more for me. We cannot wait to see you again and just know that every time we bow our heads, we pray for our two favorite people.

Hugs and Love,
Your big sister and your niece and nephew who are praying you would just pack up and come live at our house. Papa Chu too! :)

Nov 3, 2010


My mom brought over some old prom dresses from my sister and I's high school days. Ruta reveled in dressing up in each one and Alazar was not to be outdone. He dressed up in his dinosaur costume.
After several months of trying, it seems like my children are slowly but surely re-learning how to play. I hope it as fun for them to do as it is for this mommy to watch.

Nov 2, 2010

It's easy for me to tell you what in this life makes me afraid. Even downloading the pic below made me shudder.

If you know me well, you know that the thought of this makes me jittery and panicky:

But if I was truly honest with myself, I wonder if one of my biggest fears is not pulling into the driveway of a big house.

Or looking in our bank account and seeing security for our future:

But then I am reminded that not so long ago, I was afraid of being a mom, and I cannot help but think of all the things I would have missed out on if I would have chosen to be safe, secure and on the road to what we Americans like to call "success".

This road is so much better!

Nov 1, 2010

New Friends

It's no secret that I love to talk adoption and I adore meeting new families that are in the process. This past weekend, we had the opportunity to meet the Horner family. They live about 5 miles from us and are currently in the process of adopting a teen age boy (LOVE that an older boy is getting adopted) and younger girl from Russia. They leave in a few short weeks and desperately need to fund raise over $20,000. They have several amazing fundraising opportunities right now (Alecia is quite the cook and she is making flavored popcorn just in time for the holidays) that you should definitely go and check out and help them bring home their precious kiddos.

This month, with every hat that is sold from our Etsy shop, $15 will go to the Horner family adoption.

Go. Check out their blog and spread some hope.

Oct 28, 2010

The Advent of Waiting

I recently posted about being crafty this Christmas and making a few Advent calendars. Well, I finished all the orders and had some really fun paper left over. It got me to thinking about where Le and I were during this time last year. We had not yet received our referral and were gearing up for our last holiday as a family of 2. It was during those days of free time and anxiousness that I forgot how and what to pray for, so I developed the Advent calendar as a way to remind myself of what to pray each day.

So in honor of those families who are currently either in the adoption process or are wanting to start praying about adoption and adopting families, I've come up with the perfect Advent Calendar for you:

The Advent of Waiting Calendar. The paper envelopes are filled with specific prayers related to adoption: waiting (yes, there is 2 envelopes dedicated to waiting), paperwork, travel, finances, etc.

Pop on over to the Etsy shop here and get them today! Also, for each purchase of these adoption advent calendars, $10 will be donated to the adoptive family of your choice to help with their adoption costs. Please be sure to add the family name and either their email address or blog so I can donate the proceeds to the right place.

Oct 16, 2010

I've Received Travel Approval

It's no big secret that ever since we been home from here:

I've been wanting to get back on one of these and go back:

The only thing stopping me has been:

We talk about Africa all the time. I explain why Mommy wants to go back and how much it means to me to be able to help people who may go to bed hungry every night. But at the close of each of these conversations, my daughter shakes her head and says "I will not let you go." I've asked her to come with me; I explain we won't stay; I promise that we won't leave Daddy and her brother, but still she nixes the whole idea. Until a few days ago.
She asked to go back to Disney this weekend. I said I'd rather be in Africa. She wrinkled her nose and said "Mommy, why you want go Africa?" I explain that I want to visit again and I want to help people. I ask her if she wants to go with me. She says: "Mommy, can we feed some kids?" "Yes," I explain. "We can feed some kids." She smiles and leaves the kitchen. I think we're through, but she returns with her piggy bank (which thanks to my dad letting her raid his pockets ALL the time, it's almost full). "Mommy, when we go to Africa, we can buy food with my piggy money. That can feed kids."
"Yes darling. It can feed some kids. And Ruta?"
"Yes mommy."
"I absolutely adore you."
"Mommy, what do 'adore' mean?"
Ruta~'Adore' is the crazy look Mommy gets in her eyes when she looks at you because you never cease to amaze me.

Oct 12, 2010

Seperated At Birth

These two girls have captured my heart. One stole it 7 years ago when I fell in love with her uncle. The other captured it with one word: "Mommy". It was always God's plan that they would be friends, but the depth of their devotion to one another is impressive for knowing each other only six months. It took years for me to develop the same kind of friendships.

Other than their obvious physical differences, these two are almost identical little girls. Only one thing major thing would have defined who they could be in this life.

One was born here:
The other was born here:

Amazing now that they are both loved by a family, you can't even tell them apart.

Oct 5, 2010

Grab 'Em Up

This week, I'm paying it forward to a fellow adoptive family. Now through Sunday, if you go to our Etsy shop and purchase a hat, $15 from the purchase will go to benefit the Jenkins Family. So go, shop, get some great Christmas gifts and help a fellow adoptive family out. And head over to the Jenkins Family blog and see the rockin' gifts Debi is making to support their adoption.

Oct 3, 2010

The Daily Commute

The drive from Ruta's school to my office is about ten minutes. I am fortunate enough to arrange my schedule so that I usually get to drop her off and pick her up. We are at the stage with her language development that she asks the "whys" and "hows" of everything in her life. These q&a sessions are most prevalent during our daily commute from school. It is during these times that we are alone and she is not having to fight for my attention and I can focus on each of her questions. There have been some really great ones, some completely ridiculous ones, but only one has completely left me in tears.

We were talking about our upcoming Disney trip a few weeks ago and she was looking up at the sky and saw an airplane.

Ruta: "Mommy, why that airplane look so small?"

Me: "because it is really high in the air."

Ruta: "Mommy, can we jump and touch that airplane?"

Me: "No. It's REALLY high."

Ruta: "Is it so high that it is where God lives?"

Me: "God lives there but He also lives in your heart."

Ruta: "Mommy, what is He doing way up there?"

Me: "Well, He is watching over me and you. And Daddy and Alazar."

Ruta: "Mommy, how do we get to God?"

Me: "Well we can talk to Him anytime we want but when we die we actually get to go live with Him up there in Heaven."

Ruta: "Mommy, is that where my Ethiopia mommy is?"

Me: "Yes." (choking back tears)

Ruta: "Mommy, what is my Ethiopia mommy and God do up there all day?"

Me: "they are watching over us and wanting us to be good to one another and love one another."

Ruta: "Mommy, my Ethiopia mommy and God happy with me and you?"

Me: (tears streaming) "I think so baby girl. I think so."

Ruta: "Mommy, can we get ice cream today?"

Ruta's Ethiopia Mommy: I cannot tell you what an honor it is to be a second mommy to Ruta and Alazar. I pray that you are watching every smile and every laugh and are writing them down for me. For I know that I will forget some, but I cherish the day I can meet you face to face and I am praying that you are happy with me.

Sep 28, 2010

A Week Away

Last week was one of the best I've had in a long time. I was kidnapped by these two:

and this ham:
And we spent the week with some people we love the most in the whole world. My husband insisted that I give up my all forms of social media for a week. It was great and I spent a lot of time with a certain dinosaur:

And my favorite princess in the world:

So thankful for time away from responsibility and just soaking up some serious family time.

Sep 15, 2010

One of THOSE Days & Some Great Shirts

Dropping off Alazar at daycare is pretty routine. I carry him from the car, he obligatorily kisses me goodbye, and sometimes watches me walk out the door before joining his gaggle of friends fighting over matchbox cars. But on special days he will scream as I am walking out the door "I LALAOU MOMMY". "I love you too son" and my day is sunnier. Today was crazy. I dropped him off, we kissed and he watched me walk out the door. I stopped for a second at the porch to see Alazar's face and lips crammed against the glass. I got a little teary and kissed the door and peeled myself away. As I got in the car and drove away, my sweet son was still standing with his face pressed against glass, giant smile, yelling "I LALAOU MOMMY!"
"I LOVE YOU ALAZAR! You made Mommy's day!" AH, it was one of those days that this Mommy will treasure.

A few days ago, a fellow bloggy friend mailed us some of their adoption tees! I finally got a chance to photograph us tonight in them. Check out the Jenkins adoption tees:

LOVE that they have pink ones, especially so Ruta and Mommy can match:
Le sporting his Men's brown ringer tee:

Alazar digging his toddler hoodie. I love this one the most because my kids are always seeing images of Africa on Le and I's shirts and they keep wanting ones of their own.

The Andrews' family, in love with helping others and sporting our Jenkins' family gear!

Thank you Debi! Praying you closer to your little one. Check out the Jenkins family blog and go buy a t-shirt.

Sep 13, 2010

More Craftiness!

Last Christmas, I started looking for an Advent calendar. I had never had one and the ones that I found were either really cheesy or involved a piece of chocolate for 24 days and I didn't need one more excuse to put on weight. We had just learned of our referral and I told Le I wanted to do something different for Advent. I wanted to remember to keep Christ in the middle of Christmas and I wondered if I didn't' live in America, what would I want for Christmas? My answers made themselves onto my very own handmade Advent calendar. I cut out 24 different paper envelopes, attached a prayer request on the inside and each day, Le and I prayed for water, orphans, family, etc.

My girlfriends saw them and demanded that I make them each one this year. So I thought this year it would also be a good fundraiser. Le and I decided that we wouldn't spend another Christmas giving each other meaningless gifts, but that we would find a project and support it with the money we would have spent on each other. All of the profits from the Advent calendars we sell will fund our Christmas project (which we haven't taken a family vote on yet).

Here's a peek:

I can also customize an envelope or two to include a family pic or the pic of a sponsorship child or a referral pic. Just let me know. You can send me a message or check out the etsy site for order information.
Here's to changing Christmas, one prayer at a time.

Sep 7, 2010

A Weekend of Laboring

So awhile back, I started making these:

So we could go get these:

This last weekend, I found some more materials and thought that I would make some more to help some other people with their adoptions. But what started into a couple of hours quickly become two days of crafting around two rambunctious kids, a dog, football games and laundry.

When it was over, Alazar thought they turned out great. He found them so amazing, in fact, he couldn't decide on his favorite. He chose several at once.

Then changed his mind:

Then yet again:

And finally chose a favorite.

If you are interested in any of these cool hats, they are only $25. You can check them out in my Etsy store here. All the proceeds will benefit other families who are currently fundraising for their adoptions. If you don't see what you want, email me and I will customize one for your favorite team or color.