Jun 28, 2011

He promised rain.

I've been working on a project for over a year now.

It's been inspiring, beautiful and at all times, God-defined.

Since the beginning, this project was in His plan.

He dreamed it,

orchestrated it,

and been patient while I fretted about it.

Lately, the entire project is coming to a screeching halt.

Over a technical difficulty.

I've had to place this project in the hands of others.

The difficulty is above my area of expertise.

I keep going back to God in prayer.

"Is this what you want?"

"Did I hear you right the first time?"

"Maybe I wasn't listening quite right."

I was reading this morning in 1 Kings.

Where Elijah takes on the 400 prophets of Baal at Mt. Carmel.

It's one of those stand up and cheer moments of the Bible.

Drought in the land.

Pagan gods.

False prophets.

Two rams on two alters.

Elijah taunting the prophets of Baal because Baal sends no fire.

And at one request by Elijah, he praises God's name and fire falls from heaven

God consumes His alter in flames.


Elijah must have felt like quite the spiritual champion of the day.

But if you go back and read the first verse in Chapter 18,

God promised rain.

Not fire.

Right after the Baal prophets are defeated,

in verse 41, Elijah tells King Ahab to go feast and drink

"for there is the sound of a heavy rain."

As Ahab is headed off to party,

Elijah returns to the mountain to pray.

As he is praying, he informs his servant to go to the sea and look for rain.

The servant returns with nothing.

"Seven times Elijah said, 'Go back'" 1Kings 18:43

Really? Seven times.

I think after the first time I would begin to whine a little.

I wonder if Elijah was silently pleading with God,

reminding Him of that rain He promised.

I know I have been pleading.

A LOT lately.

Too much.

I know that my project is where it needs to be.

That God is who He is no matter where I am.

And how little my faith has been.

The story of Elijah on Mt. Carmel ends like this:

"The seventh time the servant reported,

'A cloud as small as a man's hand is rising from the sea.'"

Elijah informs the servant to run to Ahab,

have Ahab hitch up his chariot

before the rain stops him."

Immediately, in verse 45:

"Meanwhile, the sky grew black with clouds,

the wind rose,

a heavy rain came on

and Ahab rode off to Jezreel.

The power of the Lord came upon Elijah

and tucking his cloak into his belt,

he ran ahead of Ahab

all the way to Jezreel."

Now I'm going to have to wait 'til heaven to ask Elijah

which was a more awesome moment.

Either watching fire fall from heaven

or by beating a man in a chariot while running on foot.

But for now, I'm off to pray for my project.

And remind God that He promised rain.

Jun 22, 2011

Women Wednesday: Fear

Ephesians 4:1-2 "...I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love."

I'm already regretting writing these posts.

As I sit here praying over why,

I already know the answer.



I said it.

I'm scared.

Afraid of offending someone,

saying the wrong thing,

or simply not conveying what I want to say.

Give me a task, a job, a complex legal issue, advocating for a client;

add solid research, coffee and a forum for debate;

and I'm alive.

It's the lifeblood of who I am.

It's the cape I wrap around my shoulders in order to hide the insecurities;

the achievement badge that adorns my life's sash of meritorious attributes.

While I fail at almost everything else, being at my place,

in God's universe,

making succinct data of the chaos is salve to my heart.

And reminds me that at least, here,

I am not a total failure.

And for the rest of who I am, hope to be and was in the future,

it's covered in caution tape.

Because there is fear.

I think it is the best lie that the Devil ever spun.

He can apply it to so many things with us, ladies.

With his snarky laugh he reminds us

You won't be friends if she knows _____________ about you.

She'll never understand that you don't have it all together.

Don't be yourself, just follow everything that she does.

Blah. Blah.Blah.




And it keeps us from each other.

From growing and learning through one another.

And we know better.

I'm reading Blue Like Jazz by Don Miller.

There is a scene where Don moves into a house with 6 dudes to experience community.

I cringed while I read, because being locked in a house

with 6 other women might as well be torture for me.

No thanks, I'll take Water boarding for 200 Alex.



Fear of being judged, unliked, not having it all together or knowing that the facade that you have sewn is just a cape your wrap around yourself to hide your insecurities.

I think the older we get, the more activities our children have

and the more "stuff" we pack in our days, we lose the ability to smile to the mom in the car pool line, ask our daycare worker how today REALLY was or seek out a woman we know could use an ear and a cup of coffee.

I think that while Don's experience in Blue Like Jazz is a great example of community,

I don't believe community is only experienced in our houses.

I think it's experienced in our hearts.

So why do I fear letting a girlfriend really know me?

My top three would have to be:

1.) Having someone know how guilty I feel certain days for being a working mom.

2.) Sharing that I struggle daily to follow Christ.

3.) Discovering how true community might shake me from my comfortable cape of selfishness.

So here's to putting aside the fear, and getting messy with one another.

I encourage you this week to put aside the fear of engaging in a new relationship this week and re-set that coffee date (Layla, name the time and place), stop just a little longer to talk and seek community with a fellow sister.

Jun 21, 2011

Reveal #1 and A Winner!

Trust us.

We were as surprised as you guys.

The Hero and I had always assumed that our next adoption

would look just like our first.

A set.



Imagine our surprise when there was only

set of eyes staring at us from that waiting child list.

One story.

One heartache.

One child waiting for a family.

And one family...




of more kids.

It's why we hesitated.

Backed up even.

Questioned God's whisper.

Are you sure?
There's only one.

Were you not calling us to more?

I love that about loving Jesus.

Sometimes He just lets us think we've got it figured out,

only to softly laugh when His plans change.

And then steer our hearts in alignment with His plan

While we were planning on two more,

since the beginning of time He knew for now

there was just:

So with our first reveal done,

we are excited to share with you a small

piece of the puzzle.

And looking forward to sharing with you some more in the weeks to come.

of the LoPa "Worth the Wait" tee.

Alison, go to this post, pick out size and color

and email me and I'll get in the mail.

The rest of you, head over to this post and

order up your own "Worth the Wait" tees.

Come back real soon, and we'll start another contest for another piece of the puzzle.

What do you want to know more:

The Country from where we are adopting?


If it's a boy or a girl?

Jun 17, 2011

Orphan Care Ain't Just For Mamas!

You might think that a post before Father's Day would be about my father or the father of my children. This one isn't. This one is about Big Tom.

Most of you reading this are women. That's not a sexist statement; it's a fact. I read a lot of emails from many of you who wonder about getting your man involved in care of the fatherless or simply adoption. For many of you, I don't have a lot of answers. The Hero was ready to have kids and I knew that God had placed a desire to love whatever munchkins entered our home; no matter how they got there, but then God reminded me of Big Tom.

In December of 2009, our church signed on to partner with Children's HopeChest to sponsor what we thought would be one care point in Uganda. Through several meetings and planning sessions, we were advised that there were three care points totalling over 500 kids that needed sponsorship in the area we were looking at sponsoring.

Our home church is not a large church. Signing on for 500 individual sponsorships and fundraising for three separate care points would be no easy feat. That's usually how God likes it, I think. It's when He gets to display His glory in full force. He did. Eighteen months later, God has funded through Westmoore Community Church a feeding program for our 500 sponsored kiddos and fully funded three separate community buildings where the kids can eat inside and our feeding program coordinators can cook in a more sanitary environment.

Children's HopeChest encourages each partnering organization to travel at least once a year to visit their care point and assess the progress for accountability and for maintaining a relationships in Uganda. Our first team left in May of 2010 for Ngariam, Uganda and we'll send our sixth team in August of this year. Big Tom has been on at least four of those missions.

Big Tom was a greeter at WCC when The Hero and I first started attending there about four years ago. I'm not sure if this was a title he gave himself or if he was actually on the Welcoming Committee, but each Sunday we saw him, he smiled, shook our hands and thanked us for coming. When our sponsorship of Ngariam, Uganda began, Tom sponsored two kids that first Sunday and signed up for our first missions trip. The Hero and I were travelling in March to pick up The Dinosaur and The Angel and wouldn't make the Ugandan mission trip. I told him I expected a full report.

He came back and almost immediately started talking about moving there. As the months progressed, while The Angel and The Dinosaur would scream and run and beg Big Tom to throw them in the air, I was learning from team members that the children of Ngariam were doing the same thing and that Big Tom was becoming quite the legend in Uganda amongst the kids.

Whether it was running after a soccer ball, checking on a invalid child or serving a meal, everyone in Ngariam was falling in love with Big Tom and he was smitten right back. As he and I talked, I asked him how a single man could have fallen so hard for kids on the other side of the globe, he just grinned and then showed me some pictures and told me about the kids and their stories; JUST like any bio dad would. He told me again he was going to move there and run his U.S. based business from Uganda.

Last month, Big Tom left to live in the village of Ngariam to oversee the construction of WCC's three care points, help oversee some of the schools in our area, help establish a feeding program for additional kids in the area who are unsponsored and learn about Ugandan farming. His plan is to stay three months and return to give us a status report, check on his business and eventually create a dual continent existence.

At night when we say our prayers, The Angel will mention Big Tom and ask God to watch over him. Her favorite prayer for him is "God, keep Tom safe in Africa, because God, Tom LOVES Africa."

Happy Father's Day Big Tom! We miss you and love seeing that caring for the least of these ain't just for mamas!

If you want to follow along with Big Tom's journey in Uganda, he blogs here.

Jun 16, 2011

My Crazy Adoption Blog Guest Post

So excited that when Kari from My Crazy Adoption Blog put out requests for guest bloggers while she is in Uganda and that she chose ME! My blog post appears today on her site. You can go here and read it.

Jun 15, 2011

Women Wednesdays

I don't think God "talks" to me. I've known and heard about Him talking to other people, but not me. He pushes, urges me through His word, nudges me and then there are the slaps in the face. Those are usually the things that I'm reminded of again and again until it eats me to the core and I can't stop thinking about it.

For about the last year, I've been feeling pushed to approach my phobia of women and female relationships in general here on my blog. It grows stronger and stronger with each blog post I write and as I sit thinking about each next blog post, the topic looms over me. And I feel Him pushing me outside my comfort zone. Him asking me to put my issues and fears and insecurities aside and just trust Him. And Him alone.

So each Wednesday for awhile, I'll be posting my thoughts about misconceptions, stereotypes and issues that we women face together, separate, how the enemy uses those to his advantage and what the good Lord is teaching me about such things. I'm calling it Women Wednesdays. If you have topics that you want to discuss or approach in prayer, leave a comment or send me an email. I don't want this to be the complaining post, but a place where we learn more about community with one another and individually toward Jesus.

I hope that you'll join me. Maybe together we will grow a little deeper and learn a little something about one another, ourselves and all of the in between.

Remember to vote on the tab to the right. Our next adoption is a waiting child(ren) and we are giving a giveaway for the first weeks/months of our journey. We'll reveal a little more about our waiting child(ren) each week until we've told you as much as we can. This week we are voting on how many children we are bringing into our home. Leave a comment and then vote and we'll draw next week and the winner will receive a "Worth the Wait" shirt of our remaining inventory.

Jun 13, 2011


After being in Ethiopia and seeing how many older children, special needs and sibling groups languish in orphanages waiting to be adopted, the Hero and I knew that our next adoption would only be from an agency's waiting child list.

About seven months ago, we started signing up again for adoption agency's waiting child lists. We didn't even consider starting the process another way. In November, we began applying for a specific sibling group through foster care here in Oklahoma. We were almost done with our paperwork when our social worker let us know that the siblings had been adopted.

In January, we fell in love with a little girl in China who was about two years older than The Angel. The agency advocating for her would not consider placing her in our home because it would be out of birth order. We researched countries, agencies, requirements and scoured waiting child lists from tens of agencies. I received a CD from an agency and fell in love with a fifteen year old boy. His circumstances changed several weeks before we called about him and he was no longer available. I briefly inquired about some of the other children on the CD with the worker and she stated that she would send me an additional DVD with children specific information, including health reports, videos and photographs.

She advised me that this country was known for being long, expensive and completely unpredictable. She stated the process would take us at least two years from start to finish. I don't think that she was trying to scare us off, only giving us the facts, but after about fifteen minutes, I reassured her that adoption was not our first rodeo and I don't scare easily.

I almost forgot about it until a month or so ago a CD arrived in the mail. It had been sent to the wrong address. It was full of videos, health reports, pictures and information. I sat and cried. I waited two days before I showed it to The Hero. He said only one thing "let's do it." We waited three more days before we showed it to The Angel. She was ecstatic. There were several health concerns to consider so we decided to pray about it some more. We stopped talking about it as a family.

Until two weeks ago, The Angel stomped into the room, put her hands on her hips and looked at me "Are we going to adopt __________________ or not?"
I laughed. I told her we were still praying about it. She said she thought we should. She has a way of getting what she wants around here.

So here we are.

I don't mean to torture you, but since it looks like we are going to be doing this for awhile, we thought we would at least make it at bit more interesting. So this week, we are putting up our own poll and inviting you to help us pass the time by learning a little bit more each week about our newest addition(s). From now until next week, you can vote for how many children we are currently in the process for. All you have to do is click your vote to the right and then leave a comment. We'll randomly draw names from the comments next Monday night and the winner will receive a free "Worth the Wait" shirt in either an adult or children's size. We'll do a similar game until we've revealed as much as we can about our new adoption. We appreciate you guys following along this second time around and we can't wait to show them/her/him to you one day.

If you guys can't wait to get your hands on your own Worth the Wait tee, go back to this post and read how to get one of your own. Our LoPa Art team left today and they need some money to buy some more fabulous Ethiopian art to bring back to you all. Also, LoPa launched its blog today and our family was the first partner's family to be highlighted. We were honored.

Jun 8, 2011

Worth The Wait

A lot of adoption news in the community has been hard news lately. Court delays, slow downs, investigations, "on hold" are never good things to hear. But as adoptive moms and advocates for setting the lonely in families, we at LoPa Art know that those precious kiddos currently smearing jelly over our walls and fighting with their siblings were two things: God-timed and Worth the Wait.

We recently travelled to several shows with our art and our t-shirts and they were HUGE hits. Since we are gearing up for our annual shopping in trip to Ethiopia next week, we need to clear out some inventory. Here is where the special for you guys come in.

Our Worth The Wait shirts come in both adult and children's sizes. For only a few days, we are offering our shirts for $20, which includes tax and shipping. I've attached the list of our remaining inventory. All we ask is that you send us an email at lopa3moms at gmail dot com and tell us what shirts you want. You can paypal the amount to our account and we'll pop your shirts in the mail before we skip over the ocean for a month. If you order more than two shirts, please include an additional $2 per shirt to cover shipping. Not only will we be able to continue to support LoPa artisans, but we'll also continue to help our partnership agency with their feeding program in Korah.

Remember to check our inventory list at the bottom of this post and I'll update them until they are all gone.

Is our model not the cutest preggie mommy ever?

Adult Shirts:

Pink with yellow-

Blue with yellow-
L- 3

Charcoal with yellow-

Charcoal with green-

Charcoal with purple-

Putty with purple-


Children Sizes:

Pink with yellow-

Lime green with purple-

Putty with green-

Blue with yellow-

Brown with yellow-

Jun 6, 2011

My Favorite Day Ever

Saturday, The Angel turned Seven.

I wonder how old she is in Angel years?

Since I don't know what a biological child experience is like,

all I have to go on is the here and now with The Angel and The Dinosaur.

There are days that I stare at her face and I wonder if she

even knows the depth of how much I admire her.

For her strength,

her laugh,

her outlook on everything,

and her ability to grieve for what she's lost

and still enjoy the present.

I am honored to share a house,

a life,

a love

with such a fighter.

I despise kid's birthday parties.

The planning,

the expense,

the expectation of outdoing the other moms on the block.

The unnecessary buying of gifts that you know will be returned

or never played with more than once.

Please hear me:


The cake.

The ice cream.

The singing.

The celebration of one's life.

An entire day about being selfish.

I want to teach my kids how to celebrate,

without the gluttony of entitlement and stuff.

We talked to The Angel a lot about what she wanted.

She only had three requests.

Dinner, with her entire family.

A new bike.

And everyone singing happy birthday


Just for her.

We gathered everyone together.

The Hero and I bought her a new bike.

I covered our house in balloons

and pink and yellow streamers.

She got a new "sparkly" tank top

and new shorts.

We all sang Happy Birthday.


Just for good measure.

We ordered her favorite cupcakes.

And made her favorite dinner.

And the grandparents overdid it with gifts.


The Hero built a bonfire.

We made smores in the backyard,

sat around the fire

and relished in the glow of her face.

As she "snuggied" in my lap

and I stroked her hair,

She smiled and told me

"Mommy, I didn't have a birthday in Africa."

"I know sweet heart."

"But mommy, it's ok. Because today is my favorite day ever."

"It is?"

"No. I guess not. Every day is my favorite day ever."

Dear Angel,

Thank you for being a daily reminder

of strength,



and opening my eyes to the fact

that each day

should be my favorite day ever.

And as long as you are a part of it,

it will be.

Jun 3, 2011

Just for Tonight!

School is out.

Summer has begun.

The Angel turns 7 tomorrow.

And she has a brand new bike in the garage.

But none of these did we celebrate tonight.

Tonight, we celebrate for the one(s) who come(s) next.

The newest addition(s) to our family.

Over the past months,

We've inquired about several.

Prayed about many.

Scoured waiting lists for siblings,

older children,

special needs children

and felt our hearts be tugged,


and stretched.

But today, we filled out paperwork for _______?

There will be plenty of time for questions,

all of which we will answer.

But not tonight.

Tonight, just join us in knowing

That the Andrews' clan is growing.

And we think that is a ROCKIN' thing to celebrate tonight.

Jun 1, 2011

Without Fail

My kids adore my sister and brother in law.

They came home the first week we were home from Ethiopia.

The Dinosaur was captivated with Brian from the first day.

He even made up a song about him as he fell asleep in Brian's arms.

It went like this:

"Papa Chu.

Paaaaaapa Chu.

Papa Chuuuuuuuuu."

To this day, none of us know what Papa Chu means.

But the nickname stuck.

The Dinosaur has no clue Brian has another name.

He had such a hard time saying Laura,

she has been forever relegated to the name LaLa.

At every meal, every night time prayer, my son opens up the prayer.

He bows his head and says three words.

"Papa Chu,


Laura thought I was kidding that he prayed so consistently

and without fail only for them,

until I started recording him.

And calling her during meal times with the phone so

The Dino couldn't see it.

AND...making my mom a witness when she's with us for dinner.

He is so devoted to it that even when Brian and Laura travel home,

and are WITH us during dinner

and nighttime prayers,

He STILL prays for them.

I think Laura believes me now.

A month ago, we took the kids on a small road trip.

To a place in the northern part of the State.

And found this adorable little church inside Har-Ber Village.

At the front of the church was a prayer bench.

The kids wanted to know what it was used for and how.

The Hero explained to them how to kneel and speak to God.

The Dinosaur only had three words.

"Papa Chu,


I was bawling.

I made him go back and do it again.

Because I knew Laura would never believe me.

That even in the middle of vacation,

whenever my son calls out to God,

he only has three words.