Nov 29, 2011

Twas The Night Before Homestudy

Some comic relief for you tonight:
Twas the night before home study
and all through the house.
Every creature is whirring, even a mouse.
The laundry was thrown about without care
even knowing a social worker soon would be there.
The children were spazzed bouncing on their beds
while visions of a new sibling danced in their heads
With mama in her headband and dad in his cap
had just geared up for a long nights'
When out in the kitchen, it arose such a clatter
Daddy sprang from the couch to see what was the matter
Away to the compactor, he flew like a flash
tore open the door and threw out the trash
The two day old mess at the bottom of the can
gave a putrid smell to the entire Andrews clan
When what to our watering eyes should appear
but a collection of garbage that should incite fear.
With a gag and a hurl that came fast and so quick
We knew in a moment it might make us sick.
More rapid than eagles his commands they came
and he whistled and shouted and called them by name
"Come Angel Come Dino bring cleaner and spray"
"bring comet bring clorox, let's get the smell out the way"
To the top of the can to the bottom of the bag
now dash away dash away, we scrubbed with a rag
So out of the house top the kiddos they flew
with the bag full of trash and the nasty smell too.
I heard them explain as they went out the front door
"No smelly trash in the house no more."

Nov 28, 2011

Date Set.

We got a call a few days before Thanksgiving from our home study agency.
We have a home study date.
November 30th.
Two days from now.
One more step down
one step closer to Thailand.
We are ready!
I also love that it is the exact same day as our referral-aversary
for The Angel and The Dinosaur.

Nov 15, 2011

National Adoption Month: Meet Ilyssa

Such a cutie pie!

Meet Ilyssa.

An adorable Ukranian princess who has HIV.

A manageable, controllable condition,

which if maintained through medication and love,

will mean that she grows up just like everyone else.

Ilyssa is being advocated for by Reeces Rainbow and

you can find her profile here.

Who wouldn't be blessed to see those pigtails bounding around their house every day.

Nov 9, 2011

National Adoption Month: More Siblings

It seems my heart is stuck on siblings for this post again.
I couldn't help it though.
This is Alex and Vitally.
Look at how precious these brothers are:

These little Ukrainian angels are being advocated for by Eli Project and
you can check out their profile here.
One of these babies is HIV+.
It doesn't matter which one.
Because HIV is a controllable, manageable condition.
And these boys are too precious to spend their lives
worrying about their condition.
They need to be worried about their next soccer game
or monster truck race.

National Adoption Month: Sibling Set

It's not a secret that The Hero and I have a soft spot for siblings.

I can't imagine having The Dinosaur without having The Angel.

I know my own life would not be the same without my siblings.

Sometimes in adoption, staying together is not an option.

But imagine your chances if there were 7 of you!

Even staring at their picture makes me overwhelmed.

Imagine the laundry.

Imagine the meal planning.

Imagine the LOVE!

The laughter!

The smiles at knowing they were all staying together.

This amazing group is currently in foster care awaiting their forever family.

They want to be adopted together.

Do you blame them?

I wouldn't give up my sister either.

Nov 8, 2011

National Adoption Month: Meet Destini

This cupcake had me had first sight.

Meet Destini.

This 10 year old princess is currently in U.S. foster care in Washington state.

Just waiting for her new family to shower her like the diva she is.

Total preciousness!

She is being advocated for by WACAP, which is the adoption agency

we have signed for in order to take us to our new family member in Thailand.

Remember to pray for the kids you've seen here

and advocate for them by using your facebook, twitter and blogs.

Nov 7, 2011

National Adoption Month: Meet Nicholas

Meet Nicholas.
This precious Ukrainian boy is in perfect medical condition,
except for one thing.
He is an orphanage because his mother broke his heart.
Nicholas suffers from a burned scalp,
which from his profile states was at his mother's own hands.
She sat his hair on fire when Nicholas was three.
He has received no restorative therapy or surgery to deal with the scar tissue
but a hair transplant may be an option.

Nicholas is being advocated for by Eli Project.

You can go here and read this sweet boy's profile

pray for him.

donate to his adoption fund.

advocate for him.

ask if Nicholas is your son, grandson, nephew.

Nov 6, 2011

Orphan Sunday

Today was Orphan Sunday.
A day set aside for remembrance, prayer and advocacy for children who have no family.
We hadn't talked about Orphan Sunday at home.
We didn't even mention it today.
Usually, questions about adoption, birth parents and/or Africa are elicited by The Angel.
But for the first time ever in the car today, a question came from the Dinosaur.
We had just been answering his questions about the blue car next to us, when we were met with:
"Yes, son."
"Our first dad died before in Africa?"
The Hero and I just stared at each other for a moment.
I didn't know what to say for a minute.
In her perfect, adorable way, The Angel beat me to it.
"Yep. Our Ethiopian daddy died after our Ethiopian Mommy did. That's why we live here."
The Hero and I made a brief, forgettable statement after that and The Dinosaur
went back to jabbering about the cars on the road.
Even in his precious three year old mind, my son knows that we are a hybrid family.
While I am thankful and selfishly want to believe that God planned our family since the beginning of time, that is only my selfishness.
Adoption is only God's perfect plan when it regards us being adopted into His family.
Adoption here on earth is a very messy, imperfect plan, not even close to plan B.
I believe that God placed our children with The Hero and I by weaving our lives together.
And for that huge gift, we are forever grateful.
But the original design was for The Angel and The Dinosaur to live with their birth parents.
Being orphaned in a fallen world changed that original design.
Many people have questioned why we are adopting again.
They ask things like:
"Are you worried how it will affect The Angel and The Dinosaur?"
"Why more kids, you guys were so lucky to get to great kids the first time."
"Are you sure that you guys are ready for that?
These questions really just piss me off, and I don't believe they deserve an answer.
So now that you've been warned, please don't ask.
Our answer is simply this:
The Hero and I believe that God sets the lonely in families,
not in orphanages,
or group homes,
or foster care.
While adoption is not a perfect plan, an orphanage or being in foster care isn't acceptable.
And until He returns in His glory,
and there are no more kids who need homes,
The Hero and I never want to look back and wonder on an Orphan Sunday,
"I wonder what our family would look like if (insert a kid's name) hadn't been with us?"
And really, who wouldn't want these kiddos sitting at their table:

Orphan Sunday is not a day to celebrate,
it is a day to we should attempt to abolish.
I believe I have a calling in that challenge,
and I believe so do you.
I don't believe it is only through adoption.
Sponsorship, financial giving, advocacy and adoption are all a part.
Excited to hear how you all are striving to end the orphan crisis.

Nov 5, 2011

National Adoption Month: Sibling Adoption

A lot of people questioned The Hero and I when we decided to adopt a sibling set. As first time parents, there were always questions about how we'd go from no kids to two and what our adjustment period would be like. Believe me, The Hero and I did question it a lot, but over and over again we felt as though if the Lord was calling us to it, He wouldn't leave us in the middle. Since both The Hero and I had siblings, we knew we would eventually adopt again; why not bring home a sibling set?
It definitely wasn't always peaches and cream. Having two new personalities in the house was challenging at first, but seeing the bond between The Dinosaur and The Angel is priceless.
Every country has different requirements and standards for adoption. At the time, Ethiopia had a rule that siblings were not allowed to be separated; which meant the couples open to sibling sets were dramatically reduced, therefore lessening their probability for adoption.
After coming home with The Angel and The Dinosaur, The Hero and I promised that we would continue to advocate for waiting children and sibling groups.
Meet Chrystyna and Karen.
Chyrstyna and Karen are siblings living in the Ukraine. Karen is a 15 year old who is a typical teenager who is waiting for her new family. Chrystyna's medical charts state that she has some developmental delays but provides no specifics as to her needs. These adorable princesses are ready for adoption immediately, as Karen will soon age out of the Ukrainian system and will be on her own.

The girls are being advocated for by Reece's Rainbow . If you go to Reece's website, you can donate to the girls' adoption funds and read more about their profiles. Also, consider signing up for Reece's Warrior program, where you can use your blog and social media to raise money for a child who needs a family this Christmas.

Nov 4, 2011

National Adoption Awareness Month: Meet Sergey

Happy National Adoption Month! I'm going to try and post each day about a family whose adopting or kids who are awaiting being adopted.
Meet Sergey. Look at those eyes!
He is a Ukrainian teenager who believed that there was a family coming to adopt him, but at the last minute, the family had a change of plans. Sergey is being advocated for by The Eli Project and currently has a $1000 grant towards his adoption. You can go here and read his profile.

Nov 3, 2011

National Adoption Awareness Month: Meet The Horners

I'd like to tell you that I am a faith-filled person.
While I believe I have my moments where I step out of the boat,
at the first sight of water, I begin screaming and heading for dry land.
It is very hard for me to simply close my eyes, hold out my hand,
and walk towards Jesus.
I need constant reminders that this life is not my own
and I will not always be in control.
I learn a lot of these lessons from my friends.
Lately, I've been taking daily notes by watching my friend Alecia.
Let me introduce you to the Horners.

This precious family lives in our town.

They own one of our favorite family hangouts, The Cupcake Lounge.

Last year they traveled to the Ukraine to bring home

what they thought would be two kids,

a boy and a girl.

The Lord changed their plans and they arrived home with their teenage son, Adrian.

But the desire for a sister never left their hearts.

They pursued for months a girl, Anatasia.

They prepared the documents, began raising funds, advocated for their daughter and

planned to make a place in their home for their newest addition.

The Lord changed their plans.

They were heartbroken to know Anastasia had been adopted by another family,

only weeks before they were to leave for Ukraine to bring her home.

Alecia and her husband Brian decided to travel any way, and seek the daughter

they knew was waiting for them.

Meet Tanya.

This adorable princess was exactly what The Horners knew God was asking of their family.
And then,
He changed their plans.
Tanya has a brother.
A younger brother.
An unexpected addition.
One they had not anticipated, expected or believed would be asked of them.
But they again said "where You lead Father, we will follow."
The Horners flew home for a few weeks to finalize their paperwork in the Ukraine
and spend time with their kiddos here
before returning to the Ukraine to bring home Tanya and Misha.
They have a lot of funds still to raise.
$11,160.00 to be exact.
Brian and Alecia are so convinced that God will provide their adoption needs,
that they have booked one-way tickets to the Ukraine.
They don't have the funds to book return flights home.
They leave on Monday.
Four days from now.
That's CRAZY faith folks.
Let's celebrate National Adoption Month today and donate what you can
to two people who are showing us all that God puts the lonely in families.
You can go here to donate directly by going here or if you need a tax deductible donation,
go to and add "Horner family" to the memo.
If you live in OKC area, go The Cupcake Lounge 304 Telephone Rd in Moore,
buy some amazing cupcakes and/or cakes and
don't forget to leave a BIG tip.
Even if you can't donate funds, will you please post this to your social media?
Let's spread the message and raise some money and bring home some angels.
I love you guys and gals!

Nov 1, 2011

Another Year

First day of November.
Time to start carving up the jack-o-lanterns
to make way for pumpkin pie.
Time to start listing the things we're thankful for and
making trips to the grocery store to gorge our families again.
Time to be reminiscent of memories passed and
gathering those still with us together to make more memories.
As I sit here looking over my "I'm so grateful list",
at the top, of course, is my children.
This month is adoption awareness month.
Did you know?
I almost forgot.
Last year, our church did a big presentation on Orphan Sunday.
We had The Waiting Heart Gallery of Oklahoma bring photos
of adoption ready children, currently in foster care.
Over 90% of those children listed last year were adopted.
Now if you go to their website, you'll see something like this:
Thank you Jesus! Orphaned no more!

Family found for this sweetie.So much is changed by the power of that little red heart attached to those pictures.
It means "you are loved" "you were chosen" "you belong".

But just about the time my heart was soaring about how many kids had found homes last year,
7 faces kept staring back at me.
For 7 of those precious faces,there is no red heart attached to their picture.
For them, it is another Thanksgiving of waiting, another bedtime in a strange bed,
another morning of uncertainty,
another holiday longing for a family all their own.

So instead of spending this month of things I'm thankful for,
I'm going to be blogging about a new face, a soul,
a heart who is longing to add to their "Thanks list" only one word:

Meet Elmer.
His profile stuck out to me a year ago.
Just look at those eyes!
He specifically picked out his Sunday best for his photo.
Dressed to impress a family; his family.
You can go here to read Elmer's profile and learn more about this adorable boy.
You can also head over to and search thousands of kids
currently in U.S. foster care who are ready for adoption.
So this November, let's spread the word about as many children as possible.
I want to highlight a specific child or program each day this month,
so help me spread the word.
Let's not let any more precious kiddos like Elmer spend another holiday alone.
This Sunday is specifically Orphan Sunday.
What is your church, family, organization doing?
I'd love to hear it.