Jan 30, 2011

Meet the Porters!

Meet the Porter family! They not only are members of our church but they are also friends of the Andrews' clan. They've been hangin with the Dinosaur and Angel a lot lately because they are only a few short weeks from heading to Uganda to pick up their two sons, so they need the practice. :)

Matt traveled to Uganda with our church several months ago and felt God tugging his heart towards a certain little boy. Then their attorney called about a different boy. And then....well, I don't want to spoil a good story. You can pop over to http://ourjourneytouganda.blogspot.com and read it all!

Meet the Wilsons!

Meet the Wilson family! This adorable family has just signed with American World adoption agency and is awaiting their own Ethiopian princess. This family is so new to the adoption community that they only announced their adoption plans on their blog a week ago!!!! LOVE that! They blog at http://thecrazyyear.blogspot.com and would love for you to pop on over and Recycle them some Love.

Jan 27, 2011

Meet the Praters!!

Meet the Praters! This adorable family is adopting from Africa and they are only $2000 away from having enough money to send in their dossier. They blog at http://thepratersblog.blogspot.com and would love for you to help raise enough funds through Recycle Love to be able to mail that dossier OFF! So get out there and Recycle your Love!

Jan 26, 2011

Meet the Ellis Family

Unlike a lot of the families we've featured during our Recycle Love campaign, we've actually met, hugged and had coffee with the Ellis family. This sweet group is adopting a precious baby girl from Ethiopia. Kathleen is one of the craftiest people I've ever met and she has TONS of stuff available at their Etsy account. Check out their blog here.

The Recycle Love campaign is a labor of love for our family and is a small way that we are helping people raise money for their adoption campaigns. Each tee is $24.95 and $10 of every purchase will benefit the family of your choice. Anyone can sign up to be a part of Recycle Love, and as the campaign doesn't end until Feburary 18th, you have plenty of time to grab tees for everyone you know and help us spread the word.

Simply adocate, grab our button, blog, facebook and twitter about what's going on and when you buy a tee write the family name you're supporting in the memo line.

This Valentine's Day, instead of being bombarded with pink and red, go GREEN and Recycle your Love.

Meet the Joneses!

Meet the Jones family! This sweet duo is adopting through All God's Children International and they are SUPER excited about becoming new parents. Leslie is CRAZY talented and along with selling Recycle Love tees, she also makes amazing wreaths. Go check them out.

One of the things that makes this family special is that they have chosen adoption first BEFORE they have biological children. I just love watching God's heart for adoption grow within us; just so beautiful to watch. The Joneses blog here and invite you to come along and join their adoption adventure.

Jan 25, 2011

Welcome to Camp Funk!

Welcome to Camp Funk! The Funkhouser family is currently in the process of adopting from Ethiopia and are signed up with American World Adoption Agency. They blog at http://campfunk.blogspot.com
This family has completely stepped out in faith with their adoption process because this busy momma has 4 bio kids, all under the age of 6! What a warrior mama. Love it!

Let's recycle some love this week! We are so close to passing 75 tees this week and we think it would ROCK to break 100 before the end of week.

Peach, Not Strawberry.

Stubborn. Good adjective to describe me. Rule follower, strict, impatient. Not good adjectives. But true.

During my short stint of being a mom, I know all too well how my un-beautiful humanness affects my kids. Some of them, I've changed. Some days my impulsive, impatient nature gets the better of me. These are days/moments/breaths I call Mommy Fails. Days where Mommy fails to quiet her temper, Mommy fails to be patient, Mommy fails to remind herself of her children's ages, or Mommy fails not to raise her voice.

Today was such a day. My Mommy Fails moment came before 8a.m. Wow. Really?!
My kids love oatmeal some days. Other days they like it. Strawberry is their favorite. Peach, I thought, ran a close second. Today, I don't know. But after sitting for 40minutes, neither my angel or my dinosaur had eaten more than a few bites.

After a lengthy discourse with the angel about how peaches and strawberries are both fruits, made by Jesus for the health of their bodies and they both grow from the ground and are equally yummy, the angel continued to puff out her lip and shake her head, while the dinosaur scribbled lines in his bowl. Now, we were all being stubborn. I finally threw up my hands and hollered for both of them to leave the table and get dressed. Late. Over oatmeal. Peach, not strawberry. The angel and I both had tears in our eyes while we finished getting ready, while Daddy chased the dinosaur to affix him with under roos.

As I grabbed their bowls from the table, lamenting over my early morning bad attitude, I begged for patience. The holy spirit reminded me that it's just oatmeal and my stubbornness was getting the best of me, leading me to my Mommy Fail, but that just like my children will overlook Mommy's Fail and move on, so will my heavenly Father if I simply just ask. As I drove to work with the dinosaur in the back jabbering and giggling away, I sighed and knew why Jesus always had the disciples bring children to Him. They just get. So much better than this Mommy.

Oh boy, a Mommy Fail because of oatmeal. Peach, not strawberry.

Jan 24, 2011

Meet the Lincks!

Meet the Lincks! This sweet couple is currently working on bringing twins or a young sibling group home from Ethiopia to complete their missing Lincks (LOVE how adorable that is). They blog here http://ourmissinglinck.blogspot.com and also have some additional fundraising opportunities going on (I've heard that Jen makes AMAZING cupcakes!).

Loving how many families are Recycling their Love. Continue to spread the word and sign up other families. We really want to hit 100 tee shirt sales this week (we are over half-way there) and I have a personal goal of seeing 20 families being advocated for here on our blog.

Meet the DeMaios!

Happy Monday everyone! Hope everyone had a well rested weekend and is ready to Recycle Love this week.

Meet the DeMaio family. They are currently waiting for their 3rd little addition to their family; a little girl from Ethiopia. Heidi knew for some time that their family would eventually be pursuing adoption, but getting Dustin on board took the Holy Spirit moving (I just love that!). They blog at http://fromhearttohome-ethiopia.blogspot.com
They have been on the wait list for 7 months and are with Christian World Adoption. I am sure that they are getting anxious about seeing that precious face and not having to worry about the finances would be awesome. So get out there are Recycle some Love for the DeMaio family.

Jan 23, 2011

Meet the Kuykendalls!

Meet the Kuykendall family. This sweet family of four is soon to be a family of five, as they leave in less than a week for their first trip to meet their princess in Ethiopia. Mark is a pastor in Tyler, Texas and I think it would be just rockin' for them to have a huge amount of $ from t-shirt sells to be waiting on them when they return from Ethiopia in a few weeks.
This family's journey to ET began several years ago. They were paperwork ready for an Ethiopian adoption when Marla became pregnant. Putting an international adoption file on hold is not a cheap task and so when the Kuykendalls began the process again, they couldn't just pick up where they left off. Paperwork, fingerprints and fees were due again.
We know that a LOT of people are worried about the costs of adoption. It's one of the biggest questions people ask the hubby and I and the reason why we felt led to Recycle Love. In my quiet time yesterday, I was reading Luke 6. Verse 38 screamed out at me "If you give to others, you will be given a full amount in return. It will be packed down, shaken together, and spilling over into your lap. They way you treat others is the way you will be treated." Just another beautiful reminder that we are to love one another.
Have a beautiful end to your weekend and make sure to come back tomorrow. You never know what day we might choose to have an auction, a giveaway or just a little fun! :)

Jan 22, 2011

Help & The D'Amicos!

Good morning! The t-shirt sales are rolling in. Let's keep it up through the weekend and hit 100 sales by Monday morning. Can we do it? I totally believe that we can.

I've had questions about how to tag your purchases to make sure the appropriate family gets credit. When you get through checkout, there will be a page with a tab called "note to seller". Click that tab and write your family's name in the instruction line.

Meet the D'Amicos! They are our first featured family that is adopting domestically. They blog here and have just VERY recently announced their adoption. They have been married for five years and are excited about their new adventure into parenthood. Today is especially cool for them because today is Todd's 40th bday! So jump over to their blog, read about their story and support their adoption!

So excited to another 28 days of recycling love! Thank you guys so much for exploring this amazing adventure with us in our goal of Recycling our Love for other adoptive families. Continue to send families our way because within the next 28 days, we may sneak a few new products your way, a few giveaways and we will have plenty of opportunities to highlight every family we can, even if I'm doing several posts a day! :)

Jan 21, 2011

Meet The Thorntons

Happy Friday ya'll! And happy first day of our Recycle Love campaign! We are having a blast here and watching families rack up cash for their adoptions is making us grin like idiots!

Meet another of our featured families! Here are the Thorntons. They blog here. They are currently in the process of adopting from Ethiopia and get this ya'll...they have no children and they are wanting to adopt a sibling set of THREE!!! Wow! Love that. So come on and let's recycle them some LOVE!

Continue to spread the word. We have a month and there are a whole lot of families to help. Let's make the financial part easier for those who are already recycling their love to babes who need families. I can't think of a better Valentine's Day than that!

Here We Go!

HOORAY!!! It's finally here! Go to the side our blog and Order, Order, Order Away. Just remember to put in the memo line/instructions the name of the family you want the proceeds to benefit. Then grab our button and share, blog, facebook and twitter all about the campagin.

Remember that the campaign runs for a month, so there is TONS of time to spread the word and Recycle Love!

Jan 20, 2011

Housekeeping For Tomorrow

Hey all! Only a few more hours until we turn cyber space GREEN because we're Recycling Love! Forget red and pink hearts for Valentine's Day, go GREEN and show your support for families adopting.
Here is a few things to know so you can help spread the word tomorrow:

1.) The tees are $24.95 each. $4.95 covers shipping and $10 goes to the adoptive family of your choice. Remember that the family that sells the most tees will receive an additional $500.00!

2.) The Recycle Love campaign will run from tomorrow until February 18th. We will compile the list of purchases and order the tees after the close of business on the 18th of February and tees will be mailed 1-2 weeks after that.

3.) We are NOT limited to only helping families that we've highlighted here on the blog and Facebook. You can email us your family or a family that you want to advocate for at our address: andrews dot africabound at gmail dot com and tell us their name, blog/web address, a little of their story and what agency they are using. We will continue to highlight families each day for every day of the campaign.

4.) As you spread the word, please let people know to place the family name you want to proceeds to benefit to be placed in the memo line of the paypal memo.

5.) Please lift us up in prayer! For stamina, awareness, communication and above all else that God the Father will be glorified!

While praying over our project tonight, I found this verse:
Isaiah 66:5 "...Let the Lord be glorified, that we may see your joy!..."
Praying that tomorrow the Lord is glorified and that we may see YOUR joy!

The Sky Is The Limit! And Meet Lisa

Ok! Are you guys ready for tomorrow? I am. This is going to be so much fun! Just a reminder, KEEP SPREADING THE WORD. We are going to help as many people as possible and we are not just stopping with our highlighted families. If you send us an email and provide us your name, blog/website, agency, and a little bit about your adoption, you can get out there and sell for your adoption! We will run the Recycle Love campaign through Friday, February 18th, so that gives you a month to sell and spread the word and we will keep highlighting families as long as my little fingers can keep typing!

For today, meet Lisa and her family. They are in the process of a toddler adoption from Hong Kong. They blog here as a family and Lisa's daughter blogs here. Don't you just love when kids are proactice and start changing their worlds?! LOVE that! If you buy a tee for this family please tag your purchase with "Lisa".

So excited to see what God does for His glory through this campaign! See you all tomorrow!

Jan 19, 2011

Meet the Habuda Family!

Happy Wednesday! Have you read about our BIG announcement from yesterday? No? Read here.

Meet the Habuda family. They are adopting through Ethiopia and praying for a sibling set. They blog at http://forthesakeofone.blogspot.com They are just one of the families that our Recycling Love Campaign is helping out. On Friday, we will link on our blog where you can order your kickin' Recycle Love tees (kids and adults) and then add whatever family name you want to support in the memo line. For every tee sold, $10 will benefit the adoptive family of your choice.

If you know of a family who wants to be benefitted, tell them to contact us. We'll post one family a day for as long as I can handle it! :) Grab our button, share the word and instead of buying cheap candy hearts for Valentine's Day, let's Recycle some Love!

Jan 18, 2011

Recycling Our Love & Giving Back to YOU!

I would love to be able to tell you that our BIG announcement today is that we are adopting again. It isn't. Not yet anyway. And I don't know that would be a "big" announcement anyways. :)

My biggest question that I am asked about our adoption is the financial aspect. When we came back from ET, the hubby and I both felt like we were supposed to be helping other families navigate through the fundraising part of their adoption process. So this Valentine's Day, we are "Recycling Love" for adoptive families. We are wanting to spotlight other adoptive families, help them bring their children home, and helping you raise some money.
Here is how it will work:
1.) Contact us through email. Let us know your name, website/blogspot, Adoption Agency name and email address. And tell us a little about your story.
2.) Copy our button and twitter, facebook, blog, email your friends and family and send them back here to order tees for YOUR adoption. Make sure that in order to credit for you, that the purchaser adds your family name into the memo line. Each tee will be priced at $24.95. $10.00 of each sale will directly benefit YOUR adoptive family. We will provide two colors, white and black as printed above and the back of each shirt will be printed with "Life's most urgent questions is this: What are you doing for others?" ~MLK. We will have unisex and kid's sizes.
3.) By this Friday, we will have posted on the side of our blog the order form for our Tees. And then you can Order. Order. Order AWAY! The first 3 families who respond by email, starting today, will be highlighted on the blog, one a day through Friday, detailing their story. '
4.) But here is the best part...the top selling family will earn themselves a $500 bonus!!!!!!
5.) The "Recycle Love" event will run through February 14th, 2011. You have one month to spread the word, and rack up your sales. While our family does not yet feel the Lord pushing us toward our next adoption, we DO feel Him pushing us to help you with yours!

Jan 14, 2011

Five Question Friday

I've never done this before, so I thought why not tonight.

Welcome to Mama M's Five Question Friday! It's a fun way to get to know other bloggers and provides for some reading to kick off the weekend.

Rules of 5QF: Copy and paste the questions to your blog post, answer them, then watch for the linky and link to your post.

Questions for Friday, January 14, 2010:

1. What movie could you watch over and over again and not get tired of?

2. What's your biggest pet peeve right now?

3. If you had to describe your best friend in five words or less, what would you say?

4. If you did not have to worry about money or go to school what would you do for a living?

5. What is your one "splurge" item, that you will always buy, no matter the cost?

1. What movie could you watch over and over again and not get tired of?

Ha! This one is easy. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Yes. I know. It is the second of the series, but this is by far my favorite movie of all time and if it is on TV, I'm watching it. I even will put it on while I'm cleaning house, folding clothes or just hanging at home.

2. What's your biggest pet peeve right now?
Not changing the roll of toilet paper when it runs out! ARGH!! Nothing drives me nuttier than trying not to fall off the toilet while reaching for another roll.

3. If you had to describe your best friend in five words or less, what would you say:
Constant, Supportive, Attentive and Fun

4. If you did not have to worry about money or go to school what would you do for a living? Orphanage director somewhere on the plains of Africa.

5. What is your one "splurge" item that you will always buy no matter what the cost?
Coffee. I've become a full blown coffee snob. It must be fair trade, flavored, whole bean and freshly roasted. Saint's Coffee in Cinnamon Gingerbread is waiting to be brewed right now.

Show Me Yours!

I didn't even know until I sat down tonight that today in the blog world was Delurking Day. Was does that mean? Well, it means I want to know who you are, what your favorite posts have been here and ask any questions you want to know about us, me, our crazy life. And no, I won't reveal our BIG announcement until Tuesday, so that doesn't count.

So come on, show me yours! :)

Big Smiles From A Little Red Heart & A BIG Announcement

I recently blogged about these adorable kiddos who were waiting for their forever family. Their sweet faces stuck with me and each day I prayed about them, talked to the hubby about them and began researching Department of Human Services adoptions to find out more.

Imagine my complete surprise when I checked this website last night and their sweet faces, had this beautiful red heart next too it.

And the great thing is there are SOOOO many more children that were listed that had their Christmas wish granted. A majority of the page were smiling kiddos and beautiful, little red hearts. It made this momma happy. If you are interested in reading more about children in the system who are cleared for adoption, check out http://heartgalleryofoklahoma.com and let's attach all those pictures with a little red heart.
Happy Friday ya'll!
P.S. Just so you know, make sure you come back on Tuesday for a BIG announcement! ;)

Jan 11, 2011

What Could You Be Missing?

I knew that growing our family would mean changes. I anticipated how being parents would affect Le and I and our household. But I completely under estimated how much it would impact every else in our lives and what we all would have been missing by not having such amazing additions to our lives.

I would have missed how attentive my nephew can be and how adorable my son is when he is screaming "hey 'andon".

I would have missed how long my mom-in-law can truly belly laugh.

I would have missed my dad-in-law's extreme ornery streak

I would have never know how much Alazar's smile could melt my heart.

I may have never understood the depth of my husband's love.

I might have bi-passed how truly giving my baby sister has become.

And who would have ever wanted to miss this:

As I being our new year praying about what lies ahead for us, I wonder, what else I could have missed by not following God's path and I wonder: What could you be missing out on?

Jan 9, 2011

Let's All Go Say "Hi!"

I have one of those cousins who can make anything. Creativity oozes from her fingers whether it's dinner, a craft project or just arranging a kitchen table. She's recently started a food blog where she details, cooks and shares her delicious creations.
Today's creation was Peanut Butter Coffee Cake. Yummo!!! I'm off to make this for Le's breakfast in the a.m.

So go here, check out The Devilish Dish, and say "hi!".

Jan 5, 2011

Promote YOU!

I love reading this blog. She always has great bits of wisdom and following her family's story is truly inspirational. She has a huge blog following and is offering to pay it forward. She's offering to choose a blog every month to highlight to boost readershio. She's calling it "Blogs of Note". If your blog needs a boost, hop over here and check it out.

We Were There For It!

This is Abeba (Ave' on the days she's feeling sassy!) and her Mommy and my dear friend Gayla. Gayla and I found each other here. On our blogs. Waiting for our children in Ethiopia over a year ago. But while we were connecting here over the Internet, our children were connecting across the world in the same orphanage. We were excited to learn that we would travel the same time and that we lived only an hour away from each other. Gayla and I met in person for the first time at dinner and then a month later standing in line for our embassy dates holding our children in Addis.

Imagine our surprise to learn that her daughter and my son and daughter were really good friends. But when we spent time together, we soon learned that my son was hopelessly devoted to Abeba. He would sing her name, ask me when we were going to see her and where she was.

A few weeks ago, the Gower fam drove to OKC to hang out with us. We went to dinner and then to cupcakes. Alazar was devoted to hanging out with Abeba at every minute. As we were leaving, he stared at me and said "Mommy, I kiss Abeba?". I told him that he would have to ask permission from Abeba's mommy. Gayla and I were almost in tears as we watched my son lean in and kiss Abeba. It was the cutest thing I've ever seen in my life.

While he will be embarrassed a few years from now that his mom watched his first kiss, it will always be a highlight of being a part of my son's life and I am so excited that we were there for it.

Jan 1, 2011

End of Our Fearsome Foursome?

There was only one word to describe our first Christmas as parents: Magical. Simply magical. I remember having pure exhilaration Christmas morning when I was a kid. My heart leapt in my chest and the sheer adrenaline running through my veins provided energy that lasted all day. But nothing compared to watching R&A put out reindeer food, making Santa's cookies, and reveling in the wonder of the day. Being Santa rocked my world!

In the midst of all the fun, I found myself daydreaming about next Christmas and if there would be any new faces sitting in the floor around our Christmas tree. For the last several months, Ruta has been asking for a big sister (these conversations deserve blog posts of their own). Daddy & I blew it off for weeks and finally told her that if she was serious about more kids, then she needed to pray about it. Since she absolutely refused to pray out loud, we figured we had outsmarted her. Imagine our surprise when the next day she asked to pray at breakfast. Her prayer was "God. Give us more kids. For Papa Chu and Lala (aunt laura and uncle brian) and God, more kids."
I texted Le and told him that she was on to our game, but I really thought she would soon dismiss any ideas of sharing, waiting for the bathroom and cramming more people into our house. We were wrong. For months now either at a meal or bedtime, my daughter asks to request God to fill our house with kids. Several weeks ago, Le and I decided if our daughter was going to be passionate about praying about this subject, we needed to explore it with the Father as well.
I don't know any specifics. I don't have any suggestions or delusions or time lines. But I have a feeling that our fearsome foursome perhaps is coming to an end. And while this road we are walking is unknown to us, it is not unknown to our Heavenly Father and as long as we're walking it together, I'm still one happy momma.