About The R House

 

Hi there.

My name is Lindsey Redfern or Mrs. R. Welcome to my house, The R House. (I have no idea why I started calling myself Mrs. R other than it was 2006 and I was new to blogging. Please forgive me. I eye roll about it now.)

 

Who is Mrs. R?

I grew up in the DC Metro area to incredible parents that probably walk on water when no one is watching. I have three brilliant, hilarious, and good looking younger brothers who are equally as fabulous and leave me one very proud big older sister. I consider myself a Virginian that has lived in Utah since 1997.

I am a Mormon. I even served a full-time 18 month mission for my church on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah. I went to Brigham Young University and am a huge Cougar fan. Rah, rah, rah-rah-rah!

My husband, Josh Redfern, and I recognized each other at BYU from our childhood. We “dated” for 5 years before getting married but there were two missions thrown in there and a “Dear John” Letter. (It’s a long story.) Mr. R is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who specializes in therapy and adoption. He is also an awesome chef and seriously hilarious. He spoils me …even though I “Dear John-ed” him on his mission. He’s forgiving like that.

Still dating each other!

Josh is the most interesting person I know. I never tire of hanging out with him. We still date each other once a week and love taking adventures together. He is patient, laid back, a sports junkie, and an incredible father.

Josh Redfern, Dad of Awesomeness

Josh takes his role as father very seriously. He has a very tender place in his heart for our kids’ birth mothers who placed in him their trust and confidence. If you ever want to see this 6’4″ beast of a man cry, get him talking about out kids’ birth families. 

Together, Josh and I are sterile and that’s okay. Sometimes infertility slaps us in the face, but mostly we just go on with life. It is what it is, but we have seen many mighty miracles along the journey.

We have three beautiful children through the miracle of adoption. And yes, I do believe that adoption is a miracle especially when there are other options out there. Our big boys are 16 months apart and each have their own incredible story as does our baby. However, there are some common threads in each of their stories: Each of their birth mothers were wildly in love with them and still are.

Redfern Boys with their Birth Moms

Each of their birth mothers chose adoption for them so that their child would grow up with a mom and dad that loved each other and were committed to each other. Each of their adoptions were very hard–there were a lot of tears on all sides. Each of their adoptions are very open to this day. Our families adopted each other.

I believe in open adoption.

Tyson  Who is The R House

TYSON | Smart. Athletic. Musical.

Tyson is our oldest and the leader of this pack of boys. Tyson is intense and good at just about everything he does–skateboarding, soccer, basketball, football, whatever. He is just a natural athlete and we have delighted in finding unique athletic opportunities for him to excel in. He is competitive, tender-hearted, a baby lover, and too smart for his own good. He is the neighborhood social butterfly which means we always have a house full of kids. He is especially talented at finding the kids that need a friend and is a great example to me of loving people no matter what.

Tyson at Utah's Ultimate Athlete

Although Tyson says he wants to be a doctor when he grows up like his birth grandpa, I am pretty sure he will be an attorney. He is always negotiating and setting up deals with me about screen time, how many pictures I’m allowed to take of him, and how long friends can stay over. He is a handful and a crack up! Tyson has set a high educational bar for his siblings–he is a voracious reader and leads by example to his little brothers.

Tyson also has a musical gift. He can hear a song on the radio or television and find the tune on the piano. Check out this video of him performing Carol of Bells …which he taught himself to play by ear. He is always impressing us and his piano teacher!

Tyson’s beautiful birth mother chose us after seeing our adoption profile online. We fell in love with each other instantly. Although we live on opposite sides of the country, we keep in touch via Skype, packages, social media, planned and surprise visits, and texting. Tyson’s ability to love without judgement comes from his birth mother. They both have the biggest hearts. We are SO lucky to have her in our life. We also keep in touch with his birth father on Facebook and although we have yet to meet him, we hope to soon! Tyson’s heritage is as rich as it is beautiful. His birth mother’s family boasts Ukranian heritage and his birth father is African American.

Although Tyson wants to be a big kid, his little dude is still a mama’s boy. He let’s me run my fingers through his deliciously curly hair and snuggles up with me during family movie night. His random hugs during the day are seriously the best.

Gavin Collage  Who are The Redferns

GAVIN | Builder. Creator. Sensitive.

Gavin is our middle baby. He is a passionate creative soul with the longest and most luxurious eye lashes you have ever seen. He plays along with Tyson’s athletic adventures, but his true talent lies in creating. His room (and floor!) are full of his latest builds out of Legos, Lincoln Logs, Mega Blocks, train tracks …and anything else he can find! my jaw literally hit the floor the first time he built a huge Batmobile out of Legos complete with moving parts and a very detailed back story.

Gavin the Soccer Star

Gavin’s tender heart makes him the apple of everyone’s eye. We call him the baby whisperer. He can get his baby cousin’s to laugh like no one else can and is the first to volunteer to sit by the baby (any baby!) at outings and meals. He’s a charmer …something about that dimple and his contagious laugh. Gavin loves hard and is extremely passionate–for better or worse! LOL When he gets burned out on being the sweetest little dude in the world, he can transform into, what we refer to as, The PterodactoBeetle wherein he screams at the top of his lungs and rolls over on his back with his arms and legs in the air like a beetle. I think he’s actually quite proud of this nickname. ;) Regardless, he is a great example of living life “ALL IN.”

Gavin’s stunning birth mother is Josh’s little brother’s best friend. We’ve known her and her family since she was in elementary school! She has flawless style and is always on a new adventure. She is also an example of living like ALL IN and I admire her for that. Although she lived with us for the last month or so of her pregnancy, she now lives far away but we keep in touch via Skype, packages, social media, visits, and LOTS of texting. She is one of the funniest people I know! I just love her. Check out the video series we did on open adoption. You’ll see just how awesome she is! Gavin’s heritage is a gorgeous mix of Caucasian, Mexican, Greek, and African American.

Gav-o is a snuggler and a helper. He is the first person to show gratitude and every night at dinner he finds out who made the meal so he can say a personalized thank you. Gosh, I am so lucky to be his mama.

Jackson  The R House

JACKSON | Hilarious. Lover. Beast.

Jack Jack is our third little lover …although there isn’t anything little about him. He is very large for his age and has the personality to match!

Jackson is seriously the funniest kid on the planet. He is a happy little tornado as evidenced by flushing loaves of bread down the toilet or ripping the head off of his stuffed Pluto and throwing the stuffing all over his room …like snow! He is impossible to get upset with because he is always so happy and smiling. Plus, THOSE CHEEKS!

Jackson loves to go for bike rides in my bike trailer thingy, cruise around in the wagon, jump on the trampoline with all the neighborhood kids, and basically do anything and everything outdoors. Swings, big trucks, Elmo, sand, water, dirt, trains (“choo-choos”), Mickey Mouse, airplanes–all these things speak to our Jack Attack. He is an active dude who also loves babies. In fact, my mom delivered my 1980′s Cabbage Patch kids to my house and Jackson has been carrying one around ever since. In the morning, he can be found in his crib singing to “his bebe” and patting his bebe’s back. Such a luscious lover!

Jackson’s gorgeous birth mother found us through one of my mission companions/college roommates. His birth mom is my college roommate’s sister-in-law. She lived close to us during her pregnancy and we had the unique opportunity to hang out several times a week during her pregnancy. She is so sweet, so selfless, and so beautiful on the inside and outside. I’ll never forget her sitting at our kitchen table and asking us to be her baby’s mommy and daddy. Josh and I both cried tears of joy. It’s one of the most sacred moments of my life. She lives in another state so we don’t get to see her weekly any more (although we would love that!), but we do get to do a lot of texting and package sending. We love her and her family so much. We’ve also had the incredible opportunity to get to know Jackson’s birth father through Skype and social media. He was adopted as well. We love him and we love his family! Jackson’s heritage is Caucasian

Nothing compares to Jackson snuggling up on your shoulder which he likes to do after he gets up from a nap. In fact, I will race (and body check!) anyone to Jackson’s room to be the one that gets to get him out of his crib. He is pure sugar.

 

Why The R House?

The R House started in 2006 when I went to visit one of my college roommates in Chicago. “What is this weblogging that you speak of?” And thus, The R House was born. When we were in college, this same roommate had the brilliant idea of renaming the houses on our street. Two doors down was “Your Mom’s House,” next door was “Their House” and then there was “R House.” Our goal was to confuse people when they would call and tell someone where they were. For example, if they were telling someone that they were visiting us, they would say, “I am over here at R House.” You see the appeal. We even had a large capital letter R on our front door.

All of those roommates are married now and I am the only one who ended up with an R for their last name so naturally I inherited the name The R House and R that hung on our front door. It now hangs in my family room with a collection of other Rs.

 

Temple Day Collage

What does “sperare semper” mean? (This was a large part of my previous design.)

It’s Latin for “to hope always.” It’s our family motto.

We also have a family theme every year, well since we started doing it in 2009.

2014: More Heart
2013: With Joy Wend Your Way
2012: A Perfect Brightness of Hope
2011: Hold Thy Peace
2010: Come What May and Love It
2009: Come What May

 

 

Why do you blog?

When Josh and I were diagnosed with infertility/sterility, I felt totally alone. When we pondered adoption and wondered if it was the right path for our family, I also felt alone knowing only one other family in my immediate circle of friends who had adopted. I needed more.

I have so many “in real life” friendships that started on the Internet. I firmly believe in the power of connectivity.

I write to selfishly connect with others, but also to allow those who are in similar situations to know that they are not alone in their struggle. In recent years, I have reached out to birth parents and individuals who were adopted to share their stories and help educate the world about adoption. Do you have a story to share? Click here.

I write because I want to make a difference. I want to bring hope to those who may be suffering …from whatever. I want to celebrate open adoption. I want to educate and uplift. I want to spread goodness. I want to radiate happiness.

We all have hardships. We all have things that didn’t turn our the way we had planned. We have sorrow, pain, longing, loneliness, questions, yearning, loss, heartache, etc. This includes me.

I’ve tried to take those hardships and flip them. “It’s better to look up.” It’s more golden. You will see that message subtly illustrated in my new design. (Isn’t Kristin from Designer Blogs so very talented? She’s also an infertility survivor.)

If you have or are currently battling your way through the jungles of infertility, please know that your emotions are safe here. I have the most incredible, loyal and compassionate readers. I want couples who struggle with infertility to know that they are not alone on this adventure. There is so much peace in knowing you are not the only freak out there. ;)

I am aware that not everything about adoption is rainbows and glitter. I am very well educated on the topic. All adoption is rooted in loss and associated with grief. I understand that. In other corners of the Internet, you may find sites that focus on topics that I consider to be negative, but you will not find that here. That doesn’t make me better or worse than those other sites, just different. I have a different focus and I am a positive person. That said, I do think there is reform to be made within adoption. My blog reflects this. All of this.

 

What else do you want to know?

I run an adoption consulting firm called The R House Adoption Consultants with my husband. I am co-owner with my two dearest friends of a handmade sterling silver jewelry shop called Charmed Collections and an all-natural soap company called Spotted Owl Soap.

I’m the Editor-in-Chief of Adoption.com where I work with the amazing people at Elevati to change the face of adoption worldwide. I also run the social media for The Healing Group–a therapy clinic especially for women and their unique needs.

I am the former Adoption & Foster Care contributor at ‘Or so she says… and a former contributor at Smitten By. I used to work as MommyCast‘s Community Manager as well as a reviewer with SassyScoops.

I am a proud member of UbiChamps, Pollinate Media Group, Clever Girls Collective, Izea Media, Social Spark, Mom It Forward Blogger Network, Social Media Chimps, and Lijit Advertising. I work with Blogportunity on occasion and I’m also an affiliate with Amazon.

I have previously served on on the local board for the West Valley Chapter of Families Supporting Adoption (FSA) as the Community Outreach chair. I have also served on the National Board for FSA running their blog and presenting at their international annual conference 5 times from 2008-2010. I have presented at regional FSA conferences in Arizona, Washington, Utah and Colorado and at the Utah Adoption Council’s (UAC) annual conference. I’ve also presented and been the keynote speaker at local adoptive couple retreats.

I helped launch Adoption Voices while serving as their Community Manager in 2009.

I taught elementary school for 4 years (although I had 6 sets of students) before I got to become a full-time mom.

Oh yeah, I despise chocolate ice cream.

And everything else you ever wanted to know (or didn’t want to know) you can find out here.

And that’s about it.

From R House to yours, Welcome! Thanks for reading and come back often.

Much Love,

 

Lindsey