Lindsey Frost Andrews hadn’t even been alive for a day when she underwent heart surgery. Born with three holes in her heart and without a pulmonary valve, Lindsey required an additional operation at 3 months.
Doctors monitored her condition in the ensuing years, warning her parents, Darrell and Kathy Frost, that Lindsey couldn’t participate in sports or risk exhilarating activities such as riding an amusement park roller coaster. The limitations imposed included an admonition to never bear a child because of the potential danger to her health. Darrell is a longtime AG minister who continues to pastor Mayflower Lakeside Assembly of God in Arkansas.
At 17, however, Lindsey needed immediate surgery. She received a donor pulmonary valve. Various medical precaution restrictions lifted. Physicians advised Lindsey she could give birth — as long as she had only two children and finished by age 25.
Meanwhile, at 17 Lindsey met Ben R. Andrews at an Assemblies of God summer youth camp in Arkansas. Both felt called into full-time ministry while teenagers at church camp. The couple went to Central Bible College in Springfield, Missouri, and married in 2005. Ben served as worship leader at Peace Chapel in Fair Grove while attending school.
Upon Ben’s graduation in 2007, then-lead pastor Ronnie S. Morris hired him to be music minister and eventually youth leader at Russellville First Assembly in Arkansas. Morris says Ben ushered the congregation into a more contemporary worship style.
“Ben was young and confident — not cocky — knowing where he wanted to go,” recalls Morris. “He helped our church transition and faced a lot of strong opinions, but he was unflappable.”
Ben and Lindsey soon began growing their family. Madison is now 13 and Jaxson 10. Lindsey missed the cutoff, giving birth to her son at 27, but followed the advice to stop bearing children.
Even before they wed, Ben and Lindsey, who are both ordained AG ministers, discussed the possibility of adopting children someday. They knew from the start they might not be able to have biological offspring. While on a mission trip to Mexico at the age of 16, Lindsey felt the Lord telling her she would adopt kids eventually.
After the birth of their son and daughter, the couple in 2015 began the process of seeking to adopt a brother-sister sibling pair through a Christian nonprofit agency. But multiple roadblocks popped up, delaying the effort.
After a decade at Russellville First Assembly, in 2017 Ben accepted the position of lead pastor at Sheridan First Assembly. But only 13 months into that job, the AG Arkansas District appointed Ben district youth director.
Once settled into the new role, Ben and Lindsey in 2018 again started looking to adopt siblings. In three years, the couple received only three phone calls about potential adoptions. Each time they agreed, the children went to a different home.
“After three years of nothing, we were ready to quit,” Ben says. “We talked with our caseworker at our third annual evaluation and explained our frustration.”
The next week however, a 7-month-old girl in need of an adoptive family became available. Hadessa came to live with the Andrews family three weeks later.
Just 10 days after that, Ben and Lindsey received a phone call asking if they would be interested in adopting Hadessa’s newborn brother — born 10 weeks premature. They agreed.
Elisha spent 45 days hospitalized in a neonatal intensive care unit, then joined his new family. Official adoption of Hadessa and Elisha occurred on Dec. 16.
These days, Ben, 35, is working for his former boss Morris, who was elected last year as superintendent of the Arkansas District. Ben and Lindsey still live in Sheridan and attend the church he briefly pastored. When not on the road, Ben leads worship and Lindsey helps with women’s ministry.
Lindsey, 38, never has required daily heart medication and she doesn’t consider raising four kids too stressful.
“Our kids absolutely love the babies,” Ben says. “They have been a part of the process from the beginning and are a huge help.”
Morris admires the couple’s tenacity and resiliency.
“They were disappointed at times, but they remained faithful through stress after stress,” says Morris, 65. “They are great parents juggling huge ministry responsibilities, but they rightfully put family first.”
“Though it took longer and looked differently than we expected, God has been in the middle of it all, working when we didn’t see Him working,” Ben says.