Mom, Wife and Entrepreneur Crystal Archie Promotes Living Better and Giving Back

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A busy mom of six and loving wife to a retired NFL player, Crystal Archie developed her health and wellness business in 2009 and has since been sharing better living opportunities throughout the world.  Entrepreneurial in spirit, Crystal also developed her own self-titled women’s lifestyle and is the founder of Treasured, a philanthropic accessory brand giving back to the communities in Ethiopia. Join Dr. Christina Rahm as they discuss life, work and health on this week’s episode.


Dr. Christina Rahm



Crystal Archie


Dr. Rahm [00:00:01] Welcome back to Scientifically Beautiful. This is your host Dr. Christina Rahm, and I have the pleasure today to introduce you to two of my beautiful, wonderful close friends. Crystal and Michael Archie.

Crystal [00:00:30] We’re happy to be here.

Dr. Rahm [00:00:31] Thank you. Thank you for being here because I know it’s all we’ve been laughing before we started shooting this because I’ve been interviewing people and talking to people throughout the world, in different countries and different areas, but also have the privilege of getting to talk to people here in Nashville and Nashville Tennessee is a place that’s very eclectic. We have people from all over that have done many, many things, and Michael and Crystal have four beautiful children, six beautiful children.

Crystal [00:01:01] Four I gave birth to. Four I have the stretch marks to prove.

Dr. Rahm [ 00:01:06] I have those too. Crystal and I [inaudible] You guys have four children. And then you guys adopted two from Ethiopia.

Michael [00:01:13] Ethiopia.

Dr. Rahm [00:01:14] But they have more because I’m at their house a lot and…

Crystal [00:01:16] We have a lot of kids.

Dr. Rahm [00:01:17] A lot of kids.

Michael [00:01:17] It feels like.

Dr. Rahm [00:01:18] I’ve lost count. And Crystal loves all of them.

Crystal [00:01:20] I do. I do. I don’t ever want them to leave.

Dr. Rahm [00:01:23] Yeah, which is one of the things I love. We actually get to spend time with them, getting to know them personally and not just professionally. But Crystal has made a name for herself and not just in the United States, but in different countries because of her heart and how she gives and because of the things that she puts her name around, and because Michael and Crystal as a team have built different businesses and different things together. But one of the things I’ve always respected so much about both of them is they utilize their gifts and then what they’ve made from their gifts to help so many other people.

Crystal [00:01:56] So you’re making us sound way better than we are.

Dr. Rahm [00:02:00] I’m good. We’re going to talk about it because it’s really very… you guys are a power couple, but I don’t… when I am around you, I don’t necessarily think of you, because I think in your hearts first before I think of what you guys have done. But the underlying current of the show is to talk about life is tough, but you can be tougher because my background is science and medicine and clinical research. We focus on a lot of that. We’re going to bring some of that into that the talk and we also are going to talk a little bit about your personal lives and how you got here. So, I would love to start with both of you. Tell me a little bit about yourself.

Crystal [00:02:36] Okay.

Dr. Rahm [00:02:36] And then we’re going to talk about your biggest challenges and what you’ve gone through to really get here. And I even if people talk about their childhood, but really just what sticks out in your mind?

Crystal [00:02:48] Yeah.

Dr. Rahm [00:02:49] That is part of you. That’s been one of the reasons that you’ve gotten here today.

Crystal [00:02:53] I told her not to ask me anything about science because I know nothing about science. She’s my brainiac.

Dr. Rahm [00:03:01] She knows about skin I’ll say that.

Crystal [00:03:02] I know, I know about skin that, yeah, some of the verbiage you use, it’s like way over my head. But so, we can talk about life, that’s easy. It’s just so funny. Like she said, we were laughing before we got started because we’re just such great friends. It’s weird to sit here in front with a mic and, you know, talking, but we absolutely love love we could sit and talk all day and literally sit and talk all day.

Dr. Rahm [00:03:26] And we do sometimes.

Crystal [00:03:27] And we do so late, late, late nights. All right. So, our story? Do you want to go first? You want me to go first?

Michael [00:03:33] You go first.

Crystal [00:03:34] OK, Jayla, my daughter is in here [inaudible]. She says I tend to take stories and make them really, really long. And she’s like, Mom, you need to learn how to shorten things. I’ll try to make a long story short. So, okay, I grew up in a small town, Pennsylvania. We both grew up in small towns in Pennsylvania. I’m very transparent. I’m always very real when I tell my story, oh, completely honest. We both grew up on welfare. Our families didn’t have much. I remember going with my mom lots of times, standing in lines, waiting to get cheese, government cheese, government milk. Matter of fact, to this day, he will not eat cheese because he had a bad batch of government cheese. One time tore up his stomach…

Michael and pretty much ruined cheese for me.

Crystal He won’t eat cheese.

Michael [00:04:23] For the rest of his life. No cheese.

Crystal [00:04:26] He will not eat cheese because of the bad batch of government cheese. But my whole life growing up, I’ve seen nothing but poverty, poverty mindset, alcohol, drugs, you know? No, no aspirations, no dreams, no goals. It was just like, Crystal, your head is in the clouds. Not my mom, my mom rest her soul she was always encouraging and always believed in me, but I feel like everybody else around me in that small town. My family loved me, but they don’t realize I always tell people, be careful what you speak over people because then it can affect their life more than you realize. And I was always told, your head is in the clouds, you’re dreaming too big. You know, you need to calm down a few notches. You know, reality. We are on welfare you know what I mean? Like, this is the way it’s going to be unless you go to become a doctor or a lawyer or something. You know, we can’t afford for you to go to college. So, it was it was always in my head. Well, they were telling me that I was not going to be able to do much, but in my mind I had the, ever since I was a little kid, I had the I’m going to show you one day, yeah, I’m going to show you one day. And it took being around some normalcy like different people, different friends, different connections you would have and you would go to their house. And it wasn’t in a trailer. Like, I lived in a trailer. It wasn’t, you know, it was like a normal house. It was a normal family life without alcoholics. And you know what I mean?

Dr. Rahm [00:05:57] Yeah.

Crystal [00:05:57] No abuse, no violence. And I was like, there is normalcy in the world and I want that.

Dr. Rahm [00:06:02] Yeah.

Crystal [00:06:03] That’s what I want. And I can… even if I can’t afford to go to college, I can… I had a dream. I had a passion. I said, I don’t care what’s going to take, I’m not going to give up. I’m going to go after whatever that is, no matter how many times everybody told me I couldn’t. Yeah, so I’ll let him get… but then when I met him at 18, fell in love and we were young, dumb and love kids after the first date. First date we were inseparable.

Michael December 10.

Crystal December 10th, 1994. It was our first date and we were inseparable and three months in we said, let’s have a baby. We’re not married. He’s in college. I’m a cocktail waitress. I’m working three jobs because my family couldn’t afford me go to college. They couldn’t afford to put me in an apartment. They couldn’t afford to get me, you know? So I went over to where it was Penn State University on that campus. I’m like, Well, I can’t go to college. At least I’m going to be on campus and pretend like I’m a college student and I work three jobs and at one of the jobs met him. And like I said, we fell in love like immediately, three months and let’s have a baby. So here I am. At 18, I got pregnant just like my family and everybody else did. And just like they told me, you know, not in school, just graduate high school, then go to college. Here I am pregnant out of wedlock. Do you know what I mean so I was like, Crap, I’m doing exactly what they thought. Exactly what they’ve been speaking over me, you know? And again, I want to say, if any of my family ever listens to this, I love my family. I’m thankful for my family, and I’m thankful for the things that have happened to me in my life because it made me the person that I am. It made me strong. It made me have that drive and I have family members that went down the same path as everybody else. Jail, drugs, alcohol and then my sister and I and a few other cousins, we took a completely different path. Everybody has their own path to take and they make their own decisions. But so here I was, 18, pregnant and then I had, what did I do? I had to get on welfare just like, you know what I mean? So it was like it was just killing me that, do you know what I mean? Because he’s a college athlete.

Dr. Rahm [00:08:15] Yeah.

Crystal [00:08:16] He…

Dr. Rahm [00:08:17] Michael was a professional football player.

Crystal [00:08:18] Yes, but yes, he played yes.

Dr. Rahm [00:08:20] He was a college athlete at Penn State I mean…

Crystal [00:08:24] Yeah. But when he was in college, he had zero money. He was there on scholarship. He couldn’t work and he didn’t have anything. So, I had to go get on welfare during the whole pregnancy and delivering Jasmine. And he kept saying, you know, we’re going to get married, babe, but we didn’t want to go to the Justice of Peace. Neither one of us had money, our families didn’t have money for us to get married. So, he’s like, if all goes well and I stay healthy, I’m going to go pro and then I’ll give you the wedding that you wanted that you dreamed of. So, we ended up after he was drafted by the Houston Oilers…

Michael Now the Tennessee Titans.

Crystal Now the Tennessee Titans. We planned a wedding from Houston and got married in Pennsylvania. We were in Houston for one year and then the teams that they were coming to Nashville to become the Titans. So here we are. We’ve been here. Twenty-four years? Twenty-four years, we’ve been in Nashville now. Love that raised all of our kids here and um we, it’s been I’ve left so many things out to try to save a long story. There’s so much in between that and I’ll let him, he might be able to remember stuff that I left out, but the moral of the story is we both came from nothing, struggle, financial hardship, and we both had a drive to do more, do more, to do more and to give our kids a better life. We didn’t want them to have to struggle and worry about how they were going to get milk and bread and have to stand in the line for government assistance. You know, we didn’t want our kids to have to deal with the same thing, so we got our butts to work and God is good. I was going to give God the glory for all of it because it’s because of Him that all of these things, the doors were opened, favor the blessings of the Lord. So.

Dr. Rahm [00:10:12] Well you use your gifts. It’s one of the things I’ve noticed on the podcast with no matter what people’s occupation, no matter where they’re from or what they use, the gifts they were given by God. And then they use those to the ability that they can, and they a lot of times prosper along the way. There’s a lot of difficulties. Yeah, and they don’t just quit.

Crystal [00:10:33] Right.

Michael [00:10:34] Absolutely.

Crystal [00:10:34] And I think people another misconception is they think that if you play professional football or if you’re beautiful. Right? I’m just I’m just being honest. Or if you would pick a gift… if you’re smart, they just think that came easy.

Michael [00:10:45] Yeah.

Dr. Rahm [00:10:45] And then I think, well, then that’s why you’ve made it in your life. And that’s actually not true. Because the ability, the looks, the intelligence they don’t get us to where we are, here.

Crystal [00:10:56] So after…

Michael [00:11:01] Christina, as you say about the gifts. So I am in professional football, everybody, even as a young kid where I grew up, everybody’s like, You’re so gifted, you’re so talented. And again, we give all glory to God because that gift came from somewhere. But you got to know how to use it. You got to know how to work hard with that gift. So, it’s never easy. So even though I had the gift, I could have chosen not to work hard at it, but I always decided I want to do. I wanted to work hard and be the best who I can be with this gift. And so that enabled me to be able to have different outlets or different options in my life, to be able to pursue some of the things that already dreams that I had, that I wanted to do, which was playing NFL.

Crystal [00:11:48] Because there was a lot of guys just in your hometown, just as talented. You always tell me some of them where you felt like they’re more talented.

Michael [00:11:54] I feel like the area where I grew up, and there was a lot of guys that were very, very talented athletes, but they, you know, they made different decisions in their life what they wanted. And but I grew up watching them. And so, they inspired me and I was like… But then they would sometimes go and make wrong decisions and hanging out late night and streets and drugs and alcohol and all this other stuff. And that’s just something I didn’t want to be a part of. So, some of them never made it out of the situation. And so, they just got stuck. And I just remember saying that I did not want that to be me. And so, I did everything that I could to stay away from those type of things or activities. And sometimes I, you know, my kids, I tell them the story and they always say, oh, you were a goody two shoes. And it’s not that I was good all the time. I was just I just made, you know, the right decisions on where I wanted to go and what I wanted to be. And so…

Crystal [00:12:58] You always tell the kids where there’s smoke, there’s fire. So, get out of the situation.

Dr. Rahm [00:13:02] Well, I always say it’s not even that. It’s not just showing up, it’s also knowing when to leave. That said, there’s[inaudible] with our friends that, you know, sometimes you need to know when to speak and then when to just not say anything.

Crystal [00:13:14] Exactly.

Dr. Rahm [00:13:15] I think that I’ve got to say, I’m going to give you kudos, by the way, both of you. Jayla works for this and different, different… International Science Nutrition Society, different companies that are there to promote wellness. And she’s so good at her job. But it’s because she works. She works hard and she’s focused, and she’s using her gifts, which are different than your gifts.

Crystal [00:13:39] Totally different.

Michael [00:13:41] Yep.

Crystal [00:13:41] But it’s awesome.

Dr. Rahm [00:13:42] Which is awesome.

Michael We love it.

Crystal [00:13:43] Blown away with her.

Dr. Rahm [00:13:45] You gave her that gift or you gave her, you showed her whatever your gift is, right?

Crystal [00:13:50] Yeah.

Dr. Rahm [00:13:51] Which I think so many parents, you know, a professional athlete, you’re a brand Crystal. You’ve developed things all over the world. So many parents want their kids to be like them or follow in their footsteps, which you guys?

Crystal [00:14:03] Oh no.

Dr. Rahm [00:14:03] I noticed that with all your kids, you know, you let them be who they want to be as long as they use it right and apply it.

Michael [00:14:09] And apply it. So, you know, case in point, you know, we, our firstborn son, Michael Jr. So, he’s Michael Archie Jr. like me. But one time we were in a school meeting and it made me smile. And he said, I remember something my dad always told me that we have the same name, but different paths.

Dr. Rahm I love that.

Michael So and I would always tell him that I have to play football. You don’t have to play football. You don’t have to do what I did right? And I don’t live through you because I’ve already made my decisions on what I wanted to do and what I wanted to be. So now you own up to your name.

Crystal [00:14:44] Right.

Michael [00:14:44] And make it what you want it to be.

Crystal [00:14:45] What you want.

Michael [00:14:46] And I’m proud of you, no matter what. And all our kids, no matter what they choose to do, you don’t have to do what dad does or what mom does you don’t have to you know, you decide what you want and then go after it and go get it.

Dr. Rahm [00:14:59] Yeah, I’ve always liked that. I see that and all the things you guys do with the kids. Even when you watch your kids in sports, you care about them. But I mean, who knows with you, Crystal, you just want them to be happy.

Crystal Oh yeah.

Dr. Rahm And it’s all that. I think that empowerment is something that helps our children and helped us by also things that when your parents don’t support like what you say because I love my family very much too, but to say that I remember like saying, well, I don’t want to go to Murray State University, you know, I may want to go to Harvard, and I remember being told that that’s not going to ever happen. And then of course, later it did happen. But it wasn’t that my parents didn’t love me and support me. They didn’t have the financial ability and then now that they have a grandson, actually, my nephew that is at Yale as a doctor. It’s just life. They didn’t know. My parents were never trying to hurt me; I love them so much but it was what that path, within that path led to my path.

Crystal Yeah.

Dr. Rahm And like your, you know, your backgrounds, I’ve gotten to meet Michael’s mother and sister, and I think they’re both amazing people, but they’re even different than each of you.

Crystal [00:16:07] Oh, yeah, oh yeah.

Dr. Rahm [00:16:08] So I think that’s something just watching both of you. It’s been amazing to see how you’ve done that, even transition because I knew you before you went into this.

Crystal Yeah, when I was pushing the stroller.

Dr. Rahm So, one of the things that I do want to talk about is I do want, but in this, we’ll talk about what your biggest challenge and how you overcame it. But I do want to talk a little bit about Ethiopia and your travel and how, what the state of health care was there and how it was different and how bringing the kids over from Ethiopia, how you’ve integrated them into the family, not just from a health perspective.

Crystal [00:16:48] Yeah, yeah. But everything.

Dr. Rahm [00:16:50] And I always tell people, health for me, and really, everyone should be not just physical health, right? Spiritual, emotional and mental. And you cannot have quality of life and improve quality of life unless you look at all of that. You can’t. So many people just think it’s physical and, you know, I was a psychologist. Really, that’s not why. It’s that you can’t really impact unless you look at everything and even in the current state of what’s going on with the pandemic, there’s a psycho-social effect, right? And there is a psychological second effect and we sometimes call it a co-morbidity event because if your mind thinks you’re not going to get better, you know, it really generates the energy throughout the body. And I think for me, you know, not to talk about me, nanotechnology, that was a study of energy, right? And quantum physics, bioscience engineering um most people aren’t Christians or they don’t believe in God, right? And like for me, I want to tell Christians so bad. It’s OK that we use different energy levels. It’s OK because it’s that’s what we’re composed of and that’s where it all comes from, right?

Michael [00:17:59] Right.

Dr. Rahm [00:17:59] So I think when you brought, I wasn’t there when you… I mean, I wasn’t as close to you all at the time you brought the kids, right?

Crystal [00:18:05] Right, right.

Dr. Rahm [00:18:06] So I just wondered what that was like, what it was like going over there. You’ve used your gifts to go internationally, and we recognize that most people, for whatever reason, the United States have not traveled unless they’re gone to like a resort to go to the beach.

Crystal [00:18:22] Yeah.

Michael [00:18:23] Right.

Dr. Rahm [00:18:23] Right. Yeah. So, the problem is then they don’t see the real world.

Michael [00:18:26] Right.

Dr. Rahm [00:18:27] And so when you hear about things happening in different countries, unless you’ve experienced that and seen that, you don’t really, it’s hard to imagine. Right?

Crystal Right, right.

Dr. Rahm So, I’d love you guys to share some of that experience of what that was like integrating even into with your own children but with the whole experience.

Crystal [00:18:44] Oh yeah. I was talking to… remind me if I go off on a tangent of things and I might cry and I might get emotional because when I talk about Ethiopia, see, I’m already starting. It’s just my, I was just crying about it today because it’s been a year and a half since I’ve been over there and I’m trying… I just want to get back to that…

Michael [00:18:59] Yeah, she wants to get back so bad.

Crystal [00:19:00] It’s my passion.

Dr. Rahm [00:19:00] I’m sure, you’ll have people contact you from the show that…

Crystal [00:19:02] Oh, it’s, my heart, but… So, to go back to my childhood again. Even though I grew up without much, I would sit in front of the TV and I’d watch—remember when they used to show those telethons and they would show the kids with the distended bellies and the flies at night and watch that. I would literally watch that and I would cry as a kid and it was my dream. I was like, I want to go to Africa. I didn’t, you know, but I remember even Ethiopia was specific. Ever since I was a little kid, it was so weird people would ask me why Ethiopia of all of Africa. I I don’t know God just put Ethiopia on my heart ever since I was a little girl and the dream of mine, like you said, most people, their dream is to go to some beautiful resort on some island. My dream was to go to Ethiopia, to be with the poorest of the poor and just love on these people and like Lord, use me. How can I help? I want to do something even if it’s just one person. You know, I people, the kids, people, they… I know they love my heart deep down. But you know, people are always like, you can’t bring them all home and you can’t change everybody’s life. But if you can change the world with one person… one, then that changes everything. That changes the whole world for that person. So, so I remember when I told them we had four kids, two boys, two girls.

Michael [00:20:24] And we were done.

Crystal [00:20:25] And we were done. And…

Dr. Rahm [00:20:27] I always wondered what…

Crystal [00:20:28] He got his snip snipped. He got his… he got his snipping done and he was officially done.

Michael [00:20:32] Officially done. And she comes to me and says,

Crystal [00:20:35] I wanted. I’ve always wanted to adopt. I want to adopt. He’s like, Babe, we’ve got two boys, two girls. I think we’re good.

Michael [00:20:41] We’re pretty even in the house.

Crystal [00:20:43] We’re even we get two boys two… Why? like what. And I said, I just ever since I was little girl, something I always wanted to do. I want to adopt from Ethiopia. And he at first was not, you know, on board with it, and I was praying and praying and praying. And I always tell people, if you want, if you want prayers answered, just continue to pray and pray and pray. I got so many stories we could go into that too. But anyway, so his heart finally opened up.

Michael [00:21:06] Well It’s not that I wasn’t on board.

Crystal [00:21:08] I’m not trying to make, you know, most guys aren’t on board with adoption.

Michael [00:21:11] It wasn’t that I wasn’t on board.

Crystal [00:21:12] Most husbands.

Michael [00:21:13] Yes. It’s just how we think differently. So, you are thinking about nurture, love and you said, for me, adopt, I’m thinking of, OK, how am I going to take care?

Crystal [00:21:23] OK, yeah, so OK. I know I said I was going to make a long story short and let me know if we need to, because I know Preston will do his editing techniques to try to shorten that Crystal’s long stories. But OK, so you can speed me up, make me go. OK, so let me go back. So, this is why he was on board. So, people think I’m successful now in my skincare business and everything that you know that we have because of God, they think it’s because he played in the NFL. Well, what people don’t know is he played four years in the league and he was a minimum. What do you call it?

Michael [00:22:22] Minimum salary player. Not. It’s not a big contract, not the million-dollar contract.

Crystal [00:22:26] Which was… but it was still big for us coming from welfare, family and money.

Michael [00:22:30] I’m not. Yeah.

Crystal [00:22:30] We were…

Dr. Rahm [00:22:31] Michael, I’m going to say this. It’s like it’s easy. It’s hard to win a lottery ticket. It’s really hard to be in the NFL. So…

Crystal [00:22:38] Oh my gosh, I tell you about it all the time. I’m like for him to even make it to the NFL. The odds? What are the odds? You said it’s like crazy. I don’t know. You showed the numbers before, but it’s crazy to even make it to that level. So, I’m so proud of him that he made it in four years and every year we’d be stressed out through camp. Is he going to make it because they would start out with eighty…

Michael [00:22:56] Eighty-three players.

Crystal [00:22:57] Eighty-three players. They would get it down a 50.

Michael Fifty-two.

Crystal [00:22:59] Fifty-two and every year he made it, I was like, Thank you Lord. But anyway, so after four years of him playing, he had an injury during pre-season. It was the year the Titans went to the Super Bowl, and that preseason year he had an injury. And how long after the injury?

Michael They put me on injured reserve.

Crystal And it wasn’t a career ending injury. It was a high ankle sprain. It was nothing that would keep him out of the NFL. But…

Michael [00:23:27] They put me on injured reserve. And then after I actually healed up and got better, they released me after that.

Crystal [00:23:35] So he had…

Dr. Rahm [00:23:36] Was that hard?

Michael [00:23:36] Oh my gosh, yes, it was. It was very hard.

Crystal [00:23:39] He had to come home and tell me.

Michael [00:23:41] That they’re releasing me.

Crystal [00:23:41] That was our only source of income. We didn’t have a backup plan. We didn’t have a Plan B. He had a college degree, but we didn’t have, you know what I mean, and we just had Michael Jr. with two kids at the time. We just had Michael Jr.

Dr. Rahm [00:23:53] That’s hard having two little kids.

Michael [00:23:54] Well. I mean, of course, in my mind, you think, you know, we always think we’re going to play forever.

Crystal [00:24:00] Yeah.

Michael [00:24:00] Nothing’s going to happen. And this is a small injury. I’ll get over this and get back. And then all of a sudden… Other people have different plans and, you know.

Crystal [00:24:12] It was just taken away like that. So yeah, yeah, so. So long story short, we ended up living off of savings. He was trying to get picked up by another team he ended up playing for this other league in New York it was an XFL league that only lasted a year. He played. We lived up in New York for a year, came back. We depleted our savings and we ended up broke. So here we are. You know, he busted his butt his entire life to make it to the NFL, makes it there. We’re thinking that’s going to be the way to make our kids’ dreams come true.

Michael You know, that’s my ticket.

Crystal I’ll go, you know, and bam, just like that, it was taken away from us, and then we ended up completely broke.

Michael [00:24:51] Which goes to what I always share when I’m talking to the kids or coaching to the kids. You want to make it to the NFL. I’m like, That’s great. Don’t stop that. Don’t ever… I said, but you got to understand NFL doesn’t stand for the National Football League. It stands for “Not for Long.”

Crystal [00:25:05] Yeah. So, you better have a Plan B.

Michael Better have a backup plan.

Crystal Yeah, because you never know. You know, most guys…

Dr. Rahm That’s hard when that’s your dream.

Crystal Yeah. Running backs, that was his position. They average three years in the League.

Michael [00:25:15] Two and a half, two and a half years, 2.5 years.

Crystal [00:25:17] So he beat the odds from the average, you know, he surpassed the average. But anyway, so we went… ended up broke again. And before my skincare business came into our life, he was trying to get a job.

Dr. Rahm I remember all of that.

Crystal He has a college degree, but nobody… He would go on these interviews and they would talk football with a man that’s so great. They do a lot of stuff and they’re like. Well, we can’t hire you.

Michael [00:25:44] We can’t hire you. You don’t have enough experience.

Crystal [00:25:45] And like, he’s like, I have a bachelors.

Michael [00:25:47] I play football for five years. I have a degree. I’m trying to get that experience. I’m hoping you would give me an opportunity to gain that experience. No, we can’t hire you.

Crystal [00:25:57] So he, a friend of ours that has a what do you call it, building construction. It was framing houses.

Dr. Rahm [00:26:06] That actually shocks me.

Crystal [00:26:08] Yeah.

Dr. Rahm [00:26:08] I mean, just I never realized that that shocks me.

Crystal [00:26:11] Yeah, yeah. He ended up our friend gave him a job and he went from, I always share, this is my story. He went from playing in the NFL on ESPN to sweeping floors at a construction site to help, you know, and we made, what, $500 a week. You know, he made $500 a week we’re so thankful. But you know, I always talk about him and I always cry when I talk about how amazing my husband is because he’s so humble. He never complained. He never acted like he was better than that. Most NFL guys would be like, I’m not sweeping floors. He’s like, I’m going to take care of these kids. I got to take care of my family. And he never complained. He never… he did what he had to do, and then God ended up promoting him to get a job at, ah, at the church we were attending ended up putting him in a place in the finance department. He loves numbers, ended up becoming the accountant without having a CPA degree. God completely opened that door. And so that was great. But then still, we were still paycheck to paycheck, getting just up to our eyeballs in debt from losing everything, taking things to the pawn shop, having garage sales. Michael Jr. one day came home from school and he’s like, where’s my video games? I can’t find my video games? Sometimes we had to take them to the pawn shop to pay for bills, and pawn them.

Dr. Rahm [00:27:26] Do they know that now?

Crystal [00:27:27] Oh yeah, they know it now, but you know, we may have to take it to pay a bill or we were going to get electricity shut off and we had friends help us. And so anyway, so I was praying and praying for a way to make extra income, to take the pressure off of him. But I still wanted to be home with the kids and got into my prayers with my skin care business. OK, but let me go back to Africa and my adoption. So here we are. We’re struggling financially. Paycheck to paycheck like I said, having garage sales and pawning our kids’ toys, we can pay bills and I come to him and say, but I want to adopt and add another mouth to feed. So, you know…

Michael [00:28:03] She said, I wasn’t on board. I was on board, but I was just… my mind was just scrambling.

Dr. Rahm How are you going to pay for that?

Michael [00:28:07] Like, how are we going to…

Dr. Rahm [00:28:08] I’m going to be honest. Even me at this place in my life, I would think because I would love to adopt and I’ve shared that and my kids know this. I’ve always wanted to adopt, but you had to pay for it. It’s a lot. And it’s not just the emotional and then on for me, my issue was I was working so much I didn’t see how I could stretch anything anymore, yeah, financially also, I don’t think, it’s a lot.

Crystal [00:28:32] It’s a lot and we did not have a hundred dollars, let alone, I think it was thirty some thousand dollars for the adoption. And like what, in the world? So anyway, I’m going to share a quick God story, if you don’t mind. So, whenever I came to him and I said, I want to adopt and so we initially thought young, OK, younger than our youngest, most, most adoption agencies, they require you to adopt in birth order. So, they say you go from your youngest biological child and you adopt younger than them. But the agency we were with, thank goodness they didn’t have that requirement. Well, we were thinking like four or five. Yes, we’re thinking around that age younger than Malik at the time. And I kept telling him when he said, babe, we don’t have the money. I said, I’ve been praying about it. And I heard as clear as day God just said, don’t worry about the how the when the what like, how it’s all going to come into place. Just trust me. Like with all of my heart, with all of my spirit, just the words said, just trust me. Take the leap of faith. And I told him that, he’s like, OK, babe, OK. He always tells me he’s like, you have a way with hearing from God. He’s like, OK, so he’s like, whatever you said.

Michael [00:29:47] Leap of faith, let’s do it.

Crystal [00:29:48] When we were, we were going through kids. You know, you go through these waiting children’s lists and you can look online and this kid Getu kept popping up. And I couldn’t get him out of my head and I would tell him, I said, babe, he’s older, he’s 10. And he said, babe, I thought we said, like four or five, you know, 10 years old, that’s harder. And then they come with more challenges, you know, because they’ve already, you know, they’re living in orphanages and you don’t know what they’ve been through abuse and things. And he’s like, it might be harder. And I said, I know, but I just feel like it’s… I can’t get him out of my head. I can’t sleep at night. God’s waking me up. And I remember the kids were little. Now they don’t… They all lock their doors and don’t let me in their room. But when they were little, when they were sleeping, yeah, I’m like, quit locking your door what if there’s an emergency? But when they were young and used to let me, they’d be sleeping and I would go in every night and I would they’d be sound asleep. They don’t even know I did this. And I’d go over and put my hand on them, and I would pray for them, say a prayer before I go to bed. And I remember one night talking to him about Getu and him being older and I went in to pray for Michael, and Michael was 13 at the time he was 13 at the time. And when I wanted to pray for him. Immediately. I’ve never heard God audibly, but you can tell when the Holy Spirit is speaking to you and I hear. What if that was Michael Jr. on that waiting children’s list? What if that was him on there and nobody would give him a chance just because he was older?

Dr. Rahm [00:31:21] Oh, that would. Yeah.

Crystal [00:31:23] He’s waiting and waiting in an orphanage, and nobody will pick him just because he’s older. Everybody wants the cute little kids. Everybody wants the little, the babies, the toddlers, the ones under five, you know, everybody wants… They don’t want the kids with the issues, you know.

Michael [00:31:34] Because it’s a little bit more challenging.

Crystal [00:31:36] Right? I came, I told him, literally in tears. He’s like, OK. Then we’re adopting Getu. Let’s start this process. So again, we have no money. OK? We have no money.

Dr. Rahm [00:31:46] And that’s hard. That’s a leap of faith.

Crystal [00:31:48] Oh, totally.

Dr. Rahm [00:31:48] It really is.

Crystal [00:31:49] We’re struggling. And let’s back up. Before we started the adoption process, he gets a phone call one day from his football agent.

Michael [00:32:01] Haven’t heard from him for about five or six years.

Crystal [00:32:03] Maybe longer than that.

Michael [00:32:04] Maybe longer than that.

Crystal [00:32:06] Haven’t heard for quite a long time. He calls him one day and says…

Michael [00:32:09] He asked me about an injury settlement. He asked me, Did I play in California? And I said, yeah. And he said, well, there’s a worker’s comp injury settlement that’s going on in California if you played there. And so, I said, yeah, and he said, well, I’m sending you some paperwork all you need to do is fill it out. You may need to fly to California to do a physical and all and everything. And I was like, all right well send it to me. And he sent me the paperwork and we filled it out and I sent it back.

Crystal [00:32:37] Forgot about it.

Michael [00:32:37] Forgot about it.

Crystal [00:32:38] Never heard anything. Didn’t fly out to do a physical.

Michael [00:32:42] They didn’t… Yeah, I didn’t have to fly out to do a physical. So right when the money was coming due to pay for all the expenses for the adoption?

Crystal [00:32:51] Oh yes, me too. Yes. I don’t mean to interrupt you. Sorry.

Dr. Rahm [00:32:54] I never heard this. I love this story.

Crystal [00:32:56] So we’re set on faith. We’re adopting, not too many people know, but we had to get our home study and it was like twelve hundred dollars for a home study.

Dr. Rahm [00:33:07] I did a home study. We were adopting from Guatemala and then I got pregnant with Craytor.

Crystal [00:33:10] Yeah.

Dr. Rahm [00:33:10] So they wouldn’t let us bring [inaudible]. But anyway.

Crystal [00:33:14] So you had to come study for your home study. So, it was twelve hundred dollars. We didn’t have twelve hundred dollars. Somebody in my skincare business, I had just started my skincare business. Somebody donated exactly, nobody knew we needed twelve hundred dollars, they donated exactly the twelve hundred dollars. I immediately messaged them crying. I was like, you had no idea. Like, we needed this home study. Anyway.

Michael [00:33:33] We never said an amount.

Crystal [00:33:34] So as I’m as I’m working my skincare business, I’m making a little bit here and there, and I’m trying to help to pay, you know, it’s like a hundred dollars here and there at the beginning, and we were getting down to the wire and the agency was like, we need ten thousand dollars due right now or you guys can’t go to court, you have a court appointment coming up, you’re not going to go to court and I call him crying. I’m like, I’m in tears how we can’t go to court. We don’t have ten dollars let alone ten thousand dollars. And I’m trying to catch up with the story whenever you heard back from the agent…

Michael [00:34:12] So right, when all this was coming due, I got a phone call back from California that the place where they were doing the workers comp, and they gave me the news. They said they settled out of court. And so, they told me what the settlement amount was I was going to receive and I couldn’t believe it. So, I…

Crystal [00:34:36] After I just got done crying to him and saying, we don’t have ten thousand dollars. He’s like, are you sitting down?

Michael [00:34:42] I called and said, you need to sit down.

Crystal [00:34:44] He’s like, you’re not going to believe this. He’s like, you told me, God said, don’t worry about how. Just trust me. Yeah, it’s like, babe I just got off the phone.

Michael [00:34:53] I just got off the phone and they settled out of court for one hundred and ten thousand dollars.

Crystal [00:34:56] He said the check is on the way.

Michael [00:34:57] Check’s on the way.

Crystal [00:34:59] God literally saved that money. Literally saved that money for right when we needed it, the exact time we needed it right down to the wire.

Michael [00:35:08] I could have done this these two years before and still got the same amount.

Crystal [00:35:12] So God literally landed that money.

Dr. Rahm [00:35:15] That is amazing.

Crystal [00:35:15] So we were able to take all of the kids over when we picked up, get you to bring them home. We were able to take all of them over, go to the orphanage and so they could see where their brother…

Dr. Rahm [00:35:24] Was that your first time there?

Crystal [00:35:24] No, not ours. Michael Jr. went with us the first time and we took all the kids to bring him home the second time. So that goes back to Ethiopia. The first time I landed was for our court appointment. Me, you and Michael Jr. and I literally cried. Being on the ground in Ethiopia, because it was my dream. So then after we bring Getu back, you know, you see all these…

Dr. Rahm [00:35:46] What was the health care, that I do want to talk about that.

Michael [00:35:48] Okay.

Dr. Rahm [00:35:49] What was it like there, Crystal?

Crystal [00:35:52] So at first, I didn’t find out about health care over there until I started going over with mission teams and leading mission teams over there, and then I would take people to the hospital and…

Dr. Rahm [00:36:00] Was it healthy in the orphanage…

Crystal [00:36:03] No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. It’s so unsanitary.

Dr. Rahm [00:36:07] A lot of people don’t understand because our conditions here, compared to… I mean, I’m like…

Crystal [00:36:12] Yes, so intense. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Dr. Rahm [00:36:14] And I think very different, to understand that.

Crystal Yes.

Dr. Rahm [00:36:17] It’s… you know, our orphanages here, which I’ve been to many of them in our foster homes and stuff. They’re not perfect either.

Crystal Right.

Dr. Rahm [00:36:25] They’re not great, either. But the health usually is that.

Crystal [00:36:29] Yeah.

Crystal [00:36:29] Because we have so many standards.

Michael Right.

Dr. Rahm [00:36:31] It’s different. Like when you go to Mexico, Nigeria, Ethiopia, it’s just very different.

Crystal [00:36:35] It’s different. So, where his orphanage was, was out in the countryside and it’s better than in the city. I would have to say they have less, like Getu the first time we took him into the city… So, we took him from the countryside to the city, which is about two hours, right? Two and a half, two and a half hours to the city of Addis Ababa. And it was his first time seeing the toilet. You know, having like… and it wasn’t anything nice in the city, either, but it was so new to him to even have a toilet because he was used to going to the bathroom in a hole, you know, a hole in the ground a little hole in the ground.

Dr. Rahm [00:37:16] I did interview, Preston probably he heard it with Ghazala, and she was in Pakistan and it was in India and it was the same thing. She saw a toilet in London and was like, what is that?

Crystal [00:37:26] Yeah.

Dr. Rahm [00:37:27] What is that?

Michael [00:37:31] Yeah.

Crystal [00:37:31] When we brought him back, all the kids and Michael Jr. and we got to D.C., we landed, Michael Jr. took him to the bathroom and, you know, the dryer?

Dr. Rahm Yeah.

Crystal And he went up to try to show them the dryer, and he jumped back because it freaked him out. He’s like, What the heck is…? You know, a vacuum scared him the first time. I remember one day when we turned on our gas fireplace, he was home.

Michael He was amazed by that.

Crystal He was a few weeks home. Yeah, whenever. What do you think about it? It’s just so common. It’s so normal for us. We’d go and turn on the fire. And he was like, What? I’m like, Wait.

Michael [00:38:01] How do you do that?

Crystal [00:38:01] The fire just happened. It’s like building a fire, you know, when they’re building a fire and we just go over there and flip a switch, Oh, there’s a fireplace.

Dr. Rahm But what kind of food? And like what…

Crystal They eat Injera with everything, and they have certain spices. Every meal is Injera Injera Injera and the orphanage they only…

Dr. Rahm [00:38:23] Most people don’t know what that is.

Crystal [00:38:24] OK. It’s like a spongy… How do you describe it?

Michael Bread.

Crystal [00:38:27] It’s like bread, but it’s not. It’s sour and it’s spongy it grosses Jayla out. It’s got holes in it, but they don’t use utensils, so they just take off piece of the injera and then they’ll scoop up, scoop up or whatever they make. Yeah, but the health, the hospitals there, when I’ve gone there, there’s a young boy recently that passed, he was 13. [inaudible] actually, when we were in Ethiopia, the last time I took them with us before he had died, he had a heart condition. But the kids, he couldn’t believe it. The hospital was like, Yeah, I try to tell you guys how bad it is. People are laying on the floor.

Michael That was my… that was my first big…

Dr. Rahm So different.

Crystal Yeah.

Michael [00:39:06] That was my first experience with the hospitals over there.

Dr. Rahm [00:39:09] Well, that’s why I really wanted you to talk… because I’ve been to many countries in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, in Asia, even like, I don’t want to talk bad about different countries.

Crystal I know.

Dr. Rahm I’ve always been… I would go…

Crystal [00:39:21] They do the best with what they’ve got there.

Dr. Rahm [00:39:23] It’s not like the hospital, right? I don’t think people understand when you go to the hospital there, especially if you don’t have money.

Crystal [00:39:29] Right.

Crystal [00:39:29] It’s just like there’s bodies on the ground, [inaudible]

Michael [00:39:33] Correct.

Dr. Rahm [00:39:35] And I said it that when I went to China, my first thing was like, I think we need to have, you know, soap in the bathrooms in the hospitals.

Crystal [00:39:45] Oh yeah, yeah. People literally all over the ground, bugs everywhere. No sanitation, so [inaudible] we go and we meet him at the hospital. He’s got a heart condition and he’s not doing good. They don’t even have a bed for him. He’s literally sitting in a chair like this. He looks like he’s about to pass at any moment. The poor kid is so weak and so frail. He was 13. He probably weighed about 50 pounds. Maybe not even that. And the doctor brings out a water bottle…

Michael A regular water bottle like that.

Crystal With his urine in it. It’s all blood, all blood. They don’t even have… So, in order to treat them, he’s telling me how bad he is. He’s like, this is his urine and he’s like, it’s all blood. But, you know, not in any medical, normal medical supply. But so, any kind of treatment, I had to go there. If he needs an IV you have to pay for it first, then they go get it, then they bring it back. If he needs a Band-Aid… I’m just, whatever.

Michael [00:40:42] They have to travel to go get the I.V.

Crystal [00:40:44] Do you know what I mean? If you need anything. We go to the hospital, we have people meeting us if it’s an emergency, they’ll put us on a bed, they’re hooking us up to everything. No, you have to pay for things, then they get it. And if you don’t pay for it ahead of time. Sorry, no luck. You’re just going to sit there and die.

Dr. Rahm [00:40:59] You don’t get it.

Michael [00:41:00] Right.

Crystal [00:41:00] Right.

Dr. Rahm [00:41:01] And even in some of the countries that are more westernized… in my work… to even like in Europe, you have countries which, I think a lot of people don’t know this, but the doctors are paid, you know, twenty dollars an hour. So, if you really want to get good care, you’re giving them money.

Crystal [00:41:16] Oh yeah.

Dr. Rahm [00:41:17] I remember going into Hungary and gosh, where were we, Austria? Like in these countries you’re like, what wait, this is like… in the country. That’s how, that’s how it’s done. You have to make sure that, I was glad that I was taught that because you don’t know that right from over here.

Crystal [00:41:33] Oh, yeah, yeah. I remember first time I went to the hospital I was completely shocked. I was like, wow, I mean, our animals here are better taken care of. Our animals are better taking care of.

Dr. Rahm [00:41:45] Someone said to me the other day, they said, we don’t understand why people go to other countries to help when you need help in our country.

Crystal [00:41:50] Oh, I hear that all the time it makes my blood boil.

Dr. Rahm [00:41:52] Let me explain something you haven’t been…

Crystal [00:41:54] Exactly.

Dr. Rahm [00:41:55] You have no idea. I do think we should help our country, but I also think there’s children in other countries that have nothing and the nothing there is completely different. Not even a chance almost sometimes, right?

Crystal [00:42:09] Right, right. I tell people, I hear that. I used to hear that all the time.

Michael [00:42:12] So what do you, what do you say?

Crystal [00:42:13] And I would tell them, there are people that are poor in America. Yes, absolutely. Dirt poor homeless people. But we do have a welfare system. They can. If they apply for welfare, they can get food. They can get assistance. They can get medical. There’s none of that over there.

Dr. Rahm They live on the streets.

Crystal They live on the streets.

Dr. Rahm [00:42:34] And I don’t… I think that’s really hard.

Crystal [00:42:36] Yeah.

Dr. Rahm [00:42:36] It’s devastating to see that.

Crystal [00:42:38] Oh yeah.

Dr. Rahm [00:42:38] You see all those kids living on the street and they’re basically begging to go to the orphanage.

Crystal [00:42:42] Oh yeah.

Dr. Rahm [00:42:43] Because they just want something to eat or to, I know this sounds weird, but to be able to kick a soccer ball and because they don’t have money to do any of that.

Crystal [00:42:49] Oh yeah, we would take soccer balls and it’s like we bought them a Lamborghini. You know.

Dr. Rahm [00:42:52] You give them a book and they think you’re the best person in the world because they don’t see books.

Crystal [00:42:56] Yeah.

Dr. Rahm [00:42:57] It’s a very different…

Crystal [00:42:58] I remember one time I took a team out. We went out at 4:00 in the morning because we, you know, there’s a lot of street… you know, people sleeping on the sidewalks and there’s street kids. You know, you see a lot of teenagers and 12, 11, they’re out begging. You know, for whatever. I mean, just little 10-year-olds, but one day at 4:00 in the morning, we went out to take blankets out and I went over and there was a big burlap sack. On the sidewalk, it was cold, people think Africa is hot, like some parts of Africa, but not all parts. Africa is humongous and is all different, and there’s parts that are very cold and it gets cold at night in Ethiopia. And I went over this burlap sack and I lifted it thinking I was going to see some grown men under there, like a couple of guys. And they were little kids all snuggled up together, covered up, freezing with a burlap sack. I lost it. It was one of the, it was one of my first few trips and I… the people that were with me, were like, Are you OK? And I hand them the blankets and I went to the van and I just started bawling because I, when I lifted that open, off of them, my kids’ faces flashed before my eyes. It’s like I can’t imagine my children sleeping on a sidewalk and they don’t have… there were no parents with them. You know, there’s nobody with them there, just on the sidewalk. You know.

Dr. Rahm [00:44:23] People don’t understand that their mothers. They sometimes… there’s no option to raise them.

Crystal [00:44:28] No.

Dr. Rahm [00:44:28] Like people, like I hear, I’ve heard so many times, people judgmentally say, well, they’re mothers. I’m like, you don’t understand. They’re mothers but some of them got pregnant when they were 12, 13. I mean honestly…

Crystal [00:44:39] Right.

Dr. Rahm [00:44:40] And they love their children. They can’t even take care of food for their own, right?

Crystal [00:44:44] They, some mothers come up to me all the time begging me to take their child. They love their child so much, but they want…

Dr. Rahm [00:44:52] But you can’t take them just out of the country because they never happen to go to another… Just grabbing onto me, please. And I’m like, I can’t. I can’t take them.

Crystal [00:45:00] I know. I know. It’s heartbreaking. It’s absurd. I have a really horrible story. It’s good, but it’s so sad. A friend of mine, she adopted a brother and sister from Ethiopia, and the mother loves her children so, so, so much. But she put them up for adoption because, you know, like you said, just desperate.

Dr. Rahm [00:45:21] She wants a better life.

Crystal [00:45:22] And my friend, one that adopted.

Dr. Rahm [00:45:24] As I would say, is the heart of loving a child.

Crystal [00:45:26] Yeah, the sacrifice.

Dr. Rahm [00:45:27] The sacrifice because there’s no greater pain in my opinion.

Crystal [00:45:30] Right, exactly.

Michael [00:45:31] Yeah.

Crystal [00:45:32] And when it was time for them to come back to the States the mom came because she wanted to say goodbye to her kids. Oh, I can’t, I’ll start crying. My friends said to watch her children that she hardly knows she’s just adopting them. They are clinging for dear life onto their mother, wailing, screaming like, don’t take me. They’re trying to pull the kids off of the mother. Mother’s wailing. The kids are wailing. I mean, she said, it was the most horrific thing. And she goes, I’m taking these kids away from their birth mother, you know.

Dr. Rahm Giving them a better, a better life.

Crystal Yeah.

Dr. Rahm [00:46:05] That’s… I’m sure she stays in touch with the birth…

Crystal [00:46:07] Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. She takes the kids back and stays in touch with them, but to see, to take children away from the birth mother… But the mother once said it’s hard for her, but she wants them to have a better life, to not struggle, to have food, to have an education, you know what I mean? So, people have no idea. Oh, I know, she said, was the worst thing she’s ever experienced in her life, taking kids away from their biological mom. You know, it’s just, it was just she was adopting and felt like she did it out of, you know, the mother put them up for adoption. But I yeah, it’s… but Getu, his parents both passed when he was young and his uncle put him in the orphanage and kept his sister, his sister’s older. So, we go back all the time. His sister, we would always spend time with her every time we go and Getu goes back, and he works every day and he sends his sister money to help take care of her. Yeah, she’s older. She’s in her 20s now. She’s in her 20s. But yeah, there’s so many stories that I could share. But Ethiopia is just a huge part of my heart, and then my organization called Treasured. Why I started that? There’s this community that I go to. It’s my favorite place to be in Ethiopia. People are always shocked when I tell them there’s the, like you Crystal, who loves sparkly things you love to be in a trash dump. I’m like, yes, it makes me so happy. Literally, there’s 100, about 100 and some thousand or more people that live in or amongst or around this trash dump community.

Dr. Rahm [00:47:39] They do the same thing in… And there’s Nigeria is a place where I’ve gone. Yeah, they did it in India. If you have a hard time understanding it, but it’s kind of interesting, it’s like there’s firepit where I’ve been. But I didn’t believe it at first, and I saw the show. What was it from India, not shot at… There’s a show about the orphanages in India and they [inaudible] arms in that. So, I went to see it and I didn’t know this exact place. But I yeah, I know it’s a… I wouldn’t say it’s one of my favorite places to be. I’m not like Crystal.

Michael [00:48:12] But she loves it every time we go over and…

Dr. Rahm [00:48:15] I love it.

Michael [00:48:17] She’s glowing every time she gets in that environment.

Crystal [00:48:19] I know I’m exactly where God has me to be. And… you’re in, you’re in this trash dump, they’re making their homes out of the trash.

Dr. Rahm [00:48:30] And they’re actually… it’s colorful.

Crystal [00:48:32] Yeah, sure. Yeah, yeah. You’re watching little small kids.

Dr. Rahm [00:48:35] Some of them have televisions.

Crystal [00:48:36] Yeah.

Dr. Rahm [00:48:36] One of the tents I went into had the biggest television. I was thinking, gosh, my kids would love that television.

Crystal [00:48:42] It’s so big.

Dr. Rahm [00:48:43] And all these people around it, you know, watching, but it’s like they make their own home. They make their home within that area.

Crystal [00:48:51] Recycle, whatever. Yeah, but to see small kids digging through the trash, they don’t have shoes on, bugs on their faces. They’re digging through somebody’s trash. I mean, it smells. It’s the smells beyond. But it’s so crazy. It’s like God even helps me with that. I’m so used to it. It doesn’t even faze me anymore. Like, I don’t even, it doesn’t even bother me. But I am exactly where I love to be. I go to these people’s homes, visit with them, pray with them, help them go to the hospital. I have some crazy stories of things that I’ve seen and helping to take people to the hospital and then I’m advocating. So, it’s not about me. It’s not about, Oh Crystal, what are you… you’re like, oh, look what she’s doing. No, it’s not about me. That’s not why I share any of this. When I go, I’m advocating and telling other people so that they can get involved. So, helping to get other family sponsor other kids. One time we… I was like I’m going over there. These people sleep on the mud. I want to do mattresses. If you all help, we’re going to give way. I forget how many hundreds of mattresses that we were able to, like it’s because of you guys, you know.

Dr. Rahm [00:49:51] And I think I’m glad you brought this up because I think another thing that I wish we could share with everyone is that in those communities, there’s good and bad, like there’s wonderful homes or there’s love I know there’s tents. I know they’ve made them out of the trash, but the odd thing is… there’s… you feel the love between the different people in the community. And that’s why I guess for me, there’s kind of a lack of fear when it comes to different things.

Crystal [00:50:17] Yeah.

Dr. Rahm [00:50:17] I shouldn’t say lack of, I just understand that there’s different callings and there’s different places to be in that you can make it in different environments. It doesn’t have to be Brentwood, Tennessee or New York City or L.A. Right?

Crystal [00:50:29] Right.

Dr. Rahm [00:50:29] That you can find happiness and help people. So, for me, it’s not the lack of money that’s the biggest issue there, it’s the lack of the ability to pay for basics.

Crystal [00:50:40] Basics.

Dr. Rahm [00:50:41] Do you know what I mean? You could get everyone the basics, but I do think that’s the biggest difference is that we here in the United States, at least we can provide basics.

Crystal [00:50:49] Exactly.

Dr. Rahm [00:50:50] Over there…

Crystal [00:50:51] They don’t even have running water.

Michael [00:50:52] Well, the number one thing.

Crystal [00:50:53] The don’t have running water.

Michael [00:50:54] The number one thing I used to say every time we would leave Ethiopians and we’re like, why do I feel like I just left the place where they are so much happier?

Crystal Mhm.

Dr. Rahm [00:51:03] Yeah.

Crystal [00:51:04] They have joy.

Michael And we have all this stuff over here. But I’m like, they’re just some happy and appreciative people over there.

Dr. Rahm [00:51:10] Oh, yeah.

Michael [00:51:11] Oh my goodness. As is in the love that they…

Crystal [00:51:14] They don’t have to worry. I mean, there’s a part of that where they don’t have to worry about all this stuff, that they don’t have to worry about what everyone else thinks of them.

Crystal [00:51:21] Right.

Michael Right.

Michael Exactly.

Dr. Rahm [00:51:21] You know what I mean? That they have to worry about just food, water and that other stuff is not… And it brings you back to what’s really important. It really does. To me, India for whatever reason, is…

Crystal I’ve always wanted to go there and…

Dr. Rahm I’m just telling you.

Crystal [00:51:39] I would love it.

Dr. Rahm [00:51:40] You would love it. And it’s… I, I don’t want to leave when I’m there because there’s a lot of things that are not great.

Crystal [00:51:48] Right? Oh yeah. Oh yeah, yeah.

Dr. Rahm [00:51:51] The children begging, it’s just horrible. But there’s a lot of joy too, and I just feel like, like you in Ethiopia. I feel like it’s a place where I’m one of my happiest times and not worried about any of the stuff here.

Crystal [00:52:05] Yeah, yeah, I know right, right.

Dr. Rahm [00:52:07] But I think both of you guys could be placed in almost any environment and because of how you navigate it and your foundation. So, I do have to, before we end, and ask you guys what was the biggest challenge of your life and how you overcame it? What skill did you have? And Crystal, I heard you talk about faith and God. Same with me. And Michael said the same thing, that what other advice since knowing that is the basic and the most important. You know what? What is your advice? What was the hardest thing and how did you overcome it? And what’s your advice to others to help them? Because you guys were on welfare, you were not raised with a lot of money, you were not raised with a lot of resources and education that we term, as education, that you became more successful than people that had a lot, right? So, I, it’s inside of you why that has happened, and I wanted you guys just to share that, because one of the things I really want to bring the audience is the ability to help people get there, even if they don’t have the support of…

Crystal [00:53:13] Yeah, right.

Dr. Rahm [00:53:13] Even if they don’t have all the resources they need.

Crystal [00:53:16] Yeah. For me, and I’ll let you end because I do all the talking.

Michael Yeah, mine is going to be short and sweet.

Crystal For me…

Michael So maybe I should go first.

Crystal OK, go ahead. All right.

Michael No, no. Go ahead. Go ahead.

Crystal OK. For me, it is a mindset I had to get out of. I had to let go the stinking thinking. Well, I’ve heard somebody else mention that before. I had the dreams, I said I was going to do this, do that, and, you know, I was not going to end up on welfare and I was going to do different and make something of myself. But I had the insecurities. I was, you know, I was a stay-at-home mom. Not educated, no experience in anything besides changing diapers and carpooling kids around, you know, so I didn’t have the confidence and I had junk going on up here saying, I’m not good enough comparing myself with other people. I can’t do it like them. I can’t do it like so and so. The belief level, like once a light bulb went off that’s when everything started changing. And what you speak about, you bring about, the Bible says it, it’s even proven scientifically what you speak about you bring about and I’m always writing things down, affirmations, speaking things, thanking God for things in advance, even when they seem so crazy, so crazy like that. I don’t know how I would ever achieve that. I speak. I believe it. I pray about it. I thank God for it. I write it down and everything, so far, praise God. Everything I’ve written down everything that I believed, I have achieved. God gets all the glory for that. But I had to get out of my own way. I had to stop the stinking thinking, thinking I wasn’t good enough and compare myself with other people and change my mindset. I had to say, I can do this, I can do this. So that’s why I try to teach people that all the time, like, it doesn’t matter your education, where you came from, how you were brought up, what you have, how much money you have, what you look like. It doesn’t matter with any of that. It’s what’s in here and here.

Dr. Rahm Absolutely.

Michael Right.

Crystal And people get in their own way. They… I could still be listening to all the crap that I heard as a kid and keep putting my mind there and saying, I’m not good enough. I’m just going to end up like everybody else in my town. But I didn’t. I had to change that. And when that, like I said, when that light bulb went off, that’s when things started to change for me because I was like, and I did, I gave it to God. I said, I can’t do this alone. I need your help. Literally laid it all in His feet. And here we are.

Michael [00:55:49] Here we are.

Crystal Here we are.

Dr. Rahm [00:55:50] And I love when you write things down in your vision boards. I’ve been in your bathroom. I’ve seen the vision boards. Even years ago, Crystal Archie was in pictures. No, wait a minute where’s my vision board?

Crystal [00:56:03] I always tell the kids. It’s so important.

Michael [00:56:04] So now I’ve got to think of something different because I mean, this is where we’re a match and in how… and the biggest challenge I had to overcome when I was younger growing up, where I grew up was watching all these athletes that were what I would consider better than me, not make it out or not work hard or do the things that they need to do to get out. So, I would always have these doubts or I would have these thoughts come in my head and these thoughts would be, you’re never going to make it out, you know? And so, I had to change my thinking like she just said that, no, that’s a lie. I am. I’m not going to be that. I am going to make it out and I’m going to show you, I’m going to make it out. I’m going to do the things that I need to do that’s necessary for me to make it out. I’m going to make smart decisions. I’m going to be a good student in school, honor roll, you know, in and just use my gift as being a talent. My gift that… the talent that God gave me to be able to get me to where I need to be, because one of the biggest things in my area was, you know, I used to hear some of the other guys say, you think you’re good, but you’ll just end up on the street just like the rest of them. And so, and I was like, No, I will not. And so, once I made up my mind that that would not be me and I started working so hard for it not to be me then things started to change. And then you started dreaming, and then it’s like, Oh, OK, so once I got out of high school, I got a scholarship to go to Penn State University. Oh man, where else can I go with this dream? What else can I do with it? So once you start, once that started to compile up and it’s like, all right, now I want to go to the NFL. So how hard you got to work to get that? So, it’s just because when you start dreaming and things start to happen, that’s when you start having more belief in yourself and then you just keep it going. And then here we are today. And even when the NFL is over, it’s like, All right, what’s next? What else can we…

Crystal [00:58:07] You’re so cute. What is- do you see how I’m petting his head… I had… when we first started dating, when we first started dating, I was doing this and he goes, You don’t do that to a black man. You don’t go backwards.

Michael You don’t go backwards.

Crystal [00:58:18] You go forward. You don’t do that to our hair. He’s like, you have to go forward.

Michael [00:58:21] You’re going against the grain.

Dr. Rahm [00:58:22] Is that right?

Crystal [00:58:23] Yes, you have to. Yeah, because they’re waves.

Michael [00:58:25] The waves. The waves go forward.

Crystal [00:58:26] It goes this way. But you know, the moral of the story is people have to come into something not with “I’m going to try and I hope and I wish this would happen.” They have to have the mentality. No, I’m going to do this. I don’t know how long it’s going to take me. I know there’s going to be ups and downs. I know I’m going to… I failed my way to success. You have to have… I’m going to do this. I don’t care how long it takes me. I’m not giving up mentality.

Dr. Rahm [00:58:54] Yeah, because you’re going to fail or it’s going to be you’re going to have a bad month or a bad year.

Crystal [00:58:57] Right.

Dr. Rahm [00:58:58] I mean, you are.

Crystal [00:58:58] Right.

Michael Right.

Dr. Rahm [00:58:59] So you have to just keep going. I think it’s one of the biggest things I’ve always said, I’m not that smart. I’m not that beautiful. I’m not that, you know, whatever term you want to say, but I don’t quit.

Crystal Right.

Dr. Rahm [00:59:10] Do you know what I mean?

Crystal [00:59:11] Exactly.

Dr. Rahm [00:59:11] And even when I mean, there’s days I cry. Oh yeah, oh my gosh, I feel sorry for myself. I don’t know. I just get up anyway.

Crystal [00:59:17] Yeah.

Michael [00:59:18] Right?

Dr. Rahm [00:59:19] And there’s days I thought, I’m not getting out of bed today. I’m too upset. I’m not getting out of bed than, you know, an hour later, I’m like, OK.

Crystal [00:59:27] Right.

Dr. Rahm [00:59:28] And try to stay out of [inaudible] way so I can just get through the day and focus on the…

Crystal [00:59:33] Right.

Dr. Rahm [00:59:34] You know, because it’s a new day.

Michael [00:59:35] Yeah.

Dr. Rahm [00:59:35] Blessed to have that day.

Crystal [00:59:36] Right. Right.

Dr. Rahm [00:59:36] And you can make it something very special.

Crystal [00:59:39] Exactly. Like, like you said earlier, people see successful people and they think, Oh, they got lucky. They don’t realize they failed over and over and over again to get where they are.

Dr. Rahm [00:59:48] Yeah, they never think that.

Crystal [00:59:50] They failed over and over and over again and got knocked down and had to get back up and got knocked down and had to get back up. They don’t see all of that, that they don’t see that back story. They just think, Oh…

Michael [01:00:00] Automatic success.

Crystal [01:00:01] Yeah.

Dr. Rahm [01:00:02] Yeah. So thank you for being here.

Michael [01:00:03] Thank you.

Crystal [01:00:04] I probably talked too long.

Dr. Rahm [01:00:06] No you didn’t, I loved it. I loved it because I think it’s going to be a great testimony to you, to your lives and how other people can help their lives. And again, this goes back to me mentally, emotionally, psychologically. You know, all of that is so important to our health. So, you can, in your mind, think good thoughts and even in your mind that you’re not going to lose and you’re not going to quit, you just have to keep going.

Crystal [01:00:31] Right.

Dr. Rahm [01:00:31] Then you can impact not just your daily life and the rest of your life, but also your physical health. And we say it all the time when we were doing studies and people changing a little bit now, unfortunately, but we would tell them to have people pray for them and to really focus on healing their bodies. And a lot of people didn’t understand that, but we’ve seen time after time after time. You guys know this. People have gotten healed and gotten better because they mentally, just mentally, they mentally…

Crystal Oh yeah.

Michael Yeah.

Dr. Rahm [01:00:59] Emotionally. And then it also does help, and I’m sure you guys know this, to have people around you that believe in your dreams.

Crystal [01:01:05] Exactly.

Michael [01:01:06] Yeah.

Crystal [01:01:07] Yeah.

Dr. Rahm [01:01:07] So thank you so much for you guys being on the show.

Michael [01:01:10] Thanks for having us.

Crystal Yes.

Dr. Rahm [01:01:11] I really enjoyed it. So…

Crystal [01:01:13] I love you.

Dr. Rahm [01:01:14] I love you too. I love you guys. I love the whole family. So, I can’t wait to see everyone on the next episode. I will miss this one because I really enjoyed hearing more and learning. I think this is… You guys probably more than anyone on the podcast, but we learned a lot today and those are questions I’ve never asked. So anyway, hopefully you guys did learn a lot because they’ve had an amazing journey, and I hope this can help you because life is tough. But if you can mentally be tougher physically, emotionally, spiritually, then you can get to the next level. So, thank you so much. I’ll see you guys on the next show.

Michael Bye.


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