Friday, September 26, 2008

Huge Prayer Request

Your prayers are needed for our "far away son". We received an email from him this morning that he is ill. He won't get the care he needs at Kolfe. Our hearts are extremely broken for him right now. He is such an amazing and bright young man .... was SO eager to get back to school ... now might not be able to even go. We're looking into finding more information both of his medical condition and if there is a way to help him. Everything is so complicated. There are no easy fixes for the fatherless.

Would you join us in praying for Getahun? Pray also that God would make a way to get him the medical care he needs. Pray that he'd be strong enough to keep attending school. He is an outstanding student and an education is his only way to make it there.

Thank you.

Remember, you can now find us over at our new on-line home Serving Him Together.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Upcoming Adoption Conference!

Be sure to come over to our new blog Serving Him Together to find out about a wonderful upcoming adoption conference!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Transition, Changes and a New Blog

Dear Friends,

Well, as many of you know by now who have followed our adoption journey, we are in a new adventure. No, we're not adopting again .... but we are beginning a new ministry with some folks that are very dear to us, over at the ABBA Fund. We won't be posting very often at this blog anymore, but invite you to join us over at Serving Him Together.

Right now we're still in the midst of transition, waiting to sell our home and prepare for the new chapter of our lives in Illinois. We are really excited about the future and look forward to seeing how God will work out all the details of our lives and ministry. Our hearts are also heavy for the dear friends we're leaving behind.

We hope that our on-line home of Serving Him Together will provide a place where we can encourage, strengthen and equip families in their journey of adoption. Primarily it will be "adoption focused", but I have a feeling will be a whole mix of things as we live out what God has given us to do.

If you are a family currently in the adoption process, be sure to come visit us and let us know where you're at in the process and how we might be able to pray for you. If you are just friends & family who enjoy seeing "happenings" and pics of our crew, you are certainly welcome as well. Perhaps you have become more aware of the needs of orphans through following our blog and want to know more about how you can be part of that .... we invite you to drop on by our new on-line home.

This time of transition has not been an easy one. It has stretched us beyond anything we thought we could endure. Through it all ... God has been so gracious, loving and faithful to us. Easy??? ... not one bit. But we'd much rather be right where He has placed us, than have an "easy/comfortable" life .... because that's where true joy is found ... in Him.

Thanks for following along on our journey to Maleah. So many of you have literally prayed us through and we are forever grateful. We are constantly amazed at God's goodness and are still at times in disbelief that He would choose to put these little ones in our lives.

With Love,
The Roberts Family

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Flowers from Ethiopia

God never ceases to amaze me by the creative ways He encourages and blesses. This morning, I received "flowers from Ethiopia". If you're new to our journey ... you might want to read the background of the story here and here.

"Dear mom,this pictures are for you and for all of your families.
I love you very much."

Thank you, my dear Getahun ... my long-distance clever son. You truly warmed my heart today and gave me courage to keep pressing on in this new ministry journey that sometimes seems like too big of a mountain to climb.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Reflecting on God's Faithfulness

Three years, 8 months and 4 days ago I met this little one in a Houston, TX hospital. We'd waited what seemed like so long for her (we did not know babe would be HER, for the record!). :) As the holidays approached just before that, I'd grown so weary. My heart was feeling very faint, so sensitive to the needs of children who had no place to call home ... yet wondering why it was taking so long to get that call. During "the wait", we'd gone through a big health scare, which eventually led to surgery that was grueling for me to get over. All of these compiled has just worn me down. Well, shortly after the new year, we put in an email to the agency we were using to check in ... that prompted them to email us back with a special situation they had. A little girl, African American, 4 days old, about to undergo major heart surgery, no family available. We knew right away this was the child that God had been preparing us for. A little math and we realize God was relentless in calling us to obey him at the time of her conception. God is in the details, in case you've ever wondered. :)

So after having the absolute privilege of praying for her that day as she underwent surgery .... then hearing she made it through and was beginning the long road of recovery ... we made travel arrangements and soon I was on three different flights to get to her.

I'll never forget walking in that room. The huge sense of JOY from the Lord I had in knowing this is exactly where He'd led us ...... and the horrendous realization of just how alone she was. Here in America. She was still on a breathing machine, dialysis, and a host of other wires and gadgets ... yet those BIG brown eyes were WIDE open and met with mine as I walked up to her side. The nurses later told me I looked like a deer staring into headlights as I walked into the room. They were concerned something was unexpected to me. No ... I was just taking it all in.

I remember holding her little hand. Thoughts in my mind quickly drifted to her birthmom .... the amazing and brave woman who chose to give her life and not end it in a culture where it's so commonly accepted.

Well .... time has passed and now this spunky 'lil Texan is doing just great. We returned recently from our heart-doctor check up and she got a wonderful report! How grateful we are to God for protecting her, bringing healing through doctors to fix her heart and for giving us the JOY of watching her grow up.

We knew that children with heart conditions, such as hers could easily have "delays", or issues later on after some trauma after birth. But we also knew regardless of what lie ahead, we needed to be obedient and trust the Lord had a plan, no matter what it looked like to us. Those of you who know Naomi, know there are no delays. :) She is the spunkiest of all our children. She's witty and some days a challenge to "out smart". She asks me questions about her life that you expect an 8 or 10 yr old adoptee to ask.

Looking back I cannot imagine life without her. What if we'd not obeyed when God was drawing our hearts to feel the needs of orphans? What if we had listened only to "practical reasoning" and not trusting in the God who owns everything? What if we'd given into fear of issues regarding becoming a multi-ethnic family? For us, it was an issue of obedience. Would we trust God with EVERYTHING ....... every detail.

These days we're in a new season of trusting. Huge things like selling a home, embracing a new ministry, raising support during a questionable economy and a long list of others. We find ourselves wrestling with the big and the little. Do we really trust that God is good, no matter the circumstances we see? Do we really believe He has our best in mind? Will we be faithful to walk this journey, even when we only see a tiny glimpse at a time of what is ahead?

I have been so deeply challenged by Philippians 4:4-6 these last days. Not a new passage ... one that has brought hope and encouragement in times past. But these days it's bringing something different. It is challenging me in depths I've not been to in awhile. Perhaps, it might bring encouragement to you in your own life.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Let your gentleness be evident to all.
The Lord is near.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds
in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:4-6

As I wrestle through the things I need to trust God about .... it brings me hope to look back at all the times in our lives we've experienced His abundant faithfulness. We left for Houston, TX with a lot of questions. We had a back-up plan, that was not a desirable one for us. Earlier on in our adoption process we had applied with the ABBA Fund for a no-interest loan. At that time, they didn't have the funds yet to honor our request, but "perhaps" they "might" be having more funds soon. It was a big "if". BY FAITH we purchased the tickets for me to get on that plane and David to follow later. During our time in the hotel, while Naomi was recovering from surgery, we got the notification from Eugene that indeed they could stand with us for our loan. That was a couple hours before we needed to write a check to cover the rest of her financial needs to bring her home.

So while we wait for God to reveal the details of the future, and answer the "unknowns", we look back and recount HIS FAITHFULNESS and praise Him. He is GOOD. He is ABLE. We must do our part and trust Him to do His.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11, 2008

Let us never forget what happened seven years ago.

Let us never take for granted the freedom we have here.

Let us cry out to God for His wisdom and help.

Let us lift up the families who still grieve and mourn those who have lost their lives.

edited to add: This is a powerful account of a personal reflection by Eva Marie Everson of 9/11. I encourage you to read it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

We are Blessed!

How my life is blessed by this man! When we started our journey together ... I'm sure it's a good thing we didn't know all that was ahead! There have been valleys that have gone pretty deep that broke way to mountaintops that reached great heights. We have learned to be content in times of great joy and in seasons of heartache. Four years ago we didn't know if we'd celebrate many more anniversaries together (health scare).

Little did we know our family would one day expand and grow both in diversity and depth, the way it has. We are so undeserving of all the goodness the Lord has blessed us with. He has been our Strength, our Hope, our Refuge, our Redeemer, our Friend, our Shepherd .... our Rock. Without His grace we would not be standing today.

God has given us the absolute privilege and overwhelming responsibility to raise up five children for His glory. He has given us a heart for orphans and sharing their needs with all who will have ears to hear. He's given us a passion for family ministry, as we know ourselves both of the trials that come in this life .... and of the mercy and hope that is found in Him.

How I hope to have many, many years with this man by my side. I long to learn how to be a better wife, so that I can be a greater blessing to him. Happy Anniversary, Honey. Can't wait for you to get back home.