Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Cookie Tradition

Maleah was very happy to take part in our cookie tradition! "YUMMMMM", she kept saying. What a blessing it is to have her here and enjoy all these "firsts" together. She definitely has the present thing figured out and will be all ready to celebrate her birthday in a couple of months. While we'd love to just freeze her in time for a bit .... it is just so much fun to see her blossom and grow. She has certainly acquired a sweet tooth since coming home! It is really hard to resist her precious requests for more "cookie". When you must that sweet voice ends and out comes sobbing like the world is coming to an end! It's difficult not to laugh.

At times it seems like it was yesterday we were in Chicago and our boys were this little. Now they are growing into young men and our lives are fuller and more blessed than we could ever have imagined. I figure by the time the girls are little ladies the next chapter will begin with the boys bringing my grandkids for cookie tradition. These years pass so quickly and lately I have been so challenged to reflect on if I'm making the most of this time. It's easy to become distracted by the cares of this world that can come in an rob us of our joy. How I want to embrace each season, trusting in my Savior. I have much room to grow in this area.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas! - 2008

Merry Christmas everyone! We're so grateful for the One who this season is all about. Without Him, we would have no hope. With Him ..... well, we have everything we need. The Lord has been so kind to our family throughout this year. It's been one of huge changes, transition and still unknown. HE is SO GOOD!!!, no matter what the circumstances that surround us. He is so worthy of our praise. Our hearts just rejoice that He cares so much for each of us ... every detail of our lives. How we long to see our family and friends back home. Yet, we can rest in Him and know that He has a wonderful plan ahead.

It is such a blessing having all our children with us this Christmas. Maleah thought decorating cookies this morning was quite fun!!! Mmmmmmmmmmmm .... she kept saying! :) More fun pictures to come in the days ahead.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Calling All Gladney Families! - Kolfe Sponsorship

God is at work and answering prayer for the Kolfe Boys!!! This week I received an email from a fellow adoptive dad here in ND. His church is working on a sponsorship for KOLFE!!! Did you HEAR THAT? They are teaming up with Tom Davis and Children's HopeChest for this sponsorship. So many of you have had your hearts burdened for these amazing boys and have prayed for them. Well .... now we need your help! Read on.

I need stories from you about your experiences in visiting them. Not so much a general overview of their needs, we'll have that. What we need is something more personal. Did you meet a particular young man who made an impression on you? Tell us about that. Perhaps you got to deliver supplies to them. What was their response? I know some of you have done really amazing things . . . which one of you got the goats and shared a meal together? Please share that story with us!

I also need your photos. Please respond on here in a comment that you're going to participate. Then email me with your story and photos. robertsfamily@mlgc.com. I will compile everything together and send it onto David (not my David!, another David) who is preparing a presentation for his church in January. So we need all this ASAP!

As most of you know we were one of those families deeply changed forever when we traveled to Ethiopia and visited Kolfe. We have had the absolute blessing of seeing what a mentorship across the miles can be. It is such a joy to hear from Getahun and walk with him on his journey in life, even half a world away. When one of his close friends died a few months back, he could write us and have someone to "talk" with about that. When he got ill and couldn't get his needs met at Kolfe he could send word to us and we could help be sure he was checked on. In January we'll get the opportunity to share Getahun's story with this church.

These boys are the future of Ethiopia. I believe God will use them in mighty ways ... but they need help. So, now is the time to share YOUR story.

Please include your family's name and when you traveled so that I can put this together in a timeline.

Thank You!!

Oh!, there's also a spot on Facebook that you need to sign up too if you'd like to be kept in the loop of progress on this project.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Arsema's First Christmas

It took me awhile to come to terms if this is our little girly's 1st or 2nd Christmas. I decided it is kinda really her "1st", at least how we celebrate here as a family. Can I just say once again how BLESSED we are to have her in our lives?! This year has been a very difficult one for us. We've had so many changes and are still faced in the midst of much transition. But no matter what all other challenging things are going on .... we are full of such JOY!!! Not that "oh, life is so smooth sailing, easy kind of joy". No, I mean that deep down incredible joy that can only come from one source. And that is the reason we celebrate this wonderful season.

Today I took a few moments break from "life" and pondering all the details of our lives and just soaked up some good 'ole camera time. I do not want to be so consumed on what is going to happen NEXT, and miss out on what is happening right NOW!

Yes, I'm sad we're not in Illinois this Christmas. Yes, at times we wonder when someone will come wanting a house in the middle of cold ND in the winter! Yes, we're anxious to settle into our new life and ministry.

Maleah is just taking in all the sights, sounds and TASTES of this glorious season. "Loooooook!, Mommy!!", is one of her favorite phrases these days. Next would be .... "Hhhmmm .... COOKIE!! ... YUM!!!". She has sure discovered her sweet tooth! :)

There is SO MUCH to be grateful for this year. On top of our list would have to be our new daughter and her GOOD health!! No longer a sick baby. Plump, busy and full of life! How grateful we are to the Lord for how He sustained this little one's life and brought her all the way from Ethiopia into our family.

We got word that our finalization court date will be yet in 2008! What a great milestone to finish out the year!