Friday, January 30, 2009

Why we are Adopting from Africa...

I found this video. I need to share it. It reminds me of one of the verses that is so important to me. Isaiah 1:17. I know i have shared this verse before, but of course with my life it always is on my heart and keeps applying itself in my life. It goes like this..."Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows." (the video link is at the bottom of this post)

We have a sponsor child in Ethiopia through World Vision. His name is 
Habtamu. He and his family have a chance because World Vision is there and we are sponsoring him monthly. If you go on their site you will see all the wonderful things they are doing all over the world. 

In fact, when we travel to ET to bring Elias home we will get the chance to meet and spend the day with him and his family!!!! Wow, that is going to be an amazing experience. This whole trip will be.

I am reminded of Habtamu and even more so of my little Elias when i watch this video. We are called by God to help those in need. And even if you do not believe in the God i treasure or think He is everything He is to me, when you see this video you will still understand where I am coming from.

I MUST WARN YOU THOUGH!!!! This VIDEO is NOT easy to watch! Be sure to watch the whole thing because it does have a happy ending. It is about this little boy below and his sisters. And they are pictured above with the man who made the movie as well. Make sure you take a good look at them today!!!! 

At first i thought it was terrible to show this, then came to realize that this is what humanity is all about. Sharing in each others sorrows and struggles and helping where we can, however we can. And look at these pictures and see these kids now. This is a reason to watch and cry. Then get up and make a difference!

These people made a difference. Adoption makes a difference in the life of a child. To think that this could be what became of Elias, or Habtamu. I love them both so much. That thought makes me shudder with sadness. 

Today perhaps you can think of ways to that you can make a difference in the life of a child who has no hope. Some are big ways, some are small. But they all give HOPE. I am listing some organizations that we support in one way or another and hope that you might scan over them to see what they are doing for the cause of the oppressed.

Here is the video... PLEASE remember the WARNING...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Good Friends Traveling!!!

It seems like the month of January cannot go any slower for me. As i long for the month of February to go by so March can come and we can have court, I just feel like i can't shake January. Ugh!! I feel like we received our referral for Elias a year ago. Why does time do that to us? When we want it to go slow and savor the moment, it flies by like you could almost have missed it. But when we are looking to something in the future that we are eager for it just crawls. Time is a teaser! 
So, in the meantime i am trying to fill my life with things to keep me busy. For some reason i have a lot of free time it seems this past week or so. Not that it is free time per say, but it just isn't hectic enough to go fast. The crazier my life, the quicker it flies by.

So, i am looking to this coming week when good friends of ours will be traveling to Ethiopia to pick up their son. I will be praying for them each day as they have a great prayer list of needs to pray for. And I will be praying for their first moments with their son.

Their is nothing more important than those very first moments. They are remembered forever.
I think back of the day we entered the Orphanage that Julianna was in and how i was trying to prepare myself for what i would feel. It was so surreal. I wanted so badly to cry my heart out, but the pressure of the moment kept me from doing that. The nerves of feeling watched by the people in charge, the worry that once they gave her to me i wouldn't even know what to do with her. These things flooded my mind and it was almost too much for me. Thus when we walked into the room, set our things down and turned around to see Juli being carried in to us, I didn't shed a single tear. Eric balled his eyes out, but me... nothing. Then i proceeded to feel guilty that i couldn't cry. Oh my the feelings. But to look back on them gives me such joy. 

This time i know so much more. I have no fear, it seems to me so familiar. When i look at Elias' pictures, in his eyes i see the son i have waited for and long for right now, so badly. And when i get there, i know i will not see anyone else but him. And i am going to cry like a baby with pure joy. I am so grateful that i have done this before, that i know now what do and to expect. I wish i could have had that comfort with Juli. It makes me wonder if mothers who give birth for the first time feel this way at all. Do you feel nervous about what to do or how to feel or who is watching? Is the second time more comfortable knowing what to expect? 

As for my friends Kyla and Bobby, i am going to pray that God will give them the comfort and ease that their hearts need to really take in the moment. Someone told me before i got married, that on my wedding day i needed to just stop and look around. See all the people who came to celebrate with me and just take in that moment so i wouldn't let it pass me by too quickly. I took that great advice and am so glad i did. And i am praying that for Kyla and Bobby, that they will remember to just stop and take in the very first moment with their son so it doesn't just pass them by like time wants to when we want it to stop for us.

On another note, while they are there they are going to pay my little Elias a visit! They will bring him a few things and give him some love sent from me. I am so thankful for that. Lots of pictures, and lots of TLC. I am going to compile a small list of things i hope she can ask or look at for me. Like, take a pic of his feet! And what size clothes is he wearing? Oh, i am so grateful they are going to take time out of their busy trip to visit my boy. Those are good friends! I am blessed which amazing friends. 

Monday, January 26, 2009


Today i got a new bread machine for myself because i have been wanting one for quite some time and Heather V. inspired me with her amazing pizza the other night.

But, as i watched it do it's thing making my bread i began to realize how much we are just like a loaf of bread. Sounds silly but think about it... God takes all the things that happen in our lives. The big ones. The small ones. The good tasting ones. The bad tasting ones. And he needs us for what seems like forever. molding and shaping us and giving us love and care and warmth. And as He does, we begin to grow. To form into something beautiful only because of Him. Without all the work of His hand, we would be just a clump of all those things that happen. But those of us who have found Him are now reformed. A new creation. We can look back and say, "wow! Look what He made of me. I thought i would wind up one way, but God had a bigger plan. A more beautiful plan. One that made me something i never could have been on my own."
He is amazing. I thank Him for His goodness and His grace.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Babies, Babies, Babies...

Today i had the opportunity to volunteer with my cousin Holly at Hudson Cradle. Let me tell you, if you love babies, DO THIS!!!!!! What a way to serve according to James 1:27... looking afters orphans in their distress. 

I got to spend 3 hours with babies who had many special needs and we got to hold them and play with them. And Holly even got to feed one of them! It was amazing. 

You can sign up to volunteer at or They only take 3 people at  a time so space  fills quickly. But if you love babies...sharon & arrie it! You will feel so blessed.

They also have a wish list of things that they need. It is posted here. If you want to donate any of these things you can either arrange to bring them right to them or i will take them there for you. So, bring them to me! 

Reflecting on my time there; i have found that since getting our referral for Elias i can't hold too many babies. I never used to be that way. Even when we were adopting Juli. But for some reason, this little boy is really wrenching my heart. I just have to HOLD BABIES!!!! It makes me think of him and how wonderful that day i get to hold him will be. Oh how i long for that day...Common' April!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Court Date!

Well today was a day for us here in the Koby home. We have a court date! It is in March and that is all i can say but we are so excited for this day to come! It seems so far off but time will go by faster than we think.

For those of you who may not know, a court date is assigned to a family a couple weeks after you get a referral (or a baby/child and all it's information). For Ethiopia, you do not need to be present at the court date so our agency's representatives will go for us and we will sit home and pray! 

If we pass court on that day, we will hopefully get tentative travel dates for a few weeks after. 

Come on March!!!!!!

But these things i plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, be patient! For it will surely take place. It will not be late by a single day. - Habakkuk 2:3

Thursday, January 22, 2009

His Unfailing Love

I have had a heavy hear the past 2 days. There have been some concerns for our sweet Elias. That is really all I can say. I wish i could share more. But really the important thing is that God knows these things in great detail.

Do you ever wonder if sometimes God is just calling on you to trust Him? Have you gone through a struggle that aches your heart, but for some reason you still know beyond all that grief that God, our Savior will take care of it? He just wants to be sure you will trust Him through it. That is me the past few days. 

I know that God will provide the glorious perfection that is His plan for me. But I still feel that need to grieve. I guess that is the way it is supposed to be.

I have come to the point in that sadness over my situation however, where God has told me it is enough. He gave me my time to feel what i needed to feel. I think perhaps He did allow it just so i could know really how much I love this baby boy. WOW. So much. 

But now... "I trust in your unfailing love, my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord for He has been good to me." Psalm 13:5&6

"My lips will shout for joy when i sing praise to you - I whom you have redeemed." Psalm 71:23

He will meet all my needs for He has a plan for me which will give me hope and a future. (Jer. 29:11) And so in this i rejoice. So few people really know what it means to have a Savior to trust in. To know that you know that the ruler of the universe is holding you in the palm of His hand. I am greatly blessed. 

If you don't know that today, i encourage you to seek it. Seek it with all your heart. He won't let you down. I promise. As i write on my Facebook in the section that asks my religious views, "My God is mighty...let me introduce you!" I'd love to. :)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Defending Orphans...

There are two verses of scripture that consistently strike my heart whenever i read them. 

"Learn to do good.
Seek Justice.
Help the oppressed.
Defend the cause of ORPHANS.
Fight for the rights of WIDOWS."
Isaiah 1:17  

" Religion that God our father sees as pure and faultless is this: to look after ORPHANS and WIDOWS in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27

Have you ever wondered what your calling in life would be? Thought that maybe you weren't hearing God, or God wasn't hearing you? Wanted to do something amazing for Him like Beth Moore or Elizabeth Elliot,  yet you were just here in this ordinary life. I used to feel that way. Funny though, I'm still here in this ordinary life and i feel 100% content in how he is using me.
I think that is where we need to be...content with however he chooses to use us. Somehow God has given me over the years a heart for 2 of the things that are most important to Him. Orphans and Widows. And He has given me the privilege of helping both in my small way. Wow... that amazes me. That God in His hugeness is using me and my smallness to show people His heart. 

I lead a nursing home ministry out of our church and it is one of the things that God gave me when i really didn't want it. You see He told someone else to tell me I should do it. And God, knowing that i have a very hard time saying no to things, knew that i would say yes to this person's persistent personality and just do it. So i started it. Now with each visit people are changed by the wonderful people i serve with in that ministry. And 2 years later it is one of the true joys of my heart. 

I wanted to have a biological child in the beginning.  Mostly just so i could go through the whole pregnancy thing like other cute woman walking around with little bellies and cute clothes. But God never really gave me a true desire to give birth. Nor did He give that desire very strongly to Eric. You see He had a plan for us. One night at a concert He opened our eyes to adoption and we never looked back. Now if you ask either of us, we will tell you flat out that we hope God's plan of adoption for us never ends. We hope that He will give us all of our children this way. It is the desire of our hearts. 

Now i speak at seminars and in schools about how wonderful and important adoption is. I tell them Juli's story. And soon i will tell them Elias' story. Oh how i am longing for the day i can tell people his whole beautiful story!

Are either of the things that God has given me to serve Him with huge? Not to most of  the world. In fact to some of the world the elderly are not important at all. But to me they are HUGE. And to god they are HUGE. And so I in my smallness have been given 2 life verses. 2 life songs. I didn't go searching for either of them. They are true gifts given to me by my father in heaven. And they are far better than any material thing this life has to offer. 

If you are looking for something fulfilling in your life... Ask God. He has a great one hidden in your heart that He wants to show you.

By the way, the picture above was taken in Juli's orphanage in Siberia. This was the toddler room where the 2 and 3 year olds lived. Aren't they precious?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

It was a Cold day for Lemon Meringue Pie

 I just got home from a great day with my little family, which won't be so little for long. :) We took a drive today to one of the restaurants that i used to go to with my mom when she was alive. She had always had this knack for finding odd yet great places to eat. I think it is partly why i LOVE to eat out and am such a foody. The place we chose for today was Elias Cole in Colesville, NJ. It is a little hole in the wall place that looks as if Hansel and Gretel once resided there. The food is pretty good, but the highlight for me was 2 fold. They have sandwiches on home made bread and serve the best lemon meringue pie i have ever had. We had decided to go there the other day when Juli and i were watching a kids show on TV and they were talking about lemon meringue pie. She had never heard of it and so i told her we would go to the place that makes the best! I also thought it would be fun to go since the name of the place is "Elias" Cole. LOL

Well, after having been out on a great day i came home and Eric has been out salting the driveway which is becoming quite slippery in the later hours of the day. So, of course i am again thinking about the weather. Wondering what the actual temperature was today, i flip over too my Mac's (not my dog, my computer) dashboard and look onto my weather widget. Today was 13 degrees. But what is funny about my dashboard is that i have 4 weather widgets on here, with a clock to match each. These four clocks represent the 4 places in the world that are most important to me. You see they say home is where your heart is. Well, my heart is or has been in 4 different parts of the earth. One for where myself and my little family is living right now, New Jersey U.S.A. One for Krasnoyarsk, Russia where Julianna Faith is from. One for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where Elias James is right now. And one for Beijing, China where our little Aimee Grace will come from in a year or two from now. So i have the weather and a clock for each place. Curious to know? Well...
New Jersey is @ 8:00 pm,12 degrees
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia is @ 4:00 am, 54 degrees
Krasnoyarsk, Russia is @ 8:00 am, 0 degrees (yes i did mean zero)
Beijing, China is @ 9:00 am 18 degrees

Hmmmm, Ethiopia sounds so nice right now. Think i'll go there soon for a little trip. What do you think?

Oh and by the way, yes i did watch 20/20 last night and see that an Ethiopia air ways jet crashed in the Indian Ocean killing 125 people in 1996 after being high jacked. Did you?! They mentioned it while talking about the Hudson river crash. Ok, I'm gonna go pray some more now. Because like i mentioned in the post on 25 crazy facts about us Kobys, I HATE TO FLY!

Have a Great Night!

Friday, January 16, 2009

You think it was cold today...

Today was very cold! I was chilled the entire day through. I even used the butt warmer in my car seat which i usually hate because it's a little too toasty for me. But just a i mentioned below in my list of random Koby facts. When we were in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia (pictured above from our hotel room) to adopt Julianna, the temperature was 45 degrees below ZERO! Eric swears it was even lower than that. As we drove to the airport to leave back toward Moscow, the car began to stall because the diesel fuel was actually freezing. And they have an average of 4 hours of daylight in the winter months.

So, though i sit here at my desk with a chill in me. I remember a couple things. First, it is always colder somewhere else. And i remember how the people there, though it was freezing outside kept the inside a steady 75 to 80 degrees. So, body odor was always in the air somewhere.  I think i will just put on a sweater and deal with it. Ahh the memories. 

Good Night.

So, About us Koby's...

Well, I was reading Patsy Clairmont's blog today at the suggestion of my awesome girlfriend Sharon and she had on there a list of random things about herself. Now don't get me wrong, mine will be no where near as exciting. But i thought i would create a crazy list of random things about us Kobys; Eric, Juli, and myself. 

So, here goes...
1.  I will only eat popcorn when it is mixed with Goobers.
2.  We have a 3 legged dog. (Jax is pictured above during nap time)
3.  I make wedding cakes as a "side thing".
4.  Juli makes our dog Mac sit with her while she sits on the potty so she can have someone to talk to.
5.  Eric proposed to me at a country line dancing bar.
6.  The only bottled drink i will drink is Lipton Raspberry Iced Tea.
7.  I tend to talk to myself but pretend i am talking to my dogs.
8.  We put up 4.5 Christmas trees every year.
9.  We feed the deer in our back yard carrots and apples.
10. At night i share my bed with my husband, 2 very big dogs, and 3 cats. I don't get much room.
11. Eric bites his nails.
12. My childhood nickname was Bunkie Doodle given to me by my aunt.
13. Eric and I hate the sand.
14. Juli's favorite food is ribs.
15. Juli and I eat our macaroni and cheese with a dollop of applesauce in the middle.
16. Juli is 100% Siberian, Russian.
17. We have traveled to a far end of the earth where the temperature is 45 below.
18. Our dog Mac will will throw a ball back to you while playing catch.
19. I have a fear of flying. Yet God has taken my life half way across the world for my daughter.
20. My cat had anxiety and licked himself bald once, except for his head, feet, and a mohawk   down his back.
21. Michael Crichton is my favorite author.
22. I love my new minivan so much that i could sleep in it.
23. As a child i had a pony of my own named Princess.
24. Eric loves Kentucky Derby Pie.
25. I LOVE Desserts.
26. My 2 favorite shows are LOST and Murder She Wrote. LOL be able to have such a rich life that I can enjoy these simple things. I am amazed. The funniest part of it is that many of these things often drive me crazy, either about myself or one of the "others". LOL Yet when i sit and compile this list, they are all so a part of who i am and what my life is. I wouldn't trade my life for the world any day. God gave me everything and just what i need.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Poopy Diapers and the Letter J

Today was a great day for Julianna. She talked about bringing Elias into our family a lot today! She even said that though she will not change a poopy diaper, she will bring it to the garbage can for mommy as long as she uses one hand to hold her nose! 

We had dinner at the home of our wonderful friends the Thieringer's tonight. They gave Juli some special gifts. When she came home from Russia, they gave her this beautiful "J" that was adorned with pink ribbons and paint to hang on her door. So, this gift was a "J" for each holiday of Halloween, Easter, and Christmas!!!! She loved them. But When Arrie asked her if she should make a special "E" for Elias' door. She said no. I guess that is a gift that Juli sees as especially hers. 

I today heard an excerpt during my Ladies' Bible coffee clutch from the book we are reading,  I Second That Emotion, by Patsy Clairmont.  It went like this, "...we're in East Africa.  Members of the World Vision team, who assist children in 3rd world countries, introduced Rebecca to us. She had six children in her care. Three are hers and three belonged to her daughter, who is buried behind Rebecca's hut, a victim of AIDS. She is buried next to her sister, who died from AIDS the year before.
Rebecca's husband deserted his family, so the full responsibility rests on her shoulders. Her mud hut is empty, except for an unvented fire pit, sticks, a few thin throw rugs, a couple of blankets, and some hollowed gourds. 
From all i saw and heard, Rebecca's life had been severe, and her losses were continuing as she had just received word that her youngest grandchild, who is 3 years old, has AIDS and tuberculosis."

I will continue the purpose of this excerpt in a moment, but first i have to say that as this was read, tears came down my face. They came to me because i thought of Elias' mother. The one who gave birth to him. I felt such sadness for her. Was she in a situation just like this Rebecca and knew that if she kept him, his life would be one of struggle and sadness? How i grieve for this woman. I wish i could help her, tell her that i will love that little boy like no other. But instead i can only pray that God will reveal himself to her and show her His love and that He has an amazing purpose for her little baby's life. Oh how i wish and pray that for her.

But, back to the book. What was amazing about this woman was this... " Rebecca's life deserves a pity party. I would volunteer to throw it for her, but i didn't see even a trace of self pity from Rebecca. Instead, she didn't so much as release a note of Whine. In fact, she exuded joy. And if you've never seen the North Star's brilliance on a cloudless night, you would experience it on Rebecca's face every time she spoke the name 'Jesus'....We asked Rebecca what we could do for her, and she said, "I need nothing. I will pray for you." ...That's what it means to leave a legacy for for one's children and grandchildren. Demonstrate your faith in the midst of hardships."

I pray that i will leave a legacy like that for my family. One that is themed with faithfulness to the God who has ALWAYS been faithful to me.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A New Blogger...

Well, as today is week and 3 days since we received our referral for a sweet baby boy from Ethiopia, i thought it was high time i began blogging our journey. Not being much of a writer, this task is not going to come easy to me. But i have come to see that just about every adoptive family has a blog so i will now jump on the bandwagon as well.

Our journey toward this adoption has been some 10 months n the making. And we have a few more to go.

Our baby boy is gorgeous! Of course the details must remain with us for now, but we cannot wait until he is officially our sweetie and we can share him with the world.

So, our travel plans begin, as we contemplate how we will get there and what we will do.

And now we wait for a court date! Please Lord, bring it soon!

When we received our referral, immediately the Lord put this verse into my mind from lamentations 3:21-23... Yet this i call to mind and therefore i have hope: because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed. For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

He is faithful even when we are not. I must admit, i have doubted His plan for our lives throughout this journey man times. But He still came through!...Great is your faithfulness my God.

This is the story of our Adoption from Ethiopia

We're the Koby family, Eric, Heather, and Julianna. We will soon be traveling to Ethiopia to bring home a sweet baby boy whom we will name Elias James.

God has richly blessed our family through the gift of adoption and we are eternally grateful to Him who holds us in the palm of His hand.

We hope you enjoy joining us on this amazing journey.

Religion that God our father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after widows and ORPHANS in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world...James 1:27