Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Welcoming an Orphan

As our family embarks on the final leg or our journey to bring home our son, i have a mission for you.

Elias was once called an orphan by the world. But he is no longer. We are now honored to call him our son. And Juli is super happy to call him her baby brother.

But there are millions upon millions of children in this world who remain orphans. Exactly, there are 210 million according to UNICEF. I cannot even fathom that number. 

A friend of ours who was our family coordinator during Juli's adoption told us about an amazing organization that she volunteers with. It is an orphan hosting program called New Horizons. It is amazing. You can sponsor an orphan from Latvia, Russia, or Ukraine to come live with you for the summer. And while they are here, perhaps you or someone you know will find it in their heart to adopt them.

Please, watch the video below. I hope God is calling you to look into this today. There is not much time, so really think about it. You can have a life changing effect on a child by doing this. They will actually see what it is like to have a family. I know i take that for granted, but i guarantee they don't.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Reflection Time

As i look back at yesterday i am overwhelmed by so many things. 

First by my own ability to feel so emotionally exhausted. I have never experienced that quite that way before. I was sooooo tired at the end of the day. Really, i was shot by 3pm. I remember just wanting to go to bed so badly. It was like jet lag. Guess i'll be feeling that soon as well....wonderful. 

I was also amazed at my friends. The overwhelming number of well wishes. The reaction of my girlfriends who were with me at Bible Study when i got the call. The hug from Holly when i saw her. It all felt so wonderful and i felt so amazingly loved.
I just knew at that moment how many people were in this with us. It was very humbling.

I now feel such relief and weight lifted off of my heart. And it has been replaced with pure joy. Nothing can go wrong today. It is my day of rejoicing. Truly.

I also went to the grocery store today to get nonperishable packable foods to bring for Juli. I went a bit crazy and get this... I'm not even done yet! I think i outdid myself...what do you think? LOL

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Our God is Good!

Bundle of Nerves...

That is what i am right now.  Here is what i am thinking...

Again 1 Samuel 12:16 says, "Now then, stand and see this great thing which the Lord is about to do before your eyes." I see it! The future of our family all together. Made up of a rainbow of colors and cultures that is united in one major way...we will be a forever family that God brought together uniquely and for a great purpose. That is the great thing I see.

Tonight while we sleep the fate of our son will be decided in an Ethiopian court room. If we pass, we will hopefully travel in the next few weeks to bring him home. If we do not, our process, and wait, could go on for days, weeks, even months. But God knows this fate and will tackle every obstacle for us.

So, no matter the outcome tomorrow, our family will still be united in God's time, with His plan. I am confident of this. But i do ask for your prayers. That we will have a peace that surpasses understanding. That we will see the future even if it does not begin tomorrow. That we will be strong and courageous and hopeful for what lies ahead.

Thank you everyone for your prayers and support and encouragement throughout this LONG process in our lives. 

We, the Kobys, are eternally grateful.

Day 2...

Is it day 2, really? I don't know if it should be 2 or 1 since on Wednesday we will find out the result. Oh well, that is why i am posting the picture of many numbers.  

I right now just feel so privileged to be where I am. The God of mercy loves us so much. 
This verse was given on our Adoption Agency's blog tonight...
"Now then stand and see this great thing which the Lord is about to do before your eyes." 
1 Samuel 12:16 

I do see it. Some of it anyway. Because i know He has so much more in store for me yet! I can't help but be amazed at the wonders of His hand and what He has done in my life. My beautiful daughter and the great gift that she is to us amazes me. Where He has brought me from and where I am going. And I know what is ahead is even more beautiful. Whether it will always be happy or sometimes sad. It is all beautiful because it is part of His plan for us.

Our friends on our adoption Yahoo group have court as i write this and Kristen had the most beautiful thing to say regarding their court decision. She said "You all give me so much courage and hope. Whether our hearts break tomorrow or leap like they have never leapt before, this much we can be sure of: the ground beneath us will be solid, and His peace will guard our minds and our hearts as we live in Christ Jesus." 

Isn't that so well put?! I am thankful for those words. And i am thankful for the courage and hope i have from my good friends and family. I feel it constantly. 

God is so good and He has the perfect plan in the perfect timing. 

I am at peace for tomorrow. Still worried of course, but at peace. 
One more entry ahead...the verdict.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Ethiopian Feast

On Friday night we went out to dinner with our great friends Kyla, Bobby, and their new son David Shashigo. They recently came home with him from Ethiopia and he is just a peach! 
The interesting part is that we went to an Ethiopian restaurant. 

The food was actually very good. I ordered the shrimp tibs. Now, they do have tibs in Ethiopia, but i doubt since it is a land locked, third world country that they will have shrimp. I just couldn't help myself though. I love shrimp. And so did Juli. We'll see how she likes the food when we are actually there. I imagine this will be one of our biggest issues. Therefore i intend to bring TONS of dried food that can be made there for her such as oatmeal, Mac and cheese, Ramen noodles. It should be interesting.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Day 3...

Day 3, wow! 

Actually we have heard that we should know the decision of our case on Wednesday sometime. As soon as they know, they will call us. So, i think i am going to try to stay up much of Tuesday night praying. While we sleep Tuesday our case will be heard. 

I don't even want to leave the house wednesday...I am afraid that i will break down in public if we don't pass. LOL Reality keeps me from living my fears out though! Good thing.

I am nervous, but confident in knowing God's time is the right time. He so knows ours and Elias' needs. I must trust that.

Keep us in prayer please! And have a great sunny day. Here the weather is gorgeous and mild. Maybe we'll walk down to see daddy for lunch. That will keep my mind off of it.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Day 4...

Ok, day 4 sounds dramatically close! And it is!!!! 
I am so nervous. I am trying now to figure out if that means they will actually be in court for us the night of the 24th while we are sleeping or not. I just asked for clarification on that. That would make it even closer really. I was thinking we would not find out the result until the 26th. So, we'll see. 

It seems as though we are pretty on track to travel if we pass court on time. So, so far the 4th looks good... PRAY without ceasing.

Day 5...

And I am so encouraged. Hanging out with good friends can really uplift you. 

Not much input other than that. I am so amazed at how good it is to have great friends who you know will be there through thick and thin. I have so many great friends like that.

How would i survive without them.

We are now in full preparation swing. Trying to get things together for our trip. If all goes well with court we only have 2 weeks until we leave from Saturday. That is crazy. It has for so long felt so far away and now it is so close i can taste it...the pressure that is. So much to do, so little time.

Good pressure i guess. Just a few more weeks until i meet my son. Wow! My SON!!!!! 
I can't wait for you all to meet him either. He is gorgeous. His eyes sparkle like the moon. His cheeks look so kissable. His hair is so curly and soft looking. His legs are so small and frail. He is precious, beautiful, sweet. And he has a ton of family and friends to love him here. How lucky...how blessed.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Day 6...

I guess today is just another day. I will try to get through it the best i can.  I am excited to go out with our good friends Kyla and Bobby tonight! They have the cutest sweetheart from Ethiopia! And we are going to an Ethiopian restaurant. How fun! I will let you know what Juli thinks...they don't have a kid's menu. I guess she needs to try ET food sometime soon. She is a picky eater as most of us know. Unless it is full of sugar, then she will eat all of it right up.

My verse for today is "I thank my God every time I remember you." Philippians 1:3  Paul said this in a letter he wrote to the people Philipi.... i'm pretty sure, forgive me if i got any of those details wrong. But my point is that I am so thankful for my friends. You have held my head up during this trying time and i am so grateful. Thank you. And tonight I get to celebrate with 3 of my favorite people. We will celebrate the wonder of the culture our son will come from with the little boy who will be his kindred brother. I just know they are going to be the best of friends!

Make it a great day!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

One Beautiful Heifer.

I received the best picture today. This is our sponsor child Habtamu. He lives a 2 day's journey outside of Addis Ababa Ethiopia where we will be going for Elias. 

We gave him this cow in the picture for Christmas. Look at that smile. Who would have thought that a cow could bring such joy to a child! In his letter he told us that "she is one beautiful heifer" and that his family is excited because they will be able to have fresh milk as soon as it is big enough to have a baby. So cool. Oh how i love this child.

A skinny cow for a skinny kid. They are precious.

Thank you God that we are able to bring joy like that to someone. Especially someone as cute as him!

We can't wait to meet him in April. I will have to give him the biggest hug. I hope he won't mind. :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Day 7...

Seven days until court! I can't believe it. We have waited so long for this event to take place in our lives. Really, we have been waiting over 2 years now. Not with the Ethiopia program but China. 

I can't help but think of that. Especially because Juli will not let me. No matter how many times i mention Elias and her coming brother, she has to remind me of baby Aimee, her one day coming sister. Must be a girl thing. She is all about that you know. 

But she is right. My heart has been in China since the day we decided to adopt our family. One day God will bring me there. And i will not give up until i get to hold her in my arms. Though that could be many more years of waiting. An estimated 5 to 6 they say it could get to. PATIENCE.

Right now however as i keep reminding my sweet daughter, we have a boy to celebrate! And I am so excited! 7 more days until i can reveal how beautiful he is to the world. 

Mighty prayer, mighty prayers. 

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Romans 12:12

Lord, may i be all of these things. With the coming of this day, no matter the outcome, may i show patience and joy. And may i above all remain faithful to the one i adore; you my Father in heaven.

DAY 8...

Today, Day 8 in our count down to court. 
I still have nerves going a mile a minute about this coming day. So please pray for that. I can't seem to shake them.

My verses for the day...
Mark 9:37, "Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives me."  

Psalm 37:4 "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart."

God is in charge, and knows the desires of our hearts long before we do. He knows this adoption is right now the greatest desire of my heart. He knows that He has given us this destiny. He knows that you, our friends have been given to us as friends to carry us through in prayer. And I couldn't ask for better ones. 

I long for the day I can post Elias' picture on this blog. That is all i want to do right now. So simple, but it will mean he is mine forever!!!!! 

Get me to that day Lord. And all the families that are waiting with me...get them to that day too. In your name I ask this for it is the desire of my heart to raise this child to be a mighty man of faith in you. Thank you for your goodness. Thank you for your grace. Thank you for the blessing of adoption.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Day 9...

At day 9 I have sadness in my heart. Today 2 families out of 4 did not pass court. That is not the sad part though... 

There is a family that desperately needs our prayers. And I know my friends are mighty prayer warriors!  They are the Semlow family and i can't go into great detail but i can say that the story of their children is amazing and they NEED our prayer. This family will have had their referral for 6 months on March 27th. And there is no end in sight. They have hit a stand still in this process as of right now.  They have been so hopeful and joyful during this time. I am amazed at the example that they have been to me. 

Please remember them. I am putting their family's name up on my window and every night at dinner we are going to pray for them as a family...all of them. 

As for Day 9... praying for them is priority right now. Especially that they feel the comfort of God and His grace during this GREAT trial.
Thank you my friends. I am posting their blog so you can meet their family and know them more personally.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Day 10...

Today is Day 10 on our 10 day count down to court.

Tonight i really feel God is showing me that i need to just trust him whatever this outcome may be. 

John 1:16,17  "From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ."

He has so abundantly blessed my life. I have no reason to doubt him and his goodness. And even if He does choose to have me wait longer, i must be joyful in that. Please pray tonight that I will be joyful whatever the outcome. That the Kobys will trust God and his goodness in our lives. Thank Him for His grace, and the freedom of salvation and peace that we have been given by Him.

Day 9 here I come!...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Juli's Indian Dance

This new video of Juli brought me to tears. 
She said the other day that she wants to be an indian when she grows up.
Here she is doing her "indian" dance wearing Native American clothes, dancing to Indian music from the Slum Dog Millionaire sound track.

Count Down to Court

Ten days until our court date starting tomorrow. So i want to invite you all to pray us through these ten days ahead. 

Each day i will post a verse that i am focusing on. Court day will be a tough one for us as 30% of families do not pass on the first try. This has nothing to do with us, but everything to do with the authorities in Ethiopia and how the Judge sees our case and all the details of it. We know that God is in control of all things and He will allow His plan to unfold as He wishes and knows best. 

So, please check back every day for us and keep us in prayer. For 1 Corinthians 5:4 says, "when we are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus i am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present."

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Delays, Delays, Delays

Isn't that what adoption is all about?! Waiting?! Well, in case you aren't sure...it is. If you are looking to depend on God more in your life. Adopt! He is my strength today.

We discovered that there are 2 changes in the adoption process effective April 1st in Ethiopia. First, adoption agencies will no longer be given weekly consulate appointment days. Due to limited staff, each agency will get one day every other week to obtain visas for our children.
Second, the Consulate is also now going to require TB testing for all children prior to issuing a visa. This becomes effective March 23rd.

Both of these things could increase our wait to travel by 1 to 3 weeks.  

Our agency AWAA said that the announcement was just made several hours ago. So they need more time...potentially a week or two to understand the full impact for us.

But, it is His time. Not mine. So i look back to the verse in Habakuk 2:3...read the post on the waiting game. 

Someone posted this verse on our Yahoo group and i love it...
"Listen to me O Jacob, Israel, whom I have called: I AM HE; I am the first and I am the last. My OWN HAND laid the foundations of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens." 
If i can trust anyone...it is He who did all that!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sir CrackerJax...

Ok, so this post is not about our adoption at all! But i do have to take a moment to thank the good Lord for my lack of memory. That is right my friends. For once i am thankful for my forgetfulness. 

First off i will mention that Juli and I have finalized our 3 legged dog's name...finally. Thanks to our friend Miss Arrie, his name is officially Sir CrackerJax. How cute is that?! The name he had when we rescued him was and has been Sir Jax. But Arrie called him cracker jax today and it has stuck. Especially since Mac's unofficial full name is Mac-a-roni. Now they are both named after a food product. LOL (Auntie, you should love this name! One of your favorite snack foods.)

Ok, so back to the forgetfulness thing. I'm surprised i remembered...

Well, the other day i took Sir CrackerJax to the vet and while i was there i mentioned that i had forgotten to give him his Heart Worm Preventative pill for the past 3 months. Now up here in the cold north that is usually not a big deal, but they like to take a blood test anyway before we put him back on it just as a precaution. So they did this.

He has Heart Worm!!!!! I was shocked. Thinking i was the cause because i had forgotten to give him the meds. That he somehow got that dreadful mosquito bite on one of those randomly warm days we have had this winter season. I felt terrible! My poor boy, he has already been through so much. Well, as it turns out, he got bit at least 6 months ago. It takes about 6 months for the disease to show up in a blood test and he had been tested back in September. So... I didn't do it! That was the first relief for me. Secondly, if i had not forgotten to give him the pill, he would have gone another 6 months at least before getting the test again as they do it annually at best. This means the disease would have been getting worse over that time and eventually he would have begun to show symptoms which is not good. 

Now we will be able to treat it right away in stage one. Where he hopefully will heal easily and quickly. Thank God for these events. I just love this big guy so much and want him to thrive in his new life with us. So that he does not hurt ever again. (He was not treated well by his previous owners and was taken from them. They are also the reason he has only 3 legs.)

The treatment will be tough. He needs a series of injections in his back that will cause soreness. And his activity level must be very low...no excitment! Otherwise the worms could travel through his blood stream and cause a clot. Deadly!

Well, God is a good God and He is taking good care of His little creature Sir CrackerJax. We are so grateful for him.

Have a great day!

"Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young - a place near your altar, O Lord Almighty, my King and my God."  Psalm 84:3

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Waiting Game...

Time. It is so fickle. As i sit here at my computer pondering what today was all about i just think that perhaps we are too caught up in time. Being a History teacher, i have thought many times about how different time is today than it was in the past. We schedule things by the minute these days. I was watching a documentary on Thomas Jefferson the other day and it talked about his wife's struggle with depression. She lived on their gorgeous estate at Monticello all alone so much of the time. Two of her daughters and one son all died as infants. Though in today's time, Thomas would have easily made the day's drive from Philadelphia to Virginia. In her time, life went about 3 miles an hour tops. Therefore it took about  a week to travel that distance. He didn't make it home much during the revolutionary period in our history. So sad. He helped master our entire nation, but could not master his family's happiness.

My point is that every day waiting for our court date seems like 20. I have so much to get done in so little time and yet it seems like it will be forever. I am torn as i can't decide if time is my friend or my enemy in this situation. 

All in all though, it is in God's hands. However long, however short it may be. Look how long God waited to give Sara Isaac. Look how long it took the Israelites to get to the promised land. Look how long Noah was stuck on that smelly boat with just his family, hundreds of animals and LOTS of poop. Maybe God is trying to teach me something in His time. I guess the faster i learn, the faster the time will go.

"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