Friday, February 19, 2010

And they're off...

Whoooshh! A great peace has swept over our home. The research phase for agencies to adopt through has ended! We have officially met with our homestudy worker from The Babyfold and we have committed to begin our adoption of our daughter and son in Ethiopia! We meet with our homestudy workers Lara and Bethany at 3:30 PM on March 2 in our home to start the 1 and ½ hour process of beginning our paperwork! They said they will do a walk-thru of our house as well accessing if we have the space for our new kids as well as to ensure it is a safe place (all medicines up high, safety latches on cupboards… shouldn’t be too hard to pass this part…since we have already done all of that for Zayden!).

Lara (at The Babyfold) told us that we will have 3-4 visits with them over the next couple of months. We have an all day training scheduled Friday April 23rd. It is our goal to have all of our homestudy done (as much as we have control of) by then. Please pray for our time to be budgeted and managed well so we can accomplish this in a timely manner.

We hope to adopt 2 children. A girl 8-11 yrs and a boy 3-6 yrs (siblings) from Ethiopia. We chose Ethiopia for three reasons:
The people are very loving towards their orphans and deeply care about them.
There is a great need to care for them.
The Lord impressed to us upon our hearts this was the path to take.

We are so very excited about all of the education opportunities that we have through our agencies. Just yesterday we were given a website for us to be able to start taking online classes to help us to prepare to be the parents that all of our children will need us to be. Classes on this site/ as well as articles and books we are reading/going to read will help us deal with transracial issues, older children issues, adjustments in the home, help to prepare the kids in the home for their new siblings, being culturally aware etc.

I believe at the beginning of March we will sign with WACAP to be our placement agency. They have a great reputation, meet all of necessary requirements, have a knowledgeable and helpful staff as well as a follow-up from adoption program in the Washington area where we hope to retire from the Army to after this duty assignment.

Please pray with us:
That we would be sensitive to the Lord’s guidance each step of this process and that we would rest in His peace for it all to come together.
For our children, all 5 of them, wherever they are (3 are with us in Illinois and the other 2 are in Ethiopia) to know and love Jesus.
For us to be the best parents we can be for these amazing blessings God is giving / given to us.

Thank you all.
Love, Donna Lisa

(For those of you who don’t know… My name is Donna Lisa Robbins… folks from my side of the family call me Lisa and folks who know me outside of my “growing up family” I am known as Donna… so often when I close I write both.)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Take a look into my heart...

I snicker to myself as I sit here thinking tonight of God’s grace, love and patience. I remember the amazement that we felt when we first found out that God was going to send us a child… when we found out we were pregnant… then the joy to know it was a boy… then the panic of "How in the world was I going to give birth?!" Ah, that was something I never done before… didn’t have a clue other than knowing that water needed to be boiled and sheets needed to be torn… or so I was told in the movies…but God got us through and I don’t remember the birth… just the joy of our son….I next remember the joy of finding out we were pregnant with our next child… our sweet girl… then the panic set in again… "How could I love this child as much as I love our son?" As soon as my eyes looked at that sweet little face I knew the answer that I longed for… I didn’t have to share my love, God created a whole new section of my heart just for her… the rest of our journey of growing our family didn’t come as quickly (the first two are 2 years and 1 month apart to the day)… in my heart I always had more children… the timing never “felt right”… (then I got cancer)… then the joyous news the we were pregnant came once again… and so did the panic… "Will I be a good mom?"… "It has been so long…am I too old?"… then he came and my heart was full of zest and love and drive to be the best mom I could be… after him the realization of the possibility of adoption seemed so actually feesible… Chris and I always wanted to do that… thought it was such a good idea… but now with our 11 year gap between kids… seemed so much more tangible… the next “pregnancy” began… we began researching, then researched some more, went to seminars, read books, visited sites daily… and researched some more… then the day has come when we know our kids are out there… my panic this time? Well, as I am sure you have guessed by no it has to be there… "How will we pay for it?? "... "Will my cancer 8 years ago be an issue in preventing us to adopt?"... "Who will care for our three kids while we are in Ethiopia for a week???" ...(That we will travel to Ethiopia for a week and travel back with our two other children!!!) "How will we parent children who may not even speak English?"... "Will we be able to help them the way they need to?"... "Will our other children feel loved and secure through all of this?"... "How will we parent 5 children?" ... "How will we fit in a booth at a restaurant?" (ha.. OK the last one isn’t that big of a stressor, but it did occur to us!)

We feel lead to adopt 2 siblings – a boy (3-7 yrs?) and a girl (9-12 yrs?)… they are known as "waiting children" according to the adoption agencies… children that their age has kept them from being adopted… we know the real reason they are "waiting children" it is because they are waiting for us… they are waiting for their mom and dad to come get them.

If you had a machine that could calibrate feelings, I am certain you would see that my heart is aching… not a day goes by that I don’t think of our children… that I don’t search for a way to bring them home. If you have ever owned a pet and lost them temporarily... didn’t you search for them everywhere you could? How much more would you do for your child? That is where my heart is, I am in the “pregnant phase”.. I haven’t held my babies yet, but I know they are there… I know there are 2 lives that need their Daddy, Mommy, brothers and sister to get them so we can all be a family. The color of our skin doesn’t matter… I now know why God gave me all of those dark spots all over me (my freckles) it so I can match both sets of our children… the light ones and the dark ones.

Oh, I just can’t wait to hold them, kiss them and hear them giggle.

Valentine's Day Gift

Valentines Day’s roots go back to Roman times when a priest continued to marry people even after Roman Emperor Claudius II declared marriage illegal (wanted his soldiers to focus on their duties and not get distracted by leaving wives behind when they went off to war). While imprisoned he performed another marriage only this one was for the jailer’s daughter and fiancĂ©. Valentine was beheaded anyway, but not before the jailer’s whole family came to know and follow Jesus Christ through what he had done.

Wow… that is a long road from the chocolates you put your finger in to see what is on the inside of them and those little cards and hard candies that say things like “will you b mine?” and “u r so cool”. Though “spending traditional date” time on this day with my honey that entailed getting to go ballroom dancing was amazing (Chris is just so dreamy!).. I would have to say the other gift I cherish from that day is the time we spent together at the computer researching adoption placement websites after we took our dancing shoes off. We both decided that night that we can stop searching; we have found our homestudy and placement agencies! Chris gave me the words I have been waiting to hear… we are officially starting our process! We sent off an email to meet with our first adoption representative this coming Thursday!

Yippee… we have actually begun…

Fire on the Mountain - A hug from the Lord

Saturday morning Molly and I went out on a simple Mother/daughter date....we like to go treasure hunting for books, clothes and “whathaveyou” at various 2nd hand stores in the area. When the teens were little we always had a rule that they couldn’t ask for things in any store (had to make their requests know before we went inside to help with the “gimmies”… we did have an exception to that rule though… if we were at a 2nd hand store or a garage sale, if they had their own $ or not, they could always ask for books. We thought this was one indulgence that we could afford them that had lasting rewards.) We pulled up to the Salvation Army and weren’t even sure if they were open yet, so I went to the door to read the hours… they had just opened minutes before, so we actually were one of their first customers of the day. Once we made our way over to the book section we immediately sat down on the floor in front of the book shelves, our familiar spot. We know that our stay in that area is bound to be the longest in the store so we got comfy. As she and I were searching the shelves for the latest treasure that might delight one of the kids I let out an “Oh, wow! Look what I found!”… I didn’t realize that I had made such an exclamation until I saw not only Molly give me her immediate attention but also the older woman who was to our left who had also been searching through the books wanted to share in our find as well. In my hand was the book that I had just seen online the day before on a blog from a mother of children from Ethiopia!

Fire on the Mountain by Jane Kurtzis a book of a fable that is told all across the nation of Ethiopia … sort of how most everyone in the US is familiar to the story of the “boy who cried wolf” this is story is as familiar to the Ethiopian people.. it is about two children (a sister and a brother) who are servants of a boastful rich man who makes a deal with the brother to see if he can stay outside in the wilderness and cold without anything but a few thin articles of clothing. If the boy makes it, he is given a start to a new life with his sister (given cows and money) no longer in servant hood and if he loses he and his sister are to be sent out penniless with no where to go. Well in the event you may never read the book… I will share with you the ending…the young boy ends up using the boastful man’s logic against himself and the kids are the victors.

Not that this book will teach a great lesson to our children or will it solve the world’s problems… but it did remind me of them and helped me spoil our children who aren’t in our arms yet with a book from the 2nd hand store too. Also on that day in that second hand store, when in my head off and on were thoughts of "how is this adoption going to work?", "will we really get to adopt these children?", "is this really you talking to us Lord?"… out of that… in a place I had been many times… appeared a book… a book for me… a book to remind my heart that the Lord said in the book of John that He would not leave us as orphans (John 14: 18 "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."), He is coming back for us again one day and while we are waiting for His return He has given us a best friend, a great counselor, one whom we can count on to guide us when we are confused and unsure of our way… a way to make it thru the cold of this world into His loving arms victorious.

To simply put it… I felt the Lord give me a hug right there in the store!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Seahawks fans adopt...

Hello all! Thank you for your wonderful surveys, they were very helpful. I look forward to see how God is going to use them. I will keep you all posted.

Molly, our 13 yr old, was in the room with me as I was doing my adoption research yesterday and I asked her if she had ever gotten to see any videos on Utube of what Ethiopia was like. She told me “no”, and that she would like to, so I went to the site and there was one that got my attention so we watched it.

I have been to that site many times and most of the videos are of people adopting babies. This video was of a family in WA who was adopting older children. Once we watched the video we felt an instant connection to them (weird hu?). They were Christians seeking to serve Jesus as they satisfied the ache in their heart to find the children He had for them, they were wearing Seahawks and Mariners shirts (our sports teams), they were adopting older children from Ethiopia (like we are hoping to) and they happen to live about 45 minutes from my brother/sister-in-law in WA! We could actually meet these people one day… how bizarre … actually how God…to take just simple moment and turn it into simply wonderful.

Here is the UTube video. Forever Day 2009,adoption (if u type that into Utube it should pull up if u can’t get it from here

I then Googled them and found this amazing site.
After reading the journal entries in the afternoon, I shared it with Chris before we went to bed. (Whew! What an emotional journey – I really felt connected to them, we could really visualize ourselves in their shoes about a year or so from now).

I will spend my next hours reading over each step they took in their adoption.

We are still in the process of waiting on God to reveal to us the right adoption agency as well as right homestudy agency. There are so many out there. First we had to come up with an understanding of what they do, then the proper questions to ask (I have a 6 page questionnaire for them to fill out for us based on the reviews and advice I have read and heard from informational interviews we have done!)

Please pray for us as we hope to have this decision made and start the process official the first of March.

Thank you all for going on this journey with us.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

We need your info!

Hello dear friends,

I am in need of your informational assistance! Please email me at with the answers to this survey.

Please copy / paste this and send it as an email to as many folks as you can. I need the answers by February 12th. Thank you for your time and help on this research project.

(We are beginning the adoption process of adopting from Ethiopia and due to high costs (about $ 27,000+) we are going to do some creative fund raising. I am hoping that with the information generated from this survey, I will be able to create a document that shares neat ideas that folks can do to grow closer to their family members (to sell/ give as a thank you to folks for donating $ to our cause).

I am hoping to get back more than 100 responses to this survey by this coming Friday, so please send this to as many folks as you can – thanks!
Thank you so much for your time!

In Jesus love,
Donna Lisa Robbins

Family Fun Survey

1) Age & Gender or person answering:

Please answer all that apply (please answer as many ideas as you have):

2) List your three favorite things to do with your mom (please answer even if you an adult):

3) List your three favorite things to do with your dad (please answer even if you an adult) :

4) List your three favorite things to do with your son:

5) List your three favorite things to do with your daughter:

Thank you very much for your time!
- The Robbins Family