Friday, March 27, 2009

Eighteen Months in the Making

Psalm 52:8-9

8 But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of the God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever. 9 I will praise you forever for what you have done; in your name I will hope, for your name is good. I will praise you in the presence of your saints.

Today, the little man we’ve called Bereket for the past two and half months became Jackson Bereket DuBose. This precious baby who was born in a small village 350 miles from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, officially became a member of our family.

It has been an 18-month journey that has tested every ounce of my inner being, every ounce of my faith and every ounce of my strength, but is it finally here. The last 24 hours have been the longest 24 hours of my life. I had difficulty going to bed last night. I was just so darn keyed up. I sat, monitoring the chatter on the YG, watching the banter about being unable to sleep. I finally turned in at 12:30 AM after praying over the opening of the court in Ethiopia. Greg has been sick since Saturday evening and I have been sleeping on the couch so I didn’t expect a good night’s sleep, and needless to say I wasn’t disappointed. I didn’t sleep well. I woke up several times throughout the night which is so unlike me. I’m usually so exhausted by 9:00 PM that it’s easy to fall asleep once I crawl into bed. I awoke at 4:18 AM and actually had the feeling that the judge might be reviewing our case. Whether or not that is what happened, it is what was happening in my mind. So I prayed hard for God’s favor in not only our case but also in the other six cases being heard throughout the night. I finally got up from the couch at 7:00, feeling like a zombie. I wandered through the morning, waiting for the phone to ring. I literally counted down the minutes. Before I knew it, it was 10:00 AM and by that point I was afraid to take a shower, fearful AWAA would call. By the time Anna called I was about to crawl out of my skin! I honestly did not know what to expect. I had several people say to me that they just “knew” we would be “okay”. I honestly didn’t know that. I’m not privy to God’s thoughts. And God’s will is not mine. So how on earth could I know everything would be okay? I didn’t! I was so relieved to hear Anna finally say, “Congratulations.”

So here it is 18-months in the making. And our son is coming home soon.

Thank you, Father, for your mercy. Thank you for your love and grace. You are faithful. And you are awesome. You are my Father. And I love you.


Today, Jackson Bereket DuBose joined our forever family!

View this montage created at One True Media
Jackson Bereket DuBose

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tick Tock

Psalm 51:10-12

10Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit
within me. 11Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy
Spirit from me. 12Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant
me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Well, the day is finally here. Months have now turned into hours.
After 18 months (as of today) of counting "up" the days (xx days since
submitting our application, xx days since submitting this form or that
form, xx days since submitting our dossier to Ethiopia, etc...) this
is the first instance we've actually counted "down" the days.

I don't know how I will contain myself today. I am wound tight as a
top. I can't think about anything else and have been chattering
constantly to God for the past several days. And I do mean constantly.
There are SO many families with court dates this week. In fact I've
never seen so many court dates in one week before! So I have been
continually lifting families, the AWAA staff and program and the
Ethiopian officials and judges up in prayer, I always have, but as
you can imagine, it has been amplified now that we are finally in the
"hour queue". I am so glad God is patient, loving, merciful and
gracious because my chatter would drive a mortal mad!

So please, if you're reading this, won't you join me in praying for
God's favor for all families who are awaiting court decisions? There
are three as of this moment who's cases went before the court last
night and six of us who's cases will go before the judge while we
sleep tonight. I thank in advance for your prayerful support. It
means the world to us.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

In the Eyes of a Child

The following is an actual transcript of a voicemail left on my cell phone by our Godson’s mother, Tempal.

“Hey, Bob, it’s me. I just had something funny to tell you. I was getting Nickson dressed this morning and he said, ‘Mom, how can I make my legs black?’ And I said, what? What do you mean? Nickson said, ‘Like Greg? How do I make my legs black like his?’ I said, well you can’t. And he said, ‘Yes you can. Greg did.’ So I explained to him that Greg was born that way because that’s how his parents are. And that Nickson’s legs are white because that’s how his parents are, and that everyone is different but you can’t change the color of skin.”

I love the innocence of that exchange.

How wonderful would the world be if everyone looked at skin color as Nickson does? Imagine looking at skin color as no big deal. And imagine this tiny little knock-kneed, porcelain-skinned child thinking he could change his skin color as easily as he changes his tee shirt.

I wish we all had the innocence of a child. The world would be a much better place.

God bless you, Nickson. Don’t you ever change!

Sunday, March 22, 2009


We have much to focus on this week. I want to have as little distraction as possible. I want nothing more than to focus on God and His plan for us this week. I admit that’s been hard to do lately. The enemy has been coming at me strong as of late, but that’s to be expected. He will try to do everything within his power to derail our spiritual walk and take the focus off God. Satan doesn’t want anything good to happen—not to me, not to Greg, not to Jackson, nor does he want God to get the glory for what he is doing in our lives.

But I am going to do everything in MY power through the power of our Lord in heaven to keep my focus on God and what he is doing in our lives. God has a special place in His heart for Jackson—for all orphans—and Satan does not want to see His plan for Jackson come to fruition.

James 1:27

Religion that God our Father accepts 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.

But God’s plan will come to pass. I pray with all my heart that will happen Friday, but even if it doesn’t happen Friday, it will still happen. Don’t get me wrong. I will be heartbroken. Jackson turned four months old today. And as I said in my previous post days have turned in to months and it is very hard to see photos of him and to see how much he has grown and changed since we received those very first photos upon his referral.

So I will stay focused this week. My immediate prayer is for God to keep me as close to Him as possible. I pray that there be not the slightest chasm separating me and my Lord in heaven. I pray for wisdom so I can see clearly when the enemy is tapping me on my shoulder and knocking on my door. I pray for strength and fortitude to fight the enemy and turn him back, away from me and my family. No distractions. Just me and my Father. That’s it.

Isaiah 31:4

This is what the LORD says to me: "As a lion growls, a great lion over his prey— and though a whole band of shepherds is called together against him, he is not frightened by their shouts or disturbed by their clamor— so the LORD Almighty will come down to do battle on Mount Zion and on its heights.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5

3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Lord, may your will be done.

Friday, March 20, 2009


I read the following quote in the daily devotional Your Daily Walk.

“Patience is accepting a difficult situation without giving God a deadline for removing it.”

I think these words speak volumes. I know I’m guilty of doing that—giving God a deadline, and it’s always TODAY. And this especially rings true at present. One week from today our case will go before a judge in the Ethiopian courts.

I am finding it so hard to be patient. This entire process has been a great test of my patience. But right now, with days having turned into months since receiving our referral, it’s extremely difficult. That, combined with the fact that we will most likely not receive an update this month, has me on the edge of my seat.

But I must continually talk myself off that ledge and remind myself who is in charge here. It is not me. It is The One who knows how I am formed and remembers that I am dust; The One who will never desert me. That’s right. It’s my Father heaven. And he will receive the glory, no matter what.

But it’s hard. It’s by far one of the most difficult and challenging things I’ve ever faced. I’m a doer. I make things happen. I just put my head down, take up the task at hand and get to work. That’s my M.O. But here, I have no control. I must trust. And trust I will.

Proverbs 3:5

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; …

1 Samuel 3:18

…He is the LORD; let him do what is good in his eyes.

Please, Father, hear my prayers. Please grant us your favor in the coming week. You know our hearts better than WE know our hearts. Let your will be done!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Donations for Orphanages and Transition Home

Dearest Friends,

Several people have expressed a desire to donate items to the orphanages and transition home in Ethiopia. The following is a list of needs for the orphanages and transition home as provided by our agency, America World Adoption Agency (“AWAA”). *

Please bear in mind, this is not a solicitation for contributions. We merely wanted to give everyone the opportunity to contribute, should they so choose. Any and all donations are welcome.

Items Needed For Ethiopian Orphanages and AWAA Transitional Home

Basic Items:
Toys to stimulate babies such as colorful objects, rattles, etc. appropriate for babies up to 2 years
Unscented baby wipes
Nestle Great Start Supreme powdered formula with DHA/RHA
Lactose-free formula
A + D Original Ointment, Diaper Rash and All-Purpose Skincare Formula
Hand Sanitizer

Medications/Medical Items:
Tri-vi-sol (o to 6 months)
Poly-vi-sol (6 months to 2 years)
Chewable multi-vitamin (2 years to 9 years)
Tylenol (acetaminophen)
Baby nose saline spray
Benadryl liquid/elixir
Toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss

Per Ethiopian Airlines’ checked luggage allowance we are allowed two checked bags per person weighing up to 50 pounds per bag. If the bags weigh in excess of 50 pounds but less than 70 pounds the excess baggage fee is a flat rate of $60.00 per bag. Additional bags weighing up to fifty pounds are assessed an excess baggage fee of $150.00 per bag. Additional bags weighing in excess of 50 pounds but less than 70 pounds are assessed a fee of $210.00 per bag. Donations to cover excess baggage fees are welcome. Please note: Any and all monetary donations remaining after allocating funds for excess baggage fees will be used to purchase items from the above list.

Items can be dropped off at Bella Group’s Jupiter office located at 2074 West Indiantown Road, Suite 101. Bella Group’s telephone number is 561-746-6077.

Thank you in advance for your generosity. It means the world to us and it will make a world of difference to children we will likely never know.

Warmest regards,

Greg, Bobbie and Jackson DuBose

* America World Adoption Association is a non-profit, licensed Christian international adoption agency.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Switching Gears

No matter how many times it happens, it is still amazing to me how God continually renews and restores my spirit when I humble myself before Him. But it makes sense. After all, He is my Father and I am His beloved daughter. He wants nothing but good things for me.

Psalm 65:4-6

4 Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts! We are filled with the good things of your house, of your holy temple.

5 You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness, O God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas,

6 who formed the mountains by your power, having armed yourself with strength,

After a couple of days of asking God “why” last week, I have a brand new perspective today. I am so happy to say that once again, the glass is half full!

We have begun to ask for and accept donations for the transition home and orphanage. I requested and received a list of needs from AWAA last week. I shared the list with our pastor’s wife and my dear friend, Ashlie. They are on the case! Our church is including a note in the bulletin this week and Ashlie has already sent a list of needs to her family and friends. She is going to do the same for Greg and me once I furnish a list of contacts. I can’t wait to see what the Lord does in our friends’ hearts!

Proverbs 22:9

9 A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor.

I spoke briefly with a wonderful man at church yesterday, Mark Sotak, who happens to be a truly gifted mouth painter ( A recipient of Ashlie’s email, Mark told me he would like to donate a painting inspired by Jesus’ evening in the Garden of Gethsemane. Mark’s generous offer literally brought tears to my eyes. It will be our distinct honor to deliver Mark’s painting to the transition home.

We are blessed beyond measure.

Friday, March 13, 2009

My Prayer for Today

1 Samuel 3:17

..."He is the LORD; let him do what is good in his eyes."

I am giving it all up to God; every last bit of it--our court appearance (two weeks from today), our travel dates, our business, our finances--all of it. After a stressful day, night and morning (thus far), I'm giving it up.

I simply cannot be consumed by things I cannot control. I am casting all of my cares and burdens on you, Lord. Please, take my yoke and I'll take yours.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

For the past nearly 18 months since beginning this adoption process, I’ve felt like my system has operated in one of two modes; flight or fight or mental exhaustion. Sometimes I’m in a mode for weeks on end and sometimes only for a day. But I constantly vacillate between the two. There seldom seems to be a gray area.

This adoption has been a rollercoaster with far more valleys than peaks. Mind you, I may just feel like this at present because I’m worn down, but this is my reality—today.

As mentioned in my previous post, we received an email last week notifying us of an earlier court date. Tuesday of this week we received our new tentative travel dates of April 18 to 25, which had us traveling one week earlier than our originally assigned tentative travel dates. Notice I say, “Had us traveling.” We received a disheartening email today from AWAA announcing changes being implemented in the coming two weeks by the Consulate in Ethiopia. AWAA isn’t exactly certain how this will ultimately affect families currently waiting to travel, but their initial statement is that we will be delayed from one to three weeks. To say I’m disappointed is an understatement. And I'm realistic. I've learned over the past nearly 18 months that things seldom swing toward the positive in this odyssey, but rather toward the worst-case-scenario. That's why I was SO delighted to receive an expedited court date. It seems things like that almost NEVER happen.

I know in the grand scheme of things this is not a major setback. There are families who have been waiting six months to travel due to problems with their in-country paperwork. There have been families in the past whose children did not make it home because they succumbed to illness. Families were stuck in limbo for months last fall because of Ethiopia’s court closure. There are families whose children have been extremely ill upon arrival in the US and ended up in the hospital several times. Every family who has ever gone through an adoption has experienced a myriad of setbacks. It’s the nature of the beast. But this is still a BIG DEAL to me. I've been literally counting the days until court, and literally counting the days until our TTD's. And now, I have no idea where we stand. It's just a kick in the stomach. And you know what, it's okay to feel the pain. Things aren't always, "alright", "fabulous", "wonderful", "great", etc., etc., etc. Sometimes things are just crappy. And this setback is C-R-A-P-P-Y. I know. I know. I know. I'm whining. There are elements of these new policies and procedures that benefit us and our children and it's only a matter of weeks. But it's still difficult to bear. I'm fearful there are some people who will read this post and be upset with me for grumbling. But you know what...I'm human. I am not perfect. I am fraught with human frailties.

But I hold out hope of the day I will finally hold Jackson in my arms and look into his big brown eyes.

Psalm 55:1-2; 16-18

1 Listen to my prayer, O God, do not ignore my plea; 2 hear me and answer me. My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught ...

16 But I call to God, and the LORD saves me. 17 Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice. 18 He ransoms me unharmed from the battle waged against me, even though many oppose me.

Please, God! Don’t delay not one more day than absolutely necessary. I know you are sovereign over all things. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28

Please, Lord, listen to my prayer. Bring this child home!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Oh Give Thanks

Psalm 105: 1-2

Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
 make known his deeds among the peoples!
 Sing to him, sing praises to him;
 tell of all his wondrous works!

We received the most wonderful news today! I received a completely unexpected email from AWAA late this afternoon informing us that our court date has been moved up two full weeks to March 27th. I was not expecting this. I was so thankful to HAVE a date that I never even gave an expedited date a thought. To say I was dumbfounded would be an understatement.

We serve an amazing God!

Psalm 57:10

For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

My Hero

Yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking with my dear friend, Robin. We have known each other for practically a lifetime. We chatted for about 30 minutes or so and laughed about old times and current times. It was good to hear her voice. She sounded great!

Robin is my hero. She had brain surgery Wednesday. But what is important is that this isn’t the first surgery she has undergone to remove a “Dixie cup-size tumor” from her brain. This is Robin’s second surgery in five months. And let me tell you—she is an inspiration to all. Robin sent me a text message at 4:40 Wednesday morning. The message stated, “On our way…, 4 in the morning. God is perfect and faithful. And I’m at peace. Love ya.”

I mean, really. That puts it all in perspective. I can only hope that if I’m ever faced with something of this magnitude that I can muster a small fraction of the faith and grace that my dear friend Robin has expressed throughout this ordeal.

Yes, Robin. God is perfect and faithful. And I love you too.