life as we know it

Monday, February 21, 2011


It seems as though if I don’t keep up with my blog day to day, I’m
overwhelmed by the amount I have to update. This weekend we went to
Kechene and Merkato on Saturday and Kebebtsehay Saturday and Sunday.
There have been SO many changes at Kebebtsehay. There is a HUGE new
amazing two story building on the campus that most of the kids have
moved into. The babies and toddlers are on the second floor with some
of the older ones on the first floor. The two old buildings are
currently being remodeled to house the oldest kids at Kebebtsehay. It
was almost eerie going into the old baby house. It was still painted
blue with the old dresser missing a couple of drawers but had dust and
debris everywhere. It was silent. I explained the old set up to Nick;
what everything looked like, where it all was.
This new building feels like a fresh start, in a good way and in a not
my favorite way. All the toys we brought before are somewhere unknown,
the dry erase board with the schedule for the babies and toddler is
also gone. I haven’t given up hope yet; since it was the weekend, the
director wasn’t there and neither was Alex, so tomorrow I should have
some more information.

There are a lot of new kiddos with special needs at Kebebtsehay;
seven, actually. I haven’t had a chance to spend much time in their
room yet except to know that a few of them are very sick. Tomorrow
I’ll meet with Alex and the director to see what our objectives are
for the next two weeks. I have some high hopes of getting all the
kiddos who need physical therapy on a set program with Alex with the
ones who are appropriate set up with the stander, donated from the
AMAZING company Kaye Products. Seriously, check them out. What great
people. Because the building is so new, there is some great space in
the first floor and an outdoor patio on the second floor that the
caregivers are open to having us create into a playroom to encourage
some developmental stimulation. The outdoor patio is tricky; it
technically has a cover on it, but the walls are open to the outdoor
elements which is obviously not good for the rainy season. It also has
a metal railing that surrounds it, perfectly inviting little ones to
stick their heads in or try to climb. Also not so great for
encouraging safe development through play and toys. Ideally, we’d love
to set up the first floor because it’s really an amazing space, it’s
not realistic for the caregivers to carry all the babies and toddlers
down there every day, so we can pretty much comfortably say that isn’t
going to happen. We’re brainstorming the patio and will keep you
updated, of course!
I also have been asked to present our caregiver education program
again because so many new caregivers have been hired. We’re looking at
doing some re-working of the information and trying to condense a
little because I just don’t think we have the time to pull it all off
to the same extent this time around. My mind is swirling with some
ideas of creating it as some sort of training program that all new
employees of the orphanage must complete. Perhaps making it into a
manual with great pictures and resources. Of course this also needs to
then be translated into Amharic. Ekk. The babies and toddlers would
really benefit from being back on a schedule again, so we’ll be
revisiting that part of what we had done last time, too.

I am feeling somewhat overwhelmed with all I want to get done in my
short time here, but I’m working as much as I can to get things up and

Today we helped a team of 30 complete another shoe distribution. It
was an amazing experience to have had the opportunity to put tons of
new shoes on kiddos which can prevent diseases and improve overall
hygiene. Today really was one of those breaking point days for me
during this distribution. I prayed a lot before this trip asking God
to sincerely break my heart for what breaks His. I wanted to deeply
feel what he feels for the orphan and the least of these. I desired to
be SO moved during this trip and I KNEW that with how much spiritual
warfare I experienced prior to leaving, something amazing was going to
happen. Don’t get me wrong; I had a wonderful two months in Addis last
time, my life was changed and my heart was changed. Something felt
off, though. I have a hard time describing it, but it was just a
distant feeling for some reason. God has absolutely moved mountains in
my life this trip. I have so many overwhelming emotions and literally
wept today because of it. I just literally felt my heart BREAKING. I
was so broken inside; eyes open, heart in pieces and really felt like
I was seeing things from God’s perspective. How broken we as human
beings are and how profoundly short we fall from His glory, yet He
blesses us anyway. I will never forget today; for the good, the bad,
the amazing and the life-changing. God allowed me to change today. I
prayed for this and prayed to feel what He feels, and although I’m so
grateful for the opportunity, it sure doesn’t make it easy.
I’m taking some deep breaths tonight, trying to calm my mind and
prepare for tomorrow which will be another busy day. Thanks for all
the prayers and support; this journey is seriously unreal and I’m
blessed you would want to share it with us.


  1. i love getting all these updates! You guys are doing so much good in the world. I know you will always want to do more, but just keep in mind, every little bit that you do is making a huge difference in the lives of everyone you help there. i love you both so much!

  2. Great work, Kelly and Nick. Kelly, are you feeling better now? Sure hope so. I'd love to see what those computer covers look like. For laptops?

  3. You are doing such amazing work. God is with you and is using your talents and heart to help Him. We all need to do more to make this world a better place. It is so easy to become complacent and wrapped up in our own lives that we forget so many people don't have all of the blessings that we do. Be gentle with yourself, Kelly, and take good care of yourself. You and Nick are doing so much to help. I look forward to reading all of your updates and can't wait to see you and hear about your journey and see photos. I hope you're feeling better. Let me know what I can do. So wish they could make the animals there for my book. My love and God's blessings to you and Nick. Much love, Mom

  4. Stay strong! HE is showing you exactly what you asked for and He will only show what you can take; I can't imagine what their World is like every single day. The good you are doing will stay with these children forever; they will never forget about those who cared so much that they journeyed for days to come to their corner of the World with only the Blessing of God and the will to make a change. I hope and Pray you can implement a good schedule for them and look what has happened since you were here last! A whole new building!! Perfect for you guys to start the next chapter with!!! Love you both, the whole family is with you in spirit.. Keep those updates coming, it is uplifting to know there is something good going on in this World.

  5. Wow, thanks for all you guys are doing it must be heart breaking but its just breaking off the parts that will let the others shine ! love you guys for being able to love and act on it !

  6. Thank you for sharing your heart. May God be glorified in this whole process, and He is. Praying for how God might use this Roberts family in the realm of orphan care.