Christian Fantasy Author Lorilyn Roberts' Blog

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

…The Greatest of These is Love

Chapter Five
…the greatest of these is love
I Corinthians 13:13



Ankit nudged me back so he could shut the door. He knocked several times loudly to wake up the father. We finally heard stirring in the room and he came to the door. He partially opened it and smiled at both of us, motioning for us to come in. He and Ankit exchanged a few words in Nepali. I eased my way into the room and sat down on the bed opposite where Manisha had been jumping. There was an awkward moment of silence. I wanted Manisha’s father to put some clothes on his daughter.

I asked Ankit to ask him if he had any clothes for her. Raj, her father, smiled politely and grabbed a pair of blue, ragged looking denim trousers. They were well-worn and dirty, about three sizes too big, but I was glad for anything.

Manisha was playful and warm. Her face was more light complexioned than her arms and legs, which looked dry from lack of good nutrition. She had round, deep brown eyes. Nepalis look more Indian than Chinese. Her father pulled out of his pocket what appeared to be a small bottle of oil and stroked some of it into her short, straight, dark brown hair. I wondered why he had done that.

She turned her attention to Ankit and they played a silly game. She pretended to hide something she had made into a toy. I felt left out but enjoyed watching them, impressed at how happy and content she was.

There were no toys or snacks in the room. There was nothing for her to entertain herself with, but she had made a toy and was happy to share it with us.

After a while, I got up the nerve to ask if I could hold her. Her father smiled and nodded. A warm and engaging person, I would learn later Manisha was much like him. He was about my height in stature with curly dark hair and glasses. His glasses were the most noticeable feature besides his smile. I immediately took a liking to him.

Ankit passed Manisha over to me and I held her in my lap. I couldn’t believe how light she was. She was tiny for three years at twenty-three pounds. She laughed and giggled as I bounced her on my knee. Ankit and Raj watched intently which made me nervous. I asked if I could walk around with her outside. They both said, “Yes, that would be good.”

I picked her up and we walked down the stairs. As we stepped outside, the sun’s rays enveloped us in a severe brightness after being in the dark building. Some nearby birds sang a whimsical melody of enchantment. I was smitten by love! Alone at last with my new daughter, I was overcome with emotion. I walked over to some flowers and pointed to one and said “flower.” I picked it off and gave it to her. We walked around the building several times. I pointed to the chirping birds and said “bird.” The few minutes with her in my arms seemed like a dream from which I didn’t want to awake. She was content and beaming.



Because she didn’t speak English and I didn’t speak Nepali, I gazed into her eyes and tried to imagine what she might be thinking. Did she have any idea who I was? I did not know what her father had told her. I longed to talk to her but I would have to be patient. Most of all, I wanted to remember how special the day was.

On this day, as we picked flowers, admired the birds, and basked in each other’s company for the first time, I realized that God had heard my cries for a daughter.
“…what hath God wrought” (Numbers 23:23)!

After a while, Raj and Ankit came outside. They had been discussing plans. I started to realize how late it was in the day and how hungry I was.

“Could we get something to eat?” I asked.

Neither Ankit nor Raj seemed particularly interested in food. They were talking about documents and legal things that needed attention. Tiredness was on the verge of sapping the last ounce of energy within me. I needed to eat something.

After much discussion in Nepali, Ankit translated.

“We’re going to go to my house and get some papers and documents signed.”

I acquiesced without any more mention of food. At least I could use the bathroom. He flagged down a taxi for Manisha and me to ride in and Raj rode behind Ankit on his motorcycle. Manisha seemed content to stay with me rather than her father, so I was happy to keep her.

We arrived at Ankit’s house and he took us up some stairs to one of the bedrooms. I sat down on the wooden floor and they sat on the bed. Ankit was holding a folder with some papers. Manisha, like any active three year old, wanted to run around. So I set her down and she ran out into the hallway.

I could hear a woman’s voice talking to her. It was fretful that I couldn’t understand so much of what was being said.

Ankit spoke English well and would translate for me when I looked at him questioningly. Apparently Manisha didn’t like the picture of the white monkey in the hallway, so it was promptly removed.

Now that we were here and things had settled down, I told him again I needed to use the facilities. He called for one of the ladies in the home and she came and took me to the bathroom.

“Thank you,” I said politely, not knowing whether she understood me or not, only to discover as I closed the door there was no toilet paper.

Sheepishly and somewhat embarrassed, I went back to Ankit.

“There isn’t any toilet tissue.” I would have preferred to have told one of the women, but I didn’t think they spoke English.

In typical Nepalese inflection, he translated into Nepali for one of the women to bring me some toilet paper. By now my stomach was really hurting. So I asked if they could also bring me some food.

After I used the facilities, I saw they had brought me a couple of crackers and a glass of water. I focused on the water and all I could think was what I had been told before I left home. Don’t drink any water unless it’s in a bottle.

Again, I went back to Ankit, “Do you have any bottled water?”

“No,” he said. “We don’t have any bottled water.”

There ensued a great deal of discussion in Nepali. I felt like I had caused everybody a great deal of inconvenience, but after a while, another young lady showed up with some bottled water. I thanked her as best I could.

I thought to myself, Lori, try not to cause any more trouble. You have caused enough for one day.

On a more personal note, I wondered, do they not use toilet paper around here? What about when it’s that time of the month?

I know, too much information.

After a few bites of food, I made myself comfortable on the floor. Ankit handed me what seemed like volumes of documents. Unfortunately I had never been good at filling out papers. I made several errors and could tell he was a little upset. He left the room to retrieve something akin to white out to blot out all of my mistakes, mumbling something to the effect, “It’s important to not make mistakes on the documents.”

There were too many papers. I did not feel like answering any more questions. I was preoccupied with watching Manisha and her father. Everyone was talking in Nepali as I continued to fill in blanks.

There were a lot of personal questions.

“Do I have to answer all of this?” I asked.

Ankit explained, “You did the American side in the States. Now you have to do the Nepali side.”

I had no idea what was in store for me. This was just the beginning.

After what seemed like a long time, I finished answering everything.

Ankit asked me, “Would you like to take Manisha with you? It’s okay with the father.”

I glanced at him who nodded approvingly.

After a few seconds, however, I realized how stressed and tired I was. Jet lag was beginning to take its toll and I knew I needed another day.


“I think I should wait till tomorrow. I need a good night’s sleep.”




*~*~*~*


I am offering a special edition signed copy of my adoption memoir, Children of Dreams. To learn how to get a copy visit: http://lorilynroberts.com/donate_christian_books_to_nepal.html


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The King Wins Gold - Best Faith-Based Fiction for YA


To see the complete list of winners, visit: http://www.clcawards.org/2014AwardRecipients.html

A Longing Fulfilled is Sweet to the Soul

Chapter Four
A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul
Proverbs 13:19



The next morning I awoke at 5:30 a.m. Back home, it was 5:30 p.m.—a twelve hour time difference. I couldn’t go back to sleep, so I got up and took a walk in the opposite direction from the previous day. Shops were beginning to open and people were sweeping the dust off the streets in front of their stores with small hand held brooms. I grabbed something to eat and arrived back at the hotel about 8:00.

It was Saturday, the only day of the week that Nepalis didn’t work. I called Ankit to see if I could attend church with him. I was anxious to meet Manisha and I thought if I was with him, it would speed things along. I also wanted to see what his church was like since he was the pastor.

He arranged to have a taxi pick me up and drop me off at a certain location, and he would take me from there. I carried my Bible in full view thinking I would be thrown in jail, but Ankit had assured me it was okay. I felt awkward toting it around where there were so few Christians. Most of the people in Nepal were either Hindus or Buddhists.

Today as I write, after several years of bloodshed and fighting, Nepal has dissolved its Hindu Monarchy and instituted a Republic. The future is uncertain, much like Russia, which teeters between a pro-western form of democracy and the tyranny of its former despotism. God opens doors for a time in countries, and we must seize the opportunity to be a witness to the Gospel while those doors are open. We never know when those opportunities will close.

After what seemed like a long wait—the world of Nepal exists in slow motion compared to America—Ankit arrived and we traveled a short distance to his church. Located several hundred feet back from the road, it was in a small concrete building that would have been hard to find without his help.

On this sunny Saturday morning in April, a guest speaker from the U.K. delivered the sermon in English with Ankit translating into Nepali. The tall, bearded Englishman was preaching from the Book of Ruth which was¬ written over three thousand years ago. So universal in application, a pastor could preach from it in a different language and culture halfway around the world and have it be as meaningful there as it is here. The message was directed at Nepali Christian students on how to honor their Hindu parents while not sacrificing their Christian testimony.

The men of the congregation sat on one side of the room and the woman sat on the other. There were mats on the floor and fans to keep the building cool as there was no air conditioning.

Before I walked in, I took my shoes off and left them outside the door in a pile with everybody else’s. Upon entering, it almost seemed like I was in my own church back home. I could feel God’s presence, warm and refreshing, and sense His love among the people. Some in the congregation even spoke a little English as many of the Nepalis were students from the University of Kathmandu.

Ankit introduced me to his wife, his mother, and several other relatives. Almost everyone in Ankit’s family was a believer. It was exciting to see what God had done in his life and how so many members of his family had come to know the Lord. There were men, women, children, families, young people, old people, and college students, as well as many visitors.

The service went longer than the typical American church service with a lot of singing and music, and many songs were familiar. In a lot of ways, except for the seating arrangement and bare feet, the order of worship was very similar to my church in Gainesville, Florida. With everything being translated into Nepalese, it went very long. I tried to be patient and attentive. Finally the worship ended and several more people came over to greet me. We chitchatted for a few minutes about my adopting and what it had been like since arriving in Nepal.

Ankit walked me to the door and asked, “Do you want to meet Manisha now?”

There was nothing else I wanted to do more. My heart skipped a beat in anticipation. Suddenly waves of fear swept over me—suppose this meeting went awful? Suppose her father wouldn’t give her to me? Suppose I didn’t like her? Suppose this was all a big mistake?

The evil one wanted to steal my joy. How many times did I believe his lies? How many times was I hoodwinked into giving up my dreams (the dreams that God gave me)? The only power Satan has is the power to deceive, and too many times I had allowed him to do so.

I had waited too long and traveled too far to listen to him. I believed God was with me and brushed the negative, destructive thoughts aside. I wasn’t going to let the evil one have a foothold on this day. As Ankit often said, “These Nepali children have a soul and they need a home where they can come to know Jesus.”

I thought of the words to the song “Jesus Loves the Little Children: All the children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white. They are precious in his sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.”

There was a great deal of discussion about how transportation would be handled and the future course of events for the day. It was decided I would ride behind him on his motorcycle in my best Sunday dress, once again, carrying my Bible. We traveled for several blocks through the streets of Kathmandu and were almost to the outskirts of town when we pulled up to another bare concrete building. It looked dirty and rundown.



“I have to go to the bathroom.” I could tell that was not what Ankit wanted to hear. My anxiousness had put my kidneys in overdrive, and it had been several hours since I had an opportunity to use the facilities.

He looked at me with one of those knowing looks. “Well, you can go here if you want, but you may not want to.” We continued walking around the outside of the building trying to find the entrance, now with even more of a sense of purpose.

Having no luck, Ankit said, “Why don’t you wait here and I will go in and try to find it.” Eventually he came back out and motioned me into the building. He pointed to the facilities at the end of a dark hallway. I started to walk in, but I could already smell the stench. No matter how badly I needed to go, I would wait.

Ankit later came up with a phrase for my fellow Americans and me, “You Americans are soft.”

Moving to the matter at hand, he said, “They are upstairs.” We found the stairway and proceeded up. We wandered around on the second floor in the dark because he couldn’t remember which room they were in. Eventually he found a door that looked like the right one and knocked. Nothing happened. He knocked again a little louder and still nothing happened.

“I’m sure this is the right room,” he whispered. Standing there for a minute not sure what to do, he opened the door and looked in.

“Yeah, she’s in there.” I was standing beside him and hadn’t yet seen inside.

“I want to look in.” The wait seemed unbearable.

Ankit stepped aside to allow me to see. I peered in and Manisha was bouncing on one of the beds with just her shirt on. Her father lay straddled across the opposing bed asleep as if he had been up all night.

If I had been writing this scene for a play, there would have been a grand crescendo of music playing right about now, perhaps Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons.” The plush, velvet curtains would open to a beautifully prepared stage fit for a princess. Everyone would be applauding the momentous, joyous occasion. My fondest moments paled in comparison to this one.

As Jesus was born in a manger without pomp and celebration, giving up His Kingship and heavenly home to become one of us, there was nothing to make this moment seem extraordinary. I was simply a young woman adopting a little girl in a foreign country, nothing that would make the headlines on CNN or Fox News.


The room was barren with no furniture save the two bare beds with a single white sheet covering them. Not even any drapes to cover the broken windows. No air conditioning to cool the hot, dirty Nepali air. No television, no telephone, no books, and no rugs covered the cold floor. I have no doubt, though, that heaven stirred with excitement and anticipation as one of God’s precious little ones would soon be joined with her new mother. Jeremiah 1:5 says: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…”

*~*~*~*


I am offering a special edition signed copy of my adoption memoir, Children of Dreams. To learn how to get a copy visit: http://lorilynroberts.com/donate_christian_books_to_nepal.html

Saturday, October 11, 2014

There is a Time for Everything

Chapter Three
There is a time for everything
Ecclesiastes 3:1


One of Manisha's Referral Pictures

There was so much to do and so little time. If God had made a day to be twenty-five hours long, I could have filled that extra hour up with something. When a woman gets pregnant, she has nine months to prepare for her new bundle of joy. I only had two months.

Our U.S. international adoption laws were never written for the faint of heart. Not only did I have to meet the U.S. international requirements, I had to meet Nepal’s requirements as well. Each country has its own set of documentation that must be filled out, submitted, and approved.

I had to fill out an application for an I-600 Petition that permits a person to classify an orphan as an immediate relative, allowing the adoptive parents to bring the child into the country. I had to complete a notarized affidavit of support and provide a copy of my marriage certificate and divorce decree. I had to submit employment letters, plus my 1040 since I was self-employed.

My bank had to provide a certified letter stating what my average balance was for the previous twelve months. I had to show proof of citizenship by providing a certified copy of my birth certificate. I had to type up a cover letter stating I wished to complete filing of my I-600 Petition and attach my fingerprints to the document. I had to have a home study performed by a licensed social worker approving me as a prospective parent. The police department did an abuse registry check to make sure that I didn’t have a criminal record. I had to pass a physical and show verification of health insurance. It seems like there was more, but I blocked it out. I don’t want to remember.

With international adoptions, individual countries can open and close adoptions without notice or make changes in requirements. When I initially began the adoption process, I was looking at Guatemala. While gathering my documents, Guatemala closed adoptions and I had to find another adoption agency and country.

After filling out all the required paperwork, I had to make sure my passport was valid so I could travel outside the country. Then I prayed that I would stay sane because I hate filling out documents. International child referrals can take a long time because of the voluminous paperwork, or worse—political upheavals, greed, corruption, baby-selling, and deceitful scams. Sometimes it takes years to jump through all the hoops. For God to accomplish Manisha’s adoption in two months was nothing short of miraculous, but then again, we have a God who is in the business of doing what, humanly speaking, seems impossible.

Even before I left, God was taking care of every detail that would require His intervention for Manisha to be my daughter. I had no idea how close I would come to not getting her.

God had always put extraordinary people in my life to accomplish His sovereign purposes. A couple of days before leaving, as I was packing my six sets of documents, I called the Immigration and Naturalization Service in Miami, Florida, to see if they had received my dossier.

“You must be psychic,” the woman on the other end of the phone said. “Your packet was just placed in front of me.”

“No, I am not psychic. I am a Christian and I think God wants me to adopt this little girl.” She wasn’t sure what to say to that, so she continued to go through a list of things.

“I don’t see your home study,” she said. “They never gave it to me,” I told her. “It was mailed by the adoption agency that did my home study, to the adoption agency in the Midwest that was coordinating the Nepali side of things.”

“You must have that document,” she insisted. “I will overnight a copy of it to you and make sure you take it with you.”

The next day, the home study arrived by Fed Ex, and I made a copy and packed it in my suitcase. Neither adoption agency made sure I had it. A lady from the INS gave it to me overnight by Federal Express.

I could not have adopted Manisha without the home study in my possession.

After dinner and having returned to the Bleu Hotel, I climbed the three flights of stairs to my room and filled out a couple of faxes to let people know I had arrived safely. This was back in the prehistoric days before email. I walked down the stairs again to hand the papers to the receptionist. As I waited for him to finish sending the fax, another Canadian man whom I had not met earlier walked up and gave me one of those looks that makes a woman feel uncomfortable.

I tried to turn away from him, but he persisted, “Why don’t you come up to my room tonight...”

I thought I would be nauseous. The last thing I wanted to do was spend an evening with some guy I didn’t know. I tried to explain to him I was adopting a little girl, but he had no interest in hearing about that.

I quickly finished my business with the attendant and once again climbed up the three flights of stairs making sure he didn’t follow.




Ankit later told me, “You know the wickedness of man. Man is even more wicked here.” I had no reason to doubt him. More than once while in Nepal, I felt an evilness that I associated with Hinduism. It was like a coffin being lowered into the ground, a veil covering the truth, the darkness of a bottomless pit full of people with no hope.


*~*~*~*~*

I am offering a special edition signed copy of my adoption memoir, Children of Dreams. To learn how to get a copy visit: http://lorilynroberts.com/donate_christian_books_to_nepal.html