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The Charlotte Roberts Family

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05/01/2009 - Adorable. Bright. Talkative. The Roberts' girls. Violet (10) and Denise (8).

We are sitting at the Roberts' round kitchen table. The girls are on each side of me and, across from me, is mom Charlotte. This setup allows me to catch glimpses of Charlotte's amused smile and occasional rolling eyes as her girls talk.

Five years ago, finding herself suddenly single, Charlotte moved with Violet and Denise from Texas to Wyoming to be near her now-grown daughter (Charlotte has two other grown children). After a year of rural living, Charlotte realized that they needed to live in a larger town. So they moved to Casper. And it was absolutely the right decision.

"So what's one of the things you like about Casper?" I ask them.

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Almost in unison, "The summers!" They can enjoy being outside and it's not too hot. They love to go day-camping. To put a watermelon in the creek to cool as they play and splash and hike and then return to enjoy the delicious, succulent snack.

Charlotte adds, "And we've made such wonderful friends here. Wonderful people live in Casper. And we love our church." They are active in the Mountain View Baptist Church. It's small and friendly and offers many opportunities to serve.

"Another thing we love about Casper," Charlotte says, "is that we can get a glass of cold water right out of the faucet. In Texas, water from the tap is always warm."

When Violet was 14 ˝ months old, Charlotte adopted her along with Violet's older brother David. David, now 12, goes to school in Utah. Violet's birth mother had made a series of poor choices while carrying Violet, which resulted in her full-term birth-weight of only four pounds. When Violet came to Charlotte, she could not walk or talk. But just look at her now! She's artistically talented, excels in sports, loves hip-hop dance classes, enjoys the outdoors, and is a pleasure to be around.

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Denise was brought to Charlotte when she was only three-days old. The only things that Denise had with her was formula and a shirt. For the first 6 months of her life, Denise was sick because she was withdrawing from the substances her mother had ingested while pregnant with her. But, just like her sister, look at her now! She's intelligent, would love to have more homework and more school, loves to teach (She even offers pointers to her mom. Much to her mom's chagrin.), and loves to help others. She loves her ballet classes and, like her sister, is a pleasure to be around.

Under Charlotte's loving care and with a strong support group and circle of friends, the girls are prospering. Charlotte laughs, "I never thought I'd be doing this at this time of my life. But I wouldn't want to do anything else."

The three of them love to spend family time together. One of their favorite pass- times is cranking up the stereo in the living room and rocking-out to golden oldies. Usually it's Violet on the invisible "mic" and Charlotte and Denise on the invisible instruments. I bet they sound pretty good.

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