Radio icon Delilah talks faith, raising 13 children in candid Robin Roberts interview

Radio icon Delilah opens up about her life off-air and the inspiration behind her new book, "One Heart at a Time."
23:17 | 10/17/18

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Transcript for Radio icon Delilah talks faith, raising 13 children in candid Robin Roberts interview
That this is something about you Delilah your your presence how are you today. I'm good I'm good it's been a tough month. I am I can say that cuts grease is covering and I'm good. If so it is well what my soul. It is where with mind so now we will reprise you're about what and slowing down and you know we know the voice into. Put yourself out there with a book and let people. Know more about you I wrote this book peak high. As we live in such a tumultuous time nude scene every day here your embroiled and it. There's so much. Discontent. And for me on my show there's so much loneliness. So we have all these new tools in new technology to connect. And yet my listeners are more and leaner. There's a a deep loneliness as a yearning. To be heard. Acumen though I talk reliving. The magic in the show's analysts. An and people call because they are yearning to be hurt. And so I wrote the book. As a way to encourage people to listen to connect. To connect heart to heart not just you know have 2000 friends on FaceBook but have one or two friends that you go have coffee or that you. Go see a movie where she just check up on. To many people you for a that they know what an honor and honor we always talk about how you influence. And have influenced your listeners how they influence. My life. Believe it or not is is built around my listeners I mean the reason I got involved with Africa was because I got a letter from somebody. Who had heard about my show and invited me to adopt her children because they were starving in a refugee camp. We all get injured dear sir or madam I have ten million dollars in the secret ops Eric out. My father is king and and this started out. And I went to hit delete and then I stopped something stop him and I believe that was. And I regret it and it said Friday. Look I understand you adopt black children. Would you adopt my three children. We're starving to death and refugee camp we have no food no water. If not we'll god bless you anyway sincerely when frantically. So I read it again and again and I broke back and I simply said who are you. And how did you get my name. And we began this conversation. And two or three days went by and I couldn't stop thinking about this. You know ninety pursue enemy was convinced it was some sort of a scam and somebody wanted to money 10% and he said what if there are children. That are starving to death and are reaching out to me and I'm not. Doing anything but what can I do. What can I do I'm just one person and I was a single parent and I had eight children my town and we were eating top prominent you know so I'm thinking what. What was MIT to this guide and I went to sleep. And I Rea I read about this and in my book when harder this time and went to sleep and I woke that set upstream that. You know one of those street at. And so I got up in the middle of the night and I wrote world vision I think in a work on allies profit had no idea where gondolas on. Had no idea where any of the countries in West Africa where Togo any of them. Next morning the phone rings I got the kids opt out the door to school the phone rings. And it was well cushion. And they said you're not going to believe this but there's a man in our office right now. Named doctor Joseph for a person who. Is gunning in. And who has worked in the refugee camp from all that you spoke. So I finally lifted up on a map the refugee camp is 120 acres. Hundreds when he acres that had sixty was people's. My car and wrote there. To the meeting and they said we can investigate we can find out. If this is legitimate if she's real if the kids are starving accidentally to give a donation check in grants to help this family they said great. Everybody got to leave in one person in the rooms agree you just hope for people in the refugee camp. What are you gonna do about another 60000. And your response my response was they didn't writes me enough problem. And just in my Smart Alex narc UAB. And flipping I got up and went to walk out to my car. And I'm not kidding I it was hit by a two before. Emotionally from god and I. Was on my knees saying I cannot believe I just said. And I went running back into the room and I said. What can I do I'm just one person. What can I do know. And they succumb to Africa I'd like oh no it I don't even have a passport at this point I did not have a passport have been. Canada I think that's it yet that this that it acts that no passport. Never traveled abroad and I said you know I was that if I were indeed traveler would be to like France. Europe. Some place. Had been 32 times now still remembered the programs it. But they challenged me and I I accepted the challenge and. Lou weeks later was on a plane. Going to my first trip to Africa. And found out what one person can do what heart can do so when heart can do and queen you. Say yes. You know we're so busy saying no when you say yes to an opportunity to connect with the person your whole world can change. There's so many things that you wrote about that really touched me. And the one. Live simply. So others consistently lived. Simply some others who we are so. Busy consumed. With consuming an America. We spend so much time and energy getting more staff. Giving more success he no more more more ands. Now that I had. Have been working with point hoping and found a point hope everything purchase I make in my mind I translate how many kids connect fees. The forest and you know 200 bucks on pocketbook how many kids can I feed with that 200 dollars there was no fresh water. So when I met with the moms and with moms my first shipments of what is your number one need the number one me. And they said. We need water. We don't have fresh. Water. So we take program we turn on the fox if we don't have our water sent off at our house we can go to a gas station and turn on the fox. We got hoses we've got water. And they walked three months dean ticket nugget after. Of dirty water and clean and I said to him I said. It's my props. I will get fresh water to you this refugee camp if it's the last thing. And he got was so faithful I made a promise I said I'm gonna do this took us three years to get pipes laid an everything drilling and everything. But in the first six months that we had fresh platter to the camp the mortality rate went down 75%. Fresh water. Waterborne disease was killing. Where we weren't losing. Sign that we are losing. Children every day I would going to the hospital with a little clinic care to big planning now. A little clinic there and it was no bigger than the rut that where we're sitting on. The space and there would be 51015. Kids in there. Every day. No medical supplies no pads no cribs now IDs them. Dying mostly from starvation and waterborne diseases and now that room. Is empty lots this time like there may be one or two kids used in Milan area. Which is a big issue. We work into remote villages right now that when we started three years ago. 50% of the kids were clinically malnourished by the human standards and today there's not a single child. This is chronically malnourished. A man you write so eloquently about your faith. And know that you've had to rely on that faith a lot this past year. And this particular month because it was a year ago who lost her the look of sun. Sack. How are you doing today. It's been are a month. I have wonderful grief counselor. That has been helping this year am more than once. I had close side of the road and make an emergency call and say please call me back and she did and but she kind of prepared me and said the anniversary is going to be almost as artists losing him. Yeah yeah you know iPad anniversaries before ol' boy do if it art. And it was so much the date. Has the smell of the year. You know the change of the season. So that was really hard but my sister came and spent the night with me. We had a little ceremony. And the growth. Planet groove in his honor and all of his friends Kaman was truly beautiful. And you have helped countless families. Deal when a loved one is in so much pain and for whatever reason. Decides to leave this earth. Decides to change their address to help. My son hasn't been using him I've elastic voice. And Sammy in 2012 who has. He was the embodiment. Joy and happiness Sammy was larger than life personality. One dance contest and anytime you sign he was smiling and dancing. But he was in excruciating. Pains. Sickle cell signals. And here in the west we don't talk about us because a lot it's a very small minority of population. But it is a terrifically painful. Disease and there's an ocular. There's only maintenance but he was in so much pain Robin every day. Every day he would have to go for transfusions every few weeks. He hurt all the time so as much as we grieved Sammy. We rejoice that he was no longer. In such pain. Because see him curled up in a ball. And he who he didn't want to take pain medication. So. That was the hardest thing I ever face I never thought I would case as painful as losing scamming. But Zack was larger than life in a completely different way Zach was my wild. He was just this big personality. Big heart big soul big personality a little package he was much smaller than I am. But a big personality. And he felt things deeply. And he couldn't. It's one thing to be empathetic and to want to help somebody to care but. When you take that pain on yourself so deeply. That you can't. Kind of separate from it in it becomes a part of view he felt deeply. Everything. And he went into a depression and his father and I did everything we thought we were doing rightly took him to a doctor. They put him on a medication. That I have since discovered. Houses more suicidal tendencies in 47%. Of young people that are prescribed it. 47%. Of young people put on this SSR I. Experienced. More suicidal tendencies and homicidal tendencies. Then offer. But nobody told me that. Nobody mentioned Matt. And because he was overeat team nobody consulted me. And I started seeing strange behaviors. Things that troubled me I would call the doctor leave messages nobody called me back. And. I went to Africa. Hands. He went to happen. That still doesn't seem room. It we need to losses. In the pot to teenagers. And we need to knots. Necessarily. Turn to medicines that are proven to be ineffective. By two things that have proven to be effectively you exercise and eating healthy plan being surrounded by people. W can't we need to start having open conversations. Are because a tepid. It's up. To you for being so open and concern about know. After his passing continued. Writing your book. Why couldn't first. And so and Eisner's I could write and and the publishers. Talk to my sister. That your sister she's mine every things were so close and she said. All in Austin and I went on and on now. Nobody's talons acts or me but. And that kinda gave me. Energy because I do want parents to now do you want. Health care providers and I do want people start having this conversely there's so many conversations Robin out. And and that's one that's a really big one need to talk about teammates aside. Is there something that you would like to the states. Those that lifted you up in prayer almighty god last year I would not be standing at the prayers of my friends make them maim persons. And it's so funny because knights of the war's not finish the show and the night I'm ready to Tim wind down for the night and that's when it hits because that was part time to my son tonight now. Hand every night and most every night so many listeners and the most beautiful thoughts and prayers and shared their own stories. Of loss and grief. In what help them through and I'm so blast. It's been hard but I rams I can still say I'm the most blessed them. Everybody once you're advised. Has opened what comments mean after all these years with all these different people who have reached out to you loud. It's it's it's the common thread through every conversation. That I have somebody is either excited because they found. Where there longing in Hungary from and it's you win. When I hear it though alive. We hear that and you can't be your listeners. Your and divided it tinged. You could just sense that you are stopping your pausing. You you're listening to them. When you do that. Can you help us and how do we. Step back how do we slowed down how do we allow ourselves to not only be loved but to feel. What I try to do in my book when it tried to do one the year he share with somebody just how unique they are how unique their story is. And how vitally important they are in the fabric of life. Eat because whether your Bluetooth rhetoric green three hatter red thread they all have to work together to make that tapestry. And we're so busy right now in our culture fighting each other. And disrespecting. Each other and wishing each other evil. That we're not in the world where forget payments that we're all human beings in this together. We all need to be together working together. Weaving this tapestry. With all the different colors and fabrics and fibers and beliefs and then hand and families. To get there are beautiful mosaic. We are beautiful causing. A beautiful messy that allowed Ter mulch it was wonderful magazine. You wrote sub. Thing and this is what's making me think of this. You write never before in the history of our world have we needed to love more than we do. Day today that's a really powerful state that's saying a lot. But it's true and it's happening because Ayers and but when we start locking each other one heart at a time one relationship at a time one person at a time one child at a time. And walk a mile in their shoes learn about the M learn about their story. When you can learn about that person and that comes from listening. It's from this and respect. And laughing that's what ages. That's what love is you know a lot of people think love is as love songs you know I completely singing collapsed mine I don't know mr. Michaels public. And I love his love songs but that's. And isn't a 3 year performance on am radio for you it's not a fancy date night read it to dress up and feel beautiful loser you know fun expressions of you know little rose petals that's an expression of love love is going the extra mine. Let us my sister coming in Spain and campers in mice and love is all of his friends coming down the driveway wearing green. Love this is going and spending time with somebody in a nursing home when they no longer remember you. When they no longer recognized. There or to be so many people. For on the pick up your book today they are going to be. Inspired. How do you encourage someone to get started on their insurance. What everybody has a different calling and a different journey obviously. Not everybody is called would hot field of children or to work and refugee camp but maybe your calling is to work with animals. Maybe your calling has to go to an animal shelter NC can volunteer now or week or two hours a week to lock the dogs. Just you know calm them down meet your calling is two to work with the elderly. We all have different gifts but you have to do something take the first. Make a phone call call big Brothers big sisters Nancy you know why. I can't adopt a child like the latter did but I could definitely. Be a Big Brother or big sister to a child who otherwise. Might not a mentor or perhaps you can mentor. And go to college college college and say you know why. I'm successful in broadcasting ran successfully and and and retailer I'm successful. You know in whatever your endeavor is I would love to mentor the young man or woman is there somebody. That I can spend a few hours a week win and form that relationship one heart at a time. Because those relationships. Are what's going to transform our world. You do this the they the heartbreak. And loss that you have suffered. The reading your life story that has not been easy. We see the end result we see this dynamic. Take charge woman. How do you do it how have you been able take hang on to your thrall this. Well I had an experience. And 2012 after Sammy passed the change my life. I was riding my horse in the arena. Not thinking about anything just you know Kynan be in one with nature and god and I wasn't like. Praying. I was riding my horse and circles but I was doing an outlets that night felt like I'd say do you trust me. You know you get Ozal taps on your hard questions will come to mind is booming voice but just a little question. It's got to trust you. Hewitt leave and you keep writing in the I hear that little heart little louder in mice. And you know again I go into my you know Psycho babble and got shocked and whatever yes got your wonderful. And I keep riding an all set my course ups. I haven't really well trained horse and I my horse not right for her. Up. I'm not gonna pop up the horse now Mike Tryon on the horse horses and moving in and I hear. Very clearly in my spare do you trust me. Had to cure early on must. They know. Or trust your policy and make it. Tell you want me to bring him here to love them to raise him so we would have a good thief used to head and. We added out it emea region. And god says I can't lie. He said if I lie eighty even once. The world is you know would cease to exist. I can't line. 100%. Of my promises. Are true. Crime. I'm gonna gets through us. Game changer. Changed everything. In my world. And I was going through a lot of stuff then. And I've gone through a lot of stuff sense but I come back to that conversation. Where god says I cannot. When he gets through this. I know where my boys are. And it were my boys are I know that they are in eternity. With my mom with my dad with my grandparents with my brother. Whose birthday was just a few days ago I know that so I'm at peace with that and I think because I have piece about that. I know I will be there one day. Not today. When we all get this happen. What a day of rejoicing that will be what it didn't really lets you two are slated to every passing me.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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