Thursday, October 30, 2008

A scheduled visit

Good Morning:
One the way to school we played a quiz game and boy do my kids love facts that might just stump another. It was a great way to distract them from picking on one another or reminding me, the Mama, of something I may have forgotten to load into their backpacks. I wonder at what age they will begin to accept that things like gloves, library books and gym shoes are something they must be responsible for? Never mind that I am a busy bee, loading everything I can remember into their respective backpacks the night before.  I think they believe a magic fairy does the job. We realize that autonomy is a skill that must be taught over and over again just like learning to zip a coat or tie a shoe. 

When the stars align and our mornings are calm and easy I am reminded just how fortunate our little girl from Nepal will be. She will be fortunate not because we are richly blessed with family, friends and a wonderful community. Not because of our schools, our comfortable home or all the many activities we are a part of. She will be incredibly blessed to have three little boys in her world who will grow to admire and adore her. They will all three have so much to teach her. They will embrace her, shelter her, guide her and of course boss her around all to the tune of love and admiration. I have no doubts that the little girl that is meant to enter our family will do nothing but expand the hearts of our three little boys.  For that I am so excited and up to the challenge that adoption brings.

I finally met our social worker over the phone. She will conduct our home study. Now prepare to laugh... She will need to spend six hours of time with us, all five of us, observing our lives as a family. Six hours! We may flunk after she interacts with us for six hours but we plan to give it the old college try. She will interview both Bob and myself together, then separately, and then she talks with the kids. I can't wait to hear their thoughts. Hayden of course will tell her that he believes he MUST go to Nepal and Carter will tell her that he is slightly unsure and Owen will probably say something completely nutty since he really cannot possibly understand exactly what is going on. I explained to her, Deb, that we are eager to have her discuss the adoption with the boys. It will help to put a human face with the process. For so long we have done nothing but talk about the idea. Now they will see action and meet an actual person who will be helping to get the ball rolling. Deb will first visit for three hours next Friday. Say a little prayer that the five of us can keep it together. Three hours can be a long time in a house with three wild boys. It's another step in the right direction. Now if we can just get all the paperwork completed. Whew!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Our date night

So let me say date nights sure take on a different meaning when there is little time throughout the week to catch up on who is signing up the boys for basketball and has Carter done his reading homework and oh by the way it is so and sos birthday tomorrow.  So dates nights have on numerous occasions become business meeting for the Strobel family CEO and CFO. Last Saturday we had my Dad watching the boys for nearly four hours before he had to be to work at 9pm. We booked out of the house with my giant briefcase in tow. After a couple necessary errands we ended up in the bar area of Naya Restaurant. It is well lit, quiet and they were playing the Michigan game (what a comeback). We each ordered a cocktail and then unleashed all the energy we could muster on answering over a hundred pages of questions within our adoption paperwork. The questions are down right strange. We are asked to recall our own responses to foods as a child or interview someone in our family to ask them to recall our actions as youngsters. I mean for real... we are under a major financial crisis and we have political issues to discuss with family and friends, not our actions as children. We are trying to remain positive but the questions seem darn right silly. So as we are sitting in a bar writing at a feverish clip, an older couple leans over and says, "what are you two working so hard on?" We burst into laughter and explained our madness. Within minutes our server was back and they had offered to buy us a drink. Do you think they were acting out of pity? We are eager to complete the questions, but tomorrow night we are headed out for a real date night, no paperwork and no computer. Instead there will no doubt be much to discuss after tonight's circus debate. :)

Into Our Arms Forever!

Remember to scroll down to mute the music.

welcome home ava! from melanie Strobel on Vimeo.

Meeting Ava during our first trip to Ethiopia

Don't foget to turn off the music below before watching video.

Meeting Ava Ethiopia Trip July 2010 from melanie Strobel on Vimeo.

Korah- Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

During our recent visit to Ethiopia I felt very called to the village of Korah in Addis Ababa Ethiopia. There have been numerous rumblings lately about the tremendous need to help the children of Korah who are growing up in and around the local trash dump. The village was established 75 years ago as a place to send people with leprosy who were said to be cursed. Now there is a 3rd generation of people living in Korah with nearly 100,000 suffering from such things as leprosy, HIV, misc disease and of course malnutrition. There are many children of Korah who have been forced to live and work at the trash dump in hopes of finding food and possible items to sell in Korah's center of town. With the start of the Great Hope Church in Korah and the building of a shelter, along with the ministry of local Sammy Liben and Sumer Yates, there is now a feeding program and a sponsorship program in place to rescue the forgotten children of Korah and send them to boarding school where they can escape the horror of the conditions of living and working in a large trash dump. For more information please visit: or where you can learn more about how you or your organization can help the people and the children of Korah. Please send me a message or email Erin Allen at to request sponsorship information. I will soon be posting the photos of my day recently spent in Korah. I must tell you it was life changing and beyond anything I have ever done to stretch, change and rearrange myself. God helped me to help the people who I met. Much of what I could offer was nothing more than the snap of my camera or a warm touch or an inviting smile. The needs in Korah are beyond our wildest imagination yet God is over Korah and there is already amazing work being done. I invite you to view the following videos to learn more about the beauty and the needs of Korah's people.


P61 grab button

Love this...

You will need to turn off the music below in order to enjoy this video. Go down to playlist and turn it off.

Hannah's Hope Orphanage- Ethiopia

Remember to turn off music below before watching.