Sunday, December 21, 2008

Where Do Things Stand?

Many of you have recently asked where things stand with the adoption.
Well here is the latest...

It is important to know that Nepal has been completing adoptions for many 
years up until eighteen months ago. At that point due to adoption problems and 
suspected trafficking and illegal actions within agencies, the Nepali government 
completely shut down the program to make major changes. As of September 2008 Nepal is open once again to conducting international adoptions. Their government was very particular in terms of what agencies they would allow to work within their country. They eliminated many agencies and have finally allowed only 58 agencies worldwide to work within their country. All God's Children International (AGCI)  was one of the top on the list as they had ethically worked within Nepal for nearly eight years prior to the shutdown.

So why Nepal? It is a very long story but the country is one that makes great
sense for our family situation. Many countries have very tricky policies regarding the sex of the adoptive child when the parents already have three children of one sex at home. Plus we had to eliminate many countries due to the fact that the in country stay in order to complete 
paperwork was long. Some countries require a 4-7 week stay. That would certainly be impossible with three children and Bob's business. Nepal is a very good fit. The children are
well cared for within the orphanages that AGCI worked with previously, it is possible for us to adopt a female who is under the age of 12 months and our in country processing should be manageable. 

So here is the answer to the original question... How are things going? The answer is a positive one, although right now things are moving a bit slow. During the month of November we did meet with our social worker twice (two three hour sessions with the kids all present ha!) to complete all the interview questions necessary for her to write up our home study. In addition we had to complete nearly 25 documents such as FBI clearance, questionnaires, passport copies, investment info, resumes (even a current resume for a stay at home mom- seriously!). So our part of the home study is complete. Now for the country dossier.

We thought we were pretty cool keeping up with collecting the necessary documents for the dossier since many matched what we needed for the home study. Wrong! After creating quite a stack of what our agency thought Nepal wanted , Nepali government officials sent out a revised list of dossier documents. Now everything must be an original and every document must be notarized. So this is our first big glitch in the system and we are hoping that Nepal releases their new and revised dossier requirements soon. AGCI feels horrible for the families, such as us, who are on the top of their list for Nepal but they did not see this coming and the communication coming from AGCI has been consistently accurate. So during the month of December we decided to hold. We are focused on the busy season and enjoying all the fun with our kids. We do hope to see updated information regarding the dossier in early January and we should complete the dossier paperwork within one to two months. Then it is all submitted to ACGI and they then send it on to Nepal. From there we wait for them to process and translate the documents before sending us a referral of a child we can call our own.

So it is quite the intense process and one that requires great faith, persistence and patience. We will get there but the road is slow. We will be eager to share the next steps in this journey. In the meantime we are working hard to embrace the spirit of this magical season. Today everything was cancelled and three little boys were unable to be Shepherds in our Nativity story told as a play at church. It was bittersweet news. Instead of the church rush we were able to lay low, sip hot coffee, let the guys build a fort in their room and just hang in our pjs until we could resist the call of the snow no longer. Wow that was some kind of sting when that wind hit our faces this morning!

Into Our Arms Forever!

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welcome home ava! from melanie Strobel on Vimeo.

Meeting Ava during our first trip to Ethiopia

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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.


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Hannah's Hope Orphanage- Ethiopia

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