Monday, February 23, 2009


So what do you do when the wait feels long? That is my question of the moment. We are so willing to see the next step in this journey. What age will she be and what circumstances will surround her being relinquished into an orphanage? What will she look like and when can we begin to wrap our minds and hearts around bringing her here into our world? I think being so in love with my three boys makes wanting to know "her" even that much more difficult. I never knew that this process would feel so deep, so overwhelming, so exciting. There are so many unknowns right now and waiting on the Nepali government feels hard for a control freak such as me. Some days I want to shout from the rooftop, "hurry it up already!"  But then I quietly come back to my center and I realize that this timing is not about me, it is not about what season will be easiest for us, it's not even about how will we do this when we have to leave three children behind. It is not about which of my sisters will be able to go with us and it is not about the gap that feels to be growing between my youngest Owen and his soon to be sister. This is about faith... It is about adding a child into our family when the timing is right and when all things happen in the manner in which they should. We do not get to control this. Somewhere halfway around the world there is a pregnant woman who wonders how she will care for the child that grows in her body. Or maybe there is a child already born who has nobody to hold and love her, nobody to guide and respect her as she grows up. Maybe there is a grandmother who struggles to feed the five children she has been left to care for. We do not get to know when and how just yet but the story is unfolding and sometime soon God will show us his perfect plan.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Latest

Well I tried to post one of the weekly updates we receive from our agency just to make everyone laugh.It didn't quite work. Perhaps we are the only ones who can truly appreciate the humor. This process and Nepal as an adoptive country is just so darn confusing.

After submitting our dossier we were then told to begin working on the I 600 A(also known as the I171H) form which goes to the Department of Homeland Security where we will be approved or denied the ability to obtain a Visa to bring our Nepali daughter to the US. Interestingly enough, I have a friend going through the same process with a different agency who completed this form months ago before the dossier was submitted. So we went to work getting the birth certificates and marriage license and all the other goodies required to get the form submitted. It is now in and again we wait! 

We now begin to wonder how long we wait before we begin to "get ready?" How does one get ready when the timeline feels a bit endless?  We have a very strong faith that this journey to our daughter is in God's hands, but it is so hard to find the patience and the courage to wait. We are all getting eager to just see a picture of who she is. The next step should be a referral from our agency which will include learning who she is and being able to view her health records.  After receiving the referral we have two weeks to have an international pediatrician review her records and then we must accept or decline. How odd that statement is. She is waiting for a family and we are waiting for her. We cannot wait to accept her with arms and hearts wide open.  

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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