Sunday, April 12, 2009

We Have A Number!

We are back and happy to be home after what was a wonderful week away in Tucson, Arizona. The boys were very excited to learn all about a "desert ecosystem" and they utilized every waking moment to explore, read, hike, gather rocks, sightsee, eat gelato, create puzzles, play tennis, swim, and basically make us a bit crazy with all their wild antics in Grandma's beautiful home and cactus filled yard. :) It was a week of quality family time and lots of learning.

I did talk with Soojin, our agency caseworker, while we were away to get further clarification on the current timeline in Nepal. It must seem a bit nuts that I am forever changing my story and our timeline but I am trying to get comfortable with the notion that we have no control over the Ministry of Nepal. The Ministry has numerous committees now in place to handle the many new families who are choosing to adopt children from Nepal. The system in place now is very different from the old corrupt system so we are needing to trust the way they do things. That is certainly the hard part! 

The good news is we now have a government issued log in number and absolutely everything needed is in Nepal. The attorney, Manoj, was waiting for our I-600 A approval letter from the Dept. of Homeland Security but that has now been cabled to Katmandu. Now the complete dossier is forwarded to the Ministry Legal Section, consisting of four members. They review everything and submit it to the Reviewing Committee, a six member team. From there the paperwork goes to a Family Matching Committee of several members and they make the final determination as to who our child should be. We will then receive a referral of a child which includes any paperwork, photo, history and medical information. We will have ten days to accept or decline this referral. 

I write all of this to update all of you but also to help me understand that all the checks and balances will continue to take time.  Soojin is still thinking we are looking at 6-8 months before traveling to Nepal to bring our daughter home. That was tough news to hear but the committees are moving more slowly than originally expected and they do all they can with only six hours of electricity a day. Crazy huh?! So we wait and continue to pray that God is leading us in the direction of our daughter. Today we chuckled with the boys that we better have their baby sister home by next Easter. Hayden was all smiles as I think he somewhat understands that this process is taking longer than we had originally hoped.

So I pondering our vacation... Our time with our three amazing boys. Both Bob and I  are careful to cherish the time we have to teach and nurture them without the challenge of a new little one. It is hard to wait but we are richly blessed to all have each other. We all wait together to know who SHE is going to be. Happy Easter to you all! 

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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