Saturday, October 31, 2009

Fun and Fantastic!

Fun and fantastic is the way Bob described our Halloween! The boys were so amazing with all their excitement throughout the night! We had good friends here who were new to all the WV hoopla. Grandparents stopped to see the costumes. Grandpa Ron made amazing chili and manned the porch so we could all walk with the kids. Just watching their eyes sparkle as they shook off the cold night air and ran from house to house was so precious. Hayden informed us that at one house Owen even asked for two of whatever they were passing out and it made us recall the days when Hayden would ring the doorbell and say, "trick or treat, I'm allergic to peanuts." People would melt in their doorways or simply dissolve into laughter. Halloween is always a magical night and a favorite celebration of costumes, candy, all the neighbors out taking photos in the cal-de-sac and of course chili and anything pumpkin we can think of. Our Halloween traditions are a blast and this year Frankenstein and my two mummies enjoyed it all! Just think... perhaps next year I will be able to make a little girl's costume. :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

37 sure sounds good to us...

We have had a wild ride of a week around our house and I have not had the chance to update our blog. That's the very reason I love this online journal of sorts... it helps me keep track of all the many changes and updates as we move through our adoption.
So about a week ago I received an email informing our family that we had moved from 44 to 37 on the wait list. This is big movement in one months time! Apparently IN late September through early October the courts close in Ethiopia. That means few referrals are likely to occur at that time since the adoption system is slow and quiet. In spite of the closure it would seem that Hannah's Hope is busting at the seams with infants and they are working hard to match children with families. Remember the referral means we have a match! More later I have to run. :)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Loving My Children

So as crazy as it sounds today was a day where I wished I could have 14 more children in my life! I warned you it sounded crazy but today was one of the best afternoons we have had as a family. The boys were out of school today for a teacher's inservice. They began their morning with a bit of relaxation and by building a skatepark in the garage. The ramps required that I back the car out and they went to town with any wood they could find. They organized everything and had piles of scooters, skateboards, helmets, pads and of course piles of wood they could add to the ramps. The whole endeavor took them hours and it was quite a sight to behold. Bob worked half a day. We organized backpacks, figured out homework and then cleaned up to spend the afternoon and evening downtown. The guys were a blast!!!!

We started at Cathedral Square and saw the ladders and the Giving Tree. The boys had notebooks and we encouraged them to sketch what they saw or perhaps describe or define it. We traveled next to Calder Plaza and on to BIggby to warm up with coffee and hot cocoa. They guys were dreamy and so fun to watch as they absorbed all the art, some good and some, well the boys are already little critics."Are the ladders really art Mommy or are they more like a creative project?" Carter asked. Owen could not wait to get into the Old Federal Building where several of the top art pieces are housed. Both he and I had visited the area this week and he really remembered the pieces he loved. He owned the place, wanting his Dad and brothers to see it all. How can a five year old be so in love with ART?

I guess I am just sitting here tonight counting my many blessings. I am blessed to have such amazing children and a husband who feels the same way I do. It is our responsibility to teach them all we can, to guide them and to show them the ways of God. They fill our lives with such joy, spirit, concern and love. I am in awe of the gift God has given us in giving is three brilliant and beautiful children. The joy they provide makes me wish I could have more. More children to love. More children to teach. More children to cherish and guide. I can't wait to know who is next to join our family.

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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