Wednesday, November 25, 2009

So much to be thankful for

We are preparing to head North for some R&R and of course a wonderful meal with family, I am reminded of all we have to be thankful for in this amazing adoption process. I am grateful for God's nudge in the time where this all began. I am grateful for the time and energy both myself and my husband have poured into embracing and accepting adoption as the way we were meant to grow our family. Thank God both of us could get on the same page and have felt equally called to adopt our daughter. I am thankful for our agency and all the many AGCI families who continue to amaze and inspire me. Whenever I feel challenged by the idea of four children, all I do is look around at the many AGCI families and I am reminded of God's grace. By next year we should know who our little Ethiopian daughter is. I know this holiday season she is in Ethiopia, but not a day goes by when she is not in my heart. We hope next year to share this season of giving with her, baby Strobel. We are thankful for you!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Our growing girl...

Here we sit as a family with a new number in the adoption line. We have been given the number 25 which in loose terms means that there are 24 families ahead of us who are also waiting to adopt their sweet daughter from Ethiopia with AGCI. As the number continues to go down we become more aware that all of this is truly happening. That is a strange comment I know but we have been waiting for so long for all of this to actually happen. Our hearts were stirred many years and three kids ago and over the weekend both Bob and I were enjoying an old favorite restaraunt where we lived during his graduate school days. We were visiting to attend the UofM football game and have our boys and my Dad join us for a day of reminiscing and fun. We determined during our calm dinner that the last time we had been to the Earle, in Ann Arbor, MI, over ten years ago, that we were discussing the possibility of adoption due to infertility issues that had lead to an ectopic pregnancy. At that point we were interested in only one thing. We wanted a baby. We both were convinced that adoption would be right for us and that we would not try to have a biological child forever. Little did we know how much that conversation nearly ten years ago would come to pass. What began as our own journey to children soon became God's journey. We went on to have three beautiful boys but still the feelings of adoption lingered. It began to feel like something maybe we were meant to do. Funny how God works sometimes. As our lives became busier, as we become more aware of the blessings in our lives, as our relationship to God became bolder and more important, we were continually reminded of the days back in Ann Arbor when adoption was our great hope. We celebrated 14 years of marriage with our dinner at the Earle this past Saturday evening and we feel like there is no more we could hope for. We are incredible blessed with rich and rewarding, fun and faith-filled lives. We are listening to God's nudges and the daily benefits are so great. We are number 25 and soon we will hold a little girl who is growing somewhere. She may be growing in her birthmother's belly or growing within the walls of an Ethiopia orphanage. She is growing like the idea of adoption grew in us. She is growing like the seeds of faith that have grown within myself and Bob over the past fourteen years and she is growing to someday be welcomed with open arms into our family. We cannot wait to know who our precious little daughter is. Bless and keep her God as she grows-wherever she may be.

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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