A Big Day!

One year ago today we received the call from our outstanding adoption agency with information that would stretch our hearts and shape our lives beyond measure. We were introduced to this precious little one just over three weeks old who had arrived only days earlier at Hannah’s Hope in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Sweet Argene who would become Ava was birthed into our minds and confirmed in our hearts. Ava had been in our hearts for so long but seeing her photo made everything feel so real and so right. She was the little girl we had always dreamed of bringing home to join our family.  The day we received the call is still so fresh in my heart. I spoke with our case manager from our agency and I spoke with our dear social worker. Ava’s referral was such a surprise to us in that we were willing to adopt a child 0-18 months. We thought for our family a slightly older child might make sense. Yes that was our plan and our thoughts, but not what God had in store for any of us. We believe with every fiber of our being that God brought the very daughter we had prayed and hoped for ever since the idea of adoption was birthed in our hearts many years ago. There is a process that families must follow to say yes to a child and that took a few days but we knew that her long fingers and sweet eyes were meant to grow up alongside us. Now one year later we celebrate the beautiful gift of life that was given to us when God gave us Ava Eleanor Argene Strobel.

She is precious, silly, smiley, cheerful, engaging, in love with her Daddy and sweet all rolled into one darling little package. We are deeply grateful for the courage we were given to walk the path of adoption. We never knew just how rich our lives would become and how much our family would be strengthened in listening to God’s call in our hearts. Adoption is so profound and so life changing. We have been broken for the plight of the orphan and made whole by the beauty of digging into the orphan crisis and finding solutions one child at a time.

To my daughter… Oh Ava how your smile melts my heart. You are a charmer and a dear sweet baby who is growing so fast. I thank God everyday for your life, for your birthcountry, for the love you were shown early on while in the arms of others, for your health and the easy adjustments you made upon arriving home. I give thanks for the new heart God has given me to love and protect the orphan, the abandoned, the destitute, the vulnerable and the weak. Traveling half way around the world to you has taught me so much and increased the very foundation of my faith. I have so much love for you and so much I cannot wait to share with you as you continue to grow. Your brothers are forever grateful that you have come into our lives and your Dad, well that story is simply beyond words- so rich with beauty. The two of you are deeply in love! I love you and we all love watching you shine and grow. Be blessed and know that you have bleesed us.

Just look at this child. She is a gift.

Thank you God for bringing her to us. You knew the story and you knew her story long before we did and we have gratitde for all you have done for our family. Amen.”