Growing In Faith And Family
Welcome! Join us on our rollercoaster ride of life with nine blessings. Buckle up and enjoy the ride!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Home Two Years


Wow! It has been two years since our newest three came home. How time flies. I hopped on this blog today to find our homecoming photo and found myself raw with emotion as I took a stroll down memory lane. I am so thankful for this blog. It is important that I NEVER FORGET where we have come from, and how far we have gone in two short precious years. It is an absolute honor to have been chosen to be the mama to all of these blessings.
Just looking at our three as they were still in Ethiopia and we received photos of them. My heart literally hurt to have them home. And our trip to Ethiopia to meet them. The plane ride home as Betel slept ON THE FLOOR for almost the entire time. Our arrival at Dulles to friends and family in the middle of a blizzard. Playing in SNOW on their first day home. They had never seen snow. Their first day of school photos. (When you have time, go back to Feb 2010 on this blog and take a look for yourself.)
All that I can say is Our Redeemer Lives. I have no idea how I was worthy enough to have been chosen to adopt for the fourth time (with adopted children number 5, 6, & 7.) I am still unworthy but deeply grateful and humbled.
Being a wife and a mama IS my ministry. I take it very seriously and am broken often for my children as they struggle through life...all nine of them.
I cannot imagine a better gift in the world to a parent or a child than the gift of adoption. Truly.
I am reminded of the song by Selah: God bless the broken road that led me straight to you.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Gotcha Day 1 Year Ago!

Officially Meeting Our Kiddos
Group Huddle With Daddy
Leaving The Foster Care Center
A Running Start As A Family
Happy Betel On Her Birthday
Abigael And Samuel On His Birthday
Yadel With His New Guitar

Wow! Time flies when you have a house full and a heart full of kiddos! A year ago today, we were blessed by wrapping our arms around three of the most precious children, and walking with them out of the foster care center and into our family. Just amazing. It's so neat to look back at these photos of Yadel, Abgiael, and Betel, and then to see the children that they are today. So much growth (on their part and on our part) takes place in 1 short year. I am thankful and blessed that the Lord chose us to parent this big crazy family.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Child Sponsorship

I am the proud new Mama sponsor to a sweet little boy named Mitiku in Ethiopia. Isn't he the cutest thing ever?!?!? He is about to have his 5th birthday and he is in Kindergarten. He is at Kechene. If you are a Gladney family and have traveled, then you are familiar with Kechene as it is one of the orphanages that Gladney families visit. Kechene is a brand new endeavor for Children's Hopechest, so an amazing family is working to collect sponsorships for these children. Greta traveled to Ethiopia in November and loved on all of these children including Mitiku. They need more sponsors though. Please consider sponsoring and loving on these children from afar. It's only $34 a month! You can even send letters and photos via the Children's Hopechest website. Once a year, Children's Hopechest has a mission's trip to their sponsorship sites and they allow you to send a care package. (I will probably send other small care packages through the year as well with items that all of the children can share.) To learn more, click here: Give Me Your Eyes or go to the button on my sidebar.
And a HUGE shout out and thanks to Sami at Little Goody 2 Shoes, who raised enough money to send all of the 55 children seeking sponsorship new shoes through her sales of adorable bottle cap necklaces. Five of us here at Team Schnabel are proud owners of these necklaces and we love them! I also have Sami's button on my sidebar. Where else can you get the most adorable necklace ever for $5?!?!?!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Tis The Season

The kid's just found out via referral photo that their best friends in Ethiopia are coming to live in our town!
The crew. Can you find all nine kiddos?
Yadel the Birthday Boy!
Betel the Birthday Girl!
Eliana and Stephan
Thanksgiving fun at the beach.
Surprise Birthday Party for Grandma Alice at the beach.

Tis the be jolly, thankful, blessed. Life here is crazy, busy, and full. Life here is amazing, good, and fun. Parenting nine kiddos, 7 whom are adopted, and 5 that were older child adoptions can be very challenging....and very rewarding. I the words of Dickens "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of Hope, it was the winter of despair." That really sums up our lives right now.
With the newbies, I have one home being homeschooled, and we are working on obstacles to learning, and behavior modification. One is the picture of perfection & doing so well on the outside. But having been through so much in that short life, is in art therapy to help deal with all of the stuff on the inside. One is doing well and going with the flow...except when that stubborn streak come in to play.
They are gifts. I am thankful that the Lord entrusted them to us. We are working on peeling away all of layers of past and present stuff, so that they can grow into the young men and women that God has planned for them to be. "For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11. That's what it's all about...not trying to reach perfection, but redemption!
Speaking of hope and a future, two of the most special girls on the planet that have been at the Gladney care center in Ethiopia for three and a half long years, have been referred to a dear couple right here in my small town. We are rejoicing in this WONDERFUL news today. Two more children are getting a forever family.
That would be my Christmas wish.....for every boy and girl on the planet to get a loving family. It shouldn't be optional! It rips my heart to know how many millions of orphans there are in the world. In the mean time, my three new children just experienced their first Thanksgiving, are seeing their first Christmas lights, and are about to celebrate such a special holiday in a warm home with plenty of love, food, clothing, and an abundance of gifts. Priceless!
Sorry for the rambling. My heart is so full of these nine blessings, but heavy with the millions of others that are looking to fill someone's heart. Maybe this Christmas season, you will step out in faith, and it will be YOUR heart that is filled with one of these orphans.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

We Are Here! We Are Good!

Enjoying the water on our camping trip
Art With Papa Bob
Beach Fun
Fishing With Papa Bob
Ellie's First Day of School
Betel's First Day Of School
Samuel's First Day Of School
Grace's First Day Of School
Abigael's First Day Of School
Yadel's First Day Of School
Katie's First Day Of School
Stephan's First Day Of School
Grace's 10th Birthday
Ethiopian New Year Celebration
Enjoying Ice Cream
Couples Getaway To Cancun
Yadel Playing Lacrosse

Ohhhh, I am so behind on blogging. Life is good here on Team Schnabel. Summer was great having all of the kiddos home, but they are now enjoying school and sports again. This year, I have one in working in the "real world," one in private school, one in preschool, five in public school, and one that will join me at home for homeschool in 1 week! It's my first venture into homeschooling and I am very excited as I know that this is the best thing for my sweet child. My 20yo will also be joining Team Schnabel full time again in a couple of weeks which is a really good thing (after much prayer.) :-) So our house will be hopping even more.
On the sports circuit, Stephan continues to play year round lacrosse. Katie is on a select volleyball team, Betel is our soccer rockstar, and Yadel is having a blast playing lacrosse. I made the kids choose 1 sport for either fall or winter so the rest of them are playing basketball this winter. Steve will delve into the coaching world this winter again as he introduces the sport of wrestling to Stephan's school.
That's about it here. That's plenty. I am so thankful to the Lord for my family. Things are not always easy, but I am indeed blessed. Happy Fall!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Home 5 1/2 Months (JUST POSTED 7/27/10)

Yadel's 5th grade graduation

Celebrating with Yadel

Yadel enjoying sparklers!

Abigael celebrating the 4th of July!

Small Town Parade

"Little" boys on the 4th

"Little" girls on the 4th

The Boys

The Girls

Zoo Fun!

Stephan my Laxer boy

It's summer time and 5 months have passed since being home and being a party of 11! Yadel "graduated" from 5th grade in June and will head to middle school this fall. I was pretty emotional watching him receive his certificate because less than 5 months prior, he was in an orphanage in Ethiopia. WOW! The week after school, we all had a blast at vacation bible school. This year, I taught first grade girls, the four older kids helped out too, and the five youngest attended. It was so great having all nine kiddos there! Our weekends are filled with Stephan's lacrosse so we are officially a LAXer family and I am definitely a LAXer Mama. Next came 4th of July and we enjoyed a hometown parade, swimming, a BBQ, sparklers, and fireworks. What a great day! Two of my sweeeties started summer school in July, so I started "summer homeschool" with the other children every morning while the other two are at school. They are really enjoying it and hopefully they will retain what they learned this year a little better. Stephan is in China on a mission's trip for 3 weeks, and the rest of us will head down to Grandma's house for some beach fun soon. I'm ready for my beach therapy! Life is crazy. Life is busy. The ride is wild and I'm lovin' it!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

4 Months Already?!?!?!

I cannot believe that we have all been together for 4 months! The best way that I can sum up my life right now is through two stories about my children:
1. Ellie, three years old, said her goodbyes to each of the 5 elementary school kids on their way to the bus stop today. Yadel went to her, picked her up in a huge hug, swung her around three times, gave her a kiss, and said "I love you." Oh, my heart. Just over 4 months ago, he was living in an orphanage in Ethiopia.
2. Grace and Abigael gave me a gift today as they were heading out to the bus stop. It is a journal and on the inside Grace wrote: "Dear Mom, I am so happy that you are my mom. Thank you for being my mom. I am thankful that I am your daughter. I love you as you love me. I have fun singing with you at church. Thank you for adopting all of us. I love you mom." Less than two years ago, she was living in an orphanage in Ethiopia.
I LOVE the way the Lord had grown our family through adoption.