Monday, November 30, 2009

OH Boy!!

Well, I dropped the ball with the daily blog thing!!! Yikes, sorry if you were following along. We both worked on THanksgiving and during the weekend. In between that, we spent a lot of time praying. Also, our internet is down.
So, I'm shaking a little as I type this. Our long awaited court date is tomorrow, December 1st!! We have experienced a wide array of emotions, now it's just anticipation and excitement. We both spent time fasting and praying this weekend (and a little hunting in the woods). God is so good. We know no matter what the outcome, God's hand is on this. The wait has been hard, but we've learned so much about what it means to trust Him. This time has been good, but MAN we are ready to bring our little girl home!! The minute I woke up this morning, I started praying that Winnie's uncle was on his way to Addis now. I prayed for the paperwork to be present at court and translated accurately. I prayed for a favorable judge :) I prayed for the electricity to be on, and staff to be working.
PLEASE, pray for our case tonight. Ethiopian time is ahead of us, so our case will be heard while we sleep tonight. If we pass court, we will have ALL KINDS OF PICTURES here tomorrow.

So, I'm thankful for our house, our friends, two wonderful jobs that bring home the bacon, and unexpected moments when God says "see, I care, that little thing that was icing on the cake, yep... I wanted you to have that too, cause I love you." That brings me up to date on my thankfuls!!!

Now, ways to get involved and give back... we sponsor a little girl in Uganda. This agency is amazing, has a very, very low overhead, which is important so most of the money goes straight where it's needed most. You can buy a chickie, goat, clean water, school supplies, or malaria skito nets for children all over the world. What a gift to give fresh milk, meat, water to drink... you could change a life for VERY little.


Thursday, November 26, 2009


Today we are thankful for having a daughter on the way. God has been so very gracious to Tim and I, and answered this long time desire. We are thankful that God protected her and brought her to a safe place. We rejoice that 4 months ago we saw this tiny, beautiful, happy face staring back at us on the "waiting child" page. and... in 5 days she could be officially a SHAW.

Today's way to give is one of my favorites!!!!! It costs .44$ and takes MAYBE ten minutes. Will you take a minute to write a note to a senior citizen? I got a call last night from a lady that I wrote a note to a while back. She said "hon, I've had a stroke, I can't write back. Would you keep writing? It's so good to hear from you..." We all must know someone lonely. Stop and send them a note of encouragement.

Psalm 150:6 "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord"

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Day 3

I just got new pics of Winnie from a traveling family and from her November update, a double blessing. Once again, she is healthy and happy in each picture. She's got a really snazzy new hair do too :) We are so grateful for our daughter. It's bittersweet today. I've got these new pictures, but Tim and I are feeling really impatient. She's grown again. So big. Every part of me wants to leave work right now, catch the next plane out of town, go straight to that orphanage and scoop her up!!! ... maybe it's that crazy yellow fever shot going to my head.

I read a children's story book about a little bird who had no mother. He went around and asked all the animals, "are you my mother?" each one said no. Finally a mama bear found the bird and said, "little bird, come with me, I'll be your mother!" In our hearts this is already a done deal, we are her mom and dad.

Today's way to give is to go visit AHOPE website. I just bought some of the coolest necklaces there. If you happen to get one for Christmas, act surprised :) Ahope has 2 orphanages in Ethiopia for HIV and AIDS orphans. These are the kids with little hope for adoption... and BIG dreams for life. There are some amazing products at the store, so please go to
If you don't want to make a purchase, WON'T YOU VISIT THE WEBSITE AND LEARN MORE ABOUT THESE KIDS? December 1st is world AIDS day, show your support!!!

Today, I thank God for my family. We all had dinner last night, and really had a blast. "He sets the Lonely in Families..." Psalms 68:6
my dad is so generous. He still teaches me how to give without expecting and love without limiting.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Day 2

Last night I had the pleasure of going to a "fair trade" party. This isn't a typical, ORDER STUFF SO I GET FREE THINGS party, but a HELP OTHERS, PURCHASE FAIRLY party. How refreshing!!! This is just what I would expect from my good friend Kris. So, here's the deal: There are kids forced to work 20 hours a day in the cocoa factories that make the nestle treats we eat. That coffee you buy super cheap at the grocery, it probably wasn't purchased from the little family in Ethiopia, Columbia, or Indonesia at a price that can sustain their living expenses and feed their families. The stationary made in China might not have been so good for Mother Earth.
I sat at Kris' house last night and ordered a bag of coffee from Sidamo. The tiny village where my child was born. Could her mom and dad have been coffee farmers? What would a fair price do for her remaining family?
Won't you make "fair choices" this holiday season?
It really doesn't matter where you choose to buy them...just please know that a little more change for an awesome product can make a HUGE difference for the struggling families around the world. (is that a runon sentence, or what?)
Here's the website for Four Winds International:
I believe she will be putting coffee, tea, and chocolates on shortly (the chocolate is OH SO GOOD, and the Sidamo single origin coffee is close to my heart).

On to my Thankfulness. I am so thankful that God cares about the injustice in the world, and offers hope.

7 days 'til court!!
Abigail (and Tim, who's been working a lot lately and I miss!)

Monday, November 23, 2009

At Risk for being called a "DOWNER DEBBIE"

I posted an article on facebook this morning. It wasn't pretty. A story about a little girl in foster care who was abused and beaten by her foster family, many have wanted to adopt her, until they find out she is HIV+. The good news, she's got a loving family that WANTS HER!!
So, here's the conflict in my heart this morning... I read the article, was deeply touched with the needs of orphans in general, and specifically HIV+ orphans, and hesitated to post the article.
WHY? Because I'm sometimes accused of being a "downer Debbie," and I cared what other people thought this morning. Ugghh. My heart is to be an advocate for these children but so often it gets bogged down with our life, here, far away from poverty in our city, country, and world. I forget that 95% of the world isn't wandering through Whole Foods, splurging on a coffee drink, or even worrying about how to afford new tires. Reality is a world where orphans are treated very badly and are at risk for many scary, sad situations. When I choose to ignore the reality, I feel like I am adding to the problem.
There is always good news...
I am amazed by how many ways I can be involved. In fact, sometimes it's so overwhelming that it's much easier to do nothing. So, for every day until our court date... 8 days (but who's counting??) I am going to share a way to make a difference in the lives of those other 95%. Caution, they may be orphan focused :) but know that there are plenty of other "needs" in our world!!
I'm also going to share something I'm thankful for each day. So, today it's you...
I am so grateful for friends and family who care!! Tim and I have been so blessed by the amount of support and love you have poured out to us. Thank you for understanding our new parent worries, for sharing your stories, for walking with us through this exciting and sometimes trying time.

Today's way to reach out, help the Johnson family bring this little girl home...
If you cannot, will you remember to pray for her? I am sure that there is some attachment/emotional challenges that this family will encounter, and they could use our prayers.

Urgent Situation - Johnson Family Adoption
The Johnson family is adopting a 3 yr old girl from Eastern Europe. The little girl was previously living with a paid Eastern European foster-family. Unfortunately, the guardianship paperwork was incomplete and the little girl ended up in a dangerous situation. The foster-father severely tortured and beat her. She was dropped off at a hospital covered in scratches and bruises and she had been dragged around by the hair, pulling it out by the roots. Video. She was also malnourished. The foster-father is now in prison for 4 years and the foster-mother has been heavily fined for not protecting the child.
After the extensive news coverage, many families in the little girl’s home country expressed interest in fostering or adopting her, but when her health status was made known to them, they refused her. The stigma surrounding HIV in Eastern Europe is still very problematic, and people living with the virus often face severe discrimination and abuse.

Fortunately, the Johnsons are now completing their dossier paperwork and hope to travel to Russia soon to finalize the adoption and bring the little girl home. They had started to save money to adopt in 2-3 years, but then they heard about this story, realized the urgency of the situation and decided to start adoption proceedings right away. They are trying to raise $6,000 for travel funds and could really use some help. Please consider donating to their adoption fund, and please help to spread the word about their story. Feel free to copy and paste this post.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Our friends from Westerville Fire Department threw us a surprise shower... I thought we were going to an insurance meeting (ugg) and when we got there, It was our friends ready to welcome Winnie. Wow!! We were showered with food, drinks, and lots of gifts for our girl.

We spent some great quality time with our friends this afternoon. It is so wonderful to have the support of our fire department family, and knowing that they are sharing in our experience.

A very cute sign we thought... it was all so wonderful!!

Little Winnie, We can't wait 'til you are home!! So many people love you. Today was one of those special times when your daddy and I feel like it's real, you are gonna be here soon!! We can't wait to play and read to you, and dress you in your new clothes!!!

Thank You Everyone!! 15 Days to Court!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Just in from Ethiopia...

So, here's the little snippet we got today...

"I know you're anxious to see W********, so here is one pic to tide you over until we get home.

She is adorable and just as sweet as her picture! She loved the M and M's, but I think the biggest hit was the phone. That got the biggest grins. The shoes you sent were just a tad too big, so when you come pick her up don't get anything smaller than a 9. The shoes definitely were not TOO big. She looked adorable walking off with her sunglasses and her phone hanging from her arm
Thank you Kavanaugh family!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It was so fun to see her with the cell phone toy that had our greeting recorded. She is just so happy!!

Tim and I had our first amharic lesson on Saturday. This was really interesting, and as soon as we are well (both sick right now) we are going to start practicing this in our home :)
here's a sample:
Edima-neh, winnieyay? (how are you, sweet Winnie?)
Buna yeetahftahl (delicious coffee)
Libseh lieahtishnah Timyay ( sweet Tim, please don't go potty in your pants!!!)

We met with our friends friday night, and got to hang out with "vanilla" Winnie, who asked where "my Winnie" was!!! It was too cute. She twirled and talked to her friend, Timshaw. She also took us to her room, where I saw a 31/2 year old's room. I gained a lot of insight on what I should include... lots of dolls, books, toys, princess bed, and pink and purple. It was such a sweet glimpse into our future with a 3 year old!!

It was also Tim's birthday this weekend. We spent some time with his dad, step mom, and brother. Every so often, Jake (brother, 5 years old) says, "I love you, Abigail." He's a caring, sweet dirt bike riding dude :) He brought us up some old toys... Dora doll, shopping cart, sweeper, and many other things that I can't really identify (but soon will know well.)

22 days til' court... and counting. Thanks for all your support!!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Winnie's progress

We got the plaster and painting done!!! and we are starting to move some furniture in the room. Sure hope she likes pink and green :) Virgil, our cat, does! We are counting down the days to court, and our Winnie coming home.

Large Care Package

We recently mailed a care package to Winnie via a family from Missouri. I just wanted to post a pic of what we had sent to her.....or intended to send. The thing is that I may have violated the weight restriction on the care package ( and maybe the generosity of the family that had agreed to take it in their personal luggage...) , actually with the help of my Foodsaver 2000, I nearly quadrupled the weight of any other families package.... We opted for a smaller assortment at the prospect of the family having to take another piece of luggage. You'd be amazed at how much you can fit into a one gallon foodsaver bag with the proper motivation...(and without thinking about how much it weighs). Our sincere thanks to Kavanaugh's for their help and our prayers go out to them for their trip and for the newest member of their family.

Obama Ends U.S. Travel Ban on Those with HIV-AIDS

Obama Ends U.S. Travel Ban on Those with HIV-AIDS

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