Thursday, December 30, 2010


We've had a wonderful time watching Winnie discover Christmas. That glow and excitement on Christmas eve... the crumbs and empty milk glass left by Santa in the morning...singing happy birthday to Jesus and explaining "He's here, we just can't see him"...reciting the Christmas story with the little people nativity...the excitement on the drive to the grandparent's houses in Circleville...and the two hour wait to look at what was under the tree until dad got home from the firehouse!!!

It hit me on Christmas Eve, what a difference this Christmas was to last. I mean, two 30 year olds preparing for santa is NOT the same as two thirty year olds and a five year old! Even more, I realized while singing carols at church that until you have a child, it's hard to understand the sacrifice that comes with the Christmas story. It hit home in a different way this year.

So, here is a smorgasbord of photos. You'd think I would know how to do this by now, but I get them out of order every single time. You'll notice Christmas morning she starts off with a shirt and skirt... then on the bike, then off with the skirt. Then on with the wig. Next a tiger tail and face mask. Then off with the whole thing and on to a new outfit :) That's our girl.

The tree farm didn't have much selection, but anything looks killer with this tree topper perched on it!!

best milk and cookies for santa on the block!!! How would I know?????

Grace, Ava and Winnie acting out the Christmas story.

Snow on the ground makes a true test drive impossible...
wait, we can do it in the house!!

Lotso smells like strawberries, and my grandma DOES NOT like him.

For me???

Winnie will be dressing as Jessie for halloween next year. We've already got the sparkly red hat with the yarn braid attached.
Last week she wanted to be broccoli, so we'll see...

I got many great presents too, one of my favorites being a huge scrap book full of every blog entry and picture!!! WHAT A LABOR OF LOVE!!! Thanks Amanda

Future soccer star!!

He must have liked the cookies and milk!!

Papa spent Christmas in the hospital, so we went many times to cheer him up and decorate his room. He's coming home tomorrow!!!!!

Favorite line of Christmas...

My 85 year old grandma with alzheimer's says to an excited, loud Winnie on Christmas eve, "You know what your gonna get? your gonna get yourself a paddlin' "

Winnie replies, "No I'm not, I'm gettin' a bike!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

That's our girl :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

How does santa get a bike down the chimney?

Why did Mary have to get her baby out of her belly in a stinky barn?

Is tomorrow Christmas?

Is tomorrow my birthday?

Can't you PLEASE play Mary and Joseph with me now?

Are there chocolate colored angels?

A good friend got us a "little people" nativity set, and I've played Mary and Joseph with Winnie every day!! I was exhausted and a little silly tonight and I had Joseph tell Mary how much he wanted a cat. Mary told him he couldn't have a cat because pregnant women aren't allowed to be around them. Then Mary told Joseph to go clean out the barn before they got there so it wouldn't be so stinky!!

Winnie has seen two Santa's. She loves to tell people that one was really fat and wouldn't let her sit on his lap, and one was skinnier. She was consistent with the wish... a big girl bike with two wheels. And for us? A beautiful hand print wreath she made at school!! I never thought I would love preschool gifts the way I do.

Daddy and mommy going out for a party! Winnie got to stay home with Tiru and have her whole head braided!!

Thanks to daddy we've got a rip roaring fire!!

The skinny santa
Santa, mommy says we should ask you for a brother or sister for me to play with. She says I need a playmate.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

An update from Tim

For those of you reading our blog that I haven't talked to recently, I just returned from Haiti where I have been working as a volunteer treating cholera. Unless you have been living under a rock you know that Haiti was hit with a massive earthquake nearly a year ago, leaving over 250,000 of its residents dead. Currently 1.3 million people are living in tent cities where diseases run wild.

Flying into Port Au Prince, it is amazing many blue tarp and tent houses there are within the city.

It is amazing that nearly a year after the earthquake, building still lay in piles, ceilings collapsed onto floors, its occupants still entombed within the concrete and rubble.

If you are reading this, please don't forget about our brothers and sisters in Haiti. The suffering there is real. It is ongoing. Tonight people are starving to death and dying from disease. 

I saw two quotes written on the table at the MMRC compound in PAP:

I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do. ~Edward Everett Hale

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little. ~Edmund Burke

I was working with Open Hands International Medical Partners, a non-profit based in Columbus, OH. Abigail and I have both volunteered with Open Hands before. We helped build a cholera treatment center with the great folks from MMRC on Isle de la Gonave. We assisted another organization in doing field reconnaissance and worked in the PAP Medishare Hospital.

Winnie picked out her favorite crawling "goo-goo dah-dah" doll and asked me to take it to a little girl in Haiti who might not have a doll. Unfortunately that describes a majority of little girls. The girl I decided to give it to was one of five siblings being treated for cholera in the Wesleyan Hospital CTC on la Gonave. I was amazed to watch this resilient little girl drink and fight her way back to health. Her mother deserves some kind of award. I cannot describe what the conditions were like or how she cared for her children. Amazing. Winnie was so pleased to see this picture.

Our adoption is COMPLETE!!!

I wanted to post a blog entry to share in our joy! Winnie is now officially an American and the final chapter of our adoption is closed. The Magistrate was nice enough to pose with us for a picture to remember this special day. Winnie got the big chair.... how appropriate.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

from December 8th, 2009

We passed court and were officially Woineshet Joy Shaw's parents one year ago. Reflection is a sweet thing!! I just left Pre-k, where we were making hand print wreaths. Winnie was the "leader bear" today, and you can only imagine how proud and seriously she takes that position.

Monday, December 6, 2010

What if

I had a thought tonight. It's nice when that happens once in a while... :) Here goes...

What if each person would put their wants and desires aside for a while?
What if everyone reached out to the least and the lost? Not just let the mind wander to it, but actually live in that place.
What if instead of looking out for me and mine, I decide to get "risky" and put comfort and convenience aside?
What if I stopped feeling entitled to bigger and better and more?
What if the next generation saw this in us? Instead of spiraling into more of a "me and mine" society, we started consistently living in a "you and yours" world.

think of the possibilities.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Baby God

"Oh baby God, little baby God. Bad baby God. I'm gonna getcha..."

These were the words coming out of Winnie's mouth as I peered around the corner. She had a snow man ornament in one hand and a nativity ornament in the other. Apparently snow man was scolding baby God for something. By the time I got to her, snow man's nose was broken off and baby God had come out on top!!