Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Eve

There was much anticipation at the Shaw house.  Winnie would tell Mesay what to expect and Mesay would run around, feeling excited but not sure about the details.

On one occasion, we stood in line for a picture with Santa.  He knew that Santa was "good" but didn't really understand anything else.  As we made our way to Santa, Mesay started doing the potty dance, and I pulled him aside to go to the bathroom.  He said he didn't have to go.  The potty dance stopped and I thought no more of it.  He had a good meeting with Santa and smiled real big for the camera.  At the end of the night, I peeled the new truck out of his hands and then peeled his soggy ??? pants off.  I questioned Mesay as to why his pants were wet.  He said, "I no go potty before I see Santa, I so happy I go potty on Santa."  There you have it folks.  My favorite new Christmas memory.

With all the hustle and bustle of the season, Christmas Eve was an amazing time to return to Jesus and the blessing that is Christmas. 

Last night, as we drove down North Broadway, Mesay and Winnie pointed to houses and said, "bad house.  bad house.  good house.  woooow, good house.  bad house."  They have a rating system for decorations.  Basically, you are a "bad house" if you don't have any lights up!!  Don't worry, they say "bad house" every time we pull up in the driveway.

I hope you  had a joyous time celebrating.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

sleepovers and such.

If you haven't met Mesay yet, you are missing one highly expressive, high pitched, energetic boy.  He learns English by a unique "copycat" technique.  He repeats each thing you say verbatim, but in a much higher squeal and with a question mark at the end.  He still tests limits frequently but with an increased vocabulary, he understands the consequences a little better.  You can hear him say things like, "If I throw this book no movie? No movie? NO MOVIE?"  Each time he says, "no movie?" it increases an octave.  "If mommy says 'yes' then yes.  If mommy says 'no' then no.  If mommy says 'no' and Mesay does yes, time out?  Time out?  TIME OUT?" 

He likes to have someone around him at all times.  Initially, he says, "help you mommy" (which really means help me mommy).  Then, if you say something to the effects of, "mommy is busy, please try to do it yourself," he becomes incapable of the simple task, laughing and putting the jacket on backwards or the shoes on the wrong feet for fun.  Finally, if you get a little gruff, and insist he do something by himself, he looks up at you with a sly little smile and says, "I so scared, I don't do it, I so scared."  You can't help by smile at this point.  Same with eating, if it's something really tasty he will do it himself.  Otherwise, he much prefers being fed.

Mesay likes to hear the story of how we came to Ethiopia to see him.  He loves to hear me tell him that I cried when I had to go home and leave him in Ethiopia.  He confesses that he cried too.  He even makes the fake retching noise when he talks about vomiting on the plane ride home.  Winnie always adds the fact that she got to meet Mesay first.

Woineshet loves to listen to books on cd.  She has the most magnificent "twists" in her hair, they only took 5.25 hours at the beauty school down the street!  She still prefers being fancy to plain old jeans and a t-shirt.  The bell choir will perform next Monday, and she will most certainly be beaming with pride and wearing her best Christmas dress and heels as she rings those bells!  She's got a new friend, Kalkidan, who has recently moved here from Ethiopia.  They've got Beiber Fever, play games, and giggle alot.  Winnie likes to help Kalkidan with her English and practice her Amharic.

Tonight, like every night, Winnie and Mesay begged me to sleep together.  Fifty percent of the time they share a room, snuggled up together in a twin bed.  My dad commented at dinner how nice it was that they got along (not all the time dad!).  As they got tucked in tonight, I asked them to look into each others eyes and say something they liked about each other.  Winnie said, "Mesay, I love you.  You are cute and so so funny."  Mesay said, "I love you Winnie.  I don't know what to say.  You nice to let Mesay sleep with Winnie."   

 Secret hideout under the table.  Tim and I are constantly pretending to be surprised when we find them under there!

 Mesay is fascinated with flashlights!
 Check out that outfit Winnie!
Family is a prize; something to fight for and hold dear.  Tim and I pray that as they grow, they will confide in and support each other.  They will share their unique heritage, part Ethiopian, part Crazy Shaw.  They can laugh about the silly moments and possibly comfort each other as they deal with some of the more painful pieces of their past.  God is so good to bring us together and knit us into a family. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Bath Bombs for B!!

So, after several science experiments with citric acid and baking soda... I have made some amazing Lavender bath bombs.  These pretty little treats would make great gifts but also have the added pleasure of bringing a sweet little lady home from the Congo to a set of loving parents!

I am selling these Bath Bombs at a little craft show tomorrow, but would love to make you one.  Each jar of bath bombs have been lovingly crafted in my kitchen with home grown lavender and lots of love.  All proceeds go to bring little "B" home.

Let me know if you want a jar or two!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Give Thanks For Where You Are

Winnie came home from school yesterday with a Thanksgiving assignment.  The project asked for a collage and written paragraph about where your ancestors originated.  Not due until November 30th, I didn't think much of it, but let her start a "rough draft" on her own.  She proudly showed me the paragraph above, done all by herself.

I am caught off guard, to say the least.  That a child could so effectively describe the difference between here and there in 5 minutes, is amazing.  She is very aware that she is growing up in a place of plenty, but born in a world of need.  I smirk for a second, thinking what a crazy, awesome girl I have.  Then I choke up a bit, this is the reality of our world!

I will spend the next few days truly assessing what I have been given and considering ways to give back. 

Monday, November 19, 2012



Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Friends from around the world

 Don't these two look like they have TROUBLE written on their faces! 

On our last day at Mesay's group home in Ethiopia, I asked if he had a best friend.  The immediate answer was Shanbu.  Well, Shanbu had a family because he was gone that day for a visa appointment and Mesay did not get to say his goodbyes.  He did give him his backpack full of his earthly possessions up until that point.

When we got home, I sent out a feeler post on our adoption group...Who was the family taking Shanbu?  We found out that Shanbu would be moving 45 minutes away!  God is good, but this felt like a really special "bonus" blessing.  We have talked back and forth via email and facebook with his family.  So, now, after several months, Shanbu is home.  We have been following his journey home through facebook, Mesay always has comments like "Shanbu loves milk or I going to Kiss Shanbu when I see him."

Today was the day that Shanbu and Mesay got to play.  They were reunited at Shanbu's house.  For several days now, Mesay has been repeating over and over when he goes to Shanbu's and what he will do when he sees his old friend.  Well, it was fun to watch today.  He snuck Shanbu a kiss and then went right to playing nurf guns :)

These two handsome men had so much fun.  Mesay wanted us to go back inside as soon as we got to the car!  He prayed for Shanbu tonight.  He broke a bone, so Mesay is worried about the pain.

I hope that they will remain friends, the kind that are life long pals.  What a story - the journey of friendship from around the world!

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Several things happened yesterday that were really sweet.

First, my dear husband had a birthday.  He started off the day in the dumps, due to a late night of cringing and clawing at the chair as the polls came in.  Gradually, things got better.  We had a nice brunch with family.  He had a nice strong cup o' joe.  Ezra the Great came over to stay with Mesay while we went to the shooting range.  Winnie got extremely excited about a bird house she painted for Tim, which made opening presents lots of fun(of course she blurted out what each present was right before the wrapping came off!)  For the first time in two months, we hosted Bible study at our house.  It was really good to see friends and introduce Mesay.  I cursed Sandra Bullock's sister for the peanut butter torte birthday cake I made Tim, which looked beautiful but crumbled sadly when cut, but he likes all things peanut no biggie. A happy birthday.

Second, I had a moment with Mesay.  He was annoying me after about an hour into trying to feed him.  As soon as I turned my back to do something, he would get out of his seat and abandon my efforts to make him eat.  This time he came racing into the kitchen laughing at me as I was attempting to load dishes in between coaxing him into a bite of food.  I had had it!  You know the feeling, this is about to get ugly.  He didn't have a good excuse.  Just laughing that little Mesay laugh of his, and making faces.  Winnie and dad were out.  Mesay had missed his opportunity to go with them because he wouldn't eat, and I had sorely wished he had gone.  I mean, I had STUFF to do!  I ran to him, with a scowl on my face.  I bet I looked pretty darn scary because he started running from me and screaming.  When I caught up with him a miracle happened.  I snatched him up, kissed him really big and said, "Do you know how much I love you?  I am happy to be your mom.  You are a good boy.  I am so glad you came to live here with mommy, daddy and Woineshet."  I held him for a while and it felt a lot better than yelling at him.  He cocked his head to the side, made that little questioning noise, looked at me with disbelief, and smiled.  He never did eat all of the food.  I felt better though.

Monday, October 29, 2012


It has been two months as a family of four...

Four makes a lot more noise than three.

Four does not fit in the family truck.

Four is more fun in the leaves.

Four causes tears sometimes.

Four consumes a LOT of peanut butter.

Four is a lot of opinions and dislikes.

Four makes prayer time sweet.

Four keeps you on your toes.

Four is twice as much laundry.

Four is two plus two or three plus one or four minus zero on the best days.

We are most happy to report that we are settling in as a family of four.  As I write this, Winnie and Mesay have been playing "family" in the tent for several hours, ALONE, without adult input or council.  Mesay ate his stuffed pepper tonight in under half an hour, which is a drastic reduction from the hour long encounters of a few weeks ago.  Pottery barn drinking glasses are being replaced with mason jars at an alarming rate.  CRASH!! There goes another one.  We have spent less time traveling to the land of "think it overs" and more time enjoying the haven of "good choices."  His language is coming along great!  He has come leaps and bounds in the last few weeks with his English, and we have transitioned out of speaking Amharic for much of the day.  He goes to sleep more evenings than not in about an hour.  Oh wait!! He just came to me with my glasses on, he's laughing at the caramel finger prints he just put on the lenses.  He has put a new meaning to the phrase, "don't sweat the small stuff."  Mesay gives the sweetest kisses, and hugs really tight. 

Winnie has always been a great sis.  She brushes his teeth, reads him stories, and is learning to share in a way that she hasn't had to in almost three years. That's right, she's been here almost three years!  She's doing great in school and LOVES girls Bible study on Wednesday nights. She is a whiz at memorizing things, and says her favorite subject is math.  She dressed her brother up in ballet clothes and the ballet teacher let him participate in class right along with the other big girls.  Good thing dad wasn't home!  Winnie doesn't like to hug or kiss much, but she will give them out freely when her brother tries to wipe them off!

Four is good for me.  I have been given more patience and grace.  I have learned to rely on friends in an uncomfortable, but good way.  I have gained hilarious stories that most people can't imagine.  I have loved more fiercely. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Bye mom, Bye dad, HELLO GIGI

Aren't grandparents the best?  They typically sugar them up, wind them up, and then give them back... 
Mesay had a week a while back where he asked for his Grandma Shaw a hundred times a day.  Papi takes them to the senior center pool for family night most Sundays.  Grandpa Shaw and Nana let them ride on the farm equipment and boss the dogs around.  Gigi, well, she is known to feed snacks nightly and watch movies in bed.

 So, today was the beginning of a new era...
You sugar them up, You wind them up, You put them down for their nap!! 
That's right, today daddy got up really early and went to work. Mommy got up really early, and went to work.  Winnie got up really early and went to school.  Mesay got up really early, packed up his Buzz Lightyear suit, and WENT TO GIGI'S HOUSE FOR THE WHOLE DAY!  God bless her, she even made dinner for me when I came in the door.  

I am so grateful for all of the grandparents in our lives! 

Today, a special shout out goes to my mom.  Yes, she caught him unbuckled from his car seat while driving on Henderson road.  She carried him under High street, via the tunnel, to pick up Winnie when he got "noodle legs" and refused to walk.  She brushed his back with the hairbrush to help the little sensory seeker fall asleep.  She packed a picnic and ate on a soggy picnic bench after the rain.  She ignored his NO's and praised his YES's all day long.

 Coffee ceremony in Ethiopia
 Check out that baby face!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Few Memories from the last month

 For several days, Mesay carried around a dog wrapped to his back with an ace bandage.  No, we don't normally let him wander outside with an undershirt and briefs, but it happens more than I care to confess.
 Happy 6th anniversary mom and dad!!  Mesay got a paw full of icing before anyone else :)
 Mesay's first icecream cone in papi's red truck.
 Winnie and Ezra up to tricky climbing moves.
 Two kids swinging sticks always ends in tears.  We are still unsure if the camping trip we took two weeks ago was a good idea, but we sure did make memories.
 Mesay couldn't believe how much cows pooped on the Davis' farm.
 Grandpa Shaw showing Mesay the ropes on some farm equipment.
 Winnie is always in style!
 Mesay's first rappel, thanks for teaching him Winnie and Ezra!

 Our maple tree was the main attraction this week, offering many leaves to jump in!
My two hams!