Time of Prayer and Patience....

Dear Friends and Family,

First and foremost, Thank you for all your prayers and support of our family on this journey.  You have been an amazing support system for our family of 4 while we were in Ethiopia and now that we are home.

We are so blessed at both Neha and Jacob's school to have people that demonstrate their love for us through hugs, prayers and kind words daily.  We are so blessed at Church each day to be surrounded by so many people that pray for our family daily.  We are so blessed by family and friends that email, call and let us know that they are thinking about us. 

This was one of the hardest things to do, leaving a child behind that you know is yours.   I did not prepare myself for all the feelings that come with this.  I have been grumpy to my family at home and need your prayers for patience as I wonder what she is doing and how she is doing all the time.  We have not been able to sleep well or be productive at all.

We are in a waiting period with the US Embassy waiting for the next step of our paper work to be approved.  This can take 4-6 weeks or longer.  We are praying that we can bring her home before Christmas.   We have passed court at all levels in Ethiopia at this point.  It was amazing to hear the judge say that Tamir was our little girl from the standpoint of Ethiopia.  We know that God has been so good to our family at this point and know that he will continue to remain faithful.

Many of have asked what they can do and at this point, your prayers and support are what we need.  We look forward to the continued journey of bringing Tamir home to Kingwood, Texas and starting a new chapter of her life and our lives.

Love, Elizabeth



Day 6 of our Adoption Journey in Ethiopia

Hello Friends and Family, 

Thank you for being patient with my crazy journaling of this trip.  Today was a fruitful time with Tamir again.  We were picked up late to go to the orphanage so our time was short but good this morning.  They did not let us go back in the afternoon.  

We enjoyed playing with Tamir and the kids.  She really came out of her shell and we practiced some of our Tigrinyan words with her to see if we could communicate  . She was a bit restless as it is hard to spend one on one time with her as other families are meeting with their children.  It can be a bit chaotic, but we tried to make the best of it.  Neha and Tamir played more games together and she finally sang a song for us in her language, which was beautiful music to our ears.    

There was cultural music and dancing on an ipad that the kids were watching from another family there and the exciting part was watching Tamir dance to the music.  She is a great little dancer and does it so well.  We spent more time going through our book that we made and reading her notes and verses from us through the translator.  

We praise God for the time we have had with Tamir.  Tamir looked sad as she knew that we had to leave soon when the van came.  I think the visits are becoming increasingly harder for her as time progresses and she gets more attached to the notion that we are adopting her. 

We spent the afternoon at the National Museum of Ethiopia.  Our tour guide was amazing and from the local university.  He had a vast knowledge of the people in Ethiopia and their origins and history.  We asked many questions about the region that Tamir is from to get a better understanding of her culture.   I will definitely unpack this with you guys when I get home if you are interested.  Neha and Kelvin enjoyed the museum as they have the "Lucy" exhibit here as well as many other archaelogical discoveries from Ethiopia.  

We ended the day delivering medicines to the Korean Missions Hospital in Addis.  Kelvin met a doctor that used to work in Kenya (Kijabe Hospital from Kelvin's trip with Second Baptist) and he is now serving in Ethiopia.  We had a great time visiting with him and his wife.  They are a lovely couple serving the Lord and were glad to receive the medicines.  Just to give you a sense of what he is doing here.  There are 3 Pediatric surgeons in Ethiopia and he is one of them serving a population of 85 million people.  In Houston we have probably about 20 (don't quote me) pediatric surgeons serving a population of 5 million people.  They were sweet to pray over our family before we left and told Kelvin that he needed to return to Ethiopia for short term missions.   We plan to spend more time with them on our second trip back.  God has a way of bringing people together for his purposes across the world.  

Tomorrow is Court and we need your prayers for things to go smoothly.  Kelvin and the kids leave tomorrow for the airport around the same time as our court time.  This is going to be a tricky process as they would like for him to be there even though we have a Power of Attorney in place.  Unfortunately, Hurricane Sandy messed up our original timings and flights.  We are hoping that we are the first case at court in our time slot and then off to the airport.  

Thank you again for your continued prayers and support. God has been with us here in Ethiopia and we have felt your prayers every step of the way.  I am so overwhelmed with God's amazing hand of providence for our family on this trip.  God is Good and Greatly to be Praised!

Love and Prayers, Elizabeth 


Day 5 Adoption Journey in Ethiopia

Sent from my iPad

On Nov 4, 2012, at 10:58 PM, Elizabeth Shaw <elizabethshaw7@yahoo.com> wrote:
Dear Friends and Family, 

Thank you for your continued prayers.  Today is Global Orphan Sunday across many churches in the U.S. and around the world.  I encourage you to check out this video that was put out by the Zambia Church where orphan Sunday started.  It's great to see such awareness for orphan care and adoption globally.  http://orphansunday.org/zambia-2012

Today was a great day of worshiping at church in Ethiopia.  We attended City of Refuge - Full Gospel Church (service in Amharic) with our christian worker at WACAP.  He was an amazing host and the service was filled with an amazing time of worship and you could feel the holy-spirit in the packed church.  The whole city shuts down on Sunday's as they observe the day of rest and everyone is dressed up and walking to their various churches.  The kids were restless as the service went on for about 2 1/2 hours.  You can only imagine Jacob and Neha.

We followed up the service by walking to the Largest Orthodox Christian Church in East Africa.  It was very impressive and our Ethiopian friends from church gave us a great history lesson of the church and christianity in Ethiopia.  People walk everywhere in Ethiopia, and our little Jacob was not having it.  We have made him walk and ignored the whining (I am sure those who know Jacob are lauging).  

We spent most of the late afternoon renting a car and driver desperately trying to find the government orphanage kebebe tsehai  (Government orphanage where we were taking the donations from Kingwood).  Please take some time and google the orphanage there are some great videos on You Tube.  We were not able to take pictures since it was Sunday, but able to see the orphanage and drop of our donations.  The staff was happy to receive the donations and said that they were very blessed and surprised today.  Jacob and Neha were overwhelmed by the orphanage and quickly started drawing comparisons to the WACAP house and how nice that was compared to the government home.  Thanks to our friends the Baggett's from Kingwood we were able to find this home today.  We finally also found the Kolfe boys home but it was night time and could not go in.  We were able to take a photo of our friends sponsored son Alex Baggett.  

This was a great day of relaxation and seeing the city.  We missed not being able to see Tamir, but the kids got a taste of the city and where Tamir is coming from.  I have attached photos of the staff, our driver and the donations.  

Looking forward to time with Tamir tomorrow; our last day before Court on Tuesday and when we have to leave her. 

Love, Elizabeth 


Day 4 - Adoption Journey

 Dear Friends and Family, 

Today was yet another joyous day of time with  Tamir (Saturday).  My theme for this update is the verse 2 Corinthians 8:2-7.  This is the verse for Global Orphan Sunday that is this weekend on Sunday in churches across America and globally across many countries.  

2 Corinthians 8: 2-7  " Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will. So we urged Titus, since he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us—see that you also excel in this grace of giving."

Although our visit was brief today, it was an extremely fruitful time of getting to know Tamir.  She is a very friendly little girl.  She was very happy to see us again.  A new family also came along with us from the Guest House from the States to see their two children for the first time.  So we had to share the space a bit.

Tamir, jumped right in with Neha and Jacob.  She started playing ball again with our family, but this time encouraged her friends to come along and play with us.  So we spent most of the morning watching Tamir interact with the kids at the orphanage and Neha pushing the children on the merri-go-round saying funny phrases. The crazy fun on the meri-go-round ended with Tamir getting hurt accidentally from a little kid hitting her in the eye.  So we were able to comfort her and take her off to the side to finally spend some one-on-one time with her.  She loved my sunglasses and wore them the rest of the morning.  Neha showed her where we live in America and started asking her to repeat after her.  They enjoyed playing hopscotch and clapping games together.  It was amazing to the sisters interact together so easily.  

Tamir wanted to see her family book of pictures that we brought for her.  This time she was looking at the book and pointed to us by calling out our names (Mommy, Daddy, Neha and Jacob).  It was amazing to hear those words.  She started taking the book around the orphanage and showing her friends with excitement.   She told us she was coming on a plane to America with us.  Its amazing how much she has already processed in a short week from moving to the WACAP House.  We are so apprehensive as people to try new foods and new cultures, but it is amazing to watch this little one share a bit of herself already.  We know that the road ahead is not an easy one, but look forward to it with Tamir.

We had to leave at lunch time and will now only get to see Tamir on Monday Morning.  This was difficult, but she seemed to be more ok with us leaving today than yesterday.  She was sad when we said we could only come back on Monday; leaving is the hardest part for our family.  

The rest of the day was spent going back and having the same spaghetti the kids seem to like and then to the Market with the WACAP driver.  The drive to the market was interesting and filled with interesting surprises along the way.  Neha had her window open and had several beggars/street people jump into her window and ask for money.  That was a very difficult thing for her to process and led to some great discussions today.  Then at the market the kids were swarmed with children and people.  They handled themselves well and followed our examples.  The market was colorful and filled with some amazing ethiopian goods.  We followed the market up with a visit to a traditional coffee house.  Ethiopia is the place where coffee originally came from.  We are bringing back some for everyone to try at our home.  

We ended the day at a traditional Ethiopian restaurant with singing and dancing performances.  The food was interesting and we attempted to navigate this on our own.  Neha and Kelvin enjoyed most of the food, minus the Tongue.  It is good to see that their food is vey similar to Indian food.   

Long, but fruitful day.  Tomorrow, we are off to a traditional church service (4 hours)... We will probably sneak out a bit early and then off to the crater lakes close by.  The orphanage is closed 

Love, Elizabeth


Ethiopian Journey - Day 3.. God is Good...

Hello Friends and family, 

It has been great to hear back from you and know that you are praying for our family.  We have had many changes since arrival and welcome the time we are having with Tamir.  

We went to bed last night not being able to see Tamir.  While we were sad, I think that was the best for our family.  The Jet lag hit us hard last night and so did the altitude.  We all went to bed at 7 pm and only arose at 8:00 am the next morning.  The kids were like bumps on a log and hard to get up. 

Today was an exciting day.  We finally get to meet our sweet Tamir (pronounced Taamir), which means beautiful in her language.  We left for WACAP house at 10:30 am and pulled into the main driveway not knowing what to expect.  We were headed to the living room area and from the corner of the building Tamir walked out and surprised us all.  I was expecting this made for TV, Lifetime movie scene, but that was not the case.  All of you who know me well, can understand the last sentence.  As usual we didn't have our video camera ready, but it was amazing.

Tamir had a smile on her face and walked right up to me and our family.  She immediately let us pick her up and love on her.  She was very calm and I think we were more nervous than she was. She is definitely going to be our old soul and relates very well to Neha and Jacob.  She let us hug her, kiss her and most of all play and interact with her all day.  She is a sharp little girl that notices everything and seem to pick up what we are saying.  She loved the necklace that Neha gave her and wore it proudly and we caught her looking at it from time to time.  We showed her our family album and she loved the fact that her picture was already in our Album (Thanks Michelle).  She didn't hesitate to jump right in with our kids and play.   The morning was not without some craziness from the Shaw children.  Neha got car sick and threw up in front of Tamir and Jacob had some nausea as well. 

The best part of the morning and afternoon was watching Tamir come alive when we pumped up the Soccer ball (Thanks Kelly).  She loves to play Football/Soccer, kickball, throwing the ball; pretty much anything with running and a ball.  She has amazing footwork and is quick on her feet. We spent the afternoon with her going through our suitcase of things we brought to play and interact with her.  She loved telling us what she already knew in English (words, letters, sounds, etc.).  I also got to practice my Tigrinya with her a bit.  Most of the time the translator would correct me.  There were a few things I was able to communicate to her directly.  For example, when I asked her how old she was in her language she responded with, "hamushte (5)"  with confidence.  

This was quite a day.  We spent a total of 5 hours with her and loved every minute of it.  She just came along side our family and had no problem interacting.  She is quiet and gentle, but very brave and bold at that same time.  A great addition to the Shaw clan.   We thank God for such a great first visit.  Tomorrow we only have a morning with her and the next day is the orphanage's day off (so no visits).  We could tell that she was already attached to us today and sad to see us leave in the evening.  We are planning to visit the Museum tomorrow afternoon about Ethiopia and take a scenic drive as well as attend church on Sunday Morning.  We have been blessed to have a christian social worker that we can fellowship with on Sunday Morning.  


Ethiopia Journey Day 2 - Part 1...

Greetings Everyone,

We are finally in Ethiopia and waiting for our WACAP person to receive us at the Guest House.  

We started the day of in Dubai with an early morning flight from Dubai.  Kelvin and I were joking around earlier this week and said what if Brock was our pilot while we were in Dubai.  Sure enough what a blessing it was to hear over the loud speaker on the flight from Dubai to Addis Abba that our captain was Brock Neil.  Brock and Jackie were friends from Kingwood and church that moved to Dubai several years ago.  We saw Brock at the end of the flight and connected about their family and saw some pictures.  What a treat this was.   God never ceases to amaze us on each step of the way.  

We arrived in Addis and saw our bags waiting for us.  Loaded them up and adventured down the hill with bags falling everywhere and Neha and Jacob watching us but not helping as usual.  I think they are tired from all the travels.   Our Wacap staff met us at the bottom with helping hands and a friendly smile.  He asked us if we were here for Tamir and we said yes.  How amazing that was to say yes, we are here for her.  He said that she is here as well.  My heart skipped  a beat at that moment. They had brought her down for her court date earlier in the week and she is already at the WACAP house.  

We are waiting at the guest house with WIFI.  This allows me to send you guys a quick update.  If we see her today.  I will send out another update.

Waiting Anxiously and with excitement.

Love, Elizabeth Shaw

Ethiopia Adoption Journey Day 1....

Hello friends and family,

I pray this finds you and your families well.  We are off to a good start on this journey to Ethiopia.  The plane ride was good and filled with passengers and nut food items everywhere.  We all enjoyed the food except for Jacob and he went through all the HEB snacks in my carry-on. I stayed up and read our questions again and looked at our picture book for Tamir.

We landed and got some good Indian Food at the hotel.  I had forgotten about the many Indians that live in Dubai for various reasons.  We took a quick tour of the city with our cab driver from India.  He was awesome and walked with us everywhere.  I am amazed at the crazy wealth of this melting pot city tucked away in the middle east.   The city is well laid out and developed with every type of infrastructure you can think of.  From a jetson's like metro, to roads that have carved inlays, and sky scrapers that look like works of art as well as homes with full-ocean view.  We did stand in front of the world's tallest building with a picture for everyone to see below.

Went to the mall per Kristin's text and got some well needed nut-free snacks from the organic grocery store.  Thanks Kristin, good advice.  The mall had a dancing waterfall display to music and over 5000 stores.  Elaine and Michelle, you would be in hog-heaven shopping from the best of Manhattan to London.

We are not able to sleep.  The kids even tried to fight sleeping and asked to do math homework from school. Crazy Right!!!  The kids will be seeing extreme wealth to extreme poverty in less than two days, quite an interesting perspective for them to process.  Jacob our honest child of course commented on the contrast of dressing from mini skirts to fully covered women.   I had noticed that as well and it is quite a sight to see.

We are headed to sleep and to Addis Abba, Ethiopia in the morning.  Can't wait... two more days until we meet Tamir.  I am reading my encouragement and verse cards daily.  Thank you ladies and Lindy for pulling that together.  Thank you for your continued prayers and encouragement.  We are definitely feeling them on this trip.

Love, Elizabeth, Kelvin, Neha and Jacob