Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Cooking Up a Miracle- you can help!

This site was initially developed as Nate and I were traveling to Uganda to adopt Patricia.  Three years later we have been led to pursue the adoption of Tolya (and possibly Artem).  I will post more details on that as soon as I get a second or two, but for now I will let the following suffice as we desperately need to get some fundraising underway!

Many of you may know that our family is pursuing the adoption of Tolya, a teenage boy from an orphanage in the Ukraine that we hosted at our home last summer as well as over Christmas.  It was truly our pleasure to host him, and after much prayer we felt led to pursue his adoption.  He initially expressed a desire to be adopted but has since had cold feet at times (I am in touch with him regularly over a Ukrainian social media site).  This mostly seems to come after he has spoken with his oldest brother in particular who will advise him to stay in the Ukraine, and so Tolya will express to us that he is 'thinking about it'.  As we ride the roller coaster of emotions through this situation, it has remained clear to us as we seek the Lord that we are to do the next thing.  Take the next step.  We don't know where this is headed or how it will turn out but it is clear that for now, this is our path.  

Another thing that has been revealed as some investigation has taken place into Tolya's situation is that there is also a younger brother- age 7 or 8- also in the same orphanage.  The Ukraine is very specific about wanting siblings to be kept together in the adoption process, so the possibility of us adopting both boys is real.  We actually don't know much about Artem's story at this time.

It seems as though we may be travelling in the fall/early winter of this year to the Ukraine for our court date.  Our dossier (fancy word for legal documents) will be mailed to the Ukraine this week, and then our court date will be determined as the dossier is processed.

NOW... as we are moving along in this process, money comes due at certain times for certain things, and that is where the idea of a recipe book fundraiser has come in!  As I was driving and praying about the adoption a couple of months ago, I had the distinct thought that creating a recipe book was an idea that I should run with.  I am by no means a kitchen expert, but many friends and family of mine enjoy the hobby of collecting great recipes as much as I do.  We are going to be putting together a cookbook of amazing recipes to sell for personal use as well as for gifts.  Even if you don't particularly enjoy cooking, there are certainly recipes that you like to eat, so get busy asking Grandma Betty for the 4-1-1!

Your BEST recipes, all types, are needed.  The specific categories are as follows: 

* Appetizers & Beverages
* Soups & Salads
* Vegetables & Side Dishes
* Main Dishes
* Breads & Rolls
* Desserts
* Cookies & Candy
* This & That (think outside the box- homemade playdough, special sauces, marinades, etc)

If you could submit at least five recipes that would be wonderful, although there is no limit to the amount you can contribute.  If you don't have five, submit what you can as opposed to none at all.  This will be a guaranteed favorite cookbook of yours; that is a promise!  I have spent many years collecting favorites and they will all be included.  

The books will be: hardback, spiral bound, and $20 each.  They will be ready in plenty of time for the holidays, so be sure to order extras as gifts.  Feel free to share this opportunity with family and friends; the more the merrier!  Just forward this email.

Please submit your recipes via email to Amy Campbell at with the subject 'Recipes' by Sunday, September 14th.  They can be typed directly into an email or attached as a document, either way.  Also include in the email how many books you would like to purchase.  Book money can be mailed or given to Amy with checks made payable to her: 
3213 Cottingham Court, Greensboro NC  27410.  Please include $3 extra per book if you aren't local to cover shipping.  You can give book money to me as well if that is easier. Money is also due by September 14th.

Thank you so much in advance for participating.  Go ahead and submit your recipes while you're thinking about it so that time doesn't get away from you!  Please let me know if you have any questions.

Love, Kim

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Life as usual

I should be in bed, but I'm working off a second-wind here.  Our trip home was great.  Patricia did really well on the three different flights, two of them 8 hours apiece and the third a puddle-jump from DC.  She slept throughout most of the long ones.

We enjoyed seeing family and friends at the airport.  Thanks to everyone who came out and made Patricia feel welcome!  And to the people who went up and down the escalator with her multiple times; it's always good to burn off some pent-up energy before bedtime.  And who wouldn't want to get some additional escalator practice after only having been on one for the first time in the previous 24 hours?

She slept well all night until about 8am, and over the course of today got to know the boys.  Before long she was playing guns with them for a time, and then in the next hour was looking for Casey with a doll in one of her arms and a purse in the other.  "Casey, come play!"  You'd have to hear this for the full effect.  The Ugandans are very fond of saying the stand-alone word 'come' as a bossy command.  That's just how she said it to him.  He was in the middle of a computer game on the laptop, so he took a minute to look her up and down, before he went right back to his game.  Funny thing is the computer game mesmerized her too as she watched what he was doing, so they both stood in front of the laptop for awhile.

The mountain of mail has been gone through and the bookkeeping of the Shaw family has been updated.  All are unpacked and the laundry is almost caught up.  We will soon have a birthday girl whom we will celebrate a little early with roller skating and a sleepover tomorrow night.  Life doesn't get much better, especially when you throw in that she is entering the age of double digits!

I apologize for the pictureless run-of-the-mill post, but ordinary sounds kind of good right about now.  Just some days to get to know each other and to unwind from the recent events is on the agenda.  Other than the roller skating and cake, that is.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Because He Lives, she is now legal!

We're at the beautiful Airport Guesthouse now in Entebbe, soon to eat dinner and then head over to the airport this evening.  It's indescribable, how thankful and blessed we are right now.  I'll give a little background to the events of late.

Sunday afternoon in church we sang a variety of songs, some more contemporary worship style and some older hymns.  One of the hymns we sang, if I'm being honest, has never meant that much to me in the past but it took on a new meaning this week.  My typical experience with this song brings to mind 90 year old ladies belting it out in the small town church in Florida where I grew up; orange shag carpet, wood paneled walls and all.  Because He Lives. 
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, all fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future.

And as I was singing I was thinking about the Embassy appointment the next day.  And I know that all of it is out of my control.  Every single bit.  And I know that we have all become extremely attached to little Patricia.  And so I'm claiming all the phrases above with every note that leaves my mouth, every tear that trickles, and with every beat of my heart.  This is the Lord's battle.  It's not up to me.

And on Monday during the interview, the lady completing this with us was so gracious.  She had a smile on her face the entire time.  She thoroughly enjoyed Patricia and Maren.  We answered the questions she asked us, and then she left the room to follow up with her assistant to verify that one of the required pieces had been completed.  Nate said, 'Quick, let's pray.'  And we went to the Lord one last time, begging for the details to be worked out.  She returned and said that everything was complete, and when were our departure tickets?  Umm, tomorrow night.  All four of them.  Her next words were something to the effect of not wanting to cause such an inconvenience to us as to have to reschedule, and of course Patricia's visa would be ready and to return at 4pm Tuesday to pick it up.  Only God! 

I've heard so many reports of our friends praying, thank you each and every one.  I was thinking today, as we were driving into the Embassy, that we will find out when we meet the Lord if he granted these things so perfectly because of your prayers.  Maybe it was in His plan for so many to come together with the same request, and He knew the impact of His answer on you and on me.  And that it would change our prayer lives forever.  He does move when His people ask, no question.  Please stay spurred on by the power of prayer!

Last night we had a torrential downpour.  Uganda has been in the midst of a long dry spell, but a little past 1am we awoke to the loudest thunderstorm I have ever experienced.  Until the morning when we could talk to other people, we thought this was a normal storm for Africa.  But we soon heard otherwise; this was a biggie.  Now we were under a metal roof, but still.  The winds, rain and eventual hail were deafening.  I loved it, especially as I literally felt the power of Almighty God.  I had a strong sense of His letting me know that He is so powerful and in command, that He will have His way no matter what.  A God that commands the winds and the rain most definitely has His hands all over our bureaucratic situation.

We arrived at the Embassy a little early today.  I waited outside with the girls while Nate went in and picked up the visa.  He clarified an additional question, and then the staff went to work on completing the final details.  Her paperwork is in our hands!

Unless there are flight issues (no, we aren't flying through the northeast side of the States), we will arrive as scheduled.  If you would like more information, contact Amy at

Love, Kim

Monday, January 31, 2011

See ya on Wednesday, Greensboro!

Hallelujah!  How exciting and humbling to report that the very things we were praying for have been worked out.  It is with tears in my eyes that I let you all know that the visa was granted, and that the very genuine, caring Embassy staff person was willing to have the visa ready for us to pick up tomorrow (Tuesday) at 4pm!  It was so incredible to be hearing these words.  She was very understanding that not receiving the visa on Tuesday would require the rescheduling of four plane tickets.

Thank you for patiently (or not so patiently!) awaiting this news.  We returned from Kampala at 8pm and since then have been busy tying up loose ends around GSF.  I will post tomorrow morning with pictures.  We are leaving GSF around noon tomorrow.

We are so grateful for all of your prayers.  Our biggest blessing would be to know that your faith has been grown by petitioning Almighty God on our behalf.


Sunday, January 30, 2011

And a good time was had by all

I'm committed to posting everyday, so even though it's midnight now and we're getting up at 6am tomorrow to head to the Embassy, here goes!

So, folks, it appears I was confused on the event planning side of the things.  The First-Ever GSF Bunco Game was actually held on Saturday evening, and The Big Night Out was tonight, on Sunday evening.  This is a post on both.

The GSF staff women and their daughters are some sharp ladies.  Of all the groups to whom I have explained the intricacies of bunco, this one picked it up the quickest.  And not only are they sharp, but they are competitive as well.  This makes for the best combination.  I believe a good time was had by all.

I was internally flustered after I set up the prizes and didn’t grab a photo of them to share.  While I was grouping the prizes and tying them with ribbon a few hours before playing, I mentally counted heads and realized that I would actually be playing.  (Initially I planned to sit out because I was counting 12 players without me, but I was mistaken).  So I decided that the twelfth prize I brought would be a big bunco bag item (extra prize) and I would skip on a prize for myself, naturally.  So, I set up the prizes at the end of the game and quickly counted eleven.  At that point I think my mind left me and I was quietly freaking out that I didn’t have enough for everyone.  I forgot for the moment that I did play the game and that I purposely had eleven prizes as of course I wouldn’t need one.  During the entire prize time, I am trying to think of a plan to fix this awkward situation.  Can I run back to the guesthouse and grab a half-eaten can of nuts and a Cliff bar for the twelfth person?  It wasn't until the end of the prizes when I saw that everyone had a prize, except for me, exactly as I had planned.  Which is when it hit me that I had been the twelfth player.  My hands were so sweaty by this point that I couldn't have taken a picture if I had tried.  Good gravy; get a grip, girl...

In lieu of a picture, I will tell you that some of the prizes were cookie mixes, boxed pie crusts, Heath bits, Andes bits, chocolate cake mix, frosting tub, lemon bar mix, chocolate mousse mix, Dream Whip, various nuts, Twizzlers, Swiss Cake Rolls, and fruit snacks.  I may be missing some, but you get the idea.  These things are either nonexistent or very expensive in Africa.  Don't worry, American bunco group; we won't have such prizes next month!

And on to The Big Night out...

We went to The Black Lantern, which is a beautiful resort-type area with beautiful grounds, breathtaking views, and fabulous food.  No, we haven't left Africa yet.  Such a fun, fun time was had by all of the missionary staff and their families.  It was really a special time of fellowship as we come to a close on our time here.

I mentioned earlier about getting up early in the morning.  You might remember that tomorrow is a big day for us as we have our interview at the Embassy.  Please be in prayer that the Lord will see fit for Patricia's visa to be granted and that it would be in time for us to depart as scheduled.  And that if things don't go this way, that God is still very much a good God and that we would rest in that promise. 

Praying to see all of you on Wednesday evening.

Goodnight from Uganda,

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Lazy Saturday: Photos from the Week

I am washing a couple more loads of clothes now as I don't think we'll have a chance for anymore laundry before departing, Lord willing.  Tomorrow is Sunday and we don't want to inconvenience the Greer family to use their washer on the day of rest, Monday we will be in Kampala all day again for our interview, and Tuesday we hope to be flying home.

Random: Here is a picture of Patricia in her second time at the grocery store, first time with Daddy pushing her in the fancy cart.  I couldn't load it yesterday as it takes awhile to load pictures, and, as you know, we had no power so we were all standing around the computer, cheering it on, to load the four pictures that I did post before the battery ran out.

Patricia is taking to Nate especially these days.  She goes to him when she needs help opening something or if she wants someone to hold her.  We are very thankful for this as she has not, to our knowledge, ever had a father figure in her life.  No one to help her feel protected or secure or to tell her she is beautiful.  Last night when we were without power she was sitting on Nate's lap on the bed.  They were playing a game where he would pretend to be sleeping and she would say, "A cock-er-dile is coming to eat you!" and he would get all freaked out and tickle her and say whether he was scared or not.  Her British-like accent and squeaky, high voice made it the best.  Who doesn't love it when kids are belly laughing uncontrollably while being tickled?  For the record, Nate wasn't scared of a scarecrow, a frog, nor the ants.  But he was scared of the panther, the tiger and the lion.  I hope I'm not divulging too much information that might lead to the wetting of his pants if, say, his friends back home were to suddenly produce a panther during conversation or something.  You never know.

Maren has been enjoying a lot of this on the hammock of the guesthouse porch.
I also thought you all might like to see the special African carseats that they have here in Uganda.

This is one of the little guys staying at the home of one of the missionaries here.  He is a precious, chubby thing and he was wiped out while driving home from shopping in Jinja the other day.  It took him a little while to warm up to Nate, but he soon became very comfortable.  For the record, we are all about the level of safety, or lack thereof, here in Uganda.  Of course there are things here that the Ugandan kids do that make us very uncomfortable, like two year olds on the side of busy roads lugging water jugs, but there is a big part of the freedom and lack of restriction that we find refreshing.  Like not having to be in a carseat until you're 33 and 130 lbs.  We still do love you, though, if you're currently riding in an adult-sized car seat.  We'll see you in heaven eventually when you're 110 years old, thanks to taking advantage of all available precautions.

The laundry is finished, so I will close now.  Wishing everyone a restful weekend spending time with your families.


Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21

Friday, January 28, 2011

A small chance

I am writing in the dark as the power went off about 30 minutes ago.  Not sure if it will come on tonight or not; this is the longest since we've been here that the power has been off.  We're good, though, with one flashlight and one headlamp; we're sharin' folk.

Here is what we woke up to this morning, the view off of the guesthouse porch.

This is a time of updates.  I'll see if I can remember it all.  First, Nate returned home in one piece from whitewater rafting.  He had a blast!  And did not see any crocs while rafting, but on the drive home when they crossed the bridge over the Nile they saw a big daddy croc on a rock.  They were dumped twice but survived the biggest rapid of them all- the Silverback.  It was actually bigger than The Bad Place, believe it or not.  (TBP was not on their run as there weren't enough people in their boat to paddle for a full day.)  I thought you all might enjoy a picture of Nate roughing it in Uganda (top left).

Yesterday Maren and I went to the pavilion with jump ropes and sweeties in hand.  Remember this post?  I couldn't get the turning motions down for Double Dutch, but we did single jump roping with long ropes.  The kids also taught us a game called Jump the River where two longs ropes are lined up maybe six inches apart to start with and after everyone in the group clears the ropes in a single jump the ropes are separated until only one person can span the distance.  I'm pretty sure I saw some future Olympian long jumpers.

Then today we were up early and on our way to the Embassy.  All of the paperwork was submitted in preparation for our interview at the Embassy at 2pm on Monday.  After speaking with the representative we found out that there is a small chance that our visa will be ready to pick up on Tuesday at the close of business.  She did not say it was impossible.  We're holding out on changing our tickets until Tuesday morning.  Bigger things have been accomplished in this journey to bring Patricia home in the name of Jehovah Jireh.   

We went to the mall and did a little more shopping- February bunco prizes are now complete!  I don't think anyone is going to walk away upset.  We picked up some groceries, and while we were waiting for the others in our group, Maren and Patricia were doing some of this.  Can we just agree that some things span all people groups and nations and generations?  They didn't know the same songs, but the concept was there.

Going to Kampala (two hours away) is a full day adventure, every time.  Today was no exception as we returned home twelve hours later.  Are you surprised to hear that dinner was cold cereal and peanut butter sandwiches?  Now the decision is whether to brave the showers since the water will most likely be cold without power.  For the dirty girls, they don't have a choice.  I think Nate and I will hold out until tomorrow.  Sweet dreams!