The post I’ve waited to write

Here we are. A year and a few months after we started our adoption journey (and one  year after we officially started fundraising…), and we have a crazy announcement.

We started with a “little” seed of $1,000 (this is relative folks).

And now?

We are 100% funded for our adoption.

Costs are covered.

100%

Just in time for the Shows family to become a Party of Three.

Thank you EVERYONE who gave out of kindness. Who gave sacrificially. Who gave not knowing us personally. Who gave your loose change or $4,000, and everything in-between. Thank you for being the hands and feet of Christ to us. Thank you for caring for an orphan-no-more. As Evan has said, even though we cannot adequately thank you doesn’t mean we won’t try.

When we step out in faith, we don’t always how it’s going to work out. Evan and I felt so strongly to start our family through adoption – despite not having all the money in the bank, despite not having everything “perfect” – and everything has fallen into place, especially the funding. I remember looking at the adoption costs in fear. Honestly, it was the most intimidating part of the process. Yet, God continues to be faithful to our family.

And He was faithful through you.

For anyone who is in a place where they need faith for whatever they feel God is calling them to do, I hope our family is a testimony. Just ask for faith. Take that step. It will be reckless. It will be crazy. You will feel like a fool.

But I assure you, if you ask for faith, God will provide. It might not be as you expect. It might not be easy. The journey may break you in more ways that you can even know. But God will grow you in your faith.

So jump.

And watch your wings grow.

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One for the widow. One for the orphan

To be honest, I thought I knew what James 1:27 meant. I really did. I visited orphans in Rwanda, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Kenya. I mean, I thought I got it.

But then April 28 came. April 28 was our Both Hands project. We had a team of 35 volunteers to help us serve a local widow and fundraise for our adoption. We spent 7 hours working on a yard desperately in need of some TLC and painting a bedroom for a very special woman, still trying to reorient her life after losing her husband of 52 years. On April 28, suddenly, I really “got it.”

Because James 1:27 is about both the widow and the orphan. God’s heart is right there. He is with them, even when the rest of the world has forgotten the widow and the orphan.

But April 28? April 28 was a day that we celebrated and remembered two individuals to whom James 1:27 belongs – Joyce Blizzard and our son.

Even as we drove home, tears filled my eyes. This whole adoption journey has been incredible. Simply amazing. But no part of our son’s story has been quite as beautiful. We get to tell him about this very special woman and 35 amazing volunteers who came together for Both Hands – one for the widow, one for the orphan.

So for those of you who have followed along our adoption journey, we want to share this day with you. Check out the video about our project. Thanks for your support as we live out James 1:27. We hope you will be inspired to make a difference in whatever corner of the world you reside.

 

If you would like to sponsor this project and help us bring our son home, you can find more information about how to donate here: http://bothhandsfoundation.org/evan-and-carla-shows.aspx.

And the winner is….

Well, today’s the day!

Drum roll PLEASE….

The Random Number Generator says…

And who was lucky number 101 according to the spreadsheet?

Wooohooo, Monika! Congrats and thanks for your support! (Shoot us an email and we’ll get your stuff to ya!)

Thanks to everyone who helped us bring Baby Shows home! We are soooooo blessed by your support! 🙂 (We kinda wished we had a Third Day basket for everyone…)

Thanks, especially, to these guys for supporting our adoption! 🙂

Third Day Giveaway!

(If you’re looking for non-giveaway related posts, scroll down. This post will be the “top” post until April 17!)

So, last Monday we received this box…

Evan texts me and says, “You got a package from Third Day.”

Um, what? Third Day? As in these fellows?

I love Third Day and have been a fan since I was about 11, but it’s not like we’re BFFs. Heck, I don’t even know them. The closest I ever got to meeting them was helping set-up a concert at the Electric Factory in Philly in high school.

Knowing that the text was code for “Um, can I open it?” I asked Evan to open it and he texted me a series of photos…

Yes, that’s right. Two t-shirts, a Move Jacket, a hat, drum head, drum sticks, posters, and their newest album (Move, which features the song “Children of God”). Almost all of it is autographed. The approximate retail value (for the items you could purchase) is $187.

And all of this is to help us bring our kiddo home. Because they have a heart for adoption. If you haven’t seen one of the videos from their latest albums, you need to do so before reading the rest of this post.

The Details…

Here’s the deal. We’re going to do another giveaway to help bring home Baby Shows. How does it work? From April 3 through April 17, all you have to do is make a donation toward our adoption*. For every $5, we’ll put your name on the list. So, $10 puts your name on the list twice…$15 puts your name on the list three times….yeah, you get the picture.

Check out the seriously good stuff:

Okay, so this giveaway will be for two (2) weeks, starting April 3 and running through April 17, 11:59pm. We will draw one name and announce it on the blog on April 18. Once I hear back from the giveaway winner, I’ll ship out the box with all their Third Day goodies!

Help us get our baby home and score some fun stuff! Even if you don’t win, you’re helping us make one less orphan out there!

After you donate…post something about this on Twitter, Facebook , and/or your blog and we’ll add your name again to the list. Just be sure to leave a comment with the link to your post about it.

*If you want to be entered, but don’t want to make a donation, just email me at showscarla [at] gmail [dot] com.

~*~*~*~

Our sincerest appreciation to our friends who pulled this off for us. We are honored and blessed by you!
Thanks especially to Third Day and their management for their generous (and surprise!) donation.

Exciting News!!!

We have been selected to do a Both Hands project to fundraise for our adoption! Through a collaboration between Lifesong for Orphans and the Both Hands Foundation, we will get the opportunity to live out James 1:27 (NLT)…

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress…

So what’s a Both Hands project? Here’s how it works – Evan and I find a widow in need and assemble of team of our friends to complete projects around her house (e.g. painting, cleaning, landscaping, etc.). Then we get sponsors for the day as we work on the widow’s house. All the funds raised will go toward our adoption. Just like getting sponsors for a 5k Run for the Cure. Awesome, right?

We are really excited for this opportunity to minister to a local widow and help bring Baby Shows home. We’re still getting details together (including how you can sponsor this project!), but we’ll post them here when we have them.

A big thanks to Lifesong for Orphans and the Both Hands Foundation for this opportunity!

 

 

 

 

Like a Lion…

I’ve been doing a lot of driving recently, which means a lot of time in my car. This also means a lot of music. And I’ve been obsessed with a few songs, one of which is “Like a Lion” by David Crowder*Band. (If you see me driving around and I’m having a little dance party, I’m probably listening to this song.) I think it’s the chorus that really gets me…

My God is not dead
He’s surely alive
He’s living on the inside
Roaring like a lion

Listening to this for the first time, I remember thinking, Of course God isn’t dead. But then I thought, does my life really reflect that? Do I really live like I serve the one true, living God? What would change if my life really reflected a living God?

I’ve been mulling this thought over and over and over (see previous comment about driving a lot). My God is alive. And, yet, sometimes I act as if I’m already defeated. Like two weeks ago. I just sat in my office reading the email about the adoption and thinking…there’s no way that this adoption will ever be completed. There’s simply no way.

But that’s not the truth.

In fact, that’s not the truth at all.

Because my God’s not dead. He’s definitely alive. And He’s engaged in our story.

Romans 8 puts it this way (emphasis added),

31What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36Just as it is written,

“FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG;
WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.”

37But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Reading that description, I see a God who is ALIVE, who INTERCEDES for us, who will not let ANYTHING separate us from Him, and who makes us overwhelmingly conquerors. I love that phrase “overwhelmingly conquer” because it means that we don’t just get around whatever we face, we defeat it until we are incontestable winners. We serve a God who is actively, undeniably involved and engaged in our story. He is on our side.

This adoption hasn’t been easy in the sense that God has made our path smooth. It’s been easy in the sense that He has held our hands through every step, through every challenge, through every seemingly impassable obstacle.

And here’s my testimony to that.

As we got our amazing news about Baby Shows, I thought, there’s no way that we can make this happen in such a short amount of time. How are we going to bring Baby Shows home with this giant financial obstacle in our way? And I doubted my living God.

But then, over the last two weeks, we’ve had more than $2,500 come in for our adoption between individual donations and a grant from the Fatherless Foundation. That’s right. We cannot believe our God’s faithfulness to us.

Because our God makes us more than conquerors. He knows that there’s a child over in Africa with the last name of Shows. And He’s making a way where there is no way.

He is alive.

The Great African Zebra Giveaway!

We got some AMAZING news last week. I mean, it’s good. We can’t post it here, but rest assured, it’s some good news.

(Don’t ya hate when someone tells you that they have good news but don’t share it???)

Anyway! We so appreciate the support we’ve received that we’re doing a GIVEAWAY!

This giveaway includes almost $300 worth of items from Africa (Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda) and the folks at Dancing Zebras (hence the name “The African Zebra Giveaway”), with TWO Starbucks gift cards to boot! So how does it work?  From January 30 until February 13, all you have to do is make a donation toward our African Adoption*. For every $5, we put your name on the list. So, $10 puts your name on the list twice…$15 puts your name on the list three times….yeah, you get the picture. So let’s check out the goodies…

Handmade Plaque of Africa

African Plaque (Fr: Uganda)

Africa Plaque (fr: Uganda)

This beautiful plaque of the African continent was handmade in Kimpala, Uganda. The plaques were a very popular item and our team scooped up all the shop had. This piece would be a beautiful addition for any family/individual who has a heart for Africa.

Handmade Elephant Salad Tongs

Elephant salad tongs (fr: Kenya)

I picked these up from a large shop overlooking the Great Rift Valley. These beautiful, handmade salad tongs have elephants carved at the top.

Handmade Rwandan Earrings

Braided fabric earrings (Fr: Rwanda)

Magazine bead earrings (fr. Rwanda)

I brought back these two pairs of earrings from my first trip to Africa. They will give any outfit an international flair!

Dancing Zebras Owl Art!

Dancing Zebras - Knob owl wall art

Dancing Zebras - Embroidered Owl wall art

Add a little quirky fun in your home with these cute owl wall art items!

Dancing Zebras Fashion Items

Dancing Zebras decorative hair clip for adults (or dress up for little girls)

Dancing Zebras fabric earrings

Who doesn’t like pretty things? This hair clip and the earrings will make any outfit complete!

Dancing Zebras Gift Tags

Dancing Zebras gift tags

Make a gift a little more festive with these super cute gift tags!

Korah Basket

Handmade basket (Fr: Korah, Ethiopia)

Handmade basket (photo 2)

This beautiful handmade basket is from Korah, Ethiopia and will make a lovely addition to a living room, kitchen, dining room…basically ANYWHERE!

Magazine Necklace & Coin Purse

Magazine bead necklace

Magazine bead purse

Look fashionable with the magazine necklace and cute coin purse! I love my magazine necklaces and wear them all the time!

Handmade Giraffe (fr: Uganda)

Check out the cute handmade giraffe from Uganda! Although he could be mistaken for a zebra in this giveaway!

Ethiopian coffee

Coffee from the country who made it a culture? Need I say more?

$50 Starbucks Gift Card + $25 Starbucks Gift Card!

Speaking of coffee….We’re about to enter the coldest part of the year – make sure you keep warm and have great company with $75 worth of gift cards to Starbucks! Whether you are a fan of a caramel macchiato or a soy chai (my personal fave), this gift card is sure to brighten your day! And the day after that…And the day after that!

Fun, right? If you are interested, donate here:

 If you wish to make a donation by check, you can email me at showscarla [at] gmail [dot] com.

Okay, so this giveaway will be for two (2) weeks, starting January 30 and running through February 13, 11:59pm. I will draw one lucky donor’s name and announce it on the blog on February 14th – Valentine’s Day! Once I hear back from the winner, I’ll ship out the box with all their fun stuff!

Help us get our baby home and score some fun stuff! Even if you don’t win, you’re helping us make one less orphan out there!

After you donate…post something about this on Twitter, Facebook , and/or your blog and we’ll add your name again to the list.  Just be sure to leave a comment with the link to your post about it.

*If you want to be entered, but don’t want to make a donation, just email me at showscarla [at] gmail [dot] com.

Thanks again to Dancing Zebras for their awesome donations! Check them out on Etsy or Facebook! Thanks also to my dear friend Chelsey for adding to the giveaway!

Today I’m grateful for….

Today I felt discouraged.

But it didn’t last long.

Because there were so many people to hold me up.

So I’m grateful today for friends who have faith when you’re just too tired to believe for yourself.

Who can hold your arms up high for you.

Who stand in the gap and pray with you.

And y’all are right.

God is faithful.

And He’s going to blow our minds in how He will provide.

Art, Africa, Adoption

We’re inviting our friends, family, and people who know our friends and family to check out the Art & Soul Studio in Palm Coast. The owner, Erin, who is also our awesome friend, has offered to help support us with our adoption. So for the month of November, you can paint a mug and 10% will benefit our adoption fund!

Wait – there’s more! On Saturday, November 19, 2011, you can go by the Art & Soul Studio and paint ANY piece of pottery and 10% will benefit our adoption! Crazy right?

Art for our adoption – AWESOME!

Be sure to bring our flyer  or mention us and she’ll make note of the donation. 🙂

And check out her studio for birthday parties, socials, and other events, or just a plain fun thing to do! Like them on Facebook and stay up to date on some of the cool stuff that’s going on.

Thanks for supporting our adoption!

HAVE FUN!