Homecoming Video!

For those of you who weren’t able to join us at the airport, here’s a slideshow of Ephrem’s homecoming. (My brother-in-law is working on the video video – which will be much better than my amatuer slideshow, I’m sure! – but I wanted my family to be able to see his homecoming story, even in just photos.) It’s been an amazing journey and I’m so grateful to have Little Man home. (If you’re new, you can read about our adoption story here.)

Seeing these photos reminded me about God’s redemption. Ephrem never smiled in his update photos. I was concerned. Then I held him for the very first time, and he smile at me. God takes the lonely and sets them in families. This is the God that we serve.

We are so blessed.

Thanks to Lauren, Robin, and John for the photos.



He’s here!

Sorry for the silence. It’s been a little busy around here.

You know, with a trip to Africa and all.

Oh, and this guy:

The first photo I took of our son! May 29, 2012

Ladies and gentlemen, there is one less orphan out there! Ephrem Pierce Mapendo Shows is home!


Playing in the Guest House Day 2


Smiles for momma!


Our super star Aunt Robin!


Mom & E at the Congo River! (He’s actually quite happy despite the face in this photo…)


In the SUV and ready to brave Kinshasa traffic (with a very tired little boy)!

We flew two 8-hour flights and then a “short” 2.5 hour flight. With the layovers, it was nearly 30 total travel hours. He was a CHAMP. He slept during most of the first flight to Europe and then charmed the fellow passengers on the flight to the U.S. Then he slept for the third flight (because it was past his bedtime Africa-time).

After two 8-hour flights, we finally landed in the US! (Yes, I’m as tired as I look…But ecstatic to be in the US with our son!)

Kisses from Momma as we waited for our final flight to Florida!

We were met at the airport by Daddy and some of our close friends and family. It was a beautiful moment.

First family photo – all on one continent!

Since we’ve gotten home, it’s been all about E and attachment and bonding. We’re learning each other and he’s a sweetheart.

Morning 1 at home…after this photo, we learned that he does not, in fact, like to be spoon fed anymore thankyouverymuch.


E and Pippin are learning to hang out. Pippin has been around the “little humans” before and knows that they drop food often (and sometimes let him lick their fingers when mom isn’t looking). E has learned that Pippin has a fluffy tail that is fun to pull (not fun for Pippin…).

I’m sure we will have a ton more photos to post. We’ve been blowing up the Facebook feed with new photos like obnoxiously proud parents. We’re not even apologetic.

To everyone who helped us to bring our son home – friends, family, acquaintances, strangers, granting organizations, and everyone that I can’t remember – THANK YOU. For so long “Baby Shows” was this idea, this photo, this little person whom we hadn’t met living on another continent. Now he’s our son. Now he’s home. Now we’re a family together at last. Thank you for being a part of our story. Thank you for helping us become a forever family.

We are so incredibly blessed.

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.


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.

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.

His Heart for Children

A little one from Haven of Hope in Nakuru, Kenya

Then some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matt. 19:13-14)

I have never been so convinced of God’s heart for orphans and children as I have through this adoption. He sets the lonely in families (Psalm 68), even when there doesn’t appear to be a way. If we would just open our hearts, God can use us as part of His work.

For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
But the LORD will take me up. (Psalm 27:10)

Little One

Dear Baby Shows,

I think about you so much recently. Your dad and I cannot wait to have you home. I hope that you’re growing and strong and that you know that we think of you all the time. We’ll start working on your room next week. It just makes it feel all the more real. You’re coming home to your forever family soon. We cannot wait to celebrate you!

I miss you and love you more than I can ever put into words.


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!


Happy Thanksgiving! We are so thankful this year for our friends and family who have helped us raise more than $11,000 over the past year to bring home Baby Shows. Thank you for having a part in our story. This wouldn’t be possible without you. We are eternally grateful that you love us and our child. More than the financial support, we so, so, so grateful for how many people have encouraged us, asked how we are doing, and otherwise just helped us in what can be a difficult journey. Thank you for being you!

We are eagerly awaiting for the first holiday we get to celebrate with our little one.

Until then, we are thankful that God knows our child and is keeping Baby Shows in His care.

Unbelievably Blessed

We had our second yard sale today. It was an incredible thing to pull off a second yard sale in less than six months. But we did it…

…Only thanks all to our family and friends.

From donations from people we knew and people who only knew about us to helping to prep the night before (after work and with a very full garage and many bags of clothes) to spending their Saturday (starting very early) to shopping at the sale, folks came and supported us in getting Baby Shows home.

We are speechless again.

We can’t believe your generosity, your kindness, your love.

Thanks to your support we were able to raise another $1,100+, with several items to sell online. This will help us with the next few steps in the process.

Thank you for helping us get one more step closer to Baby Shows