Monday, November 24, 2014

Throw Away Offerings

 
They were outgrown, used books sitting on a shelf in a dear friend's house. 
 
Just a box of old homeschooling books.
 
They were worth about as much as the loaves and fishes the little boy brought to Jesus.  Not much worth when 5,000 needed to be fed.
 
But those books make for a delightful tale on this Marvelous Monday....
 
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Back in September, we committed to being Warriors for Ruslan before we had any idea we might be adopting again.  Little girls and bows and braids were NOT on our radar.  Angel Tree babes and Ruslan and yelling for orphans was going to be our Christmas focus.

 


 
So we committed to Ruslan with big plans not knowing that only a few weeks later God would led our hearts in a new direction.
 
A little girl.  Who had only $7.50 in her grant account.
 
That's all she had when God tapped on our hearts.
 
How in the world were we going to raise money for both?
 
Two things I knew - I did not want to raise Ruslan's money only on this blog.  Awareness. Yes.  Money. No.  I wanted to expand outside this blog so that others would SEE Ruslan.  Tap new hearts. Open new eyes.  I also did not want our adoption needs to trump the needs of the Angel Tree. I LOVE THE YEARLY ANGEL TREE.  I love rooting and shouting for those babes. 
 
So....
 
In order to get Ruslan to his $1,000 goal....
 
We decided to take all the samples and scratch and dent BiblioPlan material we had and sell them in a private group on FB to people who homeschool and use BiblioPlan. We would pay for shipping and donate the books which was our contribution to our sweet Ruslan.  All the money for the books would go directly into Ruslan's account. 
 
We made $640.00 selling our used books.  We were thrilled!! And in the process a whole bunch of people who knew nothing about Reece's Rainbow were seeing Ruslan and having their hearts touched.
 
Then we ran out of books.
 
Now what?
 
I had NO more ideas.

I was honestly stressing over this. 
 
But I wasn't alone because both last year and this year a dear friend from our homeschooling co-op had committed to helping me raise Ruslan's money. She has a sweet treasure herself and is a HUGE supporter of all of my wacky schemes on this blog.
 
It was her box.
 
One single box of books.
 
She saw the books sitting on a crowded bookshelf in her home.  Outgrown books her children didn't need anymore. Maybe, just maybe she could raise a few dollars for Ruslan.  5.00.  10.00.  Maybe someone would be kind enough to add in some change from their pockets?  Maybe?
 
She put a notice in our co-op's weekly newsletter, printed off a picture and had her son carry the box to the car.
 
It poured rain on Monday.
 
The box of books got wet.
 
The Donation sign dripped rain.
 
Ruslan's picture wouldn't stand up straight but instead sagged over his donation bucket.
 
And the co-op officers weren't quite sure they wanted someone selling books when the normal policy is that all donated books are free for anyone to take.
 
I was there.  I walked in when she was setting up. I watched her set up her little display. I was touched.  I didn't think it would amount to much unless people gave donations but it was BEAUTIFUL. To see Ruslan's sagging droopy picture over that donation bucket knowing that 250+ families would see him just warmed my heart on that nasty rainy day! I saw the officers trying to figure out what to do and I prayed hard that they would let her keep it up.
 
After teaching my first class I went out to check on the display and saw it had not been taken down. There was money in the bucket.  MONEY FOR RUSLAN.  YIPEEE!!!  I couldn't tell how much but I could see a few dollars and change. 
 
A few classes later I checked again but the box was gone. 
 
I wondered how much my friend raised.  Maybe 10.00.  20.00.  Wouldn't that be cool?
 
When I walked in the house later, Rob told me she had called.  He refused to tell me how much was raised but he made it clear I would never believe it.
 
That phone call was sweet beyond words.
 
The bucket - it didn't just have bills and change.  Down at the bottom, under the loose change was a white envelope.
 
Inside the envelope.
 
$500.00
 
FIVE HUNDREDS DOLLARS
 
A box of discarded books and a droopy picture caused someone's heart to be stirred into action. 

They donated $500.00 to give this sweet, ornery boy hope and a future.




We sometimes think that what we have to offer is too little, too insignificant, too useless.  So we take our offerings and throw them away. Hide them. Leave them behind in our wallet or in the closet or on our shelves, believing that what we have to offer will never make any difference.

A box of useless books brought in over 500.00 because someone was faithful.  Despite the rain.  Despite the conflict. Despite the droopy picture. Despite it all. 

God used those books to stir hearts.

Hearts.  With an 's'. The $500.00 was amazing, yes, but so also were the nickels and dimes and dollars dropped in that bucket.  Those tiny offerings were just as precious as the big offering.

So many hearts were stirred for one little boy across the ocean because of one act.

One person faithfully taking their insignificant, seemingly useless gift and laying it on the altar.

And the Lord of Hosts saw the gift and smiled.

And Ruslan is now over the wall.

With 100 plus dollars to spare...

Just like the loaves and fishes left over after the crowds had been fed.

And we had demonstrated a powerful lesson.

Whatever you have... large or small.... take a risk... lay it at the altar.  Please don't throw your offering away. Maybe it only generates a tiny return. Maybe it brings in a hundred-fold.  Either way it is not insignificant. Big or small - it WILL be used by the Lord of Hosts. You may not get to see the results this side of heaven but it WILL be used.

So please - go find some THROW AWAY OFFERINGS in your closet or your wallet or your shelves and figure out a way to use them for His Glory.






 


 
 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Kind People

It's Thursday evening.
 
Rob and Elijah are at play practice and Aaron and I are home alone.
 
 
He just made me the best pretend cookies you would ever want to eat.
 
 
I love quiet Thursday evenings with my boy!
 
 
I just finished writing more names on the puzzle pieces. 
 
 
 
Kind people sowing into our little girl.
 
 
Over 75 pieces.
 
Aaron and I think that is pretty cool!
 

 
Thank you Kind People.  Thank you!
 
 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Dusted Off Files


Tomorrow Tomorrow I PROMISE to do a puzzle update! 
 
I also have an amazing story to share but I can't share it just yet .... Sorry!
 
And that BIG November bit of news about BIBLIOPLAN I have been wanting to share since last March... well... it has been pushed back (NOT by us) so now you are going to have to wait until December!! ARGH!!
 
But I'm not without a post to write....
 
This one is WORTH reading!! 
 
After you read it please...
 
 
Why???
 
Because I have a dear friend who I met through this crazy blog a number of years ago. 
 
When she and her husband read about and were faced with the plight of our Lost Boys, they were stirred in their hearts to DO something.  At first they thought that something was adoption. But the Lord shut that door tight. Stunned they were forced to stop and pray and consider.  What could they do? 
 
In a crazy leap of faith they decided to hop on an airplane and GO and SEE for themselves. 
 
So a few years ago they crossed the ocean and visited and talked and listened and saw. 
 
They were able, by God's grace, to visit our Lost Boys. 
 
Their hearts burned within them to DO something for our Lost Boys but the door then and now is shut for outside ministry.
 
Oh how my heart grieves over that reality.
 
But while there they visited another ministry... a ministry to boys who are just like our Lost Boys. 
 
After seeing that ministry, they came home to sell everything... LITERALLY EVERYTHING... and  move across the ocean so that they could minister to an institute filled with boys and men who are very much like our Lost Boys.
 
This isn't a single crazy couple, but a Mom and Dad with FOUR children! 
 
Little kids!!
 
 
 
 
Radical!  Amazing!   
 
 
 
Last December while I was across the ocean I was privileged to spend some time with my dear, crazy, sell everything and cross the ocean friend, Kim. 
 
 
Her blog is on the top of my list for reading.
 
Seeing pictures of the Boys who they are loving and caring for... It just fills me every single time. 
 
They have been there a year now.
 
A year of loving on Castaway Boys.
 
 
A year of challenge and change.
 
 
They are my heroes and I am hoping and praying that when we go back next spring that Rob and I will have a chance to visit THEIR Lost Boys and love on them.  Oh that would be a precious gift indeed!
 
Why do I share all of this??
 
Because God is doing a new thing in their institute.
 
Kim shares about it on their blog which is why you need to CLICK HERE.
 
In a nutshell: In the coming weeks some of the boys at that institute will be listed on Reece's Rainbow.  The boys have been available for adoption all along, but their files were hidden and basically unseen.  But God has made a way and those files are being dusted off and information updated and pictures taken and they are going to be SEEN which increases their chances for a home and a family.
 
THAT IS HUGE!
 
So watch and pray.
 
Watch and Pray because God is doing a New Thing in the lives of some very very special Treasures!
 
 
SEE the boys.  Learn about what God has been doing and is going to do!
 
(After you read Kim's Most Important Post you will definitely want to go back and read the entire rest of her blog!!)
 
 
 
 
The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Survival Mode

 
I have her picture on the background of my computer.
 
 
Two different screens in my office, both with her little eyes staring at me.
 
I have to be honest.
 
I stopped breathing in October.  The day Rob messaged me and told me to call the social worker.  I stopped breathing.  The in and out of breath in my lungs is not really breathing right now.  It is just survival mode.
 
We finished our homestudy.  It is done.  But we are waiting.  Each state we have lived in since we were 18 has to clear us.  8 states total between the two of us.  We need clearances from 8 states.  We have half of them. 
 
Breath in and out.  Breath in and out. 
 
We are working on our yearly Christmas letter and picture.  Tucked into the letter this year will be an extra picture and letter.  A call to prayer.  For our little girl. 
 
A family was in her institute this past week.  I hoped, prayed they would see her.  Even a glimpse.  Nothing.
 
Breath in and out.  In and out.
 
 
 
 
 

Friday, November 14, 2014

A Feel-Good Friday Family Post!

I've got three families today I want to share about.  Please don't skip this post.  If you want a FEEL-GOOD Friday Miracle Working GOD post... then read on!!
 
ALL THREE FAMILIES ARE IN-COUNTRY!

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Sutter's family
 
Remember him?

Remember that he was AGING OUT?
 
Remember that we yelled and screamed for him and raised money in his account and then a family stepped up and we cheered and cried only to have that fall through?  Remember the let-down and the discouragement?  Remember wondering WHO would go?
 
 
Well the Smith family is IN COUNTRY to adopt Sutter and along with Sutter they are also adopting another wee one.  A tiny little girl who is treated terribly at her institute.  They call her "witch girl." Break our hearts, Lord!

Today the family met Sutter. I am posting what was written about him by his new Mama so that you can cry along with me....

"Seeing the expression on his face when he realizes why you are here.
Watching him fight the tears and feelings of disbelief as he looks at pictures of your family and his new reality refreshes its impression on his young mind.
Seeing the tremor of excitement shake his body when each beloved caregiver passes by with a joyful smile and stops for a consensual hug.
The stunned look of, "Is this really real?" intertwined with pure happiness.
All the uncertainty of the past year falls away as a young boy is given hope and the love that he deserves." 
 
 Cry rivers, people.  Cry rivers.  Sutter finally finally finally has a family!
 
Sutter Ariel

And wee little Ariel.  To be loved, cherish, wanted ... there are just no words...

The Smiths are short on funding to bring both children home. 
 
Please please please can you help me fill up their cup??
 
CLICK HERE TO HELP THE SMITH FAMILY

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The second family is just as special!
 
How in the world do I tell this story??  It has so many twists and turns and corners...
 
Back in the summer Jeff and Debbie very quietly committed to adopt two older boys.
 
 They didn't go public for personal reasons but Debbie did let me know and I have been praying my guts out for them ever since.  In July I had the privilege of meeting them at the Reece's Rainbow reunion.
 
They have 5 adopted treasures!
 

 
I was so privileged to get to meet them in person! Debbie is the sweetest, most gentle soul who loves the Lord passionately.  Jeff is a Warrior for his children. 
 
 
They committed to adopt Kiril and Dell.

Kiril 21030110845 Dell (2)
 
Kiril they met four years earlier and he never ever left their hearts.
 
Dell they loved the minute his picture was listed on Reece's Rainbow.
 
Soon after committing they found out that Kiril was in the same region where I had been last December and which has since become a war zone.
 
No way could they continue with that adoption.

Steel doors shut.
 
But Dell was free and clear so they moved ahead.
 
Dell just happened to be in the same region as another boy who a bunch of us were yelling over and storming heaven for - Gene. 
 
 
 
He was aging out.
 
In fact we threw in the towel on him.  We thought he was lost forever.
 
But Jeff and Debbie refused to surrender him to a lifetime of bench sitting so they added him to their family.
 
This is Dell (colorful plaid shirt) and Gene standing side by side.  Dell is 15.  Gene is almost 16.  Both boys are small but Gene is literally wasting away. 
 
 
 
 
Three boys.
 
One behind steel doors.
 
Two they crossed the ocean to get.
 
If that was the end of the story it would be sweet enough. 
 
But it's not the end.
 
You see one day while Jeff was at the institute one of the other boys at the institute came over and wrapped his little arms around Jeff's legs.  Jeff looked down at that sweet boy and his heart immediately was moved.  The Holy Spirit began to scream - SEE THIS ONE.  SEE HIM.
 
Just a stray. 
 
Just an incidental contact.
 
An unlisted child.
 
An unlisted child who just so happened to be AVAILABLE FOR ADOPTION.
 
 
And with a few miracles sprinkled in in terms of paperwork....
 
That sweet little stray was added on.
 
David.  Beloved. 
 
Four boys.
 
One behind steel doors.
 
Three they were working hard to get out.
 
And again - if that was all there is to the story it would be enough and amazing.
 
But I'm not finished.
 
Those steel doors.
 
They melted.
 
They seriously melted.
 
Kiril is home.
 
He's home.
 
In the United States.
 
 
Teeny tiny boy was wasting away behind those steel doors but God melted them down. 
 
While we had all given Kiril up for lost.... God was doing a Mighty Work. Behind the scenes. 
 
Kiril was NOT moved OUT of the war-torn area until after the adoption was complete.  Instead they were able to cross INTO the area and were able to have court and get his paperwork done and whisk him out of there.  His facilitators get a HUGE standing ovation from me for not giving up on him. What they did was groundbreaking! 
 
Kiril is the first child out who was locked behind the steel.
 
Hopefully the first of many.
 
Kiril is home.
 
Dell, Gene and David are still waiting for court. 
 
 
They would LOVE for you to pray for them.
 
They would also not mind at all if you would fill up their cup financially.  With all the twists and turns of this adoption... Jeff and Debbie are definitely short on funds. 
 
Two families.
 
 
 and
 
 
Please give.
 
 
-------------------------------------------------
 
Before you do though I have one more family and some sweet pictures to share.
 
Lola and Charlie
 
 
 
I shared about them HERE. Remember?  Lola and Charlie were also behind the steel doors but they were able to be moved OUT and the government agreed to try to process their adoption even though their paperwork was still in the war-torn part of the country.
 
 Yesterday... Yesterday... The Boyers passed court!  They are orphans no more!
 
Can we shout an HALLELUJAH??
 
Three children are nestled safe in their families. Kiril. Charlie. Lola.
 
The steel that looked so impenetrable has melted down.
 
Other children in the same situation as these three now have hope.
 
If that isn't a FEEL-GOOD Friday Miracle Working GOD post I don't know what is!!
 
No go help the SMITHS and  JEFF AND DEBBIE
 
And if you want to sprinkle a bit more into the BOYERS account I know they are still not fully funded either!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The End of Tomorrow

 

Sometimes you lose track of time.
 
The busyness of our lives, the to-do lists, the running here, there and everywhere.
 
You KNOW time is running out to do what urgently needs to be done but stuff keeps happening and you put off and put off until you soon forget what was urgent in the first place.
 
Until someone posts a picture.
 
Until someone states the tragic urgency.
 
And you are gripped with horror at the reality.
 
Dagmar.
 
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I stopped paying attention because I was going to pay attention Tomorrow.
 
And then Tomorrow.  And then another Tomorrow.
 
But his Tomorrow ends in January.
 
And the horror of that makes me sick.
 
He's a Lost Boy.
 
 
  He wears the clothing of a Lost Boy. He has the haircut of one. He carries the sorrow in his eyes of one. He lives in a building where our little former lost boy lived. He sits in the same shed each day. He has NO FUTURE there. NONE. He never ever gets to run.  Play.  Climb.  Ever.  Ever. 
 
He is LOST.
 
 He ages out in January.
 
 My heart hurts.
 
I stopped paying attention because I had tomorrow and now his tomorrow is running out.  The impossible seems impossible.
 
Who will want Dagmar?  No one has seen him. I wasn't able to even get a glimpse when I was there in December though I looked and hoped and prayed.  But he wasn't part of the group I was allowed to see.  No other family has seen him either. 
 
He's lost. Hidden.
 
And soon he's going to be lost forever. Locked away with no hope of ever ever running free.
 
In a matter of weeks he faces the end of tomorrow.
 
 Please won't someone FIND this Lost Boy?? Before it is too late?
 
 
Lord, Please!
 
He has $8,332.00 available towards his adoption!
 
 




Friday, November 7, 2014

Ruslan

I've been busy this week selling some of our used scratch and dent curriculum to raise money for my sweet Ruslan who desperately desperately desperately needs a Mama!
 
These pictures were taken several years ago...
 
My boy has spirit!!
 
 
 
 
He's also in need of a loving Mama to teach him that boys are supposed to be NICE to girls!
 

 
I'm cheering for you Ruslan.
 
 
I'm not giving up hope, Buddy, that there is a family out there for you.
 
They just haven't seen you yet.
 
RUSLAN'S MAMA.... WHERE ARE YOU??
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Silent Gifts

 
Don't think your gifts of love are going without notice.
 
Every single one is confirming, affirming, reassuring and reminding us that God is leading us on this journey.
 
 
Silent quiet gifts that make our hearts sing.
 
To each of you...
 
THANK YOU.
 
 
 P.S. If you have given and your name is not on the puzzle it is because I haven't gotten the most recent names from Reece's Rainbow.  I am well aware there are more of you than are written on the puzzle right now.  You are most definitely part of our Thank You!
 

Monday, November 3, 2014

They Trained Him Well

They trained him well.
 
Our little son who spent 6 years in two different institutes.

 
 
They trained him to stay put when they placed him in bed.
 
No getting up.
 
Ever.
 
They trained him so well that four years home he still worries, agonizes.
 
The bathroom is close and he has learned that he can go when he needs to but it is still scary and part of him is still afraid, four years later, that he will be caught out of bed.  So he sneaks.  Quietly.  When he needs to go.  Hoping it is okay. 
 
They trained my son well.  So well that when his older brother is in the bathroom and he needs to go, he lays in bed with tears streaming.  So well trained that all he can do is call for me.  Beg me to come.  Afraid to come to my room to use our bathroom without permission.  It is too far and the consequences embedded in his brain too scary.

So he calls.  Mama. 

I didn't hear.  I was deeply asleep and missed the call.  Missed his voice. 
 
I slept through his frantic pleas.
 
Thankfully, Papa heard.  Rescued him. 
 
They trained my son well and I want to cry out on his behalf.  Rail against the threatening words spoken to my son for so many years. 
 
He fussed at me in the morning.  Upset that I didn't come to him.  I apologize.  Tell him for the thousandth time he CAN get up.  Children in our family are free to get up when they need to go.  He listens.  Then he apologizes when apologies are not needed.  He apologizes for not remember that about families.  He apologizes for being upset.  Oh Aaron.  Four years home and he is still learning about families and freedom and love.  Four years home and he still worries and struggles that he somehow isn't getting it right. Four years home and he still apologizes even when he hasn't done anything wrong.
 
They trained him well.
 
Too well.

And it breaks my heart.
 
 





Sunday, November 2, 2014

Two Orphans

 
It's Orphan Sunday and my little orphan is across the world and doesn't know that I am sitting here thinking about her, praying for her and longing with all my heart to hold her in my arms and whisper love into her ears.



Oh my sweet beautiful brown-eyed little girl...
 
Please Lord watch over her on this day!
 
 
------------------------------------
 
It's Orphan Sunday and we are Angel Tree Warriors for an orphan who is desperate for a family.
 
We were Warriors for him last year too.
 
 
 
It breaks my heart that I had to pick him again because it means another long year for him without a family.
 
Oh Ruslan...
 
WHERE IS YOUR FAMILY???
 
 
As you know we are in the midst of an adoption but regardless - we committed to raising awareness for sweet Ruslan and getting him over the $1,000 Angel Tree Wall.
 
I've got a pile of scratch and dent BiblioPlan curriculum we want to sell to help get him over the wall...
 
If you are on Facebook and want to purchase some not-in-mint-condition material then join this Facebook group (it is closed so you have to wait to be accepted) and I will be selling it on there.
 
 
If you are not on Facebook and are looking for something in particular that may be in the scratch and dent pile e-mail me at contactus@biblioplan.net and I will see what I have. 
 
If you don't have a need for BiblioPlan material but want to help me get Ruslan over the wall then just CLICK HERE and make a donation to his grant account.  I would be so very grateful. 
 
Two Orphans that I care deeply about.
 
One has a family.
 
The other needs one.
 
On this Orphan Sunday would you pray for both of them?
 
 
 

Friday, October 31, 2014

A Sweet Girl and A Bad Guy

Yesterday afternoon was sweet.
 
Really sweet.
 
This, my dear friends, is an updated picture of our sweet girl.
 
 
 
Insert Tears of Joy and Shouts of Hurrah!
 
It is one of a whole bunch of pictures.
 
The others will have to wait because we need to savor each one. 
 
Precious pictures of a precious little girl.
 
Hurry up Spring!
 
P.S. Our last home study meeting was yesterday so now we just wait for the finished document! 
 
 
-----------------------------------------
 
Watch out!!!
 
There is a BAD GUY on the loose!
 


Okay ... maybe not so bad...





 
Fun times today for our littlest!!
 
Seeing him in this costume is nostalgic.  Elijah first wore it when he was 10 and loved everything about Jango Fett.  We rarely spent much money on our costumes but that year we splurged for our Jango Fett obsessed little boy.  Now Aaron gets to enjoy the costume.  How cool is that?
 
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I have one family who could really use some blessings today..
 
The Davis family is adopting these two sweet treasures!
 
 
40402200842 Carrie Ann 40427101745 Kitt (1)
 
On this Fatherless Friday - Won't you help them??
 
They are feeling a bit discouraged and could really use some help!
 
 
 





















 
 
 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Sunflowers and Cardinals

It is a prize possession.
 
 
Framed by my dad a few months after he came home.
 
 
Aaron's hot air balloon puzzle.  The puzzle that contains the names of every single solitary person who took part in bringing him home.  His puzzle was easy to buy.  I walked in the store and there it was.  As soon as I saw it I fell in love.  I LOVE HOT AIR BALLONS.  500 pieces.  Gulp! At that time I was a tad afraid we would have a hard time filling the pieces up, but I love hot air balloons so I bought it. 
 
 
It had been Ben and Elijah's project.  Their contribution to Aaron's adoption fund.
 



 
 
At first they 'sold' the pieces for a five dollar donation.  But over time it changed.  We didn't care how much people gave.  My students in my classes brought in dollar bills and we put their names on pieces.  Others gave more and their names went on pieces.  When we started filling up the puzzle and the names kept coming we had to write them down around the sides. 
 
Over 600 names/families were written on that puzzle.
 
 
A forever testimony to Aaron that he was dearly loved and wanted.
 
Right now Aaron doesn't really understand its meaning although he thinks it is pretty cool.  He will.  One day.  Each of those names are precious and to have them sealed in a picture frame is a priceless gift.
 
We want to do the same thing for Harper.
 
Her puzzle will hang next to Aaron's in our living room.
 
But I struggled to find a picture that would be meaningful.
 
I tried doing what I did for Aaron... walking in the store and hoping that one would be there for the taking.
 
I came up empty.
 
We started tossing our themes and ideas, and I looked on-line trying to find a cool puzzle to match our ideas.
 
Empty again.
 
So finally I dug in and found a puzzle website and looked through pages and pages and pages of puzzles.
 
No. No. Maybe.  Send it to Rob.  No. No. Maybe.  Send it to Rob.  No. No. No. No.
 
Page after page.
 
We were wracking our brains trying to find something that we both liked.
 
We had several maybes to the side but none of them were perfect.
 
Then I saw it.
 
It grabbed me as soon as I scrolled over it.
 
I sat and stared at it - considered - smiled.  It was good.  Really good.  Meaningful.  The right size. The right amount of pieces.
 
I sent it to Rob.
 
His response - Perfect.
 
Perfect. Truly Perfect.
 
When we were adopting Aaron the sunflowers were in full bloom over there.  Fields and fields of sunflowers ready to harvest. 
 

 

 
It's their National Flower.
 
And the Cardinal.
 
It's our State Bird.
 
Bound together in the same picture.
 

WOW!!

 
How cool is that??
 
 
It came last night and we immediately started building it.
 
 
Building a puzzle for their little sister.
 

 
 
Ben couldn't be here so we talked to him on the phone while we built.

 
 We aren't done yet... But almost..
 
And we already have a pile of names ready to go when we are finished.
 
Each name precious to us.
 
Every single one will be put on that puzzle.
 
So that Harper will know how much she was loved and wanted.
 
Sunflowers and Cardinals.
 
Two countries.
 
One family.
 
Perfect.