The biggest and most important, dire lesson we have learned so far: do not let Natalie pick out an image for a custom made puzzle. Once we got past that part, and then returned to it a few times, we moved onto much deeper and more intentional and meaningful thoughts.
Like, you can be searching and searching and searching for the right puzzle piece and forcing all of the wrong ones to "fit" and it just doesn't work. Because eventually when you get to where that puzzle piece should have been, there is a gaping hole. Plus..it doesn't actually fit. Talk about wonky.
Or the fact that putting a puzzle together without the cover is actually impossible. In one of the million and one beautiful emails I have received, someone shared with me that life is like a puzzle where only God gets to see the cover. AND BOY. Is that ever the Truth.
Also. A lot of times we have found ourselves searching and scouring and digging and diving into the large mound or pile of puzzle pieces that were right before us...turning up empty handed...only to remember there was still an entire box to sort through and organize. Oh man. Looking in the wrong place for exactly what we needed.
We finished the border! In about 6 hours. SIX HOURS. We are not puzzle people. But it has been good for our friendship, "hey try this one! how about this one? now this one!" Deep conversations over tea, that's what that was.
We finished this section as the designated beginning of our sponsored-pieces-corner:
Oh my Heavens. You guys. The words were unreal. You see, there are white pieces. And then there are white pieces with spots of black that happen to be a sliver of an R or an r or an O or an o or an S or a B or an i, and it may be cursive or it may be "plain" as Loren labeled it. And then there are white pieces with slight shades of gray or light blue. And then there are light blue pieces with spots of white. And then there are medium blue pieces. Some of the white-blue/blue-gray pieces have branches on them and some have trees and some just have little leaves and some are...plain. Wait for it...there are also almost-dark-blue pieces. And then there are darker blue pieces. There are also dark-blue-almost-brown-or-black pieces.
WHAT HAVE WE DONE.
Aside from the 50 shades of blue fiasco, we actually put together enough for the first chunk of sponsors! YOU BOUGH 98 PIECES! In the first week. What whaaaaaat. Go Team Go.
I called about a two sided clear frame at Michaels and the lady was super pumped to work with us. So that calls for some sort of enthusiasm. As promised, here is the backside of our beloved first chunk. I thought it would be fun to also put the state (or country, thank you Germany) of origin with the names. OR has the largest amount, but MO and ID are coming up behind us! It's pretty amazing to see how this adoption is being funded WORLD-WIDE.
If you notice, I have been typing in a lot of caps. This is due to extreme feelings.
Last week we reached our first goal of raising $2000 for the home study! We have officially begun that process which is hefty and pounds of paperwork. BUT. We are in it and this is for real and it is happening. We need to sell ALL of these pieces. Will you pray or think about donating towards our adoption, etching your name into our family, being a part of the puzzle? If you have not yet purchased a puzzle piece, we hope you will.
How it works:
1) Decide how many puzzle pieces you want to purchase to financially support our adoption fund.
1 puzzle piece = $25
2) Click on the donate button below to give securely through PayPal
Donate via check. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send your our address to mail in a check.
3) Watch the adoption puzzle come together on our blog and see your name be recognized. We will build the puzzle as you donate the pieces.
My friend Kathleen and I decided to do the paleo diet [again..for the 80th time]. We always say we will partake in such a healthy eating habit as that, and then we end up having one tortilla chip or one enjoy life chip and the next thing you know, we are making pizza. It is bizarre. I don't even know how it happens. But this time, I mean business. I wrote on my kitchen chalk board: "When you go for tortilla chips or chocolate, stop, and pray for birth momma's all over this world. Pray for unborn babies." I cannot tell you the number of times that sign and reminder has reset my sticky fingers to cucumbers or water or spinach or chicken.
When my stomach rumbles and my mouth salivates for salty chips, I have been doing my best to stop and pray for momma's and babies and adoptions and possible-abortions and momma's who have chosen abortion. I pray wholeness and healing and wisdom and grace over those precious lambs.
Thank you for your sacrificial giving and your encouragement and your stories and your love. Love reverberates through my actual computer screen.