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.
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.
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.