Sunday, December 30, 2012

Working on the puzzle

We had some amazing help working on the puzzle this week!  Matt's brother and sister are puzzle experts and we were blown away at how much got done with their help.  

They worked on it for about 4 hours!  So exciting to see it coming together.

We are still at 399 pieces sponsored, so we are hoping to get to 400 this week. Maybe you will be piece 400?   Sponsor one piece for $10.  :)

You'll have to wait until Friday to see a picture of the puzzle as it stands after 4 hours of Harmons working on it (plus an hour of Lisa's mom working on it, too).  I'll post updated pictures along with our puzzle update on Friday.  It will be worth coming back for!

We'll be spending this week gathering up all of the financial documents our social worker needs and working on our education requirements for the home study.

Happy New Year!  Excited to see what 2013 holds.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Puzzle Update, Week 8

32 new pieces sponsored this week!

399 total pieces = $3,990

Amazing!  So thankful.  So blessed.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

As we ate our (very delicious) Christmas breakfast this morning, we wondered what the kids in Chinese orphanages were eating today - maybe formula, maybe some sort of rice porridge.  Can't wait to get our little guy home.... to share Christmas breakfast with him and to share the Christmas baby with him.  What a joy it will be to show him how God became a baby as a rescue and a ransom for his people, who he loves.  What a joy it is to share that with the 3 little ones God has already blessed us with.  It has been a fun month in our house of talking about Jesus, singing Christmas songs, and doing fun Christmas things.  I'm a little sad to see it end.  Merry Merry Christmas, friends.

Sunday, December 23, 2012


A dear friend was asking today if we had reached our $4000 mark that we mentioned in this blog post.  We are thrilled to report that we have!  God has been so faithful to provide in amazing ways.  The week before Christmas, the time of year when budgets are tightest, you guys gave over $1000 towards our adoption.  That is truly mind blowing to us and can only be explained by God being at work.  Here is the breakdown to how we reached that $4000 goal:

$3670  Puzzle Fundraiser
$270    Christmas Fundraiser
$195    Misc. Income (this category means income God provides outside of Matt's job)


We added a thermometer on the right side bar so that our fundraising progress can be easily tracked and visually seen.  Fundraising has been humbling, as we all want to be the ones giving and it feels hard to be the ones asking.  We are truly grateful for each donation given, each name we have been able to write on our puzzle, and each person who helped with our Christmas Fundraiser.

So very glad to have you all on this journey with us.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Puzzle Update, Week 7

We have been blown away this week by the donations from several very generous friends.

101 pieces sponsored this week = $1,010 in one week!!!!!!!!!!

This makes the total 367 pieces sponsored = $3670

Wow, we are truly grateful.  Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

We will continue with the puzzle fundraiser until all 1000 pieces are sponsored. It is so beautiful to see the names coming together.  Click here for puzzle details.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

First Home Study Visit

Our first home study visit went great!  We like our social worker and feel comfortable talking to her.  I've heard that your social worker makes all the difference in a home study, so I am thankful.  She came after the kids were in bed so that she could talk to just Matt and I.  She asked us lots of questions about our kids, our marriage, and why we want to adopt.  It was therapeutic to verbalize these things to her and have her really listen.  By the end of the meeting, I felt like she was a new friend because we had talked about so many things.  Our next visit is Dec. 27th.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Fundraiser Totals

Wow, this Christmas Fundraiser has been so fun for us!  Several people have asked, so we wanted to clarify - the puzzle fundraiser is still going on.  Puzzle pieces can still be sponsored until all 1,000 pieces have names on them. One piece = $10.

We want to say a big thank you to everyone who purchased a card (and therefore sponsored a puzzle piece) or bought a flower pen!  You've made this an exciting week.

Here are the totals:

44 flower pens sold = $220

10 cards sold = 10 puzzle pieces sponsored (which brings us to 266 pieces total!)
Card Total = $50
Puzzle Total = $100

grand total of $270 raised plus $100 of puzzle pieces sponsored

So thankful to be that much closer to our goal!

In addition to that, several sweet friends have given very generous donations this week.  You'll want to check back on Friday for our puzzle update for the week. You all are supporting and encouraging us well.

Grateful.  Humbled.  And ready for our first home study visit tonight!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Last Chance

Today is the last day of our Christmas Fundraiser!

We have a couple cards left. They really are so beautiful and would make a really nice gift.  And, the flower pen factory (aka Jesse & Sarah) is up and running for all pen orders.  So, if you have thought about purchasing either a card or a pen, today is your day. :)

Click here for all of the details.

We will post the results of this fundraiser tomorrow.  A big thank you to all who have purchased one already - we are truly grateful.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Puzzle Update, Week 6

51 new pieces sponsored this week!!!

This makes a total of 259 pieces and $2,590 raised so far.

No new pictures of the puzzle to share, as we have stalled a little bit on getting it put together.  We are hoping for some time over Christmas "break" to get some puzzle done... and maybe some of our family can help while we are all together over the next few weeks. :)  Hope to have a good updated picture early in the new year.

And, by the way, these numbers are not including numbers from our Christmas Fundraiser.  We will post those numbers once it is over. The last day to order the cards or flower pens is Monday Dec. 17.  You can see all of the info about ordering by clicking here.  Would love to have you give a card or a flower pen to someone you know this Christmas.

We are so grateful for your support and encouragement.  Can't say that enough!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


 We are plugging away at our paperwork.  We got our fingerprints done this week, which was quite exciting for us.  Now we send them off to the SBI to get police clearance.  And, our first home study visit is next Tuesday!  
 Our house is decorated for Christmas.  I scaled back quite a bit this year because I don't feel like I have the time (or emotional space) to get all the Christmas stuff out.  As I was hanging stockings, I couldn't help but feel like we were missing one.  My heart is so looking forward to our family of 6 being all together at Christmas - to having that stocking in place.  I wonder what my son is doing this December.  Where is he?  Is he being cared for?  Is he being loved?  Is he with his birth mother still?  What is his birth mother going through?  My heart breaks for this woman and the pain she must be going through. My comfort is that God knows every hair on his little head even though I don't know his name or anything about his story.  So, we press on in this process in the hopes that this little guy will soon be ours.... knowing that "soon" is still probably at least a year away and that year will be full of ups and downs.  As we daily add ornaments to our Jesse Tree, I'm reminded that God is the one writing this story.  It's his story. It happens in his time, in his way, and for his glory. So I'm thankful that as we wait and work towards bringing our little guy home, God is the one really working, just like he has in all of history.....
Meanwhile, it was so exciting to hear that some friends are adopting a little girl from China.  Click here to read a little bit about their story.  It's a great day when we hear that another orphan will have a home!  I'm excited to see their story unfold.
And, here is sweet Jesse diligently working on making flower pens for us!  If you haven't bought one yet, there is still time!  Email us or use the pay pal button on the right to place your order.  These pens really are super fun and we'd love to help you mark something off of your Christmas list.  Or ask a friend to buy one for you.  Spread the word for us, dear friends.  So thankful for you!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Stocking Stuffers

Welcome to our Christmas Fundraiser!  We have two fun opportunities for you to mark something off your Christmas list and donate to our adoption at the same time.  

Card $15
Our sister-in-law designed and made these beautiful cards.  We will write the name of your friend/family member on our puzzle and send you this card to give them.  This a perfect stocking stuffer or if you just need to send a card to a friend, this is not much more than a Hallmark card and will help bring us closer to having the funds to bring our little guy home.  It is handmade on card stock with buttons on the front and comes in these fabulous clear envelopes, perfect for mailing, hand delivering, or stuffing in a stocking.  There are two color choices (pictured): green or pink.   The inside of the card reads: "Your name is being written on a piece of the Harmon's adoption puzzle, which is a fundraiser to help bring their son home from China!" There is also plenty of room for you to choose to write an additional message.  Free shipping or we will hand deliver in Raleigh.  You can order via the paypal link to the right (please indicate which color card in the message box), by emailing us, or in person.  Last day to order is Dec. 17th.
**Special Deal: Buy 3 for $35

Flower Pen $5

These duct tape flower pens are just so fun!  After seeing them, who would want to write with anything else? This is a perfect stocking stuffer and will brighten up the day of your loved one at work, your child at school, your child's desk at home, or even your own desk.  Just seeing this pen in your pen holder will bring a smile to your face.  Our brother-in-law is graciously making these so that all of the proceeds can go to our adoption.  You have three color choices (pictured): green/red, yellow/pink, or green/yellow.  We will hand deliver in Raleigh or we can ship to anywhere in the US for $5 shipping fee.  You can pay via the paypal link to the right (please indicate your color choice in the message spot), email us, or tell us in person. Last day to order is Dec. 17th.
**Special Deal:  Buy 3 pens for $15, get a cute flower twist top to go on the tops of your bottles of water or soda (pictured below) for free.

Happy Shopping!

Puzzle Update, Week 5

We owe you two weeks worth of puzzle updates since we skipped week 4.  In the past two weeks, we have had 82 new pieces sponsored.

This makes a total of 208 pieces sponsored and $2,080 raised. 

We rejoice with each name that becomes a piece of our puzzle.  Keep them coming, sweet friends!

Christmas Fundraiser...

.... will be starting tomorrow!  Details coming tomorrow morning, so check back. It's fun!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Under the Sycamore

Under the Sycamore is one of my most favorite blogs to read.  She is super crafty and amazingly talented.  She and her husband had 4 children and then adopted a little girl from China.  Her writing and pictures have brought me to tears many times..... and today I wanted to share one of her sweet blog posts.  Click here to read "100 days with my daughter."  I needed a Kleenex.  You may, too.

I also highly encourage you to take an hour of your time and read about their adoption.  Click here to get to their adoption journey.  I can't think of a much better way to spend an hour than reading over their story.  

I may link to her again in the future because I have so related to her writing.  She wrote an awesome post about cleft lip that makes my heart move each time I read it.  Click here for her cleft lip post.

Our adoption process is moving forward and I find my heart in a tug of war.  One side is the you-have-a-son-in-China side and the other side is the fearful side.  The fearful side wonders what if something happens. What if we can't raise enough money?  What if China doesn't approve of us?    What if our home study doesn't go well?  What if?  What if?  Meanwhile, the you-have-a-son-in-China side of my heart aches, literally aches to get this boy home.  Matt and I already picture our family as one with 4 children.  I already think about "the boys."  Sometimes (often), I just have to shut this side of my heart down and disengage it because it feels too out of my control and too hard that this little boy has to go through some really hard things without me there, without his family there.  He doesn't even know that he has a mommy, a daddy, two sisters, and a brother who already adore him.

Yet, I think both of these sides of my heart are right places for God to work - for me to confess my anxiety, worry, and lack of faith to my own adoptive Father, who works all things for my good.  I think he wants me to wrestle with these things.  

So I do.