Looking upwards, I breathe in deep and notice the buds on our new trees.  I remember planting that ferny one last fall in memory of my dad.  I am drawn to it and begin my decent down the hill through the dew covered grass.  Lonely, it sits as if waiting for me, and I caress the stems that look like they may not make it.  As if knowing my thoughts, the other stems begin to flutter in the breeze and wave; “Take notice of me- I am alive!” I grin and look down at the base of the tree- quickly and then back again.  Resting upon a mass of grass and brittle leaves, my weak eyes capture the image of  a twenty dollar bill at my feet.

       Without hesitation, I bend forward and cradle the surprise treasure in my hands. Inwardly I laugh, outwardly I shake my head. Contemplating, I consider the gift from God, in awe of the timing, in awe of the amount!  What might be the message in this valuable find? On the right side of the bill is a tear- about 1/4 of it is missing.  Regardless, I enjoy our daughters’ wide-eyed expressions as they climb in our van and watch their mommy waving money in the air.  “Girls, look what Mommy found at the bottom of Papa’s tree!”

     A thought crosses my mind while heading into town, I wonder if our bank would exchange it for a new one?  After arriving there I ask the teller about the torn twenty, she too is uncertain.  It’s value is in question while we both wait for an approval to exchange the money. I resolve that whatever the answer, I will remain excited about the bill even if someone else doesn’t affirm it with an earthly value.  It has been a perfectly timed gift of encouragement to my spirit.

      Okay I won’t lie- as the bank authorities confirm the twenties value, the girls and I share a little dance of joy right at the teller window. So out of the blue, this gift has gotten my attention- so I pray about what this nestling twenty in my wallet might have been intended for.  I can’t help it, I continue to reflect on where and how I found it.  As the day comes to an end, my grocery cart carries a special Easter breakfast that we wouldn’t have otherwise had.  I am looking forward to this unexpected gift being multiplied tomorrow morning while we sit around our table as a family.

     A few weeks later, I now reconsider the event.  That ripped and discarded twenty reminds me a little about our 3yr. old foster son.  When he was born into this world, his little body was also fragile, broken, and worn.  He might have even been considered discarded or devalued by some because of the way his birth mother treated her body when he was carried in her womb.  Daily, God continues to take every ounce of his brokenness and cover it in His loving grace to make his life whole again.  I don’t need the world to tell me if my foster to adopt child is valuable- my Authority confirmed that the day He created him and gracefully guarded his life.  God even laid it upon our hearts to pray and yearn for him long before we were even married almost twenty years ago!

      As we prepare for his upcoming summer adoption hearing, we are beyond ecstatic…
  Just like He enabled me to find that twenty, only God has the authority and ability to make a precious life that has been broken, completely whole again even when everyone else might think it’s impossible.  We have experienced personally how God enables a child to be found by the right family, at the right time, for His purpose. If you have ever considered adopting, may I gently encourage you to ask God if now is the season for you to open up your heart to a broken  little one (s) that is longing for a forever family?  As we take this step of faith, we not only are playing a part in restoring a child’s future hope but experiencing growth ourselves as well.  When a family opens their heart to a child in need of love, God’s grace and His blessings will only continue to multiply.  While challenges will continue to be faced throughout the journey, by depending upon God daily and the support He places around us, everyone has the opportunity to experience a miraculous transformation.  Loving the ‘least of these’ will only change our world for the better.

VIDEO- Motion of Mercy