Groceries and rainbows.

We spent the second part of this past weekend and the curve into the new week in Chiang Mai, hanging out with our friend Aaron, from The Charis Project. It was great to see him. It's been too long- five years maybe. I wished Carrien and the kids were there too- but hopefully soon they will be, since they're planning a move to Thailand. And since Carrien couldn't be there herself, she sent me a giant bag of goodies from Trader Joe's, which, well. You know. She had me at the Cheese crunchies, but then there were caramels and kettle corn and my very favorite lavendar lotion in all the world. Thanks, Carrien... there is nothing better than a bunch of stuff from home. It's just groceries, but it looks and feels like rainbows.

Aaron hooked us up with some friends of his and we had a very inspiring and fun-filled few days staying at their house. They are two families, in two houses side-by-side. One family has four kids, and the other has ten kids-- two biological, one adopted, and a whole bunch of foster kids. They have five boys that are five and six years old.

That's a smile for you

That's a lot of little boy energy, but our new friends Adam and Cindy seem to live with all that energy with such grace and love. It was inspiring.

Joy is a swing that goes really high

Adam and Cindy's adopted daughter, Asia, is blind because of being born prematurely, at only 24 weeks. One evening, Cindy was telling me about the huge advancements Asia has made in the year that she's been with them. "Have you heard her play piano?" she asked.

She led Asia over to the piano and played a few notes of a song that Asia knows. And Asia, who is four and spent her first three years in a hospital, started to play. I couldn't believe it, how much she loved playing and how much she felt it, how she plays entirely by ear. Her timing and ear were perfect. She was incredible, a small prodigy. It was the most beautiful thing I've seen in a long time. Just before we left, I found her on the swing, pumping her legs to get really high and then laughing and laughing. She's a beautiful girl who has a big struggle behind her, and I can't help thinking about what a wonderful thing it is that she is in this family, with a mother who loves music and can spend time at the piano with her.

Between spending time with Aaron and hearing about how the home in Tak Province is going, plus dreams for the future, and spending time with over a dozen kids spilling in and out of doorways, chattering at us, telling us their stories, it was a beautiful and inspiring weekend.

Happy with her daddy

This little cutie is Adam and Cindy's youngest. She's two and talks a mile a minute. In two languages!

Little Darlings

And these two sweeties are from next door- the two oldest girls in Aaron's adopted brother's family. Could anything prepare me for the sweetness of two five year old girls walking around being generally amazing? No. Nothing could.