A NEW Little Pearl is Born! ~ April 14, 2016
|It's been a long time coming. The process of creating this new Little Pearl was delayed so many times by technical and scheduling challenges that it felt like an excruciatingly long labor and delivery. |
Now that it's finally here, I'm ready to celebrate!
If thank you were the only prayer we ever said, that would suffice. ~ Meister Eckhart
|Love Creates a Family, Connected Across the World|
|And here it is: Zi's Pearl!|
Not long ago, a young American couple named Jana and Seth lived in a home full of love. Their lives were filled with family, friends, animals and meaning. Something was missing, though: they longed to share their love with a child.
Their journey eventually led them to Zi, a baby boy in an orphanage on the other side of the world. Zi was almost a year old when they met in Nanjing, China in November 2014.
I was entranced, watching this family coming together on Facebook, at how openly Seth and Jana welcomed Zi into their hearts ~ and vice versa. Though this adoption is both trans-racial and trans-cultural, the three of them seem to be drawn to each other in a web of love and destiny.
This match feels meant-to-be. Zi truly IS their son. Now almost 2 1/2, he is thriving, and so is the whole family.
An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place or circumstance.
The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break.
~ Chinese proverb
We filmed Zi and his parents at the WNC Nature Center in May 2015, and a few weeks later at home in Asheville, NC. He was 1 ½ years old then.
Here is more of their story, including the words to Seth and Jana's lullaby for Zi, their own moving video of their journey to China, the Vimeo link, credits and more photos. Enjoy!
|More Pearls Coming: Little Boy Wonder & More|
|Each Pearl is created from an idea about a real person, animal or situation in our lives, filmed documentary-style without actors or scripts. Depending on the footage we obtain, the concept may shift, and sometimes an original idea expands to include extra Pearls. That has happened with our little boys. Zi's Pearl is the first one to be finished.|
Filming is almost complete with three very young boys who are in that space of wonder between babyhood and boyhood. The idea for new Pearls with these children came from their charming photos and stories on Facebook. My sense is that all children at this age live in a state of wonder much of the time, yet many boys lose it as they mature. Can we help them retain that openness and joy as they grow? If so, how might our world change?
We filmed 20-month-old Ben and his mother Devon a year ago at their beautiful country home and here on my porch with the dogs and cats.
Ben is now 2 1/2 and is an active, engaged, expressive little boy. He and his parents Devon and Todd are building a new home, living in another house in the interim. Ben is handling all the changes with a wonderful openness. Look at that enthusiastic smile!
There may be enough extra footage to create a Pearl just for Ben. The Little Boy Wonder Pearl, which will include Ben and Zi, will wait until we finish filming the youngest boy, Julian.
We were able to get footage of much-younger Julian, his parents Amber and Donte and extended family at his first birthday party in September. We will film him again in the next couple months.
Depending on the footage we can capture, there may be another Pearl with just Julian, given all the news lately about how dangerous it is for black boys and men in our country. Julian could help open some hearts. This precious child, like all children, deserves a world that meets him as he really is – not as some fearful stereotype.
Julian's grandmother is Glenis Redmond, a performance poet who honed her skills here and now travels the country. Her own grandmother was the subject of the very first Little Pearl: Great Katie. Filming Julian feels like a tender return to this family, and we'll see what unfolds when we can get together again.
Julian is a happy, loving little guy!
|And Another Pearl, too: Kida & her Whales|
|Another new Pearl, partially filmed in late September on my vacation, is about the love that connects a marine biologist named Carrie Newell, her 15-year-old old dog Kida and the summer resident gray whales off Depoe Bay, Oregon. |
I have loved these California gray whales for 39 years and have visited them many times. The interaction between the whales and Kida, who has been going out on the ocean since she was a puppy, is most definitely a Pearl!
We tried filming in the fall of 2014, but a wild ocean didn't cooperate. Last September, the only trip out on a zodiac with a cameraman from Portland, also on rough seas, did not give us enough footage for the Pearl. We're waiting for more from the marine biologist.
Kida recently had major surgery for cancer in her jaw but hopes to be out on the ocean again soon, searching for and barking at her whales. This photo, taken mid-March by TW Moore, was just before her surgery. Send love to Kida, please.
Whale Research Eco Excursions
|A Chance to Help some Special Friends|
|Many of you know and love Debra and Joe Roberts, who lost their home in a fire recently. Debra founded Little Pearls, was actively involved through 2004 and still stays connected with us. |
A crowdfunding site has been set up at YouCaring. Please help if you can.
|WATCH. LOVE. GIVE. ~ We need your support, please!|
|After a long hiatus ~ and finally, a new Pearl ~ we have up to FOUR more Little Pearls in the works. We will need more footage for two of them, plus the cost of editing them all. Except for the technical professionals who help us out, this work is completely volunteer-based. Please:|
For a gift of $100 or more, you can be listed as a Sponsor.
- WATCH: what we've already created on greatlittlepearls ~ and share
- LOVE: No link here ~ this is an inside job!
- GIVE: We have always pointed to situations that would benefit from our viewers' awareness and support. At this point in the life of Little Pearls, we do not yet have grant resources or corporate sponsors, so we depend on individual and small business donors. Now that we're moving forward again, please help us fund these new Pearls.
We still have our beautiful DVDs available, too ~ they would make great gifts.
We are grateful for all investments of time, money and ideas. If you or someone you know can volunteer, donate, be a Sponsor, serve on our small board or suggest a connection, please let me know.
Warmly, with gratitude,
Executive & Creative Director
GreatLittlePearls on YouTube
(photo by Lee Barnhardt Hatling, Big Yellow Mountain, NC - 11-1-15)