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Gerbera Daisies and the Boys I Love

Gerbera Daisy | Container Gardening | Creative Cain CabinSunday was graduation day for my youngest son Cody, and as parent’s gifts the students presented us with Gerbera Daisy’s plants. Not only was I excited to have my son graduate (more on the later) I was thrilled to have some new additions to add to my container garden. This was a bittersweet day for me, Cody had worked so hard to get through high school it was a miracle he ever did it. You see Cody came to our family when he was 14 years old. He had just been sent to live with a father he never knew after his mothers tragic death. Cody became friends with my oldest Dustin and started hanging out at our house. After living with us for quite some time (things were not good with his dad) he asked if we would adopt him. Enough said, we loved Cody and after consulting Dustin about it….because this would also forever change his life, Dustin said, “If we don’t rescue him he will never have a chance in life”. I am so proud of how Dustin put his own life aside to help a fellow buddy and now brother, I couldn’t ask for better kids. So from there the process began and Cody became part of our family.

Gerbera Daisy | Container Gardening | Creative Cain CabinAfter the loss of his mother he failed two years of high school, so by the time I was legally in the loop we had a lot of ground to make up. Cody worked hard, with lots of pushing he completed 4 years of high school in 2 years. He was able to graduate with his class and also received a full 4 year scholarship to college as well as 2 scholarships from the community. He will be playing football for his college years, something he loves to do and I couldn’t be prouder. It sure was a struggle I felt like I pushed a 250 pound 6’6″ boy up hill for his high school years, but it was all worth it in the end. My son Dustin is so different he graduated when he was 16 and had a job that same day. He has always been a very hard worker and has a job most people twice his age couldn’t land. 

Gerber Daisy's in a Rusty Tool Box | Gerbera Daisy | Container Gardening | Creative Cain CabinOur son Dustin was with us all the way encouraging his brother to leave the past behind and make a better life for himself. I couldn’t have done all the work without that boy. He has kept an eye on his brother as well as protect him and give him the love he deserves. So graduation day was hard for me, it brought on many tears as I watched the slide show of all the kids I have watched grow up and when they actually turned the tassels I finally felt like I could quit holding my breath. We had succeeded, hubby and I had raised 2 marvelous boys to go out into the world and make a difference. 

My BoysI love my family, and the wonderful men we have raised. I would do it all over again and wouldn’t change a thing. So for me I will start college in the fall just like Cody and Dustin will continue working hard at his job just like he does every day. Hubby and I are proud parents for sure. Oh and the flowers are beautiful πŸ™‚ I decided to use a $1 flea market find, an old green toolbox as their container. LIFE IS GOOD.

My Boys



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    1. Shirley, thank you for checking in this morning πŸ™‚ I hope I get additional blooms this summer on the daisies but if I remember correctly they bloom once then that’s it until next year again.

  1. So glad you told Cody’s story, Dawn. I’m happy that others now know the story of how he came to be part of your family. I’m sure this day was bittersweet and emotional as well as happy. Congratulations to the whole family!

    Is that Cody on the right? (And Dustin on the left?)


    1. Yes Claudia, Cody on the Right and Dustin on the Left πŸ™‚ If you knew other members of my family Dustin looks exactly like my younger brother and anywhere he goes people comment on it. Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

  2. dawn, what a wonderful and loving woman you are. You have raised some truly wonderful young men. xo Laura

    1. Laura, thank you. It was my pleasure to call these boys mine and be able to watch them grow and mature. I would do it all again πŸ™‚

  3. You certainly are a proud mom to those 2 young men. Cody must be very proud also to now be part of your loving family. Congratulations to him on his graduation and continued success in the future.
    And those gerber a daisies are a favourite of mine … I just picked up a couple yesterday.

    1. Linda, thank you for the congratulations, he is so glad to be done. It was a long road for sure. I planted Gerbera Daisies years ago, they bloomed once and never again. I hope they do better this time around for me.

  4. Oh Dawn this is so sweet and heart warming. I love this and the boys are handsome young men. You are my hero for opening your heart and home to Cody. You my dear saved his life and put him on a better journey in life. I am so proud to call you friend. I bet when he pushed that tassle over it just was one of the proudest moments for you. Thanks Dawn for sharing this story with all of us.

    1. Kris, What a beautiful comment. My boys are my life and it will be so hard for me when they move out. Empty nester I am not.

  5. What a sweet love story. There aren’t many people that would take on what you did. I know that to be true. We adopted a pre-school student of mine when he was 5. He came for an overnight when he was turning 4 and never left. Oh my, oh my…….the struggles we went through. He had gran mal seizures, learning disabilities and major mental difficulties. Lots of love and white hair, he is now 28 and doing reasonably well. HE lives alone but is on disability.
    I am so glad that you turned this handsome boy’s life around. Sounds like he is doing great. I am sure it took a lot of work on your son’s part as well. I praise you but also your son.
    Wish more people would adopt these children and help them to live the life they deserve.

    1. Debby, wow what a wonderful thing you did. A child with a disability has a whole new set of challenges, our child just needed love and guidance. It’s amazing how a child can pull through most anything given the right amount of love and attention. Thank you for being such a giving person πŸ™‚

  6. Dear Dawn,
    Thank you for having a Mother’s heart! What an inspiration you all were to Cody and it shows by the love in all of your eyes! We have also been through similar situations, but never the adoption, just extended family now. Our own son-in-law came from a very dysfunctional home life and by God’s grace we have been able to show him what a real family life is all about. He is now a father of two with our daughter, and calls us his family as his other family continues to be chaos in his world. God knows that there are so many kids out there that never get the chances that you, me, and many others are able to give them, so He opens the doors for us to be able to give of ourselves. Oh, if others would just open their hearts and give them love, what a wonderful change they could see! Again, thanks for the post and the tears this morning. My best to your boys as they carve out their future!

    1. Susan, what a sweet message. I agree if others would just help these kids would pay if forward sometime in their own lives. We defiantly knew God let Cody to our doorstep, he fit perfectly into our family and we never missed a beat.So good of you to do the same with your SIL, life is short and everyone can always find the time to help someone along the way πŸ™‚

  7. Michle Machala says:

    Wish there were more people in the world with your love and generosity ! The youth of today have so much more to deal with then when you and I were young. God bless you and your family!

    1. Michle, I know I cant believe how hard school is even today and I don’t know how kids ever afford to move out, everything is so expensive. Thank you for leaving such a kind comment πŸ™‚

  8. Well done Dawn, you both raised them to go down the right path! You should be so very proud of them and yourselvesβ™₯

    Love the Gerber Daises, bought them last year but they didn’t last!

    1. Rondell, thank you for stopping in. I have never had luck with the lasting from year to year. Maybe our climate is just not right for them.

  9. Orange gerberas are my favorite with pink a close second. I just want to hug your for sharing that story πŸ™‚

    1. Penney, The kids picked the colors for their parents so I didn’t have a choice, but I think they are all beautiful. I just don’t remember them blooming for very long when I had them before.

  10. Cheryl Major says:

    What a great idea with the tool box. I think I will check out my FIL garage this weekend.
    What an inspiring story.
    Adoption is often not easy but soooo worth it . I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.
    What a wonderful family you have!

    1. Cheryl, I hope your FIL has something you can use and is no longer needing it himself. Wouldn’t it be funny for him to come home and find his tools on the workbench but no toolbox to put them in. I believe everything happens for a reason also πŸ™‚ The adoption was fast and went flawlessly so I know it was meant to be.

  11. Dawn
    Thank you for sharing your families story. As a mother who’s children where always bringing ‘friends’ home when they needed a place to land, I know how hard it can be at times.
    Your whole family opened their hearts to Dustin, and you all have reason to be so proud! As Dustin does too.
    Bless him for all of his hard work to get to where he is today. And may both your boys be blessed in their future endeavours.

    1. Thank you Kim, yes our house is the hangout spot if you need a bed or a meal. I know some day they will all look back and remember the good times and pass on the giving to others.

  12. There is nothing like a mother’s love. You have certainly shown that a mom who loves her children biological or not has the power of love to guide them down the right path. Your story about both your boys touched my heart deeply Dawn.

    1. Char, thank you. They are both wonderful kids and I would do anything for them πŸ™‚ I am blessed for sure.

  13. Congratulations to you and your son. What a wonderful accomplishment.

    1. Thank you Kathy we are proud of him πŸ™‚

  14. Oh Dawn, I am crying! What pride you have in your boys. As well you should! Your story reminds me a lot of the movie about football player that was out a couple of years ago. Blind Side!!!
    Way to go Mama!!! Be proud!
    xo Kris

    1. Kris, that is so funny. Cody describes his life as the “Blind Side”. Great observations girl πŸ™‚

  15. Dawn, you are living proof you don’t always give birth to your children, they come all different sorts of ways. God has a plan and it was perfect for you and your family. I live in NW GA. I too love gerbera daisies, I grow them in loving memory of my step-sister. I have them in hanging pots on my front porch, lots of sunlight on them. I bring them in during the winters and hang them indoors. I read last summer that they don’t like it too hot, they like the temps to be around 70-ish. I wondered why they didn’t bloom in the summer here then I found out and realized our southern summers are just too hot. Mine are in bloom now and they usually bloom again in the fall. Maybe that info. will be useful to you. Congrats to the boys, I’m a boy mom also, I will pray they have wonderful, blessed and successful futures.
    Toodles, Barbi

    1. Barbi, thank you for the info. I had no idea why mine would only bloom once and then nothing. Maybe if I put them on the covered porch on hot days it will keep them from getting to hot. Thanks for the tip:) and the prayers for my boys..

  16. Dawn,

    I have always admired you, but I had no idea of the “real” Dawn. You are an angel on earth and Cody is lucky that you are part of his life. Dustin is obviously as much as angel as his mother.

    Congratulations on your boys’ success!

    1. Carol, how touching. Your message made me cry πŸ™‚ Thank you.

  17. Such a beautiful post Dawn, certainly brought me some happy tears for you this morning. There were several kiddos along our way that I wanted to do the same for, and I still keep watch over them today to see how they are doing. What a great Mom you are! Thanks for sharing your wonderful, heartwarming story. Those are some darn fine looking young men you have there!! xoxo Andrea

  18. This made me cry but in a happy way if that makes sense. Your family is amazing and I can see the love through your words. As parents most of us get up every morning and do the best we can. Clearly your best was what Cody needed. He’s a lucky boy…as is Dustin!

    1. Ann, Thank you for your kind comment. You are a treasured friend for sure πŸ™‚

  19. What a wonderful testimony about your two boys!

    1. Thank you Lauina they are great kids and it has been a pleasure raising them.

  20. Oh Dawn, I just now got to this post ~ what a wonderful story of making a difference in someone’s life!!! Congratulations on Cody’s graduation (and scholarships!). You have every reason to be proud of your two sons πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you Barbara I am very thankful to have such wonderful kids. They have never been any trouble at all πŸ™‚

  21. Dawn, this is such a precious post. You all really did rescue Cody! Dustin must be a special boy to be willing to bring a friend in and share his family like that. You’ve set a great example for others even though it wasn’t your intention.

    1. Stacey what a sweet comment thank you so much it touched my heart.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Jennifer:) It has been a privilege raising my two boys for sure.

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