About Mike Rusch

Based in Downtown Bentonville, Arkansas, Mike is the Chief Executive Officer at Pure Charity, a nonprofit dedicated to building world class technology solutions for Nonprofit Organizations, Individual Fundraising, and Community Advocacy.

Mike currently serves on the Board of Directors for Help One NowMercy House GlobalCanopy Northwest Arkansas99 Balloons@HopeMob, Laundry Love, and Serve Northwest Arkansas.  

Prior to Pure Charity, Mike worked for Nickelodeon, The Walt Disney Company, Hershey Foods, and served in the US Marine Corps. Mike is a husband of 22 years, father of 4, a lover of a great story, and never too far from a fly-fishing river.  

A name and a face...

I was sitting at lunch with Matt Mooney this week and my phone rang with a caller ID that I didn’t recognize.

Matt commented, “that’s a Ft. Worth area code. That’s the only area code I really know”

I didn’t think much of it, and thought I’d call this person back after lunch.

Then the phone rang again. This time it was my wife, and I made the connection immediately.

The Gladney Center for Adoption has it’s home in Ft. Worth, and the next phone call we would receive from them would be news of our referral (that’s the first time we get to see a picture of our soon to be little girl).

I calmly (not really) told Matt I had to cut the lunch short, and off I bolted for home.

…not sure what happened next, but I was home and setting up cameras and getting the kids situated in front of the computer waiting for an email with a picture of a face that would change my life forever.

And then it came…

Honestly, I really didn’t know what to expect from my emotions, but there I was looking at a picture of a little girl I had never met, with a name I didn’t know, in a country I have never been to, who spoke a language (or was beginning to) I couldn’t speak, who had never seen my face and who could not look back at me…

But, she was my daughter.

How do you react in moments like that? I don’t know either.

Over the course of the next few hours as this new face began to become engraved in my mind, this knowledge moved from my head and become unconditional love in my heart. You see, once it reached my heart and then reconnected with my mind, my whole life changed.

Now there is a name a face, and everyday this little girl grows a little, speaks a little more, has new experiences, knows loneliness, finds joy and sleeps without knowing that I would leave immediately to be with her. I can’t think of anything I would not do for her, and she doesn’t even know who I am. But that doesn’t change anything.

I can not begin to even come close to explaining how much I’ve learned and experienced about God in these last few days. Both my understanding of love, of longing, unrest, joy as well as my understanding of what it may mean to be loved for no other reason than I have been adopted into His family.

Still not done processing this. In fact, I’m starting to believe that my life from this point forward will never be the same. Changed by a little girl thousands of miles away who doesn’t even know I love her…not yet anyway…not yet.

Anyone traveling soon?

Anyone traveling soon?