Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Four Months Ago ...

It is hard to believe that just 4 months ago this little boy became part of our family.  We feel so blessed that God chose us to raise this precious little boy.  Don't those big brown eyes just melt your heart.  Yes, he has this mom wrapped around his little finger.


It has been fun to watch him continue to blossom and grow this month.


After a long winter the sun finally came out and spring arrived.  Max LOVES being outside. His brother continues to enjoy having a new little brother for the most part.  He even gets creative and rigs up things like this to give Max a ride. Max of course thought it was great.  They have spent hours riding in circles on our deck.  Max doesn't understand when it is rainy or cold and will just stand by our patio door begging to go outside.


He has a love for slides and often makes things in our house a slide too ... the stairs, off a bed, the arm rest of the couch to the couch ... you name it he tries to make it a slide.


Max has experienced many firsts with his little hands and feet outside this spring.  It has been fun to watch him explore different surfaces and textures with his tiny little fingers and those little toes of his.  When he has bare feet he will often pause when he moves from one surface to another.  For example when he moves from grass to the sidewalk he will pause and stick a toe out and then lay one foot down and take it in a bit before he crosses over.  I continue to wonder what goes through that little mind of his as he experiences all these new things we so often take for granted.


We have continued to work on his sensory stimulation.  His favorite is his pudding time.  Often Shane and Max do pudding together.  Max just digs in and works on getting those little hands dirty.  Shane often practices his letters.  They both waste no time with licking their little fingers.


Max continues to be curious and often gets into things he shouldn't.  One day it was the box of rice which he poured on his head and ended up all over the carpet.  I decided to let him enjoy the mess he made instead of rush to clean it up.  I guess that is what happens with a 4th child  .... you learn to relax a little and try to enjoy the little things.


Max continues to play hard and sleep just as hard.  When he gets tired he crashes where ever he is which works well when he is the youngest of 4 and needs to be flexible.


Max's brothers and sisters can't get enough of him and love to help in any way possible.  Big sister Alexa is helping with a little hair washing and styling here.


Max loves to make noise and figure out how other things make nose.  When I have the vacuum out I can figure he will be riding it like a horse and turning it off and on with a big grin!


Max LOVES music.  When he hears music his little head starts bobbing.  He loves when his sister shares her little ear buds with him.  He figured out in no time how those things worked.  If the music isn't on he will shake them thinking that just may make them come on.


Max had his first opportunity to visit the South Dakota Children's Museum.  He had so much fun playing and discovering new things.  One of his favorite places to hang out was in the market.  He figured out pretty quickly how to fill his little cart and push it quickly through the isles crashing into anything in his way.

He also loved planting and picking all the vegetables with big sister Emma.


Max welcomed his friend Samantha home from China and brought her the American flag to wave.  We can't wait to watch these little Asian cuties grow and blossom together.  We are already working on an arranged marriage.


Max made his first cut out cookies.  He tasted flour and ate a chunk of cookie dough.  It has been fun to see the excitement in his eyes as he continues to discover and try new things.


His sisters and brothers love experiencing life with him.  As you can see everyone is pretty smittin' with each other.


Max celebrated his first Easter with us.  We celebrated the new life Christ gives through his victory over death but also the new life that Max represents in our family.


We had our first official "family of 6" Easter picture taken.


Max quickly caught on to picking up eggs and putting them in his basket.


And oh the fun when he realized there were treats in the eggs.


He also discovered bubbles with his cousins.


This is one of my favorite Easter pictures.  Max's cousin helping him to his feet.


He pet his first animal and Aunt Lori's house.


On Mother's Day we dedicated Max to the Lord at our church.  I feel so blessed to be Max's mommy.


To think these little legs were so weak and Max wasn't walking just 4 months ago .... now these little feet go as fast as they can go!


There are still times that Max is just not sure of his surroundings and takes it in.  This was the first time that Max was in the grass with flowers, well technically dandelions around him.  He just stood in the place that I had placed him and looked around taking it all in.


After about 5 minutes he reached down to grab a dandelion ....


but when he figured out it was safe to run he was off.  There was no stopping him!  I have a feeling there is no stopping this little boy.  We are in for a very busy summer.

Happy 4 month with your forever family sweet boy!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

I Am Blessed

Today, on Mother's Day my heart is changed and full.  There is no greater joy in my life than being a mom.  Traveling half way around the world to become a mom for the fourth time is an experience and feeling that is hard to even put into words.  There is an overwhelming love that God has given me for this little boy that he has chosen me to be mom to.  There is also an overwhelming responsibility that comes with that.  Today we had the opportunity to stand in front of our church and dedicate Max to the Lord.  We promised to bring him up in the Lord, praying for him and sharing with him his need for a Savior and the sacrifice that God made for him.  I pray that Max will see God's hand in his life from the moment he was born and the days that follow.



I stand it awe of the deep, heart penetrating love that God has given me for this little boy.


God has taught this mom so much in our journey to Max and back again.  God has showed me what total dependence and trust in him looks like.  During this process there were so many times I wanted to control things or tried to do things my way and yet over and over again God showed me he was in control and his timing and plan are perfect.  He has taught me about sacrifice, about giving more of myself.  He has taught me that he DOES hold each of my kids in his hands and has a plan for their life. Having Max placed in my arms has helped open my heart to a whole new understanding of the deep, deep love my Heavenly Father has for me.  Max has played a part in God breaking my heart and laying it wide open with love, passion and heartache for those orphans who have no one to call mommy.  He has played a part in me saying "Here I Am Lord" how do you want use me, what can I do for those who don't have a mommy.  I pray that I can continue to step out in faith as he continues to lead my heart. I know God will continue to teach me, stretch me and love me on my journey as a mom.


There are times that I forget that this mom has only kissed, hugged, cuddled, fed, clothed, changed, provided for, rocked, wiped tears ......  for Max for only 3 1/2 months.  I didn't know him or care for him the first 17 months of his life.  There are times we are out and about and I realize people are doing a double take and look at Max and our other kids trying to figure out how they all fit together.  It is those times that the reality hits that Max was born a world away ... not bone of my bone or flesh of my flesh but miraculously my own.  This weekend was one of those times that the reality of Max's story penetrated my heart and brought out emotions from deep inside this mommy's heart.  Last night I looked at Eric with tears streaming down my face and said, "I wonder if there is Mother's Day in China? I can't stop thinking about Max's mom!"  We continued to have a conversation about Max's mom and the sacrifice she made.  Today I can't help but have a broken heart for a mom I have never met, know nothing about and yet have a love and deep respect for the sacrifice she made even though we will never know the details behind it.  She carried my little boy for 9 months.  She heard his first cries and held him in her arms.  She fed him and cared for him the first 4 days of his life and then she went to the train station and laid him there to be found.  She laid him there for a chance at a better life.  I have to believe that it broke her heart to lay her baby there and we will never know what led her have to make that choice.  I wonder how many times she thinks about her sweet boy and wonders if he is ok.  I wish I could tell her and show her how much he is loved and how happy and healthy he is.  So today on Mother's Day I am forever grateful for the mom that gave our sweet Max life and I pray for peace for her today.  I am forever grateful that God has blessed me with the opportunity to be Max's mommy and walk through life with him as my son.  I pray for wisdom and strength along the way!


Today my heart is full ..... I am blessed!

From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another  
John 1:16
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