Thursday, May 21, 2015

Travel Date!!

We got the call yesterday morning!!

Our facilitator: "Are you ready?"

Me: "It's next week isn't it?!?"

She confirmed my hope that we will indeed be traveling by the end of this month!

We leave MONDAY!! Yes, as in FOUR days!!

As you would expect things are pretty crazy right now.

I'm allowing more screen time and snacks than I ever do, but hey, mama's gotta do what mama's gotta do... when you get told you have to be ready to leave the country in only a couple days!!

We're feeling awesome though!!

All four of us are overjoyed to begin this journey and bring brother and sister home!!

I just noticed that I've ended almost every sentence with an exclamation point, but that isn't even exaggerating. Our life can be summed up in one big exclamation point right now! !

With that said, I'm not going to have much time to keep pushing our giveaway so I need your help to keep sharing it until it's over.

Our giveaway is scheduled to end next Friday night (May 29th).

Next Friday we will get to meet and hold our babies for the first time (endless exclamation points).

Ryan assures me that we will still be able to use random.org and choose our two winners.

We will arrange for someone else to send out the gift cards to the winners so you can get them asap!!

How amazing that this giveaway will end on the very day that we get to hold our babies in our arms.

I just can't even handle that kind of awesome!!

Sooooo pppppllleeeaaasssseee help us finish strong on this!

We have had several entries through people purchasing t-shirts, but only a couple otherwise.

I'm a little flabbergasted!!

Who doesn't want a chance to win a couple hundred dollars to improve or decorate their home this Summer???

So here's the deats one more time!!!

Don't forget you only have until May 29th to get your entries in to win


FIRST NAME CHOSEN...
A $300 GIFT CARD TO LOWES






The Second name chosen will receive a

 A $200 GIFT CARD TO HOBBY LOBBY




Here's how it works!!


Donation Amounts: 

$10 - 1 Entry

$25 - 5 Entries

$50 - 10 Entries 

$100 - 30 Entries
$500 - 250 Entries


Please Share on FB, Twitter or your blog!! This also counts as an Entry! 
Just leave a comment below telling us where you shared and your name will be entered.
Tax Deductible Donations can be made to our Family Sponsorship Page at: REECES RAINBOW
Please send your receipt to: nnmaxwell03@gmail.com
Donations can also be made in person, or through Paypal. 
Just click the yellow DONATE button on the top right hand side of our blog, right under our thermometer.



 Remember this giveaway will end on May 29th so don't wait to place your entries!!!

We will choose the winners through random.org and post the lucky names on May 30th right here on our blog!!

We are SO CLOSE to beginning the next step of bringing our babies home. Please help us finish strong on our fundraising. Every dollar we receive from this giveaway helps to lessen our financial stresses in country and once we get our kiddos home.

We are also giving 50% of what we have earned from our t-shirts and this giveaway to the Benz family as they are behind us in the adoption process and still very much in needs of funds to bring their precious son home!!

With every entry you will be helping 2 families. You'll be playing a role in saving 3 children from life in an institution. AND you'll have a chance to win an amazing home improvement opportunity!! 

Sounds like a win-win to me!!!

I have to end this last pre-travel blog entry with a HUGE...

THANK YOU!!!!

It is because of you that we are to this point! This is where the journey starts to get really messy and beautiful!! We can't wait to see God's story continue to unfold for our family. Thank you for supporting and praying for us as we take each step in faith.

If you wish to keep following our journey as we travel, please find me on facebook and ask to join our private adoption group.




Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Almost There!!

Still no travel date!!

I'm going a little crazy, looking at my phone every 30 seconds. I find myself imagining it ringing with our facilitators name lighting up the screen... it hasn't happened yet though.

It truly should be any day now!!

We are still hoping to leave by the end of May to go meet our babies!!

Our t-shirt campaign ended last night and we are very happy with the results. Thank you to everyone who purchased and shared!

We still have our giveaway going on though!!!

Don't forget you only have until May 29th to get your entries in to win


FIRST NAME CHOSEN...
 
A $300 GIFT CARD TO LOWES






The Second name chosen will receive a

 A $200 GIFT CARD TO HOBBY LOBBY




Here's how it works!!


Donation Amounts: 

$10 - 1 Entry

$25 - 5 Entries

$50 - 10 Entries 

$100 - 30 Entries
$500 - 250 Entries


Please Share on FB, Twitter or your blog!! This also counts as an Entry! 
Just leave a comment below telling us where you shared and your name will be entered.
Tax Deductible Donations can be made to our Family Sponsorship Page at: REECES RAINBOW
Please send your receipt to: nnmaxwell03@gmail.com
Donations can also be made in person, or through Paypal.



 Remember this giveaway will end on May 29th so don't wait to place your entries!!!

We will choose the winners through random.org and post the lucky names on May 30th right here on our blog!!

We are SO CLOSE to beginning the next step of bringing our babies home. Please help us finish strong on our fundraising. Every dollar we receive from this giveaway helps to lessen our financial stresses in country and once we get our kiddos home.

We are also giving 50% of what we have earned from our t-shirts and this giveaway to the Benz family as they are behind us in the adoption process and still very much in needs of funds to bring their precious son home!!

With every entry you will be helping 2 families. You'll be playing a role in saving 3 children from life in an institution. AND you'll have a chance to win an amazing home improvement opportunity!! 

Sounds like a win-win to me!!!




I'll keep you all posted!! Have a beautiful day!!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Sharing the Love!

Now that we have reached our goal and are considering ourselves fully funded you may be wondering what we are going to do about our giveaway.

We have decided to continue with our fundraiser simply because we have started it. Any money raised now will go into our emergency fund.

There is really no "set" amount that if reached will absolutely guarantee us we have "enough". Unexpected delays or other unfortunate circumstances can always take place so it's wise to bring a couple thousand extra. Ryan and I have this money set aside, but any extra that we can raise now just means we will have some "once home" savings for medical bills.

God has so richly blessed us though and we are eager to pay if forward, even if in a small way.

So we have decided to invite our neighbors (seriously, they live only a couple blocks from us) and dear friends the Benz's to join our giveaway!!



Any money raised in our giveaway and our t-shirt fundraiser will be split 50/50 with them.

Kaylee and Derek are a young couple that have some of the biggest hearts! They are in the process of  adopting a little boy from the same country our babies are from.

You can see their family sponsorship page and read more about them by clicking HERE 
or by following their blog HERE 

Their Henry
How adorable is he!!! Can't you just picture him in their beautiful family??

Will you help us show them some love?!?

Same rules...



Donation Amounts: 

$10 - 1 Entry

$25 - 5 Entries

$50 - 10 Entries 

$100 - 30 Entries
$500 - 250 Entries

 Tee-shirt purchase - 3 Entries

 For every entry, your name will be entered into our Giveaway and
on May 29th we will post a video of the two winners chosen through Random.org.

The First name that is chosen will win (drum roll!!!!!!)

A $300 GIFT CARD TO LOWES






The Second name chosen will receive a

 A $200 GIFT CARD TO HOBBY LOBBY






Our t-shirt fundraiser is now live!! We needed to sell 10 shirts to make our printing goal which we did, so they will for sure be printed and any purchases after this is profit!!

You can view and purchase these awesome shirts by clicking HERE

For privacy reasons Tee Spring does not pass on your contact info to us so if you buy a shirt please let me know so I can get your name entered in our giveaway!!

Shirts are available in 3 great colors!

I love the message of these shirts!! They would make the perfect gift for anyone who has adopted, is in the process, or just anyone who values the significance of FAMILY!!

Please Share on FB, Twitter or your blog!! This also counts as an Entry! 
Just leave a comment below telling us where you shared and your name will be entered.
Tax Deductible Donations can be made to our Family Sponsorship Page at: REECES RAINBOW
Please send your receipt to: nnmaxwell03@gmail.com
Donations can also be made in person, or through Paypal.



 Remember this giveaway will end on May 29th so don't wait to place your entries!!!

Your gift will now go towards helping to bring home THREE precious children and save each of them from life in an institution!!


Ready...set...GO!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

3 days!!

WOW!!!

The past three days have been such a roller coaster of awesome I just don't even know if I can describe it in words... and yet here I am trying ;)

Around a week ago we received a call from a friend during dinner and she informed us that there was a car dealership in town that wanted to GIVE us a minivan.

Supposedly a man who works at the dealership saw our news interview months ago and was touched by it. He found out from one of our friends that we only have one vehicle and right away said he wanted to help us.

Instant tears as I'm hearing bits and pieces of the phone conversation Ryan is having with our friend. I understood enough to be completely in awe of what God had done.

Ryan and I had discussed purchasing another vehicle, but it was something we knew would be a year or so down the road for us.

It wasn't even something we were praying for!!

But God knew....

I am brought to tears even today as I think about all of the past days where Ryan and I have woken up the kids at 6am so we could take Ryan to work because we needed the vehicle that day. On appointment and therapy days it wasn't unusual for me to unload and load the kids (and wheelchair) 8+ times into the vehicle. Most days I would take the kids home after a long day of appointments or therapy and they would get maybe an hour nap in before I'd load them back up to go pick up Ryan.

I'm not saying this so you feel bad for us, I'm saying it because I want you to believe that God knows our needs even more than we do.

AND HE CARES...

He cares that this life is hard a lot of the time and our bodies and weary and tired.

He sees us...

That truth would still be true even if God didn't give us a van, but isn't it mind blowing that we serve a God that delights in giving good gifts to His children?

We picked up our beautiful minivan on Saturday...

And as if that wasn't enough, that night I got home from work around 11pm and I noticed an envelope duct taped to our door. I took it inside, unloaded my stuff, and then Ryan and I opened it.



It took me three times of reading through the letter to comprehend that it was about me and the boys. AND I initially dismissed the money as I thought they were "just Bible tracts". LOL

Once I realized this was for real and not some sick kind of chain letter, I didn't even know what to do. I felt like I was going to have an emotional breakdown (the good kind, not my usual ;) first a van and now this!

The person that left us this envelope had no idea that we are funding an adoption, that Ivan isn't our biological child, or what an immense blessing, confirmation, and encouragement this would be for us....

But God knew :)

Ryan and I just kept looking at each other with huge eyes and saying "thank you Lord!"

As if THAT wasn't enough...

The next day was Sunday and we knew that our church was dedicating part of the service to our adoption.

When we got there, we noticed that the majority of the congregation were sporting our adoption t-shirts which was so encouraging and amazing by itself.

After the message they showed a short interview that they did with us a while ago and then had us up to give an update and pray over us.

Before the prayer our pastor handed us a check for $5,500 (4,000 we already knew about, but the rest was a total shock!!).

I am just pausing at my laptop right now because I can't even....

Let me clarify that our church is not large by any means and I don't think we have any extremely wealthy people in our congregation. We don't even have our own building right now so we meet in BSC's science center, but the heart of this church is what drew us in. To the outside world it may not look like our little church has much to offer, but our churches motto is "live out love" and that is exactly what Revive Christian church does.

After our pastor prayed over us we were dismissed, but people kept coming up to us, hugging us, and slipping us checks and envelopes.

I was just an emotional mess.

The support we received from our church was incredible and we felt God's presence and pleasure the whole time.

I don't know if I've really let anyone see just how hard this adoption process has been for us. It wasn't the money, or even the paperwork, more than anything we just wrestled with "why us".

We already have lots of long, hard days and there have been so many times during this process that I've just locked myself in the bathroom and told God "I don't know if I can." "I don't think I'm strong enough" or my most popular "UHHHHHHHH ARE YOU FREEKING KIDDING ME...You think I can handle MORE!!"

Sidenote: why does no one warn you about 3!! It makes age 2 look like Candy Land!!

In the past month, we have really begun to see a change happening in our family though. Landon is still a typical 3 year old monster boy, we haven't gotten less busy, and Ivan isn't getting any lighter people...

but our hearts somehow feel lighter.

Being surrounded by our church family last Sunday and having just received such tangible confirmations that God knows how hard this life is and He WILL meet everyone of our needs.

EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.

I'm NOT saying that God always rewards us with monetary blessings if we follow His calling.

That would be prosperity gospel and that crap makes me sick!

No, I'm saying that God will never leave you or forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6). His ways are so much higher than your ways (Isaiah 55:8) and He doesn't give to us the way the world gives... He gives us peace (John 14:27). Peace to walk through any storm that this life could throw at us. Peace to walk ON water, even! If we're willing to step out of the boat (Matthew 14).

So we left church last Sunday renewed and revived in so many ways.

It's hard to explain the emotional and spiritual battle that wages when your heart knows what is right and fully desires it, but your brain and your body are telling you it's not possible and it doesn't make sense.

We were relieved that we were so close to being fully funded, but more than anything we had a peace.

A peace that surpassed our understanding and broke down any last walls of fear.

We haven't ever doubted that this adoption was God's plan for our family, but we've had a hard time accepting it and feeling ready for such a huge change... while at the same time COMPLETELY falling in love with our future babies, dreaming about them, and counting down the days until it's our turn for a travel date...


We have believed that God would make a way, we have taken countless crazy steps of faith, we have coveted each and every one of your prayers as we've battled not just our own fears, but delays and documents being lost. We have worked hard and prayed harder... and guess what!!!!

God HAS INDEED come through!!!




WE ARE FULLY FUNDED!!!!



 This morning I recieved a message saying that we were accepted for a $3,000 grant!!

That put us only $400 away from our goal!!

I contacted Kelsie with the Gathering Family because she had told me a while ago that they had some money raised for us, but I told her to just keep it until we were closer to traveling.

$1,500 they raised for us!!!

$1,500!!!!

There was lots of screaming going on in our house today!!

How crazy is that?!?

In only 3 days God provided over 10k for us and a minivan!!

If I had to guess, I would say that He may be preparing us to travel sooner than we were expecting. We found out that there is only one slot in front of us for travel dates and they could be traveling at any time, which means there is still a possibility that we could be traveling to meet our babies this month!!!

You may be wondering what we're going to do about the giveaway we have going on now that we've reached our goal.

There will be news about that in a coming blog post.

For now, I just want to thank each and everyone of you who have prayed for us and supported us in any way. God has used you in an incredible way to change the lives of these two children and our families life forever!!

If this adoption has taught me anything, it's that God CRAZY LOVES us.

From those of us who wresstle with fear and doubt to the child who has laid alone in a crib for years...

GOD. CRAZY. LOVES. US.

We don't have to be perfect to accept that love, we just have to come as we are, give God the pen to our lives, and HOLD ON because he's NOT a boring author :)

We love each of you dearly and can't thank you enough for following us on this journey.


Monday, April 27, 2015

The No Place Like Home Giveaway

Firstly, a little update!

For those of you who aren't in our private adoption group on facebook (ask and I'll add you), you may not have heard our exciting news, we were submitted last Thurs!!

That means we are now only waiting for travel dates. It's likely we'll be traveling in June, but nothing is certain until we get that anticipated call from our facilitator letting us know the very day our adventure will really begin.

So right now we're just trying to keep busy while we wait.... and fundraise!!

We only need around 6k more to be fully funded!!

Since we have about a month left before we travel Ryan and I figured we should try one more big fund raiser.

We decided on another giveaway (last adoption we did the Tell Your Story Givaway). I've been brainstorming trying to think of something that would be different than some of the other giveaway's I've seen and also something that I can really get passionate about.

The idea for this giveaway was birthed because we bought a fixer upper 6 months ago and our project list seems to be never ending. Most of our projects have gotten pushed to the "after we get the kids home" category, but we've still made a lot of cosmetic changes to our new place and it's really beginning to feel like home.

With Spring upon us, I'm assuming that your to-do list is also long...

Maybe you have a ton of projects pinned on pinterest that you'd love to create, but there's just not money in the budget for them...

Well we want to help!!

Here's the deal, you help us bring our babies HOME and we want to help you make your Home even more beautiful this Summer!!

Here's how it's going to work...


Donation Amounts: 

$10 - 1 Entry

$25 - 5 Entries

$50 - 10 Entries 

$100 - 30 Entries

$500 - 250 Entries

 Tee-shirt purchase - 3 Entries

 For every entry, your name will be entered into our Giveaway and
on May 29th we will post a video of the two winners chosen through Random.org.

The First name that is chosen will win (drum roll!!!!!!)

A $300 GIFT CARD TO LOWES






The Second name chosen will receive a

 A $200 GIFT CARD TO HOBBY LOBBY






Just imagine what you could do with those prizes!! Maybe you need something practical, like a new lawn mower, or maybe you've had your eye on a beautiful painting, but can't bring yourself to spend the pretty penny it costs, this way you have a chance to purchase those things, while also helping bring two children into a forever family, a forever home. 

Can you handle a little more excitement?!?

We are also launching a new t-shirt fundraiser and guess what!! You can get in on both of these fundraisers at the same time!! 

For every shirt that you purchase you will receive 3 entries into the No Place Like Home Giveaway!!


Please Share on FB, Twitter or your blog!! This also counts as an Entry! 
Just leave a comment below telling us where you shared and your name will be entered.
Tax Deductible Donations can be made to our Family Sponsorship Page at: REECES RAINBOW
Please send your receipt to: nnmaxwell03@gmail.com
Donations can also be made in person, or through Paypal.



 Remember this giveaway will end on May 29th so don't wait to place your entries!!!
Will you help us reach our goal and bring our children home?


Friday, March 6, 2015

For when I am weak...

No title to this post at the moment.

I will just put my fingers to the keys, pour out my heart and see what it becomes.

This is one of those posts that I don't even know if I will be brave enough to click that daunting little button that reads "publish".

There has been so much piling on my heart lately and I know I can hide within the walls of our little home with the outside world looking in with their rose colored glasses or I can bridge the gap from "special" to "just like you".

I don't know, maybe I'm supposed to let everyone think that we have it all together. Maybe that makes people more willing to support us. Maybe people want to think that we are superhuman and therefore a worthy cause to invest in.... I don't know. But what I do know is that I HATE being up on a pedestal. It's not only a lonely place to be, but a scary place for me because I hate feeling like we're deceiving people and I never want that to become okay.

So this is my attempt to bridge the gap.

If you want to continue thinking that we are something really special you should probably stop reading now and go find a different blog to follow.

I have always been transparent with all of you and I'm not about to stop now that our story is becoming more known.

This adoption has been much different than our adoption with Ivan. I guess our story is more powerful this time because we aren't going in blind. People see us and think wow, so they chose that once, they must realize how difficult and crazy their life is because of it, why would they choose it again?

Last month we were asked to do a news interview.  Ryan and I are both pretty introverted, we are homebodies, we like to keep our world small so this request was extremely challenging and stressful for us.

I battled because everything in me didn't want to put our family out there for the world to see. Ryan and I work hard to instill in our children that although they may face challenges they are capable of anything and although we parent them differently because of their special needs we refuse to give them "special treatment". We don't want the world to give them special treatment and we certainly don't want special treatment because of our children. Support is different than special treatment in my book. We will accept all the support and encouragement we can get, but we don't want to be looked at or treated differently.

We ended up doing the news report and it was fine, God used it in some great ways, but ever since that it has just been one struggle after another.

With a larger platform comes more chance for God's glory which I'm assuming satan sees as a threat.

In the past couple weeks Ryan and I have both been sick and are still not back to 100%. We're tired and weary and the battle just never stops. Unexpected bills have discouraged us, time and energy to get necessary things done has been nonexistent.

This has been a real season of weakness for me.

The hardest part is that the weakness I feel just doesn't match up to the strength that everyone sees when they look at us.

So the purpose I'm writing this post is to remind each of you where that strength comes from, whether you're a believer in Jesus Christ of not, I just want you to know that the things that inspire you about us are the things that are "not us".

"Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.

FOR WHEN I AM WEAK, THEN I AM STRONG. (I guess I found that title) 2 Corinthians 12:6-10

You see adoption is amazing and it does take a special strength to raise children with special needs, but it takes a weak kind of strength. A strength that will get up everyday and choose to believe that God's strength will be enough because you just have no strength of your own.

Before bringing Ivan home I really believed that on the hard days, God would give me the strength that I needed to get through and he absolutely HAS, but what I didn't know then was that the strength I NEED is much different than the strength I WANT.

I want God's strength to help me never lose it with my kids.

I want His strength to help me always have the dishes and the laundry done.

I want His strength to help me make a wonderful healthy meal for my family every night.

I want His strength to meet me as soon as my alarm goes off so I can wake up at 5am to have my quiet time and exercise before the kids wake up.

I want His strength to help me reassure Ivan that it is okay when he has an accident and I want that strength to miraculously make cleaning up my seven year old's pee a delight to my heart.

But what I have found is that the strength I NEED often looks like humbling myself to my two year old and admitting that mama was wrong when she yelled at him, asking for His forgiveness, and praying with him so that he grows up knowing where true strength comes from.

The strength I NEED often looks like taking a nap with the kids and letting the dishes and laundry pile up another day.

Lately the strength I have NEEDED has been Ryan bringing home fast food for an effortless dinner.

The strength I NEED often looks like only getting half my Bible study complete each day because I snoozed my alarm and now the kids are awake and our schedule is full.

The strength I NEED often looks like realizing I have some real ugly selfishness dwelling inside of me because I can get so easily angered over the accidents of my children.

Is it okay to admit those things? Is it okay to believe that God would call imperfect people to parent His amazing children?

Like I said, this past month has been HARD. I have struggled with feeling like we were just faking it. We aren't the perfect parents everyone thinks we are so maybe we're fooling ourselves. Maybe we heard God wrong. If we're messing things up with the two kids we have, how will we handle two more?

Then last week a stranger brought us a meal one night and told us that God wanted us to know that He loves what we're doing and He's so proud of us. Then she gave us a check for $500.

The money was an incredible blessing, but her words meant even more.

She had no idea how much I needed to hear them, but God did.

The God who sees when I lose it with Landon or struggle with Ivan. The God who sees me break down on an almost daily basis, the God who sees the ugly selfishness in my heart, is still pleased with us.

The God who doesn't just read my blog or watch our little news report, but whose Spirit lives within our home, is proud of us.

How can this be? Doesn't He see us blowing it... why us?

Maybe because we realize our weakness.

Maybe because He knows I hate life on His rightful pedestal.

Maybe because He knows our hearts and how deep our humanly imperfect love is and He can work with it.

Ya know, I don't know why He has chosen us for this life, but I want you to know that He's chosen you for a crazy life too. It just takes letting go...

letting go of what you think happiness looks like...

embracing your mistakes and realizing that God loves you right where you are.

We make a huge mistake when we continue to wait for the strength we feel is necessary to do what God is calling us to do.

Maybe that is why so few of those who call themselves Christians are living lives that resemble Christ. We keep waiting for the strength we want when God just wants us at our weakest.

I haven't said all of this so that you never encourage us again, but I just want to give glory where glory is due.

Because you see, I'm just like you fellow mama :)

I may not live within your walls, but I know that you probably feel like you're blowing it a lot as well.

I believe that God wanted me to humble myself and write this post so that I could pass on the encouragement.

He knows where you stumble

He knows how your children can drive you to do things you regret.

He knows how weak and insignificant you feel...

and He wants you to know that He loves what you're doing and He is so very proud of you.

Let's let that truth free us to embrace our weakness for only then is his power made perfect in us.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Hands Full Life

Every time I go anywhere with the boys, I get the comment, "you've got your hands full." Some people add a "wow" in there somewhere or phrase it a little differently, but it always hits me the same way.

I just don't know how to answer it so I usually smile, nod my head, or if I'm feeling bold I'll say yep. but there's never a dull moment." with an awkward chuckle.

There are days when I don't want to tell others that we're in the process of adding two more to our clan because I just can't take one more look of pity or confused shock.

I wonder when did things change...

When did a parent having his/her hands full become a negative thing?

When did we stop seeing children as a blessing and start seeing them as a nuisance?

Clearly, I realize that our life looks differently than most.

Using my body to prop open a door while holding the hand of a rambunctious two year old while also trying to coax my other child who is in a wheelchair through said door is guaranteed to get me this comment and in reality I know... it's true.

I realize that YES, my hands are always full, but what are my other options?

 I've come up with 3

Firstly, my hands could be idle?

The difinition of idle is: not active or in use. Without purpose or effect; pointless.

To be perfectly honest, that definition sends chills up my spine. the last thing I want is to have nothing for my hands to find purpose in.


My hands may be full, but that means there's always a hand to hold.

That means there's always a tear to wipe.

There's always a loved one to serve.

There's always a face to gently cherish.

There's always a belly that needs tickling, a book that needs to be read to little ears,  and there's always food, snacks, and endless glasses of milk to be prepared.

I could do without my hands being full of laundry and dishes, but when it comes to my family I pray my hands would always be busy serving, loving, and cherishing every precious second.

The second option I've realized is my hands could be empty.

Please hear my heart on this, because I do not say these things lightly. I know the pain of loss, I've watched the face of a mother as she was torn from her child so he could be resuscitated back to life.

Even now the tears well up because there is just no antidote for that kind of pain and fear.

I've felt the gut wrenching empty feeling that overcomes your entire being when you have to hand your child over not knowing if he will be handed back alive.

I've experienced what it's like to have your womb be full of life one moment and empty the next.

I know mothers who have driven home to hauntingly empty homes that were once full of a child's laughter.

It is my experience that empty is the nightmare of every mother. We may be stressed out and exhausted in every way, but we would never choose empty or wish it on anyone else.

Every time I'm tempted to feel sorry for myself because my life is FULL I think of the many mama's out there that would give anything to be driven crazy by their child for just one more moment.... to have their hands filled again.

And then lastly, I think there's a place in between FULL and empty. It's the place that most of us end up and even strive to get to and we'll just call this place "comfortable"

I think this is the most dangerous place of all because it can sometimes appear to be full. We drive ourselves crazy with so many little things every day. We work to ensure a "comfortable" future for our families.

We die on the molehills before we ever reach the mountains that make life worth living.

I know, as moms, it's so hard to see our lives as having meaning and eternal purpose, but the role of a parent is the most influential of all.

Everyday as we go through the hard routines of motherhood we don't realize that those "full" hands are making lasting impressions on our children's hearts and souls.

A mother's hands are full not only of the mundane tasks that come with caring for children, but every second of everyday those hands of yours are building a legacy.

So fellow stress FILLED mama, take heart, and thank God for FULL hands, because someday all of the little things that weigh our hearts down today will fade into memory, but the cherished memories of the precious lives that we get the privilege of raising will be the things that fill our hearts and bring us joy unspeakable.

So maybe next time your tempted to tell an already exhausted, guilt ridden, mama that she has her hands full, why not stop and choose your words a little differently?

Tell her she's strong and her children are beautiful.

Tell her she is blessed to have her hands so full.

Tell her that someday she'll look back fondly on this season of life.

Please, lets stop feeding into the constant whispers of our culture that having a life filled with family is a burden because that is a lie that Satan is using to destroy us.

Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift?  
The fruit of the womb his generous legacy?
Like a warrior’s fistful of arrow,  
are the children of a vigorous youth.
Oh, how blessed are you parents,  
with your quivers full of children!
Psalm 127:5 (MSG)



So that was what's been on my heart a lot lately, but now for a little adoption update!!

Our goal was to be done with our dossier by Valentines day and although we are not completely done we are only waiting on a couple more documents.

I think it's safe to say that we will have it sent over to our babies country by the end of this month. After it's sent, it will be translated then "submitted".

Once we are submitted we'll be traveling in 6 to 8 weeks.

SOOOOO CRAZY!!!!

This adoption is going insanely fast and dare I say it, really smoothly!!

All glory to God for we know this is all because of Him!!

For those of you who didn't notice, our thermometer has taken a large leap thanks to the breathtaking support of our church and community.

We are so blessed to share life with so many selfless people who truly demonstrate God's love in amazing ways.

We are trusting and believing that every needed penny, God will provide.

How are we doing emotionally?

This has been a roller coaster of an experience. It's going so fast we feel like we barely have time to process it and yet when we lay in bed at night all we talk about is how much we want them home. We dream of meeting them for the first time. For that day, I'm just holding my breath.

I can't wait!!

We have a private facebook group set up where we will be sharing the details of our adoption. For privacy reasons, we will not be sharing very much on this blog until we have our babies safe in our arms on American soil.

We would love for you to follow our journey to bringing our precious kiddos home. You can find me on facebook and just send me a quick message asking to be added to our adoption group.


How are the boys doing?

Ivan continues to amaze us. He's been using a stander at therapy and even bearing weight on his legs without the help of the stander. We just got the call today that his personal stander is now in! With a stander to use at home we can only imagine how our boy will continue to progress :)

We're SO proud of our boy! We can't believe the changes in him. He has grown so much in every way since bringing him home. He's proof that adoption is redemption.

His anxiety has decreased dramatically and his communication is exploding.

A conversation we had the other day

Ivan- I'm really tired, I need a nap.
Me-okay, you want to go back to bed?
Ivan- NO, I nap after pt!!

LOL he is such a smart kid. We can't imagine life without the joy he brings.

He is now registered to go to kindergarten this coming fall.

This has been a hard decision as I've loved home schooling him. We know that homeschooling was best for him this past year, but with two more kiddos I just don't feel I can give him the focus he deserves while also giving the two newest Maxwell babes the attention they will desperately NEED. It will be painful to let him go, but we're hoping and praying that this change will be awesome for him. We will play it by ear and do what we feel is best for our precious little man.


At the therapy clinic, pushing up out of the chair with a little help from his awesome pt.

Using the stander


When did my baby become such a big handsome boy?!?

Hamming it up!


Hanging out in what will be baby sisters room.
Since we are now in a house we were able to bring our dog home this Christmas. He's been living with my parents for the past 3 1/2 years. Landon has a new best friend and we couldn't have asked for a better buddy for our kiddos!
 Landon is still our little ball of energy. He keeps us on our toes that's for sure! He has gotten so talkative and will carry on hilarious conversations. He tells me everyday "brother and sister come home mama? In the Summer mama. Not today.... ahhhh (sad face)." He is very excited to have another brother to play with, but more than anything he talks about baby sister and being a big brother.

As hard as it will be to leave the boys, we are so blessed that they have great relationships with their grandparents and are SO looking forward to staying with them while we're gone. It also helps that they have each other. They are inseparable at home so I know as long as they're together they will be just fine.



A family selfie as we waited to get our fingerprints done for the third and final time this adoption!




 So there's a look at what life looks like for us, hands full and about to get even more FULL!