Ryan and I are hoping that this next year will be a little less crazy, but with God in charge, who knows! And we wouldn't have it anyother way because clearly... crazy is stinkin cute!!
What a year 2013 was!!
Last New Years day I posted THIS. In which I announced that our hope for 2013 was to bring two more miracles into our family. 2013 clearly didn't turn out the way we expected, but we trust God's plan even when it doesn't go the way we plan.
We sent a small recap of our 2013 with our Christmas letters this year.
If you didn't receive one please don't feel bad. My usual list of 200 recipients was narrowed down to 30 family members. Which is why I wanted to post it here on the blog for everyone to see :)
Hello friends and family,
I can’t believe it’s been a year already, but what an eventful and life changing year it has been for our family!
In January Landon underwent his third and final open heart surgery. It was successful and as of now, his heart is completely healthy. He does have a small ASD (hole in the heart) but his cardiologist is hopeful that it will close on it’s own within the next year. Today he is an energetic “almost” two year old with determination to conquer the world and a smile that can melt a heart of stone. We are so blessed to have him in our family and we will never take for granted the miracle that he is.
Also in January we took a huge leap of faith and began the adoption process for two little boys in Ukraine.
February and March were jammed packed full of document collecting, fundraising and working on our homestudy for our adoption.
In April we celebrated Landon’s first birthday! A milestone that we once feared we may never get to experience. It was a day full of rejoicing and praising God for His faithfulness.
In May I, (Natalie) graduated from Liberty University Online with my bachelor’s degree in Psychology/Christian counseling and Biblical studies. It was such a relief and an accomplishment to finish.
I also ran the Fargo half marathon with my dad. I don’t recommend trying to train for a marathon while also working on an adoption and finishing school. Yikes!!
Our dossier (all the documents needed for an international adoption) was submitted to Ukraine in June so then we just had to wait for a travel date.
July was spent soaking in our last summer as a family of three, getting our apartment ready for our new addition, and waiting impatiently for that travel date.
In the beginning of August we finally got our travel date and we left for Ukraine the last day of the month.
September was a rollercoaster of a month. We met our sweet eldest son for the first time and he completely stole our hearts, but we also had to grieve the loss of the other little boy we had planned on making a Maxwell. Because he had an older sibling we were unable to adopt him.
On October 14th we had court and officially became the proud parents of Ivan Abraham Maxwell. One of the best days of our lives!!
After spending the rest of October in Ukraine by myself (Ryan had to go home to work), Ivan and I finally flew home on November 4th.
November we were finally together as our new family of 4!!
And that brings us to December! Ivan has now been home for over a month. He is adjusting very well and learning more English everyday. Ryan and I have a hard time imagining our family without him in it now. Our sweet six year old just fits right in and it seems as though he has always been a Maxwell. He loves being a big brother and is very loving, protective, and affectionate towards Landon. Landon has adjusted very quickly to having another child at home and although he may not like sharing his toys, he loves his big brother VERY much.
Our life is busier than ever, but we feel so blessed to have these two precious miracle babies to call our own.
So that was our 2013 in a nutshell! Thank you so much for walking through it with our family. We truly could not have made it without the love, daily encouragement, financial support, and most importantly, the prayers of all of you. We love each of you dearly and want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all of your support.
What a crazy, but awesome year this has been!! To God be all the glory!!
Wishing you the merriest of Christmas’ and a blessed new year!!