Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Overcoming the Ashes

It's one of those nights where God leads my fingers to the keys even before the tears have made their way down my face.

It's one of those nights where it all hits me like a ton of bricks, a continuous crashing of bricks on my heart, the weight of good versus evil.

The realization of how real and how huge this battle is that we fight on a daily basis disguised as the mundane.

There has been an article circulating around the facebook adoption community.

I've been ignoring it, knowing that it would likely bring with it painful emotions, devastating reminders of what my baby went through before he became a Maxwell.

You can read the article by clicking HERE

To be honest, I didn't even get through the whole thing tonight.

The words I read rocked me and I let God carry my mind through the emotions I've been holding inside for the past couple days.

I let my mind wonder what a different future my baby would have if God would of just placed him in my womb.

Oh here come the tears again.....

Most days I never even think about the horrific past Ivan has had to suffer through.

Our days are filled with tickles, and constant lovin.

But the past couple days, his past showed up.

It reared it's ugly face in an x ray image that ripped apart our unrealistic hope that we can just "start over."

Yes, Ivan is blossuming and becoming a new creation right before our very eyes.

It's miraculous and breathtaking.

But God is not going to erase his past.

Just as we have to take our  painful consequences and allow God to write a beautiful story with them, our little boy has to walk through the scars his past has left on his body, brain, and precious tender heart.

Yesterday we held our son as the Dr. put the image of his tiny disfigured body on the x-ray, revealing that not just one, but BOTH of his hips are completely outside of their sockets and have most likely been this way for years.

Oh man, here come the tears again......

I feel so helpess...

So many people have made comments to us about how our love will trump everything Ivan has been through.

I try to smile and nod my head, but inside my heart boils with so many emotions.

Wouldn't that by nice, if we really could just erase every memory and heal all of the pain that neglect has left coursing through our child's body?

You better believe I wish that I could, but that's not how life works.

The truth is Ivan will have to overcome more than any child his age should have to.

It shouldn't be this way...

His bones should not be brittle, his legs shouldn't be twisted, and his hips shouldn't be where they are.

My baby has become accustomed to the pain.

Writing that sentence crushes my heart, but it's true.

Ivan rarely ever complains or shows signs of being in pain... he knows no different.

We met with a neourologist and she was completely blown away by how much he communicates and understands.

She told us that looking at his body, he definitely looks like he has cerebral palsy, but she told us that there is a small chance, his MRI could come back completely normal.

"So all of this (I pointed at his little body laying on the bed) could just be caused by neglect?" She said, "Yes, it's possible."

After that appointment we went to orthopedics and that's where we were told that because Ivan is already 6 1/2 and his hips haven't been corrected, his chances of ever being able to walk are unlikely.

Like I said, these past couple days, the evil past my baby has lived has shown up and tried to steal our joy and hope.

We are believing God for a miracle.

Ivan has already accomplished so much more than we thought possible. It was clear that all of the doctors couldn't believe the progress that 4 short months has produced.

Nothing is impossible for our God.

Our little man is a fighter.

We will do whatever it takes to give our child the best life possible and give him every opportunity to become all that God created him to be.

But please don't dismiss his past. Don't tell us that it wont matter to him or that he wont remember it.

His past is what makes him who he is.

His past is what we work to overcome every day.


the ashes of his past are what God is going to use to make his story so incredibly beautiful.

Please continue to keep Ivan in your prayers.

We have a long journey ahead of us. We just started him on a medicine that should help with his tone (tightness). We were told that we can't pursue leg or feet braces until his tone gets under control. We'll also be working on getting a wheelchair.

In three months we'll go back to Gillettes for an MRI and his first botox injection. When we go back we'll re- evaluate and talk about possible surgery to fix his hips. Please pray that God would choose to perform a miracle and put his hips back in their sockets. It will require a major surgery to fix it and I really don't want my baby to have to go through that on top of all of the other surgeries he has in his future.

Thanks for listening to a mama's hurting heart.

Even with the pain, this child is the most joyful and loving human being I know.

Playing in the waiting room. All smiles, excited to see the "docto!!"

He was SOOOO excited when we told him we were going to see grandpa and grandma. He was beside himself with excitement when they walked through the door!! Giving grandpa kisses :)

With "his" grandma

After bath snuggles with Auntie Candace

He was sitting with daddy when he slowly scooted over onto grandpa.

Every day with our Ivan is a priceless gift from God.

We will NEVER stop fighting for his redemption!!


  1. Natalie, I have tears along with you, but they are tears of joy and tears of sorrow. Tears of sorrow cause of what all Ivan has been through and neglected with but tears of joy knowing he is no longer there and he is in a home where he will no longer be neglected and he will be given opportunities to flourish as much as possible despite the previous neglect. He has a loving immediate family and Christian family who pray for him and I smile cause I know Ivan's life is going to be so much for the better learning about God, being in a home with you, Landon,and Ryan and his extended family and all the people who haven't even physically met him but are praying for him and with medical care that will be able to do a million times more than what would have been done in the Ukraine. I know they can't fix it all, but there is a lot they can and will.

  2. Natalie,since we met you and your son in Ukraine (at the buffet) we have not stopped praying for your family , specially for little Ivan.
    Thank you for sharing your heart so sincerely in this post.
    I am a Physical Therapist and I work with children with Neurological deficits due to all kind of I can understand very well how happy Ivan therapists are to see his amazing the same time my mama's heart is hurting for you, ..... hurting for the pain your little son endured during all the years of neglect in the orphanage......
    My prayer tonight is claiming God's promises for Ivan,
    Claiming His deliverance, His freedom, His redemption,
    Also praying for His strength for His guidance and wisdom for you , for your husband for grand parents and for each family member that has been blessed with the opportunity to love little Ivan , beautiful lamb of God....
    A big hug for you from Fort Myers , Florida
    Ines Wallace.

  3. Dear Natalie, I found the link to your blog post through a mutual FB friend of ours named Laura. So much of what you described resonated with me, as we've walked a similar path with our daughter (now 10) adopted from Ukraine. I thought you might like to read about her hip surgery. Your son and my daughter sound like they have a lot in common. You and I sound like we have a lot in common...prayers for you and your sweet Ivan.