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.
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!|
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!|