Fall 2013

Fall 2013

Thursday, March 31, 2011

A special thankful Thursday

I have been so excited to share this news with you! As you know if you have been following our blog even just recently, there is a little boy named Matthew who was at Maia’s orphanage. He was not available for international adoption when we were in Ukraine or I would have done everything within my power to bring him home with us.
Mark has mentioned that often I would leave the orphanage in tears. I spent many hours in prayer, asking God to care for this precious little boy. Olga (our wonderful facilitator) and Marina (the orphanage director) knew my heart for Matthew.
While we were still in Ukraine, I contacted our agency back here in the US as well as Reece’s Rainbow to see if there was any way I could advocate for Matthew and help him to find his forever family. The outlook was not good.
After coming home, Matthew continued to weigh heavily on my heart. I knew that he would be available for international adoption in March 2011. When children turn 4 years old, they are transferred from the babies’ home to an institution. If this happened, Matthew’s chances for adoption would decrease even more. There was a limited window of opportunity for Matthew to find a home and we didn't know when his birthday was.
Mark could tell that I was very concerned. While he did not have the same intensity of emotion that I felt, he agreed that he did not want Matthew to be transferred.. So, we sent an email to Olga to get more information. In the meantime, Mark posted on our blog asking people to get the word out. My heart began to break when Olga responded that there were only a couple of months before Matthew turned four and that if WE wanted to adopt him, we needed to start the process right away.
One night, Mark and I were lying in bed talking about Matthew. I had been crying because for as much as. I wanted to bring home, I understood Mark's hesitation. We are in NO financial position to start another adoption. We have unpaid expenses from Maia's still. We have become a single income family unexpectedly. One of the things I love and respect most about my sweet husband is his fiscal responsibility. I trust him and bottom line, I would defer to his decision I had not shared my feelings because I didn't want to influence him. That night, Mark asked me what I was thinking. I decided I had to be honest.
I told him that I felt that God had told me that Matthew was my son. And that wonderful man that I am proud to call my husband said OK. That because I had trusted him when he knew Maia was our daughter, he would trust that Matthew was our son and we needed to get things started to bring him home as soon as possible!
So.... Here we go again! We have contacted About A Child and our service agreement is signed and in today's mail. Our social worker will be visiting soon to update our home study. And we are trusting that God will provide the resources to bring our son home!
More to come on that but for now, would you take a moment to celebrate with us and say thanks to my terrific hubby for causing these tears of joy to flow so freely. My heart is overflowing and I can't seem to stop them these days! God is so good!!


Are you wondering about my last post? Well, there is a clue somewhere in the side bar of our blog page. But... there is also a clue that may throw you off.  Any guesses??

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Three Months Ago

Three months ago today in the wee hours of the morning, a little girl was carried into her new home for the first time. What a strange new world she was experiencing. People talked in words that she didn't understand. Food was different. There were no other kids around. It was so different. Three months ago, here's what that little girl looked like.

Three months later, that little girl doesn't look a whole lot different. The hair is a little bit longer. She gained about three pounds and grown an inch. But, she's learning what it's like to be a cherished member of a forever family, loved by so many people. She's opening up and trusting, testing limits, giving affection, exploring, and enjoying this new world of hers.

So... what does a sweet little girl do to celebrate three months with her mommy and daddy? Well, have a chocolate sundae of course!! The picture is from my cell phone so pretty bad quality, but Miss Maia is definitely enjoying her ice cream!

Happy 3 months home anniversary, sweetie!  We love you very much!

And I don't want to do anything to take away from Maia's day because today is truly all about her... but, check back tomorrow - I've got some exciting Thankful Thursday news!!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

an update

we have not posted for a few days, sorry.  So this one will be an update on her overall progress. When we got her we were told she could speak 10 words of Russian. We have had her home about 11 weeks and she is up to 40 words of English.
Coming up on April 4 she will have one more visit to the spina bifida clinic and on April 6 she will have an operation to fix her left eye. We hope this will be the only one but were told two will be most likely.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

3 days

It has been 3 days without a B.M. so we gave Maia a little pill. (I call it a blowout pill) Boy did it work. I heard her at about 3 am moving around in her bed. I went to check it out and found that little pill worked a little too well.

The joys of parenting


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Days off go by so quickly!

Today was no exception. We had a nice, lazy morning at home. Then, I had a work meeting at lunch time so Mark dropped me off and took Maia to visit Nana and Papa. Nana was kind enough to watch her while we met with our insurance agent. Ran back to get Maia's cath done and then took a little couple time. We went to a movie while Maia stayed with Nana (thank you so much!!). This was the first time we have actually had a "date" since last fall. It was much too short, but a wonderful treat! 

Doesn't she look sweet in her Vikings jacket?

I can NOT imagine sleeping like this,
but apparently Maia seemed to think it was a comfortable position - lol!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Urgent Prayer Request for Carrington!

Please join me in praying for a precious little angel named Carrington. She was just adopted from EE and arrived home with her forever family. Unfortunately, Carrington is fighting for her life. You see... she just turned three years old and weighs ELEVEN POUNDS! She is hospitalized and doctors are trying to give her the nutrition she so desperately needs. Unfortunately, her body is so malnourished that it can not even tolerate the smallest amount of food. Read about Carrington's story here and please, please pray for her!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Melanie wrote about Matthew. This is a great little boy. What we know of him is he fell from a window and now has a steel plate in his head. We do not speak Russian but were told his mind is all there. From what we saw while we were in Ukraine I think that is true. He had one lazy eye that was there before his fall and was going to be fixed soon after we left. This little boy would hug Melanie and not let go. When we left the orphanage several times Melanie would be crying because his chances of being adopted were not very good. Please everyone re-post this on facebook or your blog so we can find a home for him.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tuesdays are awful nice!

Tuesdays are my day off so we usually get to spend the day together. I started out this morning with a special treat - a massage. Afterwards, Mark, Maia, and I headed to St. Paul to get something every kid needs - see below. We had lunch at one of my favorite places - Culvers - and came home. Headed to the gym to work out and when we got home again, Mark put together Maia's new "toy." Think she likes it?

Maia did NOT want dad to stop pulling her around - lol!

Here's a picture of Maia with one of her favorite people in the whole world - Tasha. This was at the shower that Tasha's parents Jeanne and Ken (the three of them are some of MY favorite people) threw for us last weekend. We had a GREAT time! Can you see the deviled egg all over Maia's mouth? Our girl was in heaven - eggs are THE BEST!
And one more picture that I just love of Maia with my dear friend Del

Monday, March 14, 2011

He's waiting...is he your gift from God?

If you've been following our blog since we were in Ukraine, you may remember my post about a little boy named "Matthew." That's not his real name, but the name I have given him - a name which means "Gift from God." You can read that post here.
Last week, I shared that a situation was weighing heavily on my heart. Well... it's Matthew. We found out that he is now available for international adoption. Matthew is four years old. If he does not find a family before he turns five, he will be transferred to an institution. One where he receives food, shelter, and his basic needs are met. That's all. No toys, no stimulation, no education. He may be housed with men up to 35 years of age. Once Matthew is transferred, the chances of his adoption become very slim.
This little boy needs his family to step forward and step forward SOON! Would you take a moment and lift Matthew up in prayer? Is God calling you to be his forever family? If you feel that perhaps Matthew is meant to be your son, please leave a comment on our blog with your email address or you can email me privately. I will get in touch with you and help you connect with someone who can get the process started. If nothing else, please pray for this precious treasure, beautiful child of God. Pray that he will soon be united with his forever family and know what it's like to be loved and cherished.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Just a couple random thoughts

The first is purely selfish. This afternoon, Mark and I went to the gym. We took Maia to the kids' care center and she gladly headed in to the play area. However, she soon realized that we were leaving and started to cry. While it did not make my heart happy that she was upset (I actually wanted to walk back in and get her), it was a positive sign in the attachment process. This is the first time that has happened. Now admittedly, I am usually leaving her with daddy. But, this is the third time we have taken her to kids' care and the first time she has cried. So... yes, I do take a little selfish pleasure in that. ;-)

I've mentioned before that Maia loves her nana and papa. After we finished working out and were in the car, I turned around and asked Maia if she wanted to go home. She said, "NO" so I asked where she wanted to go. Smart girl said, "Nana, Papa, Dom (Russian for house)." I asked her if she wanted to go to "Maia's dom?" Nope - "Nana, Papa." That was pretty cute!

I may write more on this subject on another day (being transparent), but for now I will just leave it at this. Every day, I fall a little more in love with this sweet girl of ours! She is beautiful!

Oh... before I forget. Eye surgery has been changed to April 4 due to my work schedule.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Just a quick post this morning to share my gratitude...

  • First, I am thankful for all of the words of encouragement that I received in response to my last post. Your comments and support are such a blessing to me as I navigate this new life that we've embarked on.
  • Second, Maia's new thing is "nap" time. No... not a sleep nap - lol! Maia's nap is to crawl up on our bed with daddy (and me if I'm home). It's mostly wiggle around time, but she will ocasionally stop for a moment and snuggle in. It doesn't last long, but is very precious just the same. God is opening her heart and I love those sweet moments with her and daddy!
  • God's reminders...some of you know that there is a situation that is weighing very heavily on my heart right now. And as I have shared before, one of the areas where I really struggle is control. I want to take control of this situation and make it what I want it to be. This morning, my devotional verse was from Psalm 23:8 "The Lord says, 'I will guide you along the best pathway for you life. I will advise you and watch over you.'" How's that for a reminder that He is in control - not me! God knows what is best. He knows the desires of my heart and I believe that He honors them. I also trust that He wants the best possible outcome with this even if it is not what I have in mind. So, I am thankful for the words He speaks to me and the reminders He gives me - that His plan is perfect!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sometimes I need a reminder

I meant to get this post done on Monday, but it just didn't happen. I wanted it to be fresh in my mind when I wrote it, but hopefully I will still be able to share my heart the way I want to.

We had a very busy weekend! Saturday morning, we headed for the fitness center. Mark was attending new member orientation and I was going to work out. This was the first time we were taking Maia to kids' care. She did well, but I'm sure she didn't understand what it was all about. That afternoon, we headed to my hometown for dinner with my cousin. An hour in the car each way. And a visit at a house that has probably not seen a kid in it since my brother and I were little (so 25 years...). Again, Maia did well.

On Sunday, we packed up the car and drove to Wisconsin to see Grandma Hansen. A little over two hours each way. Two hours spent at a nursing home, "running" up and down the hallways. Coming home, we stopped to visit my parents. Dinner came and the routine was different than ours is at home. Food was on the table, but not on Maia's plate. It was different food than she is used to eating. Can you see where I'm going with this? Yep, it was not pretty. Our girl was done - she had HAD IT! So, we quickly ate dinner and headed home.

I was feeling pretty discouraged. Some of Maia's behavior has been worse lately. We're seeing an escalation in certain outbursts. It's frustrating and heartbreaking at the same time. We're trying different approaches and not noticing much change.

Anyway... as I said, I was feeling discouraged. On Monday morning, I was catching up on my favorite blogs and happened to read one that made me stop in my tracks. I need to remember that we have only been home 9 1/2 weeks. Maia had three years of life before joining our family. She is not going to unlearn her behaviors and defense mechanisms in such a short period of time. And really... as I stopped to think about it, we asked her to tolerate a LOT over the weekend. We (meaning me) tried to cram too much into a short period of time. Maia's needs really weren't taken into consideration as we were making plans.

As I was reading this blog, God stopped me short and reminded me that for now... SHE needs to come first. I need to take a step back and be more cautious when making plans. Think about what Maia can truly handle and learn to set some limits and boundaries. We may have to stay home more because that's where she feels safe right now. Yes, there may be people who don't understand why we can't do all of the things that we used to do. People who have different opinions about parenting and may not agree with how we handle things. But right now, it needs to be all about her! She has only been with us 9 1/2 weeks and bottom line, we can't approach parenting the same as if she had been ours since birth. It is an entirely different scenario. We're learning as we go. Like all parents, I am going to make mistakes - and some are whoppers!

But, God also reminded me that He chose me to be Maia's mother. There is a purpose in that. So even though there are times when the sailing seems rough, God's plans are perfect. And if I listen to Him first, everything else will fall into place.

Eye Update

We saw Dr. Brodsky for a follow up visit today. He is pleased with how the patching is going for Maia's eyes. Enough so that he feels ready to schedule surgery to realign two muscles in each eye. The success rate is 70%. Although I would like it to be higher, we have an eye doctor who is familiar with kids who have SB. Apparently, there are special considerations related to how the muscles are moved (kids with SB require less movement than others). So, I'm thankful that God brought us to someone who does this type of surgery and feels comfortable with it. It will be an outpatient procedure on March 23. We may have to do some intermittent patching after surgery, not sure yet.

Friday, March 4, 2011

our lives now

Four months ago my wife and I were planing a trip to Ukraine. This was very exciting for us. Now we have Maia and the thing that makes us excited (happy) is that she took a poop today. She has not had a BM for 2 days. I know that is not a long time but it is longer than we like it to be (and her Dr. too).  So that is now how we have a good day.  Boy have our lives changed.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thankful Thursday.

Today I am thankful that my little girl is tough. We have a friction fit type gate at the top of the stairs. well today she pushed it hard enough to move it out of place. She then took a tumble down the stairs. Melanie and I both went running to get her. I got there first and carried her to our bed where Melanie looked her over to find nothing wrong. She stopped crying when we gave her the remote for the TV.
So now the gate is screwed to the wall on hinges. It does not look very nice, but it will stop her from falling down the stairs again.