Saturday, September 22, 2012

Adventures in Medication - and auction results

Finally, after two years, our insurance company has agreed to pay for Theo's growth hormone medication. However, the brand that he has been using all along is not a preferred brand. Big surprise. 

Last week Theo got a big package in the mail. His new medication delivery system. It's really quite fancy and I'll share more about it later...after I receive my training!

In addition to a new brand of growth hormone, Theo is trying a little something else. We are battling his need for constant motion with a little ADHD medication. My hope is that this will also help with his impulsive behavior, too. I'm praying to see some marked improvement this week.

On the adoption front, we will be sending the last of our paperwork overseas this week. Then we wait for a travel date. It's not a leisurely sort of waiting though. We still have funds to raise!

The blog auction at was a great success, raising $1778 dollars. We still need to raise an additional $8000 to complete the process. A new, and more interactive auction has just been started on Facebook here:

And look at what was donated today! This beautiful golf bag!

Check out the devil dog on this USMC edition Barton cart bag. Come on over and see what other items are available. It's on until October 14. Thanks!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Auction Ending Soon!!

Our blog auction to raise the ransom for Maxim is ending tomorrow night. I love the idea of an auction fundraiser. If you were planning to contribute anyway, you can attach that amount to an item that you could use, or give away. You see, it's not really about the item or getting a smoking hot's about the boy.

There are 62 items listed, some of which, like a few of the Scentsy warmers and bars, have NO BIDS yet! As of this morning, the total of the winning bids is $1,195.

There are also some really special items, like this super fancy and sparkly Ukrainian dress being worn by little Ruby.

Or, how about this pretty vintage string of pearls?

And there is NO WAY that a Bed and Breakfast Getaway should go for $25!

So, please check out this blog auction! Help us bring Maxim home!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Maxim's Day

Today is a special day for Maxim. I wonder if he knows?

It is his birthday!

The day he drew his first breath, the day his birth mother's heart broke. It's bittersweet to me. 

Think of little Max today...and his birth parents, please. God willing, next year he'll have a smash cake and a family party. We can't wait!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Goodnight Gram

Yesterday my gram died. What a lovely lady she was!

She was in the hospital with shingles and had a mild heart attack while she was there. Still, her death was unexpected...for me at least. I tried to call her the other day, but she was sleeping and didn't pick up the phone. 

She had struggled with various health issues for the past year. She was shockingly thin.

 I'm going to miss chatting with her in the middle of the day. I'll have to figure out new recipes on my own now. I'm glad she is no longer in pain.

Goodnight gram.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

2012. Year of the Max.

There is a tight little group of Maxim lovers - a couple of ladies who have met him and interacted with him...and a few like me who have just loved his sweet face for awhile. We used to chat from time to time about what we could do to raise money for his grant fund, which families were possibly interested in him, and how we would  work like crazy women to raise funds for whatever family decided to take a chance on him.

As 2012 rolled around, I couldn't help but think that this was Maxim's year. This would be the year that he finally found his way home. I had to believe it. I couldn't stand to think otherwise.

When I saw this sweet new photo of him, I just had to print it out and stick it on the fridge. Some of my kids asked me if it was a photo of Theo. :)

While I'm always open to the idea of more children in this house, my husband has been more restrained. I'm not the nagging type, but I would periodically bring it up. Why don't we go? Look at this boy, or that girl...they all need families you know. They deserve a chance to love and be loved. The answer was always no...

...until the day that I decided to give up.

It was going to be the last time I would ask. My mind was made up. I was so certain that the answer would be no, yet again, that I wasn't even careful in the asking. I didn't beat around the bush, or wait until the perfect time of day. I blurted it out at the completely wrong time, in a rush. I would get it out of the way and then turn my attention to advocacy for good after hearing the word "no" once again.

 OK. Let's do it, he said.

So I was right on both counts. And if you know me at all you know how I love to be right! 2012 is the year for Maxim. And it was the last time that I would ever ask.

Yes, our hands are full. Yes, our schedule is hectic at times. No, the laundry is never done. The dishes aren't either.


The fridge is full. We have extra bedrooms. And full hearts, thanks in part to the blessings we find in Ralph and Theo and Zhen.

There are several ways to come along side us as we work to bring Maxim home. We have accounts set up to receive tax deductible gifts through Project Hopeful HERE, and with Reece's Rainbow HERE.

We are also running a silent auction at You may leave a comment to place a bid there. One of the items I'm auctioning is this dress that I bought for Ruby in Ukraine. Isn't that fancy?!

Now you know the story of Maxim. We can't wait to add him to our crew!! Thanks for your support!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Rocking with Theo

It's late. I didn't get all my stuff done today. If I owe you an email...I'll get you tomorrow, ok? I just got done rocking Theo, and nothing comes before that.

Theo has a very difficult time falling asleep. He sits up and rocks front to back in classic orphanage style. It drives me nuts, but there's nothing I can do short of sitting in his room for hours telling him to lay down. He always pops right back up and begins rocking again.

Not long ago he started taking some medication, clonidine, to help him sleep better. It has helped a little bit at night, but it has helped a lot with his impulsiveness and control during the day. That surprised me.

When I poked my head into his bedroom to check on him tonight, he stood up and said, "mama! ba ba ba ba ba..." (He said mama a few times months and months ago, but not at all lately.)

Now, how could I resist that?! I took him out of bed and we rocked a little while. He was wound tight. He was a little wildcat! After some singing and rocking he calmed and I put him back to bed.

Later on I heard Theo's ugly cry coming from his room. Nothing stabs me in the heart like his ugly cry. He must not be feeling good, but he can't tell me. So we did some more rocking. I did my best to get some Ibuprofen into him, thinking it might be growing pains.

I hate it that he can't tell me what's wrong.

But more than anything, I hate the years that he spent with no one to rock him, no one to kiss the hurt away, no one to comfort him. But God...

“I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—
    the great locust and the young locust,
    the other locusts and the locust swarm—
my great army that I sent among you.
 You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,
    and you will praise the name of the Lord your God,
    who has worked wonders for you;
never again will my people be shamed.
Joel 2:25-26

Monday, September 3, 2012


Two years ago today today, Theodore was lying in a hospital room...alone...200 miles away from me. We just got home from Ukraine when he got terribly ill and was admitted to the children's hospital. My husband had already missed too much work and was back on the road. I had no choice but to leave Theo there to care for everyone else at home...after promising him that I would never, ever leave him again.

That was the beginning of a tough period of re-entry for me. God wrecked my heart in Ukraine. There were no photos, no videos, no blog posts that could have prepared me for my experience there. It wasn't something I could put away when I got home. So many children haunted my dreams. So many children were starving for love and simply starving.

In the midst of getting to know our two new sons, dealing with unfamiliar medical issues, and running the household I had to find a way to advocate for those kids left behind. Tori, Masha, Mila, Edwin, Andrey...and Maxim came last.

Shortly before he turned six years old, Maxim's profile was moved to another category on the Reece's Rainbow adoption grant website. He was now considered an "older boy" and his $5000 grant was removed from him and put into an "older boy" community fund. The next family to adopt an "older boy" would receive any funds in that pot. The work we had done for him, the change we begged for, it was gone. My hope that Maxim would ever find a family was fading.

The Thing About Maxim

Here is the thing about Maxim...

I've been in love with him for years. How many years, I forget. The past five years have been a blur.

So, I did a little research last night and I found that I first blogged about Maxim in February of 2009:
I was saddened last week to learn that my favorite little guy from Reece's Rainbow had been moved away from his baby orphanage and placed in a mental institution. Little Maxim is now in a very dangerous place. Many children who are transferred don't survive for long.Sure, he has crossed eyes - totally fixable. Can you look beyond the eyes and see the little boy who wants to run and play? The little boy who deserves to know the love of a mommy and daddy? The little boy who is priceless not because he is perfect, but because he has intrinsic value as a human being?

I described him as one of my favorite Reece's Rainbow children, so I must have been praying for him for many months prior. That would be about four years ago. What I didn't say in that post was that I was so upset that he was transferred to an institution, that it made me physically sick for a couple of days. Something about this boy grabbed my heart from the very beginning.

And wouldn't let go. Apparently...

In November of 2009, I tried to raise money for Maxim as part of the Reece's Rainbow Angel Tree:


And in December 2009 I wrote:
This is a boy who has ALREADY been transferred to a mental institution. He NEEDS a family to commit to him as soon as possible. There is a family out there for him. Somewhere. Where are they? 
Wait. What if it is us? How do I know? Leslie is one woman who "gets" me. She recently wrote that what she wants for Christmas is for her Reece's Rainbow prayer child to have a home. I would be so pleased if Maxim would have a family. (Sure, I'd like it to be ours in case you are wondering.) That would make for a pretty wonderful Christmas! 

Did I really write that?

Later in December we collected coins for Maxim's grant fund:
A digital display indicated the running total in dollars. It was fun to watch the money add up! We poured the rest of the coins in and watched the total approach $100. We all cheered when we hit $100 and the counting continued.
Then...I bumped the jar. Yes, it fell to the floor...smashed! After all the care that I took to carry it carefully while it was heavy and full, I had to bump it and smash it now that it was empty. *sigh*

That was memorable!

In January of 2010, the Lord led us to Theodore, who was at risk of being transferred to a mental institution in Ukraine. He needed a family to come quickly and we answered the call for him.

Theo was in such poor, pitiful condition when we met him, I knew that we had done the right thing. But I never stopped thinking about Maxim and praying for his family. Yeah, there was some guilt, too. Heavy guilt.

To be continued...

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Real Love

Ruby loves Theo. For real. Because as often as he yanks her hair...and he does it ALL the time...and HARD...

 ...she still has smiles and hugs for him.

She forgives him over and over. 

Real. Honest. Love.