Rose is so fun! I waited SO LONG for a girl...after five boys I finally gave up and said, "OK, Lord. Girl or boy, I don't care anymore!" Along came Rose.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Life here is full and overflowing!! (If I weren't dealing with it well, I would say chaotic and stressful.)
Theo and Ralph met their new therapists at Heartspring yesterday. We had some scheduling conflicts and had to make a change. It broke my heart to say goodbye to the ladies we had grown to love, but I think I'll be ok...eventually. Ralph twisted the knife a little. When he found his previous SLP's photo velcro'd to the wall, he started pointing to it insistently as if saying "where is she?"
Ralph and Zhen attended the Down Syndrome clinic in Kansas City last week. It had been three years since Ralph's last visit, so we had lots to talk about. When we first started taking Ralph to the DS clinic, he was on oxygen and I was dragging an E tank all over the hospital. Oh, how things have changed!
If you know me, you know I don't believe in coincidence. The fact that my friend, Max from Ukraine, was in Kansas City that day, and free to have lunch with us was not lost on me. It was a gift. Maybe one of these days I can talk him into coming to Wichita.
Chipper had a birthday last week. He is 18 now! This boy has overcome so much and has grown into a fine young man. He has applied to my hometown university...gulp. When I think of all the trouble I got into in that town, I get a little nervous for him. He's a lot like me. Would you just look at those dimples?!
The next big thing coming up is Max's eye surgery. I can't wait to see him with his eyes all lined up. Sometimes I have trouble focusing on him because I don't know which eye to connect with! Then we will start the lengthy rehabilitation process. I actually have more hope than the doctors at this point. I believe kids go into some sort of suspended animation in the institutional environment. Maybe it's a protective feature of their bodies, or maybe I'm just crazy, but I believe he still has the capability to improve the vision in his bad eye. He does have extremely small optic nerves, so not sure what that means for his future. We will have to wait to find out.
Monday, September 23, 2013
I must turn my attention to the east tonight. My amazing friend Carissa, and her family, are in the process of adopting a darling little boy in Ukraine. Her paper process was very smooth and fast. I attribute the ease of her process, thus far anyway, to the fact that she kept the whole thing quiet.
That is so very difficult, to go through the anxious home study preparation and the nerve wracking, nit picking dossier assembly virtually alone. She did not get to share her joy, her updates, and her fears with the adoption community. It should have been a time of happiness and hope. You see, Carissa has been a well known and effective advocate for many children and families over the past four years. She even worked very hard to raise funds for other adopting families over the summer when she could have been raising funds for her own.
Now Carissa is in country facing some unexpected expenses. I am calling on the community of orphan and adoption advocates to rally around her family. They have only raised $1500 during their entire process and their new child has some medical needs that will require them to have room on their credit cards when they arrive home. We can do better for them.
My original goal was to help them raise $2000 in the next ten days, but I have a feeling that we can do much better than that!
In the words of Derek Loux, "My friends, adoption is redemption. It's costly, exhausting, expensive, and outrageous. Buying back lives costs so much. When God set out to redeem us, it killed Him."
I can hardly read those words without tearing up. It's the gospel boiled down to the bone. With permission, and with the help of the talented Heather Schlitt, we have put these words on a shirt. This shirt will be yours with a donation of $30 or more to the Lanning family.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
I was really looking forward to the start of school this fall. I love my kids and I enjoy being around them all the time. I LIKE them a lot. I just needed a little more margin.
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
I'm happy to be Max's mother. I love that little stinker. But you know what? I do not claim him as rightfully mine. For years I encouraged other families to consider adopting him. I would have been overjoyed to see him home with another family! God knew he would end up here, but it wasn't preordained. It wasn't His will. The fact that his birth mother rejected him was only the first in a series of preventable tragedies in his life.
|Baby Max. Full of potential.|
|The funny face I fell in love with.|
|Three years, no growth. Tragic.|
Shortly after I brought Max home, I received a message that made me physically ill. A family had seriously inquired about adopting Max back in 2010. They were blocked by the organization that had listed his photo and profile.
"We had been through 2 Ukrainian adoptions, so we were prepared. One stumbling block was the "strong request" to use her people. We have our own facilitator who we wanted to use. We could have pushed it, but she was not forthcoming about exactly where he was or how to find him without promise to use her people.
And I happen to KNOW how she got the info...and pictures...not [the organization's preferred facilitator]....."
|Max in February 2013|