Friday, February 17, 2012

Max's Day

Just a quick post on Max's seventh birthday.

It was a quiet and low key one, because I was home sick with Justus and Ivanna - Max and the rest of the crew went to church that morning. Apparently the cupcakes I made for his sunday school class were a hit ... and Max ate three of them.

Then, on the way home from church, Daddy stopped at McDonald's and picked up lunch for all. Max's absolute favorite thing to eat is french fries. So ... alas ... we celebrated with fries and cake!

After cake, Max opened gifts. He got a puzzle and a nice big red Tonka ambulance to go with his fire truck. He was THRILLED!

We love our little Maxi Pants. He is such a joy! Really ... this kid loves to giggle and laugh. He hardly ever complains. I never see him blatantly hurt another child. He is so easy tempered and everyone loves his demeanor. We are so grateful to have him in our family, and look forward to celebrating more birthdays in the future!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Max Turns Seven

Happy Birthday Max!!!

Max turns seven tomorrow (Sunday).
I almost can't believe it myself. He in many ways is still such a little peanut of a boy. Still wears a 4T and size 8 shoe, but despite his tiny frame - he has made BIG strides in his development since his last birthday.

This boy is very smart! He mimics easily and that makes learning signs enjoyable and fairly fast. This helps so much in trying to communicate with him. I hope that soon he will start signing without prompting, letting us know what he needs or wants on his own.

He has also started to try and vocalize a bit more. Not only does he mimic signs, but if you slow your speech and make it obvious that you desire for him to try and repeat what you say, he will TRY!!! This is a huge improvement from where he was last year.

We look forward to celebrating his birthday tomorrow in a very low key fashion. We will pack along cupcakes for Max to take along to Sunday school (don't worry moms, they are white with white frosting!!! lol) and on the way home we will pick up Max's all time favorite treat ... french fries. Presents and cake will await us at home, and don't worry - pictures will be taken!

Last year as we celebrated Max's birthday I couldn't help but think of two things: one being his biological mother. I don't know very much about her - other than she did keep Max for nearly a year and a half before she took him to the orphanage. (This is very uncommon in Eastern Europe) I am grateful that he did have that time with her, and no doubt was loved and invested in. I can only assume that perhaps his struggle with pneumonias or a late diagnosis of Down syndrome is what led her to forfeiting her parental rights to him. Regardless, while we celebrate his birthday I can't help but think that this day is a painful reminder to her. It is my sincere prayer that she finds peace that Christ can offer.

My second thought lingers briefly over the "what ifs". If Max had never been adopted, he would at this very moment in time, be in a mental institution due to his age. Locked away for the rest of his life, simply because he has an extra chromosome. His particular orphanage only keeps a child until they are six, at which time they are transferred to an insane asylum (the locals call it that). I can't help but feel complete gratitude to our Lord for allowing us to fall in love with Max's picture and allow a burden to root that would be the catalyst in flying half way around the world to discover our new son. Max no longer is one that has to dread impending birthdays, but celebrate as children should.

Max is amazing. He is such a joy, loves to laugh and giggle. He is easy going and learns pretty quickly. He is one handsome little dude and it is not uncommon for him to draw attention because of his unavoidable cuteness.

Max, we love you so very much. Happy birthday my little Maxi pants!

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