"I am Maxim Joseph!"
It turned my thoughts to conversations I had with officials in Ukraine. Most commonly the question is, Why? What is in it for us?
My answer at the time, not very eloquent but true, is Love. Love just loves. It doesn't see disability and is not burdened.
It's with such delight I get to share with you our newest photos of our most precious Maxim Joseph. His light shines so bright, I might need to warn you to put on your sunglasses! Here my friends, is what is in it for US!
Maxim has this natural gift for building and balance. He likes to play with blocks and legos and surprises us with his designs.
He has moved on up to 70 piece puzzles. Grace is feeling the pressure! LOL
Maxim loves going to Holden's basketball games. (Holden is number 23.) He cheers loudly for both teams. He waits patiently and at the end of the game he runs out onto the court running around- dreaming of his time to play on a team. The officials have been so kind to let him have a basketball to dribble and Randy lifts him up to make a basket.
Watching the relationship develop between Maxim and his siblings has only deepened our thankfulness. Richer and deeper our faith roots grow. Broader and wider we are able to spread as we have seen the goodness of God. Listening to their laughter, watching them care for each other, encouraging one other, every "You can do it!" and "Good job!" reminds me of the tender encouragement God has given to us when we weren't sure if we could, but we still tried.
Maxim is learning it's okay to try new things and he has a whole team of cheer leaders rooting him on!
For a Valentine treat we took all of the kids to Chuck E. Cheese. It was after this trip Maxim announced, America is good! When Randy tucked him in for bed that night, right as he was about to close the door, Maxim sat up and called out "Papa, Chuck E. Cheese! God job!" followed by two thumbs up.
Last week we received an amazing and historic snowfall. There was no way Maxim would miss this!
Here's the "getting ready to meet 18 inches" photo!
He got a little excited and slipped. Don't worry. He was heavily padded and laughed the whole time!
Holden resting in his mountain of tunnels
This has been such a fun time of creation for Maxim. Watching him blossom, well this is our joy. This is what we get. Seeing his humor develop, his own ideas and his love for life, well it makes this mama cry everytime.
He has the same bedtime routine every night. He's to go to the bathroom before heading to his room but each night when he goes in he doesn't come out! Randy has to call and call for him. Then he goes in after him to find him sitting on the toilet pretending to have fallen asleep. When Randy "wakes" him he laughs and laughs. He's silly. He's funny. He's perfect.
All of these things about Maxim we love. But his heart we care for far above anything he can do. Here's how Maxim ministered to mine recently.
The other day I handed a photo of him from when we first met at the institution. He looked at me and said. "I am Maxim JOSEPH!" You know what? There was power in that. I heard: I am not my past. I am not who anyone says I am. I am not my circumstances. I am who God made. I have been ADOPTED. I am free from fear of man, fear of what the enemies plans are because I belong to LOVE Himself. That's what I heard in Maxim's message. He had no idea he was preaching to me. His sermon started with "I am Maxim Joseph." And he ended it most eloquently. "God is good."
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will- to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. Ephesians 1:4-5