Saturday, December 15, 2012


There have been so many firsts for our two little kiddoes these past few months.
First Thanksgiving! We had so much to be thankful for!
First Christmas tree! The joy and excitement as they decorated was so sweet to watch.


Maxim’s first time trying Doritos, which he LOVED! Smart boyJ! There have been many new foods tried by both of them. Some they like, some not so muchJ.

Maxim’s first time ice skating! I missed out on this adventure, but was told much fun was had by all J.

God has so graciously started to show them what love is and that they can trust us. Nastya and Maxim have been let down and have experienced so much in their young lives, it does not come easy for them to love or trust people. There is still much to work on in that area, but the baby steps are beautiful to watch.  But, we serve a mighty God who can overcome all their pain and bring healing to their hurting hearts!

First time actually hearing God’s word and asking questions about God and wanting to know more about Him! Oh happy day!
Today was Maxim’s first birthday with us! I do believe I was more excited about this than I ever was for any of my birthdays. To think that a few months ago I did not know this little boy existed and then to see how he now is an enormous part of my life, I cannot imagine life without my precious little siblings. They bring so much happiness to our lives! Nastya today, while talking to Maxim, said “It is the most wonderful thing to be with a family on your birthday”. This brought tears to my eyes, knowing this is the first time Maxim has been with a family for his birthday (that he can remember)!

The day began with much joy.  While Maxim slept, we decorated the house for his birthday.  He awoke to balloons tied onto the cabinet in his bedroom.  Upon seeing them, he “ooohed” and “aaahed”.  Then as he opened his bedroom door he was greeted with hanging streamers and balloons covering his doorway, to which he exclaimed, “WOW”! 
He made his way to the kitchen and saw his chair with a balloon bouquet on it and exclaimed, “My chair – lookie that!”  His smiles were enormous.  He was very energetic today and could barely contain his excitement.
This afternoon a friend stopped by with a present for Maxim – such a treat.  Flowers were delivered today for Maxim as well!  Such excitement.
When Mom received flowers for her birthday he told us that sometimes people in Russia would get flowers and he would love them on his :) Thank you Steve and Bethany!
Breakfast – pancakes and apple juice. 
The birthday cup that we have all used since we were little :)
Lunch – special treats from the Russian market – chicken, beet salad, herring and onions, and candies. 

Dinner – pizza and fresh vegetables and of course cake and chocolate ice cream.  Yummy, yummy. 

This smile did not leave his face all day!

One of his gifts!
Tonight we had his birthday party – his first birthday party.  He couldn’t quite believe this day was here and we were actually having a party, cake, etc.  Grammy/Grampy, Grammy Fox, Auntie, Uncle and cousins – oh and Josh and Heidi arrived too.  We ate dinner and then Maxim opened his presents.  So many surprises.  New clothes, new books, new toys – all Maxim’s – all to keep!  Maxim grinned as big as possible throughout the night and enjoyed every moment.  His birthday cake was a highlight.  He wanted to know why we made such a special cake.  This was the first time he had birthday candles to blow out!  A reminder of how very much we take for granted.  God’s grace to us has been abundant.  The changes in Maxim have been abundant.  We know it is only a most gracious God that has wrought all of this.  Today was a celebration – a celebration of life – a celebration of God’s faithfulness – a celebration of Maxim.  We are blessed.