10 Years

Ten years ago, at this precise moment, as I type this I was pleading and praying with God for just some time to know my son face-to-face. I kept my stare on his little body, lifeless as the doctor and nurse did their best to try and bring him back. My nurse would later share that they were a moment away from calling it when Maxson kicked her arm, and his heart started again. I am just as sure that Jesus extended His grace here in this moment as I am that it is morning now. From here we spent a couple precious hours surrounded by family and friends. When it was time for Max to go I knew. Looking back I am often amazed that I didn't go into despair but that in that moment I was provided with an inner strength, a peace and strength not of my own. His spirit went to be with Jesus in my arms. Reading this you may find it hard to see the joy in these lines, you may not be able to understand the peace and the love that was there. It was. A gift in my life that I hold with great value. Memories that I hold that make 10 years ago as though it could have been one year ago.

I have occasionally received emails from people who read this blog, I really appreciate each one. To see the ripple effects of this tiny little baby's life gives life so much beauty.

For those who only know our family through this blog here is a little where we are and who we are today :)

We brought Sarah home!! A little over three years ago we were able to make it happen and bring our daughter home. She is an absolute joy and I feel incredibly grateful God has allowed us to be her parents. Sarah has the biggest heart and loves so well, she steals the heart's of everyone she meets.

Will, our little gift in the waiting for Sarah, he brings so much laughter to our home. His comedic timing for four is pretty great. He is quiet and reserved around most but at home with his family he hams it up!

Eli, I think much of the trials we have walked through have really shaped Eli into who he is. He is a very deep thinker and so very sensitive to those around him. He will acknowledge and share with me insights that an 8 year old shouldn't quite grasp. From those less fortunate, or to the boy needing a friend he sees it and doesn't even flinch to step in. Maxson is as real to him as any brother could be, and Eli has had his own form of grieving the big brother he knows he has.  I see the hard parts of life, the tough stuff, these are the roads that we all will ourselves on and we can find true growth if we allow God to work.  "For the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him." Romans 10:12

Dustin and I are going strong, is our marriage perfect, haha, it's been through some fires, what we have come through has made our marriage strong. It is so amazingly sweet to do life with this guy, I do feel like I won the lotteries of the lotteries with him.

Okay no more cheese, today I am busy raising up some little people in hopes to have them adult well and find their own relationship with Jesus. We homeschool our kids, which whatever your thoughts may be on this choice, trust me when I share it's best for us! I am pushing forward in my walk with Christ. Far from perfect, so much that His grace will always bring me to tears. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8

Dustin started a business some years ago now and that keeps him more than busy at times. We belong to a small, humble little church family full of kids and young families just trying to navigate the times. I feel blessed to have made so many strong friendships over the years since Maxson, although they didn't know us during the season of losing Max they are all so kind and supportive of his place in our family. And each friend that was there that day we are still just as close, I find so much comfort in their own personal accounts of that day and I treasure their memories. To everyone who has shared this road through this blog thank you for caring. I pray that Maxson's life will give you good reason to search out your own path to Christ. He is faithful, you just have to search for Him. Start in His word, and pray.

Thank you God and thank you sweet Maxson until we meet again! God bless. Trish


Six Years in Heaven and the 5th Redeemed!

I can not believe it has been six years ago that I kissed goodbye this side of eternity to my sweet baby boy! Time has been filled with so much but the smells, memories, and feelings linger as if it were just a short time ago.

Last year on Maxson's golden 5th birthday I celebrated with an extra heavy heart as we learned just months earlier that we wouldn't be bringing our daughter home any time soon. Little did I see coming the gracious gift our Lord knew we so desperately needed. Finding out we were expecting was exciting and nerve racking I took comfort in finding out that our medical first day of pregnancy was December 5th!

Flash forward 10 months later and we welcomed our beautiful little boy Will Leonard Hagen to our family. All along my c-section was scheduled for the 4th but shortly before his due date the doctor changed it to the 5th. September 5th, 2014 the 5th year of Maxson's passing, God redeemed the 5th for me.

You can say ah no biggie, sure its not to anyone else. But to me it is! See, we said goodbye to Max on the 5th. I had a miscarriage on the 5th. The entire first year after Maxson's passing I had 12, 5th's of the month to grieve. The 5th has always had a heavy feeling for me after losing Max. God knows my heart the good the bad the ugly, and He knew exactly how to speak to me.

We pray and hope Sarah comes home this next year. I truly believe she is ours and will be a part of our family very soon. Last year I stood on the verse Hebrews 11:6; without faith it is impossible to please God. I could not even count how many times He has used that verse to show and teach me this last year. I have heard more sermons referencing this verse this past year, and I just know He is weaving something beautiful out of our failures, tears, and ashes.

Last year I focused on what Maxson's life has done for us. This year I want to focus on all that God has already done for us. We feel so grateful to be able to have a baby in the house again. Granted I sold everything baby to help get Sarah home, God knows! We feel blessed to be on this adoption journey as ugly and painful as it has been. We are amazed how Elijah is growing up to be so kind, and smart and a wonderful big brother I might add. I am beyond grateful to see our marriage truly grow sweeter and stronger with each passing year. He has brought wonderful knew friends into our life and continued to grow old friendships. He has given us so many sweet memories with family. Our little church we call home has challenged us to learn and grow in His word and the fruit from that can not be measured. Our health although dealing with the current cold and flu season has been a challenge. I could go on and on but today I am most thankful for a tiny little baby that only was able to cry once, be kissed briefly, and see shortly his family that loves him so!!! The gift of his life set our lives on a very different path I wouldn't trade for anything.

A friend recently reminded me how sweet life is when we truly turn it over to God's plan with no expectations of our own agendas...she is right, I could not possibly have weaved a more beautiful path myself. So as there are tears there is much joy, and as there are trials there is sweet growth.

So sweet baby boy Maxson as you spend another heavenly birthday in His glorious presence please know I keep a corner of my heart for you, to one day return it with a giant kiss. Your brother Eli so dearly loves you and speaks of you often. Now we have Will to tell of your perfect and brief time with us and as we did with Eli. We love you now and for always, your mama!


Golden Birthday

Wow! Five years, it doesn't seem possible, the memory of kissing him and holding him is as near to my mind as yesterday. I tried so hard that day to take in as much as possible and God has truly honored that, I have so many memories from one single day than I do from months.

Hindsight is 20/20. Sitting here today on the 5th year since I felt the sharpest slice of my heart, I can truly say I wouldn't trade it for the world. All of the pain and the months of grief, and even what I carry today is worth more than gold and silver.

Maxson, your sweet stop in our hearts has left fruit that continues to grow... How I view my Father, how I view your brother, how I view my salvation, and how I view this life have all been turned up because of YOU! My personal joy I feel in the little things would never be what it is without you!

We prayed so hard those days before you were born, for you to be healed, or to stay with us, we wanted so badly to not have to walk the road of losing you. Now, I stand here five years later and can plainly see all the good you left us with and I am overwhelmed with gratefulness.

We sang, very loudly, happy birthday to you this evening and no tears clouded my eyes, no sharp pains, just that overwhelming feeling of gratefulness.

We know you stand with our Father and we know we will see you again, and NOW we know how glorious God's plan was for you.

You have a little brother who talks about you a lot, and I know already loves his big brother.

Thank you for your moments here I hope that golden birthday in Heaven resounds all of our thankfulness for you.

Love you,

A friend recently shared this "Whoever does not know the austere of blessedness of waiting- that is, of hopefully doing without- will never experience the full blessing of fulfillment." This has rang so very true, especially lately with our adoption travel date being put off; not knowing when or if we will bring Sarah home. This next year we will continue to pray and fight for Sarah and other orphans, with the hope of being through to the side of fulfillment before Christmas next year. So please when you think of Maxson today or whenever he may come to mind please add a little prayer for Sarah.

with love,


Let Us NOT

It has been way too long for an update...I have thought about updating and then often I become overwhelmed with where we are, stuck. We are amongst many, many other families that are stuck in a broken international adoption system. The blame for this could go so many directions. I never see the benefit of focusing on whose to blame, rather I feel it is SO SO urgent to share what we feel is key to keeping our sweet girl and countless others alive.

To clear up questions or at least try to, international adoption has many steps, we are moving along in the last step with the US embassy investigating our little girl's orphan status. We have recently learned though that the DGM, the Congolese immigration branch of ministry, is suspending exit letters. Basically, after the US clears her status and we have her visa, we still cannot take her out of the country until this is lifted. They are saying up to 12 months. This is a huge blow. I have shed tears for all the moments  I will miss with Sarah because of this, I have shed tears for her having to live in a place where food and clean water is NOT a guarantee.

NOW, what I don't want to do is give up! I MUST fight to keep her healthy and alive.

It's so easy to turn or quit reading, but please know by doing so we are allowing children to die! I know this may sound like I am being melodramatic, but I promise this is real! Our dollars make the difference in children living or dying. Just last week in the Congo 75% children from an orphanage died do to unclean drinking water. Dysentery shot through this orphanage and in a matter of days killed most of them. It costs around $100 for a filter that lasts 6 months.

Please please please let us NOT; get annoyed, turn away, or pretend it's not our problem!!! You can say, 'well I have my causes I support, and this isn't my cause'. MAN, if we all just gave a little, if we all saw this as a little bit of our cause, we could change the direction of hundreds of lives.

We are going to be doing what we can to raise support to feed three orphanages that DESPERATELY need support. One of these orphanages is where our daughter is. Some other mom's who are adopting from Congo have banned together and we hope to raise $5,000 by Orphan Sunday, this coming Sunday! We have made the connections to make sure these orphanages will receive the food, and I will share pictures of that happening. This money will go so far!! There was already an anonymous matching donation of $1,200, that has been met and there has been another anonymous donation of $500 that will be given to match. If you click on the button to donate your donation will be matched plus it is tax deductible.

I can NOT express enough what good these funds will do! I will be sharing pictures of the children receiving the food. I know we plan to use it for food, but we may also use it for water filters and more beds.

Feed their Tummies

with love,


Last Trimester

I would compare this step to be a bit like the last trimester of pregnancy. Where at times I am so uncomfortable waiting that I have to remind myself to breath. Where I still can't say this is really happening but my growing stomach, or in this instance the growing list of completed steps. Nesting moments come pouring down on me and there isn't enough I could do to feel totally prepared. The last leg of this adoption is so parallel to that last trimester.

I feel in a way like I am going to be a first time mom, mainly because she is a girl and unfortunately spent her first years not in my arms.

We are both so excited but fully understand this is a major game changer and we are diligently praying God's grace over us now and what's to come.

I cannot tell you how cute Eli is speaking about his baby sister. How he is going to protect her, share with her, and play with her. Hmmm he has no clue and probably a good thing!

This summer we will be preparing our home for our sweet little african princess. We really need to try and scrape up, save up, and come up with the $8,000-9,000 needed to travel. This part is so tricky as we committed to pay back our adoption loan in a year :/ So if we need anything maybe some prayers that my ideas for fundraising will come through! That between the yard sale, the canvas sale, and the shear determination to have it all just in time, we will!!

Oh and just to finish a little update with where exactly we are...drum roll...as of June 2nd, our little girl is ours in the Congo, we could move there and be her parents. Now it is in the hands of the US and that takes 3-6months...we have just a bit of paperwork to get to this part and plan to very soon! So our hope is that by October we will be on a plane to Africa!! We already are closing in on a year since we started and it will be surreal when we are home. Thank you for all your prayers and support!

with love,


Miles of Separation

We finally got word about the orphanage our little one is at and we also received an updated picture of her.

Good news? Yes and no.

She is very very thin and has recently been very ill. The orphanage she is at is very poor and the children have little food and no nets (malaria) or beds. 

She sleeps on a cold, wet dirt floor! My heart breaks having to type that. What can I do? I desperately want to go and rescue her, I want to take away any hunger pains, I want to kiss her and hold her close. 

These miles of separation could not be more harsh today! 

We do have a true advocate on the ground in Kinshasa right now. She has made numerous trips over and has truly been a God send to so many orphans. She leaves her family behind and takes the journey over to do what she can to make life better for these sweet children. She has had her share of loss, losing several children she was waiting to adopt. It is so senseless that these babies are dying when we have every opportunity to help. Children shouldn't die of hunger. They shouldn't die of malaria. 

We can help her! 

I am asking you please! please! Help us raise support to buy beds, nets, and other life saving items for these children!!

Any amount will go directly to aid these sweet children. I am asking not just for my little one who needs a bed and nourishment so badly but all the little ones who don't have a voice. Lets do what we can!

Use the link above and do what you can. Five, ten, twenty, or more, whatever you give is going to save the lives of the most innocent. 

Above is the most recent picture she is so thin.

Above is our referral picture.

I have signed a contract not to use her face, but I pray and my hope is to show you her beautiful face in our arms soon!! 



I would have posted we have a referral a while back but after losing our first I feel like it is such a delicate hope. We can't help ourselves to fall in love with this sweet little girl. We can't help but imagine her in our family. We can't help but to imagine loving on her and enjoying the blessing of a little girl. Truth is we go there a lot, and it is but a delicate hope that she is indeed ours!

The hope we do rest in is that God is faithful and this journey even thus far has produced so much good. We have been transformed to have different goals, dreams, and desires. In no way am I wanting to guilt others who are on different roads, this is just our path.  God has allowed this journey to shape us into people who find great excitement and joy in plans we would not have thought of by our own accord.

What was once just a way to grow our family has changed our hearts into how do we change the world. And by changing the world I mean loving in any way possible to those who need love the most.

So I am excited to say we have hope of bringing a sweet little girl home. Timeline is so up in the air with immigration changes. Please pray for our little girl and all orphans who don't have a voice.

 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28



After just touching on that we lost our kids in the last post I thought I better explain.

We found out a week before Thanksgiving that relatives of the children had hired a court inspector to locate the children when they found that the mother was without them. And although no one is taking them out of the orphanage we were advised to not continue to court. If we continued we would likely lose in court anyway.

I was totally surprised being new and all to the international adoption world.

So now what.

Well if it would have happened any later we would have been out some money but now our money just gets transferred to a new adoption. However, we are in the DRC, Africa now, that is where our money is tied up. Which in some way I am grateful that I am locked in and don't have to make that decision.

This took me a while to post. For one I am really tired of being the bearer of bad news. Two, I am tired of people saying "I'm sorry". I have been on my knees crying out for God to lead me in the direction HE desires. And that is exactly why I am here.


Trying to make sense of the loss I can only be straight with one thing...God is sovereign. So...I will say for whatever reason we are here, waiting.

Antonio and Regina did push me down the path...actually taking the long and difficult steps to start the adoption process. I can be thankful for their sweet faces in my life for the simple fact that we started this road. Who knows maybe without them I would still be doing nothing out of fear of the unknown.

We have decided to wait for a baby. Could be tomorrow or months from now when we receive word. We are the only ones on the list with our agency from this country. We have no preference of boy or girl or twins. I find myself often praying for our child that I know God already knows. Very similar to a pregnancy, when before that 20 week ultra sound you are so in the dark. And for us is a time to truly rely on God for our strength and place to rest all our fears, doubts, and anxieties.

We were very sad about losing two children that we felt belonged in our family. I try to remind myself that they must have family that cares...it's tough to do.

We will continue to pray and support them in different ways. And who knows maybe we will meet them someday. I know they will never be forgotten from our hearts!


Four Years AGO/OLD

Today will never go unnoticed in my world. In fact even the mention of the 5th of any month brings an instant reminder of today four years ago.

Time passes and with relation to the day we brought Maxson into and out of this world, time... has frozen. I would never believe it has been four years ago. In other ways much has filled our time, and it seems we have completed and done more then what is possible to fit in four years.

This sweet day four years ago I was blessed to kiss and hold, and to see my little boy. That day was amazing for so many reasons and oh so difficult too. Nothing is harder.

If someone offered me a different road would I take it...No. Nothing is harder but nothing else could take the place of what I have gained. I have this love for a child that I am certain beyond a shadow of doubt is in Heaven. Although mixed with pain here it is something I would never trade.

This year we let a balloon go and watched it disappear, trying to connect the balloon with Max in Heaven and the balloon was going to Heaven, for Eli of course ;)  I spent the day telling Elijah about his brother. Reminding him again and again it was Max's birthday...again and again, every time I asked he would say Eli's birthday. you could say we are working on a lot of things related to 'mine'.

I have had some major ups and downs this last four years. The road of grief was also filled with disappointments and setbacks. We have also recently had a hard road as we started this adoption, fell in love with two children and lost them in a matter of months. With all of this I have had my share of doubting God's love for me...not that everyone doesn't struggle with this but it has been a major struggle for me. I don't doubt God's sovereignty, I just wonder how he can love me. Anyway all that said to say this...

Here is the story.

Four years ago I gained and lost a son, with that I had to learn to live life without my son. God did bless me with Maxson and he also blessed me with a friendship.

Hannah found my blog ...I am not sure how. She contacted me by email shortly after Maxson passed and offered to draw a picture of him. After we exchanged several emails, I felt connected to Hannah, as simple as that. Over the past four years our friendship has continued to grow we often speak on the phone weekly and she is the first person I think of to pray with me. We have never met face to face, well if you count skype I take that back. Hannah and her family are so dear to me. I feel like we have been friends for years. It feels strange to think we have never been in the same state, let alone the same place. Our friendship has been built on shared love for our Savior and the struggles we deal with and those wonderful moments of joy. She has been one of the bigger miracles I can attest to from Maxson's life. So without knowing my recent thoughts she sent me this today...

  • And now for what I was wanting to share:
    (song #15 on the last cd I sent you)
    "It is for this reason I I bow my knees, before the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, for Whom the whole family on heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His spirit in your inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints, what is the width, and the length, and the depth, and the height, to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge, that you may be filled with the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundant above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen."
    i just love this worship song because I can't ever listen to it without feeling the need to be on my face before God while I try to understand how deep His affection and love for us runs. You know, I feel like about 98% of the time, I'm kind of bumbling along, trying to understand, and then about 2% of the time, I start to understand. I guess last night was one of those times, and I realize how much His love is the only thing on earth that can ground us, and give us deep roots that keep us from being tossed around in this life. When I was listening to the first part of the song last night, I felt like the Lord was showing me a picture of you- you were completely enveloped by Him, and I felt like He was (and wants you to know) He is washing you with His affections, from the inside out. And that all of these hard things you are having to walk through- He is causing your roots to go deeper, and I just feel Him being so tender and loving with you and your heart, and that He is so proud of you. These things cause deep, deep roots, that will never be shaken, and oh, what a privilege it is to be one whom the Lord sets deep roots down in. Thats what I felt God impressing upon me last night, for you 
    I just want you to know that I am praying this song for your heart, for Dustin's heart, for my heart, for our children's hearts. "That we your church, Father, would be rooted and grounded in the Heart of your Son. That we would be firmly rooted in the love of Your Son, Jesus. Oh, that we would be rooted and grounded in Your love, established firmly in your love. That we would feel and know the affections of Jesus, we would know and believe the love God has for us. That we would experience Your heart."

    • She has often reminded me of just what i needed to be reminded of. So this is why I shared this...
    God's love is infinate. It is not explained or expressed by life turning out a certain way or by life being easy.

    It is not altered by anything we do or don't do. He loves us. He loves Maxson. 

    Sometimes it is just getting back to the basics "Jesus loves me"!!!

    After all Christ died because HE FIRST LOVED US!

    Here is a song that always brings me to tears the deep ones that I am sure come from my soul.

    Happy Birthday to a boy who keeps on teaching his mama! What a blessing it is to be called your mom.



    And We Grow

    Over the past year we have been looking forward to growing our family. We thought we had long did away with trying out 'our plans' but again found ourselves trying to plan it out just so. We both agreed we wanted to have one more biological child and then adopt maybe when we were closer to our mid 30s. He he

     This past spring we started pursuing fertility treatments. 

     First time worked; but we quickly miscarried. 

     We continued to try fertility treatments. 

     I didn't get horribly down or even stomp my feet, not saying this as a pat on my back but rather that I felt God was leading. 

     The last time we tried we decided to also have a consultation with an adoption agency. After which we both felt more secure about our desire to adopt internationally. While waiting to see if the treatment worked (if I was pregnant) I looked over the Internet at countries and different possibilities. I stumbled on a site with waiting children and one little boy caught my attention. I emailed to just learn more about him. He was from the DRC, Africa and he was approximately 2 years old. Later when Dustin and I talked we counted him out. We both agreed we wanted to keep birth order. 

     The days ahead I could not get that little boy out of my head. I would lay awake and think of reason after reason why he wasn't right for us. I couldn't stop thinking about him. I started praying for his possible place in our family. I asked Dustin to do the same. After some time we both agreed we felt lead to welcome him to our family. It's a scary thing so we continued to pray if it wasn't God's will to close the door. 

     However, doors just kept opening and not just opening but swinging wide. We had all of our doubts about bringing him into our family erased. The steps to get where we needed to be went smooth and much faster than anticipated. He started to grow in both our hearts and we now are truly excited for his arrival. Antonio is his given name and I would love to share pictures but we did sign a contract to not share his picture online until he is home with us. 

    There was a turn of events that I am still swallowing and making sense of. Antonio has a sister who is approximately 6 years old. I was under the impression that another family was interested in her and so it didn't enter my brain until three weeks ago. 

     Last week we also signed for Regina. 

     We believe it is God's will to keep siblings together if possible. We also believe God has equipped us with love, patience, and a growing desire to take care of orphans. This is what that looks like for us. 

     I can just imagine your questions and how crazy we may seem. Trust me I think the same thing. I just know we both feel this is God's call and we both are in this together

     We have gone through some training and will continue to do so. We have had at length discussions about how this can/will effect Elijah. I will write more about both in later posts. We understand the major, major coming shift to our lives. We are asking that though you may not understand or may think we are quite crazy (we are) that you still will support us in prayer and in thoughts. It will not be easy and we are preparing our hearts and home for the coming journey. 

     I am not against any questions you may have so feel free to ask by email or call:) 

     If you would like to know of some ways to support us please read below. 

     1. Please pray. Pray for Antonio and Regina. Their safety but also that their hearts would be prepared. For Elijah that his heart would also be prepared. That Dustin and I will have strength, discernment, and peace. In all that you feel led to say -pray. 

     2. The children are coming from a third world country. We would love if you would like to learn more about the DRC. Click here for more info on the country. 

     When we first started the journey I had some nights of grief and fear below is part of a Psalm given to me by a friend. These words mean so much to me. These words will now for us always be Antonio's and Regina's. 

     Psalm 40:1-8 
     I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. 

    2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. 

    3 He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him. 

     4 Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods.

    5 Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare. 

     6 Sacrifice and offering you did not desire— but my ears you have opened burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require. 

    7 Then I said, “Here I am, I have come— it is written about me in the scroll.
    8 I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart.” 

     With Love, Trish and Dustin  


    3 years

    still alive. and today celebrating Maxson's life, 3rd birthday...it's hard to believe and yet it seems like forever ago i held him and had to let him go. with Max's busy lil bro Eli we didn't do too much today not to add that it was frigidly cold here. my mom asked today how the pain was, and honestly it is not as physically painful. so i guess you could say time has healed, however, Maxson's hold on my heart and his physical absence from my life here combine to add a weight on my soul that will never fade. which by no means am i saying poor me, actually i am extremely thankful for being able to feel. he is still real all i have to do is think about him and my heart grows with heaviness and yearning and love! if i didn't have that i would be so lost.

    i do realize this is my first post since forever ago so i will say not much has changed besides an obvious care for capital letters, a kitchen that has been renovated, a mom and dad that ran a 5k (kind of a big deal i had to train for it, not a runner), our thirst for our Savior (increased), and a baby that did what babies do and grew...a lot. and on that note Eli is amazing he steals my heart and adds so much joy that i feel guilty feeling that much joy at times. he has such a gentle spirit to him and he just loves on everyone around him. at the moment he is just figuring out this tantrum thing but you know i think his tantrums are good, they make me realize he is not perfect:) anyway enough gloating i will add some pics at the end.

    dust and i did say today we need to make this day come alive to Eli next year. i want Eli to love his brother and know he has a brother eagerly waiting for him. granted i pray daily as his parents we get to meet up with Maxson first;)

    i have had two friends lose babies this year one to sids, one to t18, both first borns...it was tough to realize going through losing did not give me power to take away any of their pain or even know what to say. i realized early on all i can do is pray for them...so if you would be so kind as to lift them up when you feel led. they are both expecting again, found out about both of them just this past week. best news ever! God is good.

    baby fever here is running on high but the entire process of fertility sounds like it has to wait...i know we will adopt someday i just don't think we are there yet.

    so all over the place...i apologize for the absence it just felt like it needed to be done. this blog will always be but what it will be i don't know. i will always write on Maxson's birthday and maybe i will feel led to write more. writing is not my gifting so for a while it was my outlet and my counsel. but for those who prayed and supported us thank you so much and i am always up for emails.

    to my first born, Maxson, my message to you today is this, we love you today like we loved you yesterday. you will always be my first, you will always be my son. i feel your absence here but i also cherish the fact you are in heaven. i can't wait for the day to hold you in my arms again and until then i hope my love is impressed upon your spirit. happy birthday Max. i love you!


    5 months

    I remember all to well back after we lost Max how much each milestone month hurt...it was just an extra day to make me realize even more what we were missing. Well now there is much joy in milestone months, Mr. Eli is in his fifth month of life and growing leaps and bounds.

    I was a little concerned he would never care to move but that is all forgotten as of Valentines Day he rolled over, since then the child is on the move. He rolls from one area of the room to another. Eli is trying desperately to crawl with no avail, but now after seeing how it just takes one day and boom their moving I just know he will conquer crawling as well. In other Eli news he has a new soothing technique in which he sings himself to sleep. It's just a ahhh ahhh ahhh...real soft and pretty, and much better than crying. He is so much more content than even a month ago and everyday he is content longer. He is beginning to eat and I think he really likes peas, at least much more than rice cereal. We are enjoying every minute and I wish it would slow down, all these stages are going by way too fast. I already want that newborn stage back.

    As far as Dust and I, life is moving this old house is shaping up, we have a desire to adopt still, and a desire to maybe have one more with fertility treatments. We are trying to put our financial house in order so that when the time comes we have the means to adopt from Haiti. We also are feeling hard pressed to grow in our relationship with the Lord, which is something we have to continually seek as we both find busyness is the biggest wedge in that.

    I am still working at the church and hoping to keep that job forever I really love it, I just have to get through the difficult years of balancing work and babies. Sometimes I wish I could pause the job and come back to it after the baby years, but I am not willing to let it go so I will just do a balancing act. I think once we do daycare it will become much easier. Okay, sorry about the babbling.

    On a whole different note I was talking to my sister this week who is in a Beth Moore study and through this study she feels that back when we went through the time of Maxson here, she didn't pray enough for God to reveal his purpose or for me to rise up and see the purpose. She said now she sees that we as a family should of spent more time covering the whole situation in prayer and prayer not for just healing or time or peace, but prayer for our eyes to be opened to God's purpose through Max. She also shared she hopes that I keep my heart open that God's plan with that in my life may not be completed, that she hopes I continually pray and seek God's purpose of Max's life. With all that said, I really have it on my heart to adopt from Haiti, I believe whole heatedly that I would not have a desire to adopt without Max. Do I think that's God's purpose in Max's life? No, at least not entirely. It may be part of a work done in me through going through that with Max though. We lost Max and there was/is many reasons I will never know for that, but I know I will seek God's purpose in my life because of it. Alright that doesn't make sense when I read it back or it doesn't convey what I am trying to say. Hmmm...let me try again. God has wonderful things planned for my family but some of those wonderful things are a direct result of losing Maxson. I would not be the person I am today and because of that my journey in this life is altered, I believe it has God's provision written all over it, as long as I seek Him. Amen!! I hope that makes some sense, it's some deep stuff to explain and I don't even know if I did, well that's all for now.

    with love,



    So I figure the new look deems a post. It's been up awhile with no mention. I really had a difficult time even changing it but with the expiration of the design template it was looking a bit unkempt. For some reason changing the look was like closing a chapter of my life. It sunk deep for the first time that now is a new chapter...title of this one, hmm. I don't know. Maybe it can be happily ever after or something, jk.

    I have never been someone who can't clean house, usually I am at the salvation army twice, three times a year. But man when you lose someone you want to hold on to everything that has any significance to the memory of that loved one. I finally about a month ago went through Max's tubs and narrowed it down to one tub. Finally I was able to throw boxes that gifts for Max came in and I donated the clothes I had purchased for him.

    Then the blog. I wanted to keep the title because now with Eli in my life I see even more the "miracle of max" it's just as the tag line says, presently my miracle of Max is in Heaven and Eli is our miracle here.

    The day Eli was born my eyes were opened to how amazingly merciful God is/was. Both Max and Eli were c-section babes, what I didn't know when I had Max was how long the whole c-section really is. From the moment they took Max out of me until the moment he was in my arms and we were leaving the room seemed like minutes when in reality it was much, much longer. Watching the video last year on Max's 1st birthday I realized the time between getting him to breathe was so long that I can't believe I didn't doubt that Max would breath. Anyway, what I am saying is God's grace was with me. He allowed time to bend when and where it should the day Max was born. Another great gift was Max's eyes, they were wide open right away and they stayed fairly open up until his last breath. I never saw Eli's eyes the first day, I barely saw them the second day. I contribute this fact fully to God's grace. The day Max was born I was up the entire day with the energy to do so. I was able to truly treasure my time with him he spirit left me only hours after his birth but I kept his physical body with me until the evening to just try to take in and treasure. The day Eli was born I couldn't keep my eyes open at some point after his birth I fell asleep. Just another way prayers were answered.

    So the miracle there is a beautiful, fully healed baby boy, Maxson who I trust will have open arms for his mommy some day. And the miracle here is this beautiful gift that I have the perpetual blessing to watch grow. I will be able to share all the love I have with Eli for his brother Max. I will be able to have my family restored someday! I will be able kiss Max's cheeks all the time, just like I kiss his brothers. That was my inspiration to this simple design.

    To wrap this up now. First, this makes 2 posts in one month not bad. Two, guess who is four months and just a great storyteller. Giggles, sits, and who I believe will never have an interest in rolling. He just wants to crawl.



    Well ready or not a new year begins! We spent the new year finishing up Christmases, anymore it seems everyone has a few Christmas celebrations. In my heart though I was focusing on all the new things and 'resolutions' I wanted to implement into my life including writing more! At least once a week, if not even more, I think of something I want to write about, whether or not it's interesting enough to read about I don't know. But if I put something on myself like I have to write once a week or something I know I will fail miserably so I will just say this: I will write more! That's it -MORE.

    Rewind, because it has been awhile and I have a sleeping baby right now:)

    Eli~ he has been such a blessing to us, one that I am daily thanking God for. While I believe I had that baby in the 20% category for colic, he matched all of the criteria, crying for 3 or more hrs 5 days a wk or more -check. He is on the up swing though
    -I can only pray:) Given that, Eli still is mighty generous with his smiles, and I can see a sweet lil boy over that temper of his.

    We started off Eli's days here with us with a lil scare, his dr. diagnosed him with a dual ear infection and warned us to the extreme, which left me leaving the docs office in tears. She said to watch him closely and if he wasn't acting himself to bring him to the ER just in case the infection went to his blood or his brain...yeah, not cool. Not acting himself, he was but 2 wks old we didn't know who the normal Eli was, we were freaked out and of course we know that dr. warnings come true...it felt just like leaving doctor T's office after her telling me my ultra sound wasn't normal and going through the list of what it could be...and sending me out the door with no official answers. Anyway we made it through that time, and we did have a little happier baby, we still had a baby that would let us hear how healthy his lungs were 3 or more hours a day. Usually he cried (cries) in the evening and usually with bouts of blood curdling screams... ahhh, now those nights are few, still happen but few -thank you Jesus! Many nights I spent telling God how grateful I was in the midst of taking my 15 minute turn attempting to soothe lil man.

    Eli is now 3 months and counting and he is always amazing me that he is ours and he is growing at lightening speed. I have always been on the smaller side, so given that I figured I would have a smaller baby, but Eli entered this world surprising everyone in my family at 8lbs 4oz and continues to grow off the charts!! Newborn clothes only the fist week, 0-3 month clothes only the first month, and now he comfortably wears 6 month clothes. I am a little sad about this. He needs to slow down. For the sake of my back and bouncing him, he needs to slow down.

    He loves his baths, he loves bouncing and he loves to hold his hands in a prayer like manner. He is still breast feeding even though he has a mom who is so back forth with loving and hating it she seems a crazy!! To soothe Eli he requires a blanket touching his face and his body pressed flat against mine. He likes to hear his dad hum and I like to think he likes to watch me dance:) He has chubby cheeks that feel so good on the lips and little baby fat rolls like a 6 month old. He is most happy in someone's arms and takes a lot of time to take in his surroundings. He is not a fan of the car seat, but a lover of the car in motion. Before he cries he usually gives us a warning, sticking out his bottom lip and keeping it there for a few seconds, this face melts my heart and believe I may cave into his wants for the rest of his life if he keeps that face. He is starting to notice new faces, being that new. He is also starting to want to roll, just no coordination to do so. He sits, smiles, stands with help, and laughs I mean attempts to laugh. Elijah just steals our heart daily and it hits home on a daily basis what we are missing out on with Maxson, that hurts. Christmas a new year, all of these firsts for Eli make the place in my heart for Max just ache for him. Sure there is joy... but it's just there, that part of my heart.

    Did I mention I have a thumb sucker. I walked away just a moment ago to soothe Eli and he didn't want the nuk he wanted his thumb. Harder to break but at least I can stop the search for the mysterious disappearing nuk. I will leave you evidence of all that I explained. And like I said I will write more!

    Thumb Sucker!!

    Praying Hands!


    The Big Lip!


    Happy 2nd Birthday Maxson!

    Not easier. I have wanted to post before this day so I could share in all the ways Eli has brought so much joy back into our lives but today will probably not be the day I feel like sharing that. I am sad.

    A two year old that fact alone just hurts. Many times since Eli has been born I have had teary eyed moments longing or feeling guilty about not sharing in the same experiences with Max. My boy Max still has his own unique part of my heart that longs wants and desires Max. But that is why I will hold tight to the day when I know I will be reunited with my baby and be able to celebrate his birth and homecoming with him.

    Well two years Max... you have not spent a day apart from us with us not feeling your absence. You often on occasion bring a smile to my face and tears because of the enormous love I feel for you. Your brother I believe resembles you so much granted he is a lil heavy weight. I know he will be so proud to talk about you someday. We are proud to call you are son and Eli will be happy to call you his brother. This time of the year your stalking goes up your ornament goes on the tree and we remember a part of our life that still is very much alive in our hearts. I love you and my prayer today is even though life and death here separate us I hope you feel the love my heart sends your way. love you, mom and dad