Author Archives: Lisa Maxfield

Another Year…

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So here we are.

2 YEARS later and time has just had the audacity to keep ticking on. Days and weeks go by and people just go on with their life, like nothing.

Even though death and tragedy is all around us, they go. they do. they carry on. All the while not knowing when it may strike. That is, until it happens to you, I suppose.

Sometimes when I really stop and think about it, it just seems so strange. How someone can be here one day and just gone the next.

Its so hard for me to believe that its been 2 YEARS!! How is it that 730 days ago I wrote THIS?? It doesn’t even seem true, yet I know it is. To be honest, I can not even read those words. The words that flowed through my tears and wouldn’t stop coming. I suppose that is why I wrote it. So that one day I could go back. And maybe I never will, but I wanted my children to know a little about their Pappy. Since they were denied a life with him. I also want to keep his memory alive. So he’s not forgotten. Because while everyone else goes on with the day to day, I am left with a hole. The size of my Dad. And I worry that his memory will fade away to nothing, and that in & of itself is a tragedy.

Last year, I made sure to come stay at mom’s so she wasn’t alone. Anniversaries like this are just plain hard. Not to mention her birthday is July 2nd & their wedding anniversary on July 4th. She knows he held on because she always told him “not to leave her” on their anniversary. He kept that promise and waited until the 5th. So, I am grateful that I live with her now. Even if only just a little while longer… because we are here, together, for this hard week.

I think every year we will just stay together. Because we can’t help but remember. My reality is, that the 4th of July isn’t ever going to be a holiday that is super happy for me. Not anymore. I can’t ignore what it brings when the sun goes down and the fireworks fall as hot embers.

Because after the 4th, the 5th will always come. Serving me a reminder of the months of suffering the cancer brought with it before it ended things in such a cruel way.

The pain isn’t as strong as it was Last year, & for that I am grateful. Time heals, as they say. One day I may care about fireworks again.

DAD

I miss you, Dad! While it feels like you were just here it also feels like so much has happened and I haven’t seen you in ages. We talk about you all the time and the kids even still pray for you. Oh yeah, I have 3 KIDS now! Maybe you know that somehow. Koral remembers you and the way she talks about you I feel like she always will. And that would make me very happy. We got a new house. And you know, one of the toughest things about leaving Tobacco Barn was? The fire-pit you built me. I couldn’t take it with me. But I would sit and just stare at it because I knew that the new house wouldn’t have any of your handy work. And that pained me. Like I was leaving pieces of you there or something. So I took pictures and had to move on. It was hard. I’ve lived with mom the past 4 months and I’m taking care of her as best I can. I always will, you know. We all will. Your little Army. It was hard at first as I cried EVERY single time I drove here. But it got easier and maybe it helped me cope in a way. It was hard and horrible to be surrounded by you every day but I am glad now because after 4 months, it is normal and I don’t completely lose it every time I think of you. Matt and I were looking through some of your old things the other day. {I’m trying to get more trinkets and pieces of you to keep in the kids rooms or at my new house because I love being able to “see” you in your things.} He was like a kid running around because of all your amazingly cool junk. He said that you may in fact be, the Most Interesting Man in the World.. I had to agree with him, and laugh. We cherish your things like we cherish you. I hear you telling each story and beaming with pride at how you acquired said item or how you made it yourself. We are left here every day missing you, Dad. I want you to know that the signs of you are all around. Faded now but most definitely still here. I hear you in every peacock call and I smell you in every campfire. Its like you are standing next to me when I cook garlic and onions and I always turn my brights on when It’s foggy.

You are a very hard man to forget. And I don’t plan on doing so.

ILY

Mission: Taiwan

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YOU GUYS..!!!!!

I am finally getting some time to sit and write some details about the amazing opportunity I have to go back to Taiwan!! tw-map

I am so SUPER excited to be traveling back in January on a short-term mission trip with The Summit Church.  I am blessed and even more excited to be going with a group of awesome girlfriends of mine, but our goal is a bit heavy. We will be volunteering in an orphanage and working with local missionaries to create a sponsorship program for a group of orphans known in Taiwan as “stateless, abandoned children”.  Due to certain circumstances, these children are un-adoptable and will spend the rest of their childhood as part of the social system, never knowing the love of a family. And we have been told that this home is “busting at the seams” with children.

Take a minute to let that sink in…

It happens here. It happens in Taipei. It happens all over the world. But we believe that a child growing up without a family, all alone is just WRONG. Period. Anywhere. Everywhere.

So we all need fight the injustice where & how we can.

WHY are they not adoptable, you ask???  What we have been told is that they are babies that have birth parents of different nationalities, and neither country will grant them citizenship or take ownership of them, in a sense. So without proper paperwork, they will live in this Taiwanese orphanage as aliens with no real identity until they are old enough to be on their own. Then, I am sure they will just be release to the world …. completely on their own.

No family. No support. No leadership or guidance. It is so, SO heartbreaking.

But the good news is, God is on the move already!!  We have been approved to start a sponsorship program for these kids, when no one else has been approved to do this before!!

{{{ I will share more details about this later and IT’S EXCITING!! }}}

Guys, We believe that is just the beginning!!!  Please pray for us as we prepare to go.  We have money to raise and many things to accomplish before we travel.

Being an all-female group gives us another unique ministry opportunity. We will also be serving and ministering to a Bible Study group of Taiwanese women led by our Summit church planters in Taipei. Some are new believers, a few are non-believers, and all come from families that do not know Christ.  We are already emailing with these ladies in hopes of building relationships before we meet face-to-face.  ‘My’ Girl is named Letitia and I love her already <3 I learned that she was in North Carolina just last year! How crazy is that??? Small world we live in, eh? We will be praying for them over the next few months and expect God to do great things through these new friendships! I am super pumped to meet them all!

We have had a few fundraisers to help pay for the trip, and we will have more! I will even be selling a few super cute things soon, back in the Ol’ Etsy shop! Like I said, I am finally getting creative again and I hope you like what I have come up with! Of course if anyone would be interested in donating to our trip online, I have a donation button on my blog… or if you would like your donation to be tax deductible, I can do that as well through my church.. Just ask me how :)

But more than anything, we covet your prayers.  Satan does not want us to fight for these invisible children.  He does not want us encouraging these women in their new faith nor speaking the Truth into the lives of non-believers.  But we KNOW God answers prayers.  He already has answered so many!!  So PLEASE pray for us. Our team is :: Georgeanna, Abby, Emma, Stacy, and Andrea. Please pray for these women we will be meeting and these orphans. Pray for the hearts of government officials that have the power to grant these children citizenship that would make them adoptable!

HOW RAD WOULD THAT BE ?!?!?

God answers prayers – we have no reason to doubt He will hear and answer us!!

Thanks for stopping by and always hanging with us on our adventures. You have a chance to be a part of the story. Come along!!

 

“Have faith in God.  Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea’, and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him.  Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them and they will be granted you.”  Matthew 11:22b-24

Wait. I still have a Blog ?!?!

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Hello World :))

Man. IT HAS BEEN FOREVER since I have been on this space. Life has been SO CRAZY. I will say that Myles has completely turned our world upside down. And I seriously mean UP-SIDEEE-DAAAOWNNN.

Call me weak. Call me crazy. Call me a sorry excuse for a mom… but we be strugglin’ up in heya. 3 kids under 5 has been HARD for me. I am just now crawling out from under the rock I’ve been cowering under for ohhhhh, lets just say 6 months or so. But I’m trying to get back to the me I used to be, or at least something like that. I may even settle for a little bit like I used to be.

As the boys lay fast asleep for a few extra minutes, I feel like I am finally able to breathe again. I even have the desire to get creative! Something I barely remember from long ago and days gone past. And it feels good.

SO MUCH has happened since being home with our sweet Baby Bear. I don’t even know where to start.

Oh, wait. Maybe, Myles. I’ll start with him.

Myles is good.

Myles is crazy, loud, bossy, SUPER FREAKING cute, picky, sweet, loveable, demanding, charming, LOUD, intelligent, super duper extra strong willed, miniature, totally HIL-ARIOUS, adorable, and wait…have I mentioned L O U D?

Yes, He is all of those things plus so much more AND I am SO SO SO glad he is ours! Truly, he fits right in. He has GROWNNNNN like I can’t believe, surpassed what we thought he may even do, and is blowing us away every day with how smart he truly is.

He is also very verrryyyy exhausting but I try to keep telling myself, “SELF… he has a LOT of catching up to do”

After all, He was like a little teeny tiny rag doll when we were in Ethiopia in November. He did nothing. n o t h i n g.

Within two weeks of having his very own family he started: crawling, sitting up, bearing weight on his legs & has moved onto: walking, running, waving, kissing/blowing kisses, dancing, throwing, & can now say: Mama, Daddy, night-night, Nonnie, I NEEEEEED & can sign: more, eat, & all done.

He has an amazing endocrinologist for his Congenital Hypothyroidism and his thyroid levels have all been exactly where she wants them to be, so the medicine is working great! He takes his pill every day like a champ and hatteesss to get his blood drawn every few months but he is always a trooper. I however am NOT a trooper, turns out I am a complete and utter weenie. It only took one visit alone to make me vow never ever would I do that again. I then made Matt bear the responsibility of holding him down cause’ as tough as I am, I just can’t deal y’all.

cant.even.deal.

He is now also seeing a food therapist for the issues he has eating. He does not chew like he should and project his food back to be swallowed, so he eats only purred baby food. BUT on a positive note, he is no longer throwing up on me, oh.. lets go with 10X a day. GLORY. So our therapist is trying to teach him to eat in mini 1/2 hour sessions that I drive 1.5 hours to get to. Its SO AWESOME.  And I, love sarcasm. But I go once a week because I want to make sure he gets the help he needs now so he doesn’t have major eating problems in the future.

Even though I want to run out of there with allllll my bags and children screaming “Thisss is sooo stupid, Im NOTTT coming back.. you cant make meeee!” And then I may chuck some baby puree at the receptionist as I jet out the door, laughing a sinister laugh. (Because that is what Myles does during our sessions) I know you sense my maturity in this entire post but its where I’m at. I told you.

SO I will end this little recap of Baby Bears existence and our well being with way too many pictures that articulate his personality without the use of any words. He is so so sooooo darn cute. God definitely broke the mold with this tiny little man & we love him dearly.

 

 

 

 

 

home.

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We are H O M E !

Myles is an angel baby and we are SO in LOVE!

I am so grateful for the outpouring of love and support and meals brought and friends help that I could just burst.

Hoping to find my new normal soon and get the hang of this 3 kids thing cause imma be honest.

It be HARD.

But I love it. I love these crazy little monsters more than my heart can stand. I am so so so beyond grateful to The Lord for them. He gave me the absolute, without a doubt, desire of my heart and they rescued me from life as a normal person by making me what I always wanted to be.

A Mom.

It is shockingly and totally hard. Immensely Trying. Beyond Exhausting. And almost always sometimes I just want to give up.

But mostly it is the reason that I live.

I LOVE that I get to be their mom. I can’t believe He allowed me to be their mom. And if I didn’t go through so much legally to get them, I would think that I got away with something because they are the best I could have ever imagined. And if Myles would ever let me sleep, I may think that I am dreaming cause its all too good to imagine being real. ;) Thank you people, for helping us get our sweet babies home. We FULLY KNOW that it is the love and support of so many who have made our dreams become a reality, and we will forever be grateful.

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Myles says…

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Thank you for all your prayers and support throughout this journey.

Myles has been CLEARED by the U.S. Embassy In Addis to come HOME!!!

We are all in Matt’s sisters wedding next weekend & hope to travel as soon as we get

out of our fancy clothes. {tee hee. just kidding, but maybe the day or two after}

We requested our exit interview date with the embassy and haven’t heard back so sadly we

cant buy tickets yet like I want to. And oh yeah,  its Friday, so I wont hear back all weekend.

Awesome.

I keep telling myself, its only a week. Cause I want to go right this second.

We are beyond excited to go get him. To grab onto him and never let him go.

He will have a new home and a family and we will have a new son and a little brother.

Im so excited my insides are all spazzy. At least its a good spaz.

Wait. What am I doing ?? I need to go pack…

:)

SUCH EXCITING NEWS!!!

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Well, no. I’m sorry.

I shouldn’t say that when we are waiting for the U.S. Embassy to write us an email saying… “Hey, come get your son.”

Butttttt. I have some seriously not as exciting but SUPER exciting news to share.

Turns out that applying for grants and asking friends for help pays off.

We were awarded a matching grant of $2,100 through:image002

Another YWAM family graciously helped us with this grant by giving us what was leftover in their church fund and then Lifesong did the rest!!

THIS IS SO EXCITING.

And this means that whatever anyone donates to us will NOT only be tax deductible… BUT THEY WILL MATCH it dollar for Dollar!

Sound Familiar? Yup. Exactly. Just like what our amazingly sweet friends did for us last year when we were trying to get Caden Home.

God is SO good.

He has just taken care of this!!

He has taken care of Myles. He has taken care of us.

And now, we wont be paying him off of a credit card for years to come.

So if you would like to make a donation, no matter how small. The amazing people over at Lifesong will match it. Easy Peesy.

All you have to do is this:

Give by Check:
Please make checks payable to Lifesong for Orphans.
In the memo please note your gift preference with Family Account Number and Family Name.

MAXFIELD family account #3935

Please mail checks to:

Lifesong for Orphans
PO Box 40
Gridley, IL 61744

Lifesong has been blessed with a partner that underwrites all US administrative and fund-raising
costs (TMG Foundation and other partners). That means 100% of your donation will go directly to
the need…helping orphans.

OR

Give Online:
1. Go to http://www.lifesongfororphans.org/give/donate
2. Select Give to an Adoptive Family
3. Complete online form and fill in Family Account Number & Family Name Fields
*Please note that PayPal will charge an administrative fee (2.9% + $.30 USD per transaction). Your
donation will be decreased by the amount of this fee.

Individual donations $250 or more and yearly donations totaling $250 or more will receive a tax-deductible receipt. Receipts for donations under $250 will gladly be sent upon request.
Lifesong is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization. If you have any questions about donations please contact us at info@lifesongfororphans.org.

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“How blessed is he who considers the helpless…” Psalm 41:1

Thank you so much for sticking with us through the end of this journey, like you have the two before. We are so amazed by our support system and so grateful for you all. I cannot even wait to have sweet lil Myles in my arms for good. And we have a lot of you to thank for helping us get to him!! It is simply amazing how God writes our story.

Myles will know just how much He is loved.

We will be sure to tell him.

last step!

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Hey All !

I’m sorry I haven’t written lately! Been SO busy trying to get the house in order, my special K started pre-school, we have shower & wedding goings on as well as people flying in that we are trying to get prepared for! Oh yeah, and we are working night and day to get a certain little boy home.

Very exciting stuff :)

We have managed to successfully switch Caden from the crib to a toddler bed without too much pain. But he now roams free. And that continues to be absolutely frightening. We also made the room suitable for a roomie. { a super cute one }  I was able to keep all the same decor from when we had Koral in there as a teeny tiny one. I said it with Caden and I’ll say it again.. I would have never through there would be little African boys in my “Island Girls” African nursery. Matt and I got all the decor in South Africa while we were on outreach with YWAM. And without meaning too, all my kids names have 5 letters and fit nicely in the frames above the crib. Added Bonus.

{Don’t judge the top of the closet. Its all clear now, I was just excited my friend put up another shelf for more hanging clothes & got shutter happy}

 

BUT!!! Lets get to the good stuff shall we………..

Our Case was submitted to the U.S. Embassy!!!!

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After much paperwork confusion and a lot of online problems with new forms we needed to fill out, we were finally submitted which means the U.S. is reviewing our case to clear him to come home! THIS IS HUGE. The last step. I need to just reiterate and give Praise to God right now.

It is an absolute MIRACLE that we are here. Not even 5 months from starting this process. God literally has miraculously orchestrated this entire thing cause I could NEVER have planned this, much less pulled this off on my own!! When God wants something done. BAM. It happens. And sometimes {like right now, for us} its really really fast…

The next email we get will hopefully say…

Congratulations Maxfield Family…Your case has CLEARED and you are free to fly to Addis and pick up your son!

Just to be clear. I have NO IDEA when said email will arrive in my inbox. The only thing I can guarantee is that it will come in the wee hours of the morning while I’m asleep. That is about as much as I am certain about. Every case is different. Every investigation is different. And I have heard that the embassy is really behind right now and to “expect” delays…

awesome.

But ya now what. God knows. So weather its before the wedding or after. Its ok. It’s ALL going to be ok.

Can you tell I am slightly stressed thinking he may be here for the wedding? We are ALL in the wedding AND I’m doing the hair AND hosting a ton of people before and after ANDDDDD.

But I am trying to literally calm myself down every day, multiple times a day because God’s timing is perfect. And I know that I am strong enough if HE thinks I am. I can do all things IN HIM.

SO, we wait.

While trying to soak in life as a family of 4… we still wait anxiously for our little boy to be welcomed home.

Because now that we have met him. Life just isn’t complete until he is here!!

just fun.

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Hi Guys… soooo nothing new to report on the adoption front. We re still waiting to hear when we will get our file submitted to the U.S. Embassy AND then be able to clear and bring Myles home for good.

I am REALLY having to keep my mind off of it or else I just get so antsy.

I want to go get our little-little SO BAD.

But I was thinking today, there is a lot of exciting things to look forward to in the coming months for us! Matt’s sister is getting married and we are all in the wedding! She is planning a BEAUTIFUL and super fun wedding that I honestly cant wait for! Burlap, Lace and All things Pinterest! I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t told her MANY times, I want a do-over. Same groom, ALL NEW EVERYTHING ELSE. It has been fun to watch her plan and see all that she has going on. She and the whole evening will no doubt be simply beautiful !!!

But guess what just made that day even better?? Our best friends from back home are flying out and staying with us!!

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My best friend from high-school, college years and just married life happened to marry Matt’s best friend since birth. So we were both Maid of Honor/Best Men in each others weddings. And it has been WAY TOO LONG since we have seen each other. I’m thinking 5 years.

So in honor of her coming out and since I have never really done a “throw back thursday” I made some fun Lisa & Lindsey Collages. In our 10 year friendship we have enough memories to fill a lifetime. And for those, I am so grateful. SO many of my precious memories are with her. I am thankful that even when God takes us on different paths in life, we had the opportunity to be friends, and the best of friends we were!

Cannot wait to see you Twitch!! (Starting with 10th grade on to Weddings)

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Everything MUST Go !!!

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Hey All.

So I am REALLY trying to sell EVERYTHING out of my shop. After all, I literally ONLY opened it so that I could make money to get Myles HOME to us, for good.

All items are hand made by me and one of a kind. I KNOW you have been ever so patient with me.

You listen to me beg and plead talk about my shop everyday, on ALL social media outlets.

For  that I am so grateful.

For my personal friends. You may feel like this.

tumblr_leqtkcAWCA1qcnhhzo1_500Others may be getting a little bit,

ughhhWhile some of y’all just flat out cant take it anymore.

EuSSY

I know. I Get it. I bother myself sometimes.

But guys. I NEEEEEDDDD to sell this stuff. We STILL have to get back to Africa to claim said child, from above.

That costs a pretty penny and imma be honest here. Our credit card cant take any more.

She is screaming at us; FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY to just stop. She is almost at her limit and she aint gonna budge any.time.soon. She’s had it.

I’m begging her to hold on and I’m making all kinds a promises.

Sooooo In the hopes that I can bribe *ahem, excuse me, persuade you to buy something, anything, or tell your friends to buy something OR do that “responsible Christmas shopping” in August like I have stooped low enough to ask of you before.

I am offering 25% off EVERYTHING in the store. Use the coupon code GETHOME in my Etsy shop until SEPTEMBER 14th and pick up something cute while helping us GET MYLES HOME !!!

Do THAT, And this is what I’ll do.

And I will mean it SO BAD!

hands-in-air

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( I feel that T-Swift accurately describes my emotions, don’t hate )

An extreme case of Deja Vu

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Its so weird inside my head right now.

So many emotions and feelings. Some good, some bad & some hard.

Last April we went to meet Caden and appear in court. He was 8 months old. Just like Myles.

Driving down those loud, bumpy & crowded Ethiopian roads from meeting our boy

{in a van full of new friends who had all just had the same most amazing 
and totally weird experience of meeting their children for the first time
and then leaving them behind for an unknown amount of time}

I got a call on our cell.

Dad was sick.

Thankfully I didn't quite know the full extent of what was happening until I got home. I am SO grateful for that because I'm not sure I would have made it the rest of the trip.

Well, fast forward NOT SO long and here we are. It's kindof amazingly-terrible all at the same time.

Amazing in every sense and only terrible in how eerie being back there after just a year was.

The course of my life changed drastically on that drive back from Adama last April.

Being in the same guesthouse, seeing the same faces, pulling up to the same court house, climbing the long 4 flights of the same stairs & sitting in the same, small room, we were going through all the same motions.

It was total Deja Vu.

So while it creeped me out just a tad, this new sweet baby Maxfield made all of it melt away. We passed court and He is ours!! After only 3 months on this newest adoption journey, we have traveled & passed court. I feel like my head STILL hasn't caught up to that reality!! What God has done in this short amount of time is mind blowing at best. Now we just have to wait the painstaking 6-12 weeks for the U.S. government to clear him to come home. Praying there are no snags or hold ups and we can get to him asap.

Cause Guys. We are in love.

So here is a small taste of our, very last minute, 2nd whirlwind trip to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to meet our second lil Ethiopian Bean.

I do not know how in the world we got so blessed. Thank you Jesus for all you have done for our family.

We are beyond grateful.