Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Happy 6th Birthday Ethan

Can't believe my little man is 6 years old.  Ethan was just a little over five pounds when he was born.  He made a scary and dramatic entrance into the world.  We thank God for blessing our lives with Ethan!


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Saturday, July 23, 2011


So I was giving Jacob a bath tonight and realized three things.

1.  His head is one inch from the top of his bath seat.
2.  His feet hit the end of the bathtub.  He is too excited in the bath so his legs do not bend.
3.  A larger bath seat will not fit into our bathtub. 

I have no idea what to do about that!  We have two bathtubs in our house and they are exactly the same. 


Special Delivery in the Mail

A family who recently traveled mailed us a note that Elshaday had written to us while they were visiting the orphanage.  For those who need a translation it says "Mom, Dad I so, so , so , so, so, so Love You"

Can't wait to give her a BIG hug!


Thursday, July 21, 2011






We will travel to Chicago the weekend of August 5th to pick up our beautiful daughter and bring her home.


Friday, July 15, 2011

SHE IS COMING HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We first saw her picture on a waiting list two and a half years ago.  She has had a place in my heart since I first saw her picture.  It has been an emotional ride and I can't wait for her to get home.

We had decided it would be best to have her escorted home instead of traveling back to Ethiopia.  We filed our I-600 here in the USA on June 3 and had been told the processing times were 75 days.  We received our I-600 approval in the mail YESTERDAY!!! 

For those who don't know the I-600 is what you file to get their travel visa.  You would normally file it in the country of adoption when you travel to your Embassy appointment.

I don't have a travel date for her yet.  I am waiting on the agency to arrange the escort.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Got Medical Equipment?

We have been very blessed to be able to find many pieces of medical and therapy equipment for our children.   It is absolutely necessary in order for them to continue to flourish.  However, our family room is beginning to look like a medical facility.  Besides our bedrooms we have one main room in the house.  This room acts as our family room, Jacob's bedroom, therapy room. office, school room, and medical equipment room. 

Yes, we have medical equipment in our entryway.  In fact, the SMALL yellow gait trainer is about to be switched to the MUCH LARGER gait trainer below.   This thing is as big if not bigger than his wheelchair.  It is so worth it though, you should see him cruising around in it.  Of course, there is only a small area from the front door through the living room that he will be able to use it.  The rest of the house will not be accessible. 

Below is Jacob's corner of the family room.  We could not fit the medical bed into the bedroom with the other boys so his bedroom is now in the family room.  Sera will benefit from a medical bed very soon but it definitely will not fit in her tiny bedroom.   That is Jacob's speaking device on the stand there.  I cannot wait to make a little video of him using it.  It is so cool.  He just looks at a picture on the computer and the computer speaks the label for that picture.  For example, if he looks at the picture of a bottle the computer will say "I want my bottle".  How cool is that!!!

These are just the items in our family room.  We have things stored in our closet and theraputic toys stored under some of the beds.  We also have a few things in the garage.  We are just beginning to think about things Sera is going to need as she looses her vision and goes into kidney failure.  Thankfully we still have some time before we have to seriously think about that.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What we do on a rainy day!

On rainy days you will frequently find a dance party happening at the Maas Home. Yes, the really hot man at the computer desk is my husband. He was in charge of finding the music videos for the dance party.


Update on Sera

Realized today I have never posted a picture of Sera using her stick.  She does a great job with it.  She is still learning to trust the stick and still wants to rely on feeling with her feet.  She is really doing amazing and it came very natural for her.

Two weeks ago I took Sera back to Cincinnati Children's Hospital for another round of tests and doctors appointments.  We did not find any surprises with her Endocrine system.  We are still looking at low levels of growth hormones and issues with urine processing.  We will need some more extensive tests to decide what treatment will be necessary.  The rest of the Endocrine system systems seems to be working properly for now. 

She also had a kidney function test and renal ultrasound done.  Her kidneys are still functioning in the "normal" range.  That is GREAT!!!    The cysts on the right kidney have spread some and now there is some involvement with the left kidney.  Still a good report considering.

We go back to see the Endocrinology, Nephrology, Genetics, and Vision in three months to come up with a treatment plan. 

On Monday Sera & I will be going to University of Kentucky hospital for a couple of days.  Sera need to have tests done for seizure disorder.  We know she is having seizure but can't figure out how often without having EEG tests. 
Thanks for all your prayers and support!


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Tonight as I carried Jacob and placed him in his bed I soaked in the peacefulness in his face.  Life is not easy for Jacob.  He struggles to accomplish each purposeful movement but when he sleeps his body is so peaceful.  In that moment I was overcome with love for my son.  I immediately thought, "I will never get tired of carrying him to his bed".  No matter how heavy he gets I will consider it a pure blessing to carry my son to bed. 

I guess that is how God feels about us.  No matter what we say or do He considers it a blessing to carry us through the tough times. 



We "LIKE" Show Hope!!!

During the month of July a generous donor has offered Show Hope $5,000 for each 5,000 new "likes" on their facebook page.  Show Hope has blessed so many families through their encouragement and adoption grants.  Our family has been blessed and encouraged by Show Hope during each of our adoptions.  Show Hope is also helping orphans in China through Maria's Big House of Hope and other programs for children with special needs.  Steven Curtis Chapman, his family, and the Show Hope staff are amazing people and God is using them to touch so many children and families.  If you would like more information about Show Hope and their ministry to orphans and adoptive families you can go to their website HERE.   Please take a moment to go to the Show Hope Facebook page and "like" their ministry.  It will just take a few seconds to do but it will affect the life of a child and family forever.

A few years ago we had the opportunity to volunteer at a Steven Curtis Chapman concert.  We were able to talk to families one on one about adoption and orphan care.  It was a wonderful evening of encouragement for us also.  I think I could spend all day every day talking to families about adoption. 

After the concert we were able to spend just a few moments with Steven.  He was so very nice and gracious. Oh, how I would love to have just one day with he and his family.   I would love to have a laid back day, maybe sitting around the pool, watching the kids play and sharing stories.

Thank you Show Hope, Steven Curtis Chapman, and all the Show Hope Sponsors.  You have blessed our family tremendously!! 


Monday, July 4, 2011

A New Record

It is not even midnight yet and Faith has woken up SEVEN times screaming.  She has woken up Sera three times in the process.  She even threw up from screaming so hard.  She has soaked her clothes from sweating.

Jacob has been up FOUR times crying.  I can never figure out what causes him to cry during the night.

Gabriel has woken up and came out of his room THREE times.  He was really not "awake".

Oh, the joys of parenting children who have suffered trauma.  Now I can't get back to sleep!