Giving Tuesday. Yes, we know it’s still 20 days away. But, we can’t wait to share with you what we are requesting donations for. It is just too exciting! So, without further ado, we are happy to introduce you to our Angels in Adoption. Four MAA Families who have endured the unthinkable. Four MAA Families who knew the risks, and said Yes regardless, because it meant a Yes for their child. These four families have been to the brink, and are all still working their way back. Their days are filled with medical appointments, surgeries, unknowns, heartache, worry, but ultimately, joy. So.much.joy despite the hard. Despite being in the trenches. So, it is for these Four MAA Angels in Adoption that we are reaching out to you. Our dream is to shower them with love, and gratitude, and support. They have poured out their hearts and souls into their children, and it’s time to pour into them. Their lives have been turned completely upside-down due to the intense medical needs of their children. So, we want to just do a little something to say, “We see you. We notice you. We love you.” Whether it’s a Target gift card to help with the holidays, or a much needed night out for Mom and Dad, our goal is simple – to give just a little something to four MAA Angels in Adoption who continue to give their everything, day in and day out.
Over the course of the next 20 days, we are going to introduce you to these families. We are going to share with you what they are going through, in hopes that you will share what you can with them. And because we are so dedicated to this, we, too, are going to share. We will match your donations for each family.*
First, meet the Sims, and their son Max….
The morning of March 19th, 2018 we had the amazing blessing of becoming the forever family of Max Xiaonan, who had fought, at his short age of 4 years old a battle of cancer (bilateral retinoblastoma). He had won the battle but had lost one eye, his left eye. He received numerous treatments, including systemic chemotherapy, and doctors in China were able to save his right eye, though it was left with poor vision.
Our precious Max came home with us on March 30, 2018, and we started the journey of becoming his new family, his new life. He is always smiling and happy! Asking all kinds of questions and wanting to touch and smell everything! Haha!
After getting adjusted for a bit, we took Max to his first eye doctor appointment, which went well. The doctor said he could see there was something, but couldn’t tell if it was scaring or something else. The determination was that Max needed to see a specialist and be checked under anesthesia.
The day was finally here…his first EUA (Examination Under Anesthesia)…as a side note when he was asked what kind of smell he wanted for his mask (they have different smells for the kids: bubble gum, strawberry, cotton candy, etc.) he said chicken!! I want chicken smell..LOL.
Anyway, the EUA was supposed to take 30 to 45 minutes, but instead took 1 hour and 15 minutes. When the doctor came into the room he had two more people with him, and their faces said it all…Max had 4 active tumors! FOUR! And they were big ones!
Wait..what??? Our son?? The little one we just brought home??! The one who barely understands English and is just learning to love his family?! The one who asks why daddy’s face is dirty because he doesn’t understand that man can grow a beard?! The one learning to eat cake? The one who can’t eat ice cream because it is too cold?! Noooo! This CAN’T BE!! He can’t start fighting cancer again….not again!! He is only 29 lbs! 4 years old and 29 lbs! He can’t fight cancer when he is so tiny! When we have so much loving yet to do!
Well…deep breath…..here we go…July 30th we traveled to St. Jude in Memphis, TN. August 1st we got his second EUA. Doctors couldn’t understand how he could even see because his eye was so damaged, but they said they were going to do their best to save it as it was his only eye. They started treatment right away. They also ran tests looking to see if the cancer had metastasized, which it hadn’t, thank God!.
Every ten to fourteen days, we went back to St. Jude in Memphis for treatment or to the Big House as Max calls it…because to him it just looks like a big house and it has toys everywhere. The nurses and staff love Max…he always has a smile or something funny to say! And he is always hungry! Wanting to eat chicken, and was quick to discover St. Jude’s cafeteria tater tots! Ha! His favorite! The volunteer from the EUA playroom said she has never seen a kid as full of joy as Max, even when his eye sight was getting worse and worse he was still so happy and didn’t mind playing and just living his life to the best!
Unfortunately, September 19th, yes, six months from Gotcha Day! We got some devastating news – Max had some new tumors. These were looking really bad, and the doctor was really concerned that the cancer could spread to the brain if we didn’t enucleate his remaining eye soon enough. Although the decision was really hard, we didn’t want to take the risk of metastasis so we scheduled the surgery for October 10th, 2018.
We went back home and for the next two and half weeks decided we were going to help Max experience everything we could, and give him all the fun visual memories possible so that he could remember all that before going blind. With the help of family and friends he got to see a police car, fire station, fire trucks, went to Branson, MO and the amusement park, got on a monster truck, he saw a Christmas tree, we painted pumpkins, we celebrated his birthday (early) so he got to see his cake and blow his candles. He had so many good memories! We pray he will never forget them!
On October 10th Max had enucleation of his remaining eye, which left him completely blind. He has reacted amazingly well! He is as joyful and perky as he has always been! Nothing stops him! Not even a week after surgery he was bouncing and jumping around singing and praising God, singing one of his favorite worship songs.
Although he has a few bad days, where he feels a little overwhelmed, the majority of the days are excellent. Our child is teaching us that no matter the circumstances, we have the choice to be happy and play, or to stay in a corner and cry. And even though doctors and experts have told us that we saved his life by adopting him, we believe that God brought Max here in the right time, and for a reason. Our son will show the world, living his life as a testimony.
While our goal is to raise funds on Giving Tuesday (November 27), we welcome you to make your donation whenever you feel so moved between now and then. You can donate directly on our website, or send a check to:
1102 Society Drive
Claymont, DE 19703
100% of donations will go towards the Sims Family, and our other three Angels in Adoption. Please specify on your donation that it is for Giving Tuesday.
*MAA will match donations up to $4,000