Thursday, December 27, 2007

And Her NAME will be

Maveri Jin-Raye Laxton

I have thought the name Maeve was cute for awhile. I was just not crazy about Sage & Maeve together. As I continued to look through baby books, name boards etc. I came up with

Maeve-ry. Mark actually liked it the first time I said it, which was quite shocking. After doing some research on the meaning, we both liked it even more. All of my name books gave me a different meaning, but here they are

Irish Queen

Fragile & Delicate



We are FULL of JOY that she IS our daughter!

I think it flows well w/ the rest of our names, fits good w/ Sage and think it is just perfect.

Her middle name Jin is where she is in China and her last name now. Jinhua Social Welfare Institue, so all babies from there have the last name of Jin.

Raye is after Marks middle name of Richard and my middle name of Faye. All the girls in our house have the Aye sound as their middle name. Makenna KAYlee, Malaine SHAYE, Sage ChenYi MAE. (I am sure my uncle Ray will be happy though to have a child in the family that has his name!)

So, we are glad to FINALLY have a name for our sweet girl. We are still having a hard time changing from Odessa so many times I call her OMavery! HA!

We are still unsure on the spelling though, so we will take your ideas and thoughts on that. If you don't like her name, don't bother to comment! ;-) hehe!

But if you have an idea on spelling, please help! Here are the options we are looking at.







Mark says we should just spell it Mavery, to keep things easy for others to spell it. However, I have to spell every other kids name in the house, so we are used to that.

Thank you again for all your suggestions, it has been great fun!

Mark, Shannon

Makenna, Sawyer, Malaine

Sage & Maveri

On the 12th Day of CHRISTMAS!

It may not have been 12 days of Christmas, but it almost felt that way! We began our celebrating on Sunday and just finished up. We really had a good time, but are glad to finally be able to sit home and rest. Keeping up with presents for FOUR kids is very overwhelming. Along with hosting some of the parties, wrapping, kids who are off schedule, FUN! Last night as we were on our way home, and EVERYONE in the car was screaming, Mark started chanting, "and next year this will be FIVE!" hehe!

We ended our Christmas at Children's Hospital. Our 3 year old nephew Graham woke up yesterday with a bright red stripe running down his arm. They were in town from Kansas City and got to spend the night at the hospital after finding out he had a blood infection. Thankfully he was able to come home today after some heavy antibiotics. Not the Christmas we had planned with Mark's family, but one we will remember for sure. We are just thankful he is doing well.

So once again we are surrounded in mountains of toys, BAGS of trash, our fingers are raw from undoing so many twist ties in those packages, and yet we are reminded of our blessings. God sent His son to be born for US. And He sent each of these children to us, in different ways, but each amazing.

Can't you just picture another sweet baby girl in those pictures next year? I can't wait! Oh and her NAME is coming next!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

In Honor of our Daughter who waits..

There's a little girl trembling on a cold December morn

Crying for momma's arms

At an orphanage just outside a little China town

There the forgotten are

But half a world away I hang the stockings by the fire

And dream about the day when I can finally call you mine

It's Christmas time again but you're not home

Your family is here and yet you're somewhere else alone

And so tonight I pray that God will come and hold you in his arms

And tell you from my heart I wish you Merry Christmas

As I hang the tinsel on the tree and watch the twinkling lights

I'm warmed by the fire's glow

Outside the children tumble in a wonderland of white

Make angels in the snow

But half a world away you try your best to fight the tears

And hope that heaven's angels come to carry you here

It's Christmas time again but you're not home

Your family is here and yet you're somewhere else alone

And so tonight I pray that God will come and hold you in his arms

And tell you from my heart I wish you Merry Christmas

Christmas is a time to celebrate the holy child and we celebrate his perfect gift of love

He came to earth to give his life

and prepare a place for us so we could have a home with him above

It's Christmas time again and now you're home

Your family is here so you will never be alone

So tonight before you go to sleep, I'll hold you in my arms

And I'll tell you from my heart, and I'll you from my heart

I wish you Merry Christmas

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

We just want to wish everyone a VERY Merry Christmas! It is bittersweet this year for us of course. We are having a blast with Sage, as she is VERY into opening gifts or "pesants" as she calls them. She really does not care what is in the package, for her it is all about unwrapping and getting every last piece of paper off of it. And seeing how much candy & cookies she can shove in her mouth before getting caught!
But of course our hearts are filled with someone who is not with us. Amazing how you can all fall so completely head over heels in love in such a short time from just a picture and a dream. We have talked alot about how much fun we are all having here, and yet in China sits our daughter. In her life, there was no plate to make for Santa before bedtime, or visions of sugarplums dancing in her head. No promise of Santa, with a morning full of surprises. No family to surround her in love and hugs and kisses and yes, even lots of candy! So while we are happy here, our hearts are also sad knowing she is ours and we are with out her. Yet, we hold on to the promise that God will hold her for us, and that NEXT year, she will be surrounded by bows, and packages, and cookies and SO many hugs and kisses!
Once again we are reminded of the MANY blessings God has given us in our children, our gifts.
May your Christmas be full of many blessings, but especially Jesus!

Name Teaser..

Some more VERY fun suggestions we have had..

  • Safron (from the spice rack again)
  • Sugar
  • Storie (and she DOES have a story to tell, there is no doubt!)
  • Star (very sweet for Christmas and we DO think she is a shining star)
  • Mage & Sage (Mark said, like my dog has the mage, i mean, mange!) hehehe!
  • Shanmeister (a joker, but a funny one!)
  • Maury (which i like, but mark says povich)
  • Summer or Meadow (Makenna's picks and her ONLY picks!)

You all have been GREAT and I love seeing how everyone thinks. Some of you have faithfully sent me new ideas every day and I LOVE that! I THINK we are finally getting close. We have one we are tossing around, trying out. We THINK it is her name, but we are not ready to share just yet. I will say this about it.

  • No one has suggested it, however
  • someone DID suggest a part of it in the comments
  • We like the meaning as much we like the name
  • We do not know anyone w/ this name

However, we will still take ideas! If you hear something unique, send it on over. I told Mark this is our last child because we are just out of names! hehe!

Friday, December 21, 2007


Every time a child is matched with Childrens House, a poem is written. Today they wrote Odessa's poem and it made me cry! I think it is just perfect.


In China stands Odessa who has just turned two

She's alone in a room with nothing to do

She plays by herself just her and the toys

while quietly ignoring all the girls & the boys

Her fingers wander up to the "bump" on her chest

Within lies the secret she knows is the best

The angel God sent her whispered into her ear

"Fear not, Sweet Child, your family is near

They are gathering papers as fast as they can

For they know YOU'RE a part of God's perfect plan

A big brother to teach you how to play ball

and TWO big sisters to catch you if ever you fall

A little sister from China she's just your size

This family is PERFECT, I tell you no lies

A risk-taking Father and a stay-at-home Mother

They think you are perfect they wanted no other

I want you to know all I tell you is true

that "bump" on your chest is God's sign to you

He had in His plan to make room from the start

to place this big loving family right in your heart."

Name Fun!

You all are great! We have been getting lots of emails and comments and loving them all! Some of my favorites that made me smile are:

From the Pantry..

  • Rosemary and Sage or
  • Thyme and Sage
  • Sage & Spice (but we sure hope she is not a spicy girl, we can't handle 2 in one house!)

From the headlines..

  • Suri or Shiloh if only they did not grace the cover of people magazine every month!

And a few that made me laugh out loud were:

  • Shina from China
  • Shanster
  • Song (since her name is Cong)
  • Modessa (Mark asked, like Mudussa?)

The ones that are on our list so far, but still not sure and in no particular order:

Mataya-means gift from God

Skylar(except that i looked it up on webnursery and seems popular)

Mali (but will she go through life saying it is MALI not Molly!)



Sadee (SO cute, but Sage and Sadee, sounds confusing)

Merci (mark says no, but i just think of how God has shown HIS mercy here)

Maryn or Marys

Morey or Morie

Shyla, Shayla, Shayln ?

We have considered switching the letter, but I just hate to do that to her. Who knew choosing a name was so difficult!

Our agency wrote a poem about her and I will post that soon, SO sweet!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

How we came to grow again

Every good story must have a beginning, and so we will start there…

As you know, we returned from China w/ our 4th child, Sage in August of 2006. Going into that adoption, fellow adoptive friends told me, you don’t go to china just once. And I laughed it off and said, you are not married to MY husband, I am thankful to be going once! And 4 is a good number. I was so thankful the Lord had allowed us to go for Sage. In china, other families said, oh we are doing this again. Not me, I felt done, I felt as if I had to soak in every tiny detail because this was it, I may never return.

Once my feet hit the ground back on American soil, I remember saying DONE, I am SO done! About a week after we returned, Mark was traveling a lot, I was dealing w/ horrible jet lag, adjusting to 4 kids, often on my own, DONE!!

Yet then, the jet lag began to fade. And my memories of China were so strong. And this child that God had blessed us w/, proved to be more amazing as each day passed. The miracle of what had happened was so heavy on my heart. God brought us together. His plan was so much more than I ever could have imagined it to be.

And I began to wonder, what if? What if there IS another child out there that is mine? What if, we DID go back? And so I began to pray. Lord, IF you want us to go back, you are going to have to figure this all out.

Mark and I talked about it, and he said NO, are you crazy, we are done! However, if we ever do go back, I would only consider going special needs.

I began to pray, if you want us to go AND if you want us to go special needs, place that burden on my heart. I began to research special needs. I started watching lists. I should say, we had not considered special needs before. Never even thought about it. We felt so strong that our baby was NOT on the lists we just never looked. And we were right, Sage was waiting for us. So I watched lists and thought, so many things are just not really issues. It also helped that we traveled w/ families that went sn (special needs) and we were able to see their wonderful children. Plus my dear friend Kathy had gone sn and was very helpful in showing us how it really was no big deal.

So I began to watch lists from different agencies and Kathy was a huge advocate for these kids. She sent me TONS of pictures and every time I would look and pray and some I did ask for files on just to find out more info. Mark would glance at them and say no, not yet, MAYBE someday. And I was fine w/ that. The whole time I looked I struggled w/, how do you know? How do you look at a list of kids and say, I will take that one? And leave the others behind. And Kathy kept telling me, you will know.

I had joined a group online w/ Childrens House Intl and I was very drawn to the group. They were so sweet and I just LOVED their camadarie. They were all so caring and close and I kept saying, I would be happy to go w/ that agency. So I watched their lists for a while and there were a few on them that I had files for over time, Makenna even swore her sister was on one list. But I still never felt 100% and Mark for sure never did.
I filled out a pre-application for the agency that would give me a chance to look at their lists before they went public. Mark knew I was filling it out, though he was NOT on board yet.

And on Thursday November 8th, I looked into the eyes of my 5th child.

There was no doubt. I looked into those eyes and I knew. THIS is what it felt like to know your child on a list.

That day was just a normal day. We had MOPS that morning and on the way home, the kids yelled, we have a ladybug in our car! Which is ODD, we don’t see a lot of ladybugs and through Sage’s wait we HUNTED for ladybugs, (ladybugs are supposed to be good luck in china adoption!) So the kids all said, maybe we are getting a baby from china!
And I just laughed, not thinking much on it.

We came in and I saw an invitation to this new list w/ the agency. So I began to pray and got the kids busy doing their things. I sat down and before I looked at each picture prayed again, Lord, IF my child is here, let me know. I kept scrolling through thinking quite a few were sweet, maybe? And then I clicked on a name about half way down the list. The picture pulled up and I literally lost my breath. My heart began to beat so fast and my eyes filled up w/ tears. I continued to pray as I read through the report. One of her pictures made me pause, I had no idea what her sn meant, I just knew it was her heart.
I got her file from the agency, which had all the details.

I asked Mark to look at the list, w/ out saying whom I was drawn to. Because in my head I am thinking, wouldn’t it be AMAZING if he looks at her and says, I think that is our daughter? And he looked and said, nope, no one. So, I gently pointed her out and he quickly did some research on her need and said, nope, to big of a deal. I sighed and said, she at least deserves your prayer over this.

I sent her file to a doctor and he gave her a great bill of health. I found out that a good friend of ours who had a daughter from Guatemala adopted when sage was adopted has the exact same heart condition. Interesting. I continue to pray..

Days pass and they ask us to make a decision if we want to “petition” for her. Other families were interested and so we could write a letter stating why we wanted her. I was ready to petition, Mark was not. It was heartbreaking. I felt SO sure God was telling me she was mine. We were not in a good place. Petition day came and went, and no one ended up taking her. I told the agency, of course they did not, God has told me she is mine. They put her on hold for us, while we continued to pray. But we could not agree so I released her for other families to review.

5 weeks later, and we were still at a deadlock, and this baby girl was still sitting on a list. I was shocked she was there. The agency was shocked she was still there. Mark still said no, we were still in a bad place. Every day I asked the Lord to help me submit to my husband and I tried to lay her down at the feet of Jesus. And then something would make me pause and pick her up again. I prayed on my knees begging the Lord to answer one of us so that we would be united. We finally went in to pray with our pastor together. He was wonderful and encouraging and just honest with both of us. We sat the kids down and prayed and talked things over with them. We explained to them that adding another baby would mean sacrifices for all of us. Money, time, etc.. Mark was telling Sawyer how he worries that they won’t be able to play their board games together as much, etc. Sawyer burst into tears and said “Daddy, if that little girl needs us, then we need to go and get her”.

That evening Mark took off to a hotel to spend a night alone with the Lord fasting and praying. I was just so tired. I spent the evening in doubt. Maybe I am wrong, maybe I can’t handle this, maybe I heard wrong … I was praying and the Lord spoke to me. When we were praying about Sage, God placed the verse Hebrews 11:1 on my heart. Mark was saying no, I felt He had told me we had a baby out there. This verse says
Now Faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see..
I held on to that promise through the entire wait with Sage. So Mark was gone, I began to pray and felt led to look up to find out what Odessa’s birth verse was. And this is what it is..


All the doubts and worries gone. I believe God had told me this was my daughter from the first time I saw her, and I knew she was going to be. Mark came home the next day and said he felt as if God told him to ask Him for a sign. And our sign was to be that if the family who was currently reviewing her wanted her, then we needed to step back. That we should not let her to go committee for the agency to choose. But if that family did NOT feel she was theirs, then he would believe God wanted us to adopt her. So we called the agency and they said the other family asked if they could have 4 more days to decide! I was SCARED! Of course I knew this was the right way to handle it, it was taking it out of OUR hands and placing her in God’s. However, I am human and for all that time I had believed she was mine, what if they did want her? So Monday came and they had not given an answer. We went to bed that night and I was questioning Mark again, maybe we SHOULD go to committee, but he continued to believe THIS was our sign. Went to bed and dreamed she was in my arms in china. Woke up and thought about the date, 12/18 which was the day she was found in china and brought to the orphanage. I just prayed, Lord, even if I am wrong, if she is NOT to be mine, let her be found again by her family forever TODAY. Let this day forever be a testimony in her little life.
A few hours later, the phone rings and I see it is the agency. My heart stopped and I listened while they were telling me that sometimes these little ones come to teach us a lesson and I am thinking, they want her, we are not getting her. Yet then the amazing words, SHE IS YOURS!!!! And I have no idea what she said to me after that, I was speechless! (which is rare you know!)
No doubt in my mind, THIS was God’s plan. We HAD to walk through those weeks of struggle, so that we could tell this baby girl someday, no doubt, you are our daughter. Chosen by God to complete this family.
Of course we have questions and worries. It is 5 kids, it is another adoption and we don’t have the money, our house is chaos now, we home-school and Mark works from home, there is never a quiet moment. Yet we are so blessed and thankful that God has allowed us to have these children. This baby girl is a gift and we will never forget that she is His first.
We are SO thankful to so many of you who have prayed and walked with us through this journey so far, and it has only just begun! We were so nervous to tell our families, thinking they would let us know we ARE crazy! Yet, they have been as excited about her as they were about Sage! We know that she is already on everyone’s heart and already a member of this family.
God has been faithful and loving and we are in awe of HIS mercy.

All about our Daughter

I do have "Our Story" ready to post, but it is LONG and so I thought I would do a post simply on Odessa. (we are calling her this till we have her name). We did find her on a waiting child list, we were not with the agency and we have not started any of our paperchase yet. She has tetralogy of fallot, a heart condition that has already been repaired in china when she was a baby. We have had her reports looked at by a heart specialist and feel very confidant that her health is fine. She will need yearly check ups w/ the cardiologist. The doctor told us she seemed small and would probably always be small.
Her report says that she
  • Knows what no means
  • Gives out things when being asked.
  • Is cooperative when being dressed. (unlike her sister! ha!)
  • Is timid and shy(hmmm)
  • likes to play with toys alone
  • smiles alot(just not in the pictures)
  • Does not like to be touched by strangers(GREAT!)
  • Obstinate sometimes

So sounds like a perfect compliment to her Spicy Sister! hehe!

Her reports and pictures are all from June of this year, and I do not know that we will have anything else on her before travel.

We were told that typically you travel about 4 months or so after your paperwork goes to China, so maybe about 9 months from now? MUCH faster than our journey to Sage.


For 6 weeks now, the baby has been Odessa, that is what the agency has called her. They give each of the babies an american name once they get the list in. We have been calling her that, but we will not be keeping that name. (though I really love it!) She HAS to have a name that starts w/ the letter M or S to follow in our pattern. Technically we are due for M, but since she is almost Sage's twin, S works to! Lots of cute names out there, but we have not found THE name. And we are finding out how annoying that is to not have her named when we talk about her, tell about her, etc..
So we need HELP!! Send us your ideas and remember, nothing is to odd for our family! ;)
  • Mark
  • Shannon
  • Makenna
  • Sawyer
  • Malaine
  • Sage
  • ?????

Has to be creative, if we have one in our church nursery, it is out! ;) So put your thinking caps on and if you come up w/ THE name, I might have a prize for you!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Here We Grow AGAIN!!!!

So many stories to share of how God has brought us to this amazing child, we have NO DOUBT, she was brought to us by HIM!!! Until I have time to share that with you, enjoy the pictures!

Stay Tuned Today....

I have warned you, one just never knows what they might find when they visit.. BIG news coming today..

And turn up your volume for a hint..

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Santa Claus

Last year we never made it to visit "Ho Ho" so this year was Sage's first time to sit w/ him! She really studied him while we were in line and we were talking it up, thinking she would NOT go to him. But he came over to us in line and was playing w/ her and she sat right on his lap! Now, getting her to smile was impossible, but I was just happy she did not scream!

When Santa asked Sage what she wanted for Christmas, she immediately pointed to the bowl of candy canes and said "CANDY". Now THAT is a request Santa can handle!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Makenna's Christmas Poem

The snow falls to the ground

People cheerful all around

Putting up the Christmas tree

Everyone is filled with glee

You put up your Christmas lights

Then Santa comes that night

The smell of Christmas cookies in the air

A time when people always care

God's son came to earth that day

Even though his bed was hay

So remember on Christmas it's about someone

It is about God's son

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

In Honor..

In Honor

Of a mother

In China

who loved my daughter

enough to let her go

in a place she would be found

and brought to me

Our hearts cry for her loss

but are thankful for her

May she find God

and peace in her heart

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Sage's Birthday Pictures

For some reason Sage's birthday picture post just went up, so make sure you scroll under the slide show to see those.

Monday, November 19, 2007

I love you more...

I know there is something hiding in this package for me, where is it!
Because every little girl should have a pink kitchen at 2!
I am the birthday girl!
Two is kind of hard!

" Happy to me!" (and this is how she says it!)
Kisses to all
I am TWO cute!
Happy to me, happy to me..
And she could not wait to blow the candles out!

Oh, I can hardly believe it! 2, my baby is TWO! Terrifyingly, terrifically, TWO!!! I often blog about how spicy our Sage is, but she is also SO sweet! Someone at church made a comment one day and said, "Sage is the poster child for adoption". And she just is. She LOVES everyone, and knows no stranger. And if you think you are going to get by her w/ out saying hi, think again! She can't hardly stand it if someone ignores her. We all say here, "who is cute" and in her sweet Sagey voice she yells ME! She is a people person and just happy. Some Sage stuff for 2

  • She talks, ALOT! And her voice is NOT quiet! I am amazed by how many things she says now. To many words to even count. I love you and hug me are our favorites to hear.

  • She asks to sit on the potty, but when you are a spicy girl, sitting does not last long!

  • LOVES to read. Which is the ONLY thing that gets her to sit for any length of time.

  • Dia(dora) is her favorite. She likes the show for background noise, but is very excited to see anything w/ her on it.

  • Still attached to the mer mer(pacifier) we TRY to only let her have it when in bed or for car rides. When I walk into her room in the morning, she throws it down in bed and says night night mer mer. And in the car as soon as we stop she hands it to me, here mama. Maybe by 3 it will be gone!

  • She is an AWESOME sleeper, praise the Lord! When you live life as full as she does, you can only CRASH to get your energy back up!
  • Enjoys art, mainly drawing on herself or any other object besides paper, but we are proud of her creative abilities to find all those amazing places to draw! ;)
  • Can dress herself and is quite excited about that.
  • Has a very strong opinion of what she wants and does not want.
  • Is a HUGE daddy's girl. And Papa's girl.

Sage ChenYi Mae, my 2 year old. Delivered to us straight from the hands of a loving Father. A Father who loves her more. He made her for this family and she is more than we could have ever imagined. Happy Birthday Baby Girl!