Monday, April 28, 2008


I-171 H is in my hands!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Need I say more?? ;-)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

YMCA Fundraiser

We have been blessed in so many ways on this adoption journey. A friend of mine in MOPS came to me and said that her son wanted to do a fundraiser for us. So they organized a diving for donations day. They collected pledges and dove into the water over and over. It was held at our local YMCA and we all enjoyed it. We can't wait for Christopher to meet Ms Mavery so he can see how his hard work helped us bring her home!

Dear Mr USCIS & The State of Illinois

This is my daughter, you may not recognize her, but I do. Her face is engraved already on my heart. And I Just need you to know, I am not happy. In fact, I am MAD! In china sits my Mavery. Who has now waited almost 30 months of her life for a mommy. And in your office sits you. Doing what? I know it is not sitting and processing my I-600 to turn it into an I-171, which of course is what you should be doing. I have tried to be patient, I really have. But I am now to the point of frustration. Do you realize I am not proud to live in Illinois at this moment? My friends in a neighboring state? They had their I171 back in less than a month. They also did not have to have their home study go through that silly extra step that made me wait even LONGER for you to begin to process my I-600. And Idaho? They are the smartest state ever, 2 WEEKS! And I just don’t understand. We had to WAIT for our fingerprints to get back, which held us up in the beginning. THEN we had to WAIT for our HS to be approved by the state of Illinois, which held us up. We had to WAIT to get our 2nd set of fingerprints, so we could WAIT some more. And so now here we are stuck WAITING. 24 weeks ago I laid eyes on my daughter. 18 weeks ago we had our first fingerprints done. It would be different if we waited on ME to do anything. But oh no, I KNOW why I am doing this. I know that this child is more important than anything else I could be working on. I have a few ideas on how you could make this process better.

**Put a woman in charge. (no offense men) AND the rule should be, she MUST be a mother and she must have adopted. Because only then would she understand the heartache of waiting parents.

**We are paying you A LOT of money to process this piece of paper. And these are CHILDREN we are talking about. Children who wait w/ no families. I would think if anything deserves it’s own job, it would be this. One person who simply approves children to come into the US as a citizen. How hard is it really, we already had all these other steps approve us, what else has to be done?

We are good people I promise. Maybe you have heard stories such as we let a hamster run loose in our house for months. But that should just go to show, how much we believe in freedom of speech! And how NICE we are! We COULD have let the cat run in the basement. The cat who we took in who just showed up on our doorstep. See, we are so nice we take in stray animals! But did we let that cat eat that hamster? No, we just cut off all of his food supply till he was forced to come out of hiding. But that was GOOD. We caught him! That is of course till he died in the cage from being locked up.

Or maybe you have heard that we have no control over our youngest daughter. That we had to install a “cage” on her bed at night to keep her from crawling out. It is not really a cage, honestly! It is just a tent, that zips and I promise you, she loves to remind us to “zip it mamma”. And all those stories of her running races on the dining room table or covering herself in marker or toothpaste or singing her new favorite song nobody’s perfect? Well we really do believe in creative expression. We believe she is going to grow up to be something big, I promise. And we DO have control over her, in a roundabout sort of way….

We DO love Jesus, does that count? Hmmm, maybe not, you are the State.

Oooh, how about this one. I HOME SCHOOL my children, doesn’t that count for ANYTHING? I mean come on, you should KNOW I am insane to keep FOUR Kids home with me all day EVERY day. Well, not insane, I AM sane, so you should trust me to parent another child. But you would not want to drive me over the edge by keeping that little tiny piece of paper from me any longer would you? Come on, do it for the kids?? By the way, I am thankful to Illinois for good home school laws. BAD adoption laws, but home school laws good. Keep up the good work! ;-)

Well no matter what you may have heard, China has approved us. So if you don’t get it in gear soon, I am moving to China, that is it. That is my final offer. And if I go, I am leaving the animals behind, so THERE!


A mommy who wishes she lived in Missouri or Idaho right now…

**For those wondering, we applied for the I-600 and our reciept said we filed on 2/11. We found out they did not start processing it till 3/10. So the counter actually began w/ the 2/11 date. Our home study was held up in Illinois when it went through dcfs. I guess I need to change the counter to reflect the 2nd date. We have not been able to locate any number we can contact w/ out a receipt number, which we were not given. Our Social Worker told us we are not allowed to question it till AFTER we have waited 12 weeks. She says we can expect it after May 5th.

**Will update on the diving fundraiser soon. Want to gather a few more pictures and such.

More Sales for Mavery

I am so sad I did not get pictures of our yard sale on Saturday! I think after the first sale, this one was just not nearly as anticipated on any one's part. We spent the week moving things from our house to Mark's parents, who live in the subdivision w/ the subdivision sale. Funny thing, EVERYONE that helped w/ our first sale, was BUSY this weekend! I can't imagine WHY that would be! ;-) Only the few and faithful remained. hehe! My parents and my dear aunt of course were at the house on Friday to help. And were back at the house by 6am to set up. Which if you know my mother or my aunt, you know this is still considered middle of the night for them! We did manage to get Ms Jenny back for awhile, even after she had been in Chicago all week. And Megan came and helped with whiny children! Yard sale Queen DID offer to help me and came by to check on us, but after having walmart in my own yard this month, Sale #2 seemed like nothing to be honest! We made this time under $400, which does not sound like much after what we made before. BUT it helps. Every dollar helps. Surprisingly, we did not have nearly the people as we did at sale #1, and people were not quite as "generous"! ;-) I guess when you are up against competition in the neighborhood, that is what happens. I did no advertising and our main focus on this sale was, GET RID OF STUFF! We have not parked in our garage all month. And you know what, the stuff is GONE! A truck came after the sale and took it all for a rummage sale a church is hosting. So we felt like we were able to donate it to somewhere that was needed. We did keep back a pile of things to sell on ebay and craigslist, but it is a small pile, a manageable pile! (but a decent money pile, anyone looking for a brand new pair of cole haan boots or a baby bjorn?) All in all a good day for more reasons than one. And while the sales were a ton of work, they were definitely worth it for the cash we made.
We can't wait for today, Diving for Donations for Mavery at the Y! I will take my camera, I promise!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Blessed Again

You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God (2 Corinthians 9:11).

I know I have said it before, but we have the BEST friends EVER. Honestly, we really do. Over and over again I am reminded how blessed we are. You remember a few weeks ago our friends that we traveled to China with WON our navigation system raffle? They had made a VERY generous donation through our chip in which we were just so thankful for. In fact I had called her to ask if she had accidentally typed in that number! hehe! "She said of course, it is what God told us to give." So their number won when we drew numbers. We had not mailed it because they had been out of town etc. So today she emails me and said, they wanted us to KEEP the navigation system, sell it and put the money into our adoption. How nice is that? I am just in awe over and over. In tears over and over. Blessed..
So THANK YOU guys, we love you and appreciate your generosity!
And on the adoption fund front, Yard Sale #2 is coming up on Saturday. We are having it at my in laws, in a subdivision sale. NOTHING compared to before for sure. The kids can't wait, and are marketing Krispey Kream this time around! I for one, can't wait to park in my garage again!
We also are very excited about another fundraiser that a sweet little boy has come up with for us. He does not even know us, just knows that a little girl waits in China and he wanted to help. So he (along w/ his mom, who is in mops w/ me) has organized a REALLY cool event at our YMCA on Sunday. The kids will be "diving for donations". We can't wait to see how that all unfolds and I will be sure to post pictures!
So while we still do not have our I-171, and we are now getting nervous that we may get close to Maverys birthday before we travel, (11/1) we know we are blessed. God IS taking care of us and showing us these sweet reminders of Him through our friends. We are thankful beyond words.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

First Pinewood Derby Race

***Don't miss the quilt blog post, we can't wait to see who will share a square first!!****
Saturday Makenna & Sawyer were in their first pinewood derby race through Awana. They had a blast! Sawyer was all about speed. He did not care what his car looked like, as long as it went fast. Makenna on the other hand, could care less if her car rolled, but it had better look good! I think they both succeeded in that. It was quite fun to watch Sawyer as his car raced. He was SO nervous! He would stand at the starting line and bite his nails and cover his face, to cute!

Makenna won First Place for Design and Sawyer won 2nd place for Speed. Thank goodness, because I was not sure what was going to happen if one of them won something and the other did not! Mark enjoyed working with them on it, I had to wonder was it a dad race or kid race? hehe! We were thankful to Mark's dad for cutting out the guitar car and to my mom for helping Makenna decorate it. They are already talking about next year car designs. Top secret of course!

Friday, April 18, 2008

100 Good Wishes!

I am in the midst of spring cleaning, organizing, tearing apart closets, nesting? Maybe. Anyways, so I come across Sage's 100 Good Wishes Album. And guilt got me, because I had not given much thought to doing a quilt for Mavery. But after pouring back over Sage's book and seeing all those sweet wishes, I knew I had to do one for Ms Mavery. So I am once again asking for your help in welcoming our sweet girl into the family. And while WE are her parents and her siblings, her family also includes all of YOU who have prayed with us and loved her home. With Sage, I was part of a yahoo group that did an exchange for quilt squares. This time I will not be in a group exchange, so I REALLY need you! I have made so many new friends since we did the last exchange and I hope you will be a part of Mavery's quilt. And actually, Sage's quilt is still short squares, so, I would love for you to send one to her if you did not. You can read all the details on our new quilt blog. (Made by blog fairy, isn't it SO cute!?) Many of you are saying, what in the world is this quilt all about! Hopefully it will make more sense to you over there!

And the Earth Shook...

Early this morning, I woke up from a nightmare and in it a building was falling down because it was shaking. I woke up scared to death, heart pounding, wondering what THAT dream was about. A few hours later my sweet friend calls from out of town to make sure we were ok. I said, um yes, should we not be? She then tells me we had an earthquake in my area. Wow! So maybe there was a reason I was shaking in my dream! And maybe there is a reason I should read more news besides adoption news in the mornings!
About 10am we were at church for a playdate, and sitting on the basement floor. I thought I felt the floor shaking, but no one said anything so thought I was imagining it. Then my phone rings and Mark was calling to ask if I had felt that? He said his chair bounced across the basement floor and our ping pong table fell. So much excitment for a Friday! I had to laugh when Jenny (our childrens director) told me she woke up to the quake this morning thinking Jesus had come back for her birthday! THAT would have been some birthday for sure! ;-)
So all is well so far for us and the kids homeschool lessons for today will be all about earthquakes!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


**Warning, if you are an adoptive parent easily offended, don’t read on! ;-)

I read an article recently on some site that was supposed to help you prepare for adoption/travel/your new child, etc.. And I came across this article under a section called whats hot, titled, “Getting rid of gotcha”. Interesting. For those of you who don’t know, Gotcha Day in adoption world, typically refers to the day you meet your child. And so I read the article and once again have found more “rules” in adoption world I just had no idea about! Honestly as I read it thought it was a joke. No, sadly it was true. Apparently saying Gotcha Day is offensive. Maybe you all know this, I must be slow to catch on to these things. Some parents refuse to call it Gotcha day, so they refer to it as

Metcha Day
Forever Family Day
Adoption Day
Family Day
“child's name” day
Siblings Day
And the list goes on.

The article said “ when you catch a mosquito, you say Gotcha. How awful that we use the same term when speaking of our children.” Are you kidding me?

Here is what I have learned. Some people have WAY more time on their hands to dissect the silliest things! Are we seriously that worried about the term we use for that day? Wow! I honestly just had to laugh! Who really cares WHAT we call it? Does it really require writing a magazine article to warn new parents NOT to say gotcha?

August 21st, 2006, God handed me the most amazing gift. I GOT my Sage! WE became a forever family. My life was changed in only ways that God could have ordained. It is among the most memorable day of my life. YOU can refer to it as whatever YOU want, and I will happily refer to it as I want. It is a day I will celebrate till the day I die, and I could care less if it is labeled “Sage’s gotcha, metcha, forever family, placed in her parents arms, planned from the beginning of time, she is a Laxton, Day!”

I guess the thing to me that I just don't get is this. How can we even care what it is called? How can some people look at that day and really worry about the terminology that was used for it. I look at August 21st 2006 and the name is NOT what pops into my head. My daughters face, the way she felt when I finally held her in my arms, the smells, the look in her eyes, THOSE are the things I think about from that day. I can still FEEL the way I felt on that day, the way she felt in my arms. I can promise you, it did not feel as if I was swatting a mosquito! ;-)

So before anyone leaves me a comment telling me I am going to ruin my childrens lives because I don't worry about these things, don't bother. If you want to get rid of gotcha, you go ahead! I have MUCH more important things to worry about like, how can I will an I171 into my mailbox, or how can we possibly get to China near the Olympics or, how can we change the world so every orphan has a GOTCHA day which actually means they all have families! Those are my worries.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Hammy The Hamster is no more..

Well, I guess if you can't escape the cage, you just kick the bucket while in it. Today I went downstairs and checked in on the hamster, and he appeared to be laying at an odd angle. I told Mark he might need to check him out and he said, uh, he is dead. DEAD? The hamster who ran FREE for months on end and escaped us how many times has now died? What in the world am I going to blog about if I can't blog about the hamster and how smart he is! I guess he outsmarted us in the end, he is FREE! Running in the land of passed on hamsters I am sure! ;-)
So were the kids sad? They just wanted to know if they could dig up the backyard and bury him. We read that dwarf hamsters only live a short time, so I guess it was his expiration date. THANK GOODNESS we found him when we did or we would have been in trouble. Oh and can you imagine had I actually sold him to some sweet kid at my yard sale, to have him die on them a week later. My oh my.
One of my friends suggested today that we should stick to kids rather than pets. Probably a smart idea! The good news is, we now have TWO cages to go in our next yard sale pile! HA!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Another Peek at our Princess!

Hi Mommy, blowing you a KISS all the way from China!!!
Look at those cheeks on her! Only a waiting momma can get excited over a glimpse of her little ears! Look how THICK that hair is! You know I am already figuring out what bows to take with me!

Look to the right hand corner, see her coming in! As if to say, don't forget me, my mommy NEEDS my pictures!
Look at that face, isn't she precious!
I am sure Mavery will be so excited to see that I posted her photo wearing split pants for all the world to see!
Simply Beautiful

A family traveled to Jinhua for their daughter and that is how we were blessed with these photos. Their daughter is in the pink and blue that is a little smaller than Mavery. She apologized that there were not more clear of their faces, but can you even imagine the chaos of that moment going on! We are SO thankful for any little tiny glimpse of our precious girl, we are happy with pictures of her backside! Even the side of her face makes me smile. I have studied every teeny tiny detail of these pictures over and over. Where oh where is my I171??

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Andrews Blog

Sorry I have been so behind in posting on Andrew. It has just been a little crazy here! But I know many of you have asked and I wanted to share their blog we have started. Things are going good, as you can read. But do please continue to keep them in your prayers. He is not home yet, and has a long road to go. The other family that had been in a separate accident? Their daughter did pass away last week. So they lost 2 daughters to a car accident, after having lost a daughter in a car accident a few years ago. They have a younger daughter. How does one not become bitter? Only the Lord can help them find peace. Also, Kathy lost her grandmother on Saturday. So it is just one thing after another. But God is good, Andrews leg is looking better and he is ALIVE!!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

YEAH for Team Mavery!

Before the sale begins, you would not believe the stuff we had!
Still before...

Hot Dogs anyone?
Jenny & Michelle wearing Mavery spirit!
Queen of Yardsalers, shopping for a new hat?
Let the shopping begin!

My mom, Kelly & Mark's mom putting out baby clothes

After the sale!

Wow, wow, WOW!! I am not even sure where to begin. I am so overwhelmed and blessed and tired and excited and WOW!!

Ok, so here is how it went down....

Friday we had to be up early to drive to the funeral of my sister in laws mother. Please continue to hold her in prayer. So hard.

We had Megan here babysitting for us. Who had also been here the night before while we attended a banquet. Thank you Megan! While we were gone, she said there was a party going on at our house! Our childrens director came w/ pizza. my mom came to help. Our youth pastor came w/ youth and they carried up the ENTIRE basement of stuff to the garage! YEAH! My friend Renee showed up while we were gone and worked for us, also bringing along food and fun for everyone! They all loved you Renee!

We got home just in time for our Team to show up and WORK some more! We started about 6, and I think it was about 11 when everyone left. We tried to set almost everything up that night, and then covered tables in plastic. We finished the evening w/ prayer. Thank you Amy!
Today we started early. And those who left my house late on Friday, were back at my house at 6:30 today to work. My prayer was, please Lord, let people show up, and please Lord, let your glory shine. Sure we need money, but most important, let us show your love to these people.
Well we had people, LOTS of people! Team Mavery was in full force for sure! My cousin Amy made the cute little name tags, we all wore those in honor of our girl! Aren't they great? The kids were thrilled, they got to have a hot dog stand and had so much fun doing that. We had to threaten them not to knock on the neighbors doors to try to sell them hotdogs!

So, what you all REALLY want to know, WHAT IS THE TOTAL right? We did not keep track during the day. We wanted it all to be a surprise. Our yardsale queen(Amazing Jan, who did SO much work, thank you thank you, thank you) said her goal for us was $2000. I said I would be happy w/ $900. My friends doing check out said they guessed we had made $1300 or $1500....

We made over TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS!!! Praise God! And we still have a few hundred dollars worth of stuff we are pretty sure we can sell online plus another small sale we are doing at the end of the month in a busy subdivision.(we live in the country) God is good, He really, really is.

As I watched this whole day unfold, this whole project unfold, I was just in awe. I could never, NEVER have pulled this off alone. No way. And I thought, who am I, to deserve to have this outpouring of love poured upon us? I am sure not that great of a friend, I can't ever repay anyone for all they have done. And God just whispered, they love you, but they do this because they love ME! And they love Mavery. A little girl, who sits in China as an orphan, but each one of these friends BELIEVES she is supposed to be home, a Laxton, our daughter. So we are once again humbled and blessed and thankful and happy. We got our SON-Shine in more ways that one!

I can't even begin to name names, we had SO many people helping in SO many ways. From sign makers, to pricers, to food makers, to kid watchers, to carriers, to givers to buyers, to money counters, to cleaner upers, to encouragers, to everything in between. We have had people at our house ALOT giving time and energy to make this work. And they really ALL did it w/ a smile! Sadly I missed lots of workers in pictures. We had over 20 here working today alone!

We can't wait for someday when Mavery is home, and we can share the story of the love that surrounded her from here to China! Team Mavery, Helping us Grow!!

Friday, April 04, 2008

A glimpse of GORGEOUS!!

LOOK WHAT WE GOT!! Is she not beautiful? Oh my aching heart NEEDS to hold that baby girl! Yep, that is MY MAVERY! The one on the left in the yellow and blue sweater. They have cut her hair, but that is her! So much to blog about but I have to get up for a yardsale in a few hours so will post tomorrow or after I recover from the sale. Just had to share the gift we got today to see ALMOST a smile on that face!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Shop till you Drop!

Well Saturday we are having the yardsale of all yardsales! We are SO excited and you would not believe what amazing friends we have! The donations have just poured in, we have had at LEAST 20-25 familys donate. And the help in pricing, I would have been SO lost w/ out these amazing girls who have been here many, many days helping to keep me sane. I have had help w/ my kids, people helping to make lunch for workers, friends offering to carry things upstairs. And it even seems the weather is supposed to be good on Saturday! Thank you Jesus for that!

We got sad news this week. My sister in laws mother passed away suddenly. (she lost her father 18 months ago). We will be going down for her funeral on friday morning. please pray for them. And those amazing friends I have? They have stepped up and even offered to RUN the sale if we needed them to be here while gone.

They are making signs, and just being SO encouraging. They are even offering to be here EARLY on saturday! We are so, so thankful for everyone who has helped us out. We can't say thank you enough for all everyone has done for us.

Today as going through the stuff, we came across some sheets and a bedskirt. A brand new bedskirt still in the package. Well, I have been needing a bedskirt, I ruined my old one by drying it. And trying to figure out how I was going to find one to match the comforter we had. Guess what? The brand new one in the yard sale pile? It is the SAME bedskirt I had! It is not just a plain one, it is one that matched the set! Isn't that just like God to give us those sweet little surprises in a pile of yardsale "stuff"! Which is kind of like this whole yard sale. It is ALOT of work for sure. but the blessings I have found in the friends & family helping out are just so sweet.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

AND THE WINNER IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have a video, will post later, but wanted to shout out the winner while I have time! We are so excited to say that #106 was the winner, which is the Gove Family! Now if Sage knew her numbers or who had what number, I am sure she would have been excited to know that she pulled her Evie out! But since she has no clue what is going on, we can promise she did not cheat! So YEAH for the Goves!
Our grand total for the raffle was $1445.00!! We are THRILLED with that and SO, so humbled by the outpouring of support from you all. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. As I cut up the squares with numbers on them last night, I prayed for you by number. As I checked off my list to make sure everyone was accounted for, I prayed for you by name. We feel so very blessed.