Saturday, November 23, 2013

And his name is......

Names are HARD.

Naming your 6th child is REALLY hard.

ESPECIALLY when you have created a name pattern that you are stuck in.

With Makenna, we just loved the name, that happened to start with M, like Mark. 

Sawyer, we just loved the name. That happened to start with S, like me. 

But then we realized that we were 2 S and 2 M names so when it came to Malaine it felt like she was being left out if we did not use the same letters.

And so it went, we followed the pattern for every child. Though Sage and Mavery got a bit confusing and out of order because Mavery is older than Sage but up for the M letter.

Mark, Shannon, Makenna, Sawyer, Malaine, Sage & Mavery

So we knew this boy of ours was going to be S and would then put our names back in order.

Mark, Shannon, Makenna, Sawyer, Malaine, S name, Mavery & Sage.

But there was a struggle. When I first met our son over a year ago while working at the orphanage, my girls on the team nicknamed him Taylor.

Because they said he looked like Taylor Lautner. He actually kind of does, doesn't he?? :-) 

So that has stuck. We have prayed for Taylor for the last year, we have loved him, and known him as Taylor.

He does not go by this, we just give the kids American names for us to keep track. Chinese names are just not as easy.

Getting past Taylor is difficult, but we knew it was an S name. Saylor was suggested, but I have always loved that for a girl.

We asked for suggestions, we  I looked on every name site out there, we prayed, we tried a few and one has finally settled.

It is still hard. But we hope by sharing with everyone else it will help it settle even more.

We know that many do not like our name choices, and that is ok. Yes, we like unique and different.We know everyone has thoughts and opinions, and that is ok too. You adopt, you name your child. We get to name this one. :-) 

And so our new son & brother will be named.....

 His full name will be Syler Blane ChenLang Laxton

Chinese part still being worked on so that is subject to change.

If you are curious, the ones we were choosing between were:

Shepherd (though I was the only one liking this) 

Someone actually suggested Syler to me on Facebook and now I do not know who, but it went on my list and we all kept going back to that.

Actually Sawyer fought hard for Shaw, because he is studying Shaw in literature and said he’s cool.

But Syler just feels right. We can call him Sy for a nickname. Which has actually been on my list for YEARS. WAY before Duck Dynasty. :-) 

Blane is actually after his 2 uncles, Brett Laxton & Shane. We try to combine family names for all of our kids. 

Today we sent off a package we have been working on. Filled with love. We went to Build a Bear recently to build his bear and the lady asked his name. We told her and when she stuffed those hearts in that bear and said, you all are putting lots of love in for Syler, my eyes filled with tears. 

 To hear someone else say your child's name out loud, it just felt so right.

Syler, our son.  

And yes, we stuffed that bear full of love, a heart for each of us along with our voices. (which may or may not just scare him to death!) I hope Syler will feel all the love we have poured into that package and that it will give him hope. He is wanted, he is chosen and he is SO loved. 

 Mark, Shannon, Makenna, Saywer, Malaine, Syler, Mavery & Sage

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sage is 8!!!

My baby is 8! EIGHT! That sounds SO old, and it feels so old. I remember being 8 so I KNOW it is old! Though she continues to tell me, I will ALWAYS be your baby, even when I am so old! 

Sage is our free spirit child. EASY. Quiet. SO easy... Happy. Really this one is hardly ever in a bad mood. She is never bored, she entertains herself like nothing I have ever seen. She is brilliant and I can say that because I did not pass on any of that to her! Her mind and the way she thinks amaze us. She loves her gymnastics and is thrilled to have mastered the running back handspring recently. THREE in a row! (I hold my breath a LOT!) 

This is such a picture of how Sage rolls. This was on our trip to Florida. She never complains, just gets comfy and settles in for the ride! I often wish I could be more like this child. Letting everything roll off my back, if things don't work out, just try a new path. Just stay happy! 

Happy 8th birthday baby girl! Love you to the moon! 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Orlando Vacation 2013!

 We had a magical vacation in November. We had debated going but so glad we did. I know it will be quite some time before we are able to do anything like this. So thankful for my parents who give generously to help make a vacation like this possible. Weather was perfect! Crowds were not bad. And the kids are the BEST ages to do this. No naps needed! It also helps that my littles are tall enough for almost everything. My kids are thrill seekers for sure! 

 Of course getting a group of 9 plus a dog around can be tiring. But overall it was really a great trip. We visited Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure. Sea World and Magic Kingdom. 
Sporting our Team Spirit for our Chenzhou "family"! 
Universal was amazing with Pixie and if you have a service dog along no worries. Disney was NOT so amazing with Pixie and I am still disappointed. Which is fine. Our family really preferred Universal anyways. 

 We are all big Harry Potter fans so that was a huge draw for us. We LOVED everything about it! Malaine was thrilled when chosen for the wand ceremony. Even Sage has read the first 2 books so seeing it all come alive was so much fun! Shopping at Honey Dukes, trying Butterbeer, eating at the Three Broomsticks, and of course flying through the movie! 

In the end we needed a vacation from our vacation but loved every single minute. Our family is going to change SO much in the next year, it was good to take this time to really enjoy each other and just play! 

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Thinking of a brown eyed boy...

I am now officially behind on Makenna, Malaine and Mavery’s birthday posts. I will catch up.

But today I am thinking of a boy.

A boy who is never far from my thoughts.

What will we name him? Where will he sleep? When will we go? Will he be happy to see me? Will he be disappointed when he finds out I am sometimes crabby and get tired and not always as patient as I am with the kids there? Will he go to school? Will he like Chick Filet? Is he going to think our house is crazy? Is he going to give me a hard time about taking showers? (well of course he is, after all he IS a boy!!!)

On and on the questions roll through my mind.

Never doubt, and never fear. When God spoke him into my heart, He breathed a peace into me that erased any worries I had.

But there will always be questions. I am his mother. My kids accuse me all the time of asking to many questions of them.

I just want answers, and they don’t always like that.

With this boy of mine, there are SO many questions and I am not going to get answers. No matter how much I get him to talk.

What did he look like when he was a baby?

What did he look like as a toddler or even as a 5 year old?

I wrestle with that. The earliest picture I will have of my son is at 7 years old.

Today I read an article of a mom sharing some of what her adopted children shared about their past.  It was gut wrenching. What our children survive through, we can’t even fathom.

And as I read, I was reminded of WHY I knew we had to return for him. I have seen firsthand how those kids treat each other.

Survival of the fittest.

Is my son one of the “fittest”?

He is attending school outside the orphanage. This is good! But…

Charlie talked of how when he attended the “normal” school the kids made fun of him.

So, is school good or bad for my son?

Is the orphanage all day better?

It is a HARD place to go to, the unanswered questions can lead to fear.

Not fear of him but certainly fear FOR him. I will admit to that.

So in those moments of fear that want to take hold and paralyze my mama heart that is crying for my son to just be tucked safely in my wings, God whispers.

He is MY son first. I have held him for 8 years of his life. I have led you on a road to meet him, fall in love and now I have matched you together. TRUST ME.

What else can we do?

I trust in the one who has changed a husbands heart time and time again to saying yes we need more children.

I trust in the one who has allowed me to be a part of life inside this orphanage. 

I trust in the one who holds my son closer than I can.

This week we are in Orlando, The Happiest Place on Earth!

We have had this trip planned for well over a year, long before adoption plans. Or knowing when we would get Mavery's service dog! 

This summer we debated going, but felt it was important to have this family time before our lives change again.

Now going KNOWING who our child is, makes things a bit different. We want him going too!

But I will enjoy this time with my 5. Thankful to be able to have this week.

 **If you will, pray that we get our LOA (letter of approval) quickly! The faster it comes, the faster we go!  

Friday, November 01, 2013

Mavery is 8!!!

If anyone had a memorable birthday this year it would be Ms Mavery! 2 weeks before she turned 8 she met her new service dog and friend, Pixie! THEN on her actual birthday we drove for our vacation to Orlando, Florida!  Not sure that will ever be beat! 

Mavery has continued in gymnastics this year, and she is really good! She enjoys school and while routine IS good for her, I am also seeing that being home can be really good too. 

We still see her heart doctor every 6 months and the last report was good. No change in 2 years now, which is a huge praise! We know eventually there will be more surgeries but we are thankful if we can put them off till she is older. (and when technology is even better) 

Mavery continues to keep us on our toes. I know I say it over and over but I know the Lord has given Mavery to us to teach us. She has stretched us and grown us more than we ever knew we needed to grow. Some days I don't care to learn, I never was a very good student. But in those moments when I stop and ENJOY the stretching, I see God's hand so strongly on all of us. 
Mavery loves BIG and I know that God has BIG plans for her life! Happy 8th birthday sweet girl! You are deeply loved.