Monday, September 29, 2014

6 months with Syler & Mercie!

6 months.

SIX months together.

Half of a year.


I remember after getting home thinking of what life would be like in 6 months, and it seemed SO far away.

I looked forward to being able to write that post, knowing that we would be feeling more settled, calmer, SLEEPING.

But also not wanting those 6 months to fly by, as life seems to do.

And here we are.

177 days ago we met our children.

It is already getting hard to remember life before them.

And thank God we don’t have to imagine life with out them.

I have been reminiscing over our time in China, reading back over my blog, looking through photos.

They are not the same children we met that day on the other side of the world.

And we are not the same people that flew around the world as parents of 5, to become parents of 7.

Those 5 children are forever changed as they embrace their new siblings.   

God has given us a front row seat to watching Him create beautiful things.

He has shown us that we are weaker than we wanted to be, but SO so much stronger than we ever imagined possible.

He has shown us that when we throw our arms wide open, when we ask him to lead us where our trust is WITHOUT borders, wherever He calls us, our faith WILL be made stronger.  He will take us deeper than we ever imagined.

And He will walk with us.

In 6 months we have watched Him bring our new children to LIFE.  

We have watched sorrow turn to JOY.

We have watched HOPE come from where there was once none.

God has made beautiful things out of all of us.

He has made them new.

They are Laxtons forever and while people still tell us they are so lucky, we know better.

WE are the lucky ones.

It is often said, can you imagine what their life would have been like if they were still in China?

And I can’t help but think what MY life would be like if they were still in China.

YES of course, I know that God has rescued these children, they are no longer orphans.

But in the process we come to know the Rescuer more and more, and really, isn’t that what this life is all about?

Adoption. Changes. Lives.

No one should walk away from watching & be unchanged. 

This is my prayer anyways.

If someone sees our family and doesn’t see the Rescuer, the one who has saved ALL of us, we are not living the way He has called.

I want people to look at us and not think of how CRAZY it looks (because oh it really is!!) BUT how God has made beauty from ashes.

So, how IS life with 7 kids? How are they adjusting? Are we done yet? J

Life with 7 kids is as you can imagine it is, but probably not quite that insane.  It never feels like that many till I have to tell someone how many children I have and give their ages. As I watch their eyes grow large and sometimes their mouth drop open, I am reminded 7 is not so normal for most.

Well that and when I have to get all 7 out the door for church on time. Why is it Satan moves in to our houses on Sunday morning as we prepare to go and worship our Father? No matter how much we prepare the night before!

Now at first everything seemed like I had SEVEN kids. Getting food on the table, laundry, baths, TEETH, etc and so on.

Not to mention the grocery bill. But besides the grocery bill pushing a cart full of groceries for 9 people!!

As the months have gone on, 7 doesn’t seem like so many. We have all settled in. Dinner is calmer, bedtime routine is down.

Though Sunday mornings still 
need some work!

Let’s start with Mercie Fei. Our baby girl. Oh the sweetness that pours out of her. She has this house wrapped around her tiny finger. I am not sure I ever talked about the way my olders were hesitant about adopting her. They were GREAT with an older child, but another baby? WHY???

And then she came home. They saw her terrified and anxious.

God moved their hearts in mighty ways and they have been Fei Fei’s biggest cheerleaders.  Sawyer definitely had to work the hardest, she was so nervous with any males. But watching him with her and how much she loves her biggest brother are so special.

We do still call her Fei Fei, though we try to say Mercie at times, and she responds to Mercie. She does call herself Fei Fei, which she just learned this week.

Language is slow.  You might be able to understand a handful of words. No being the loudest followed by Mama, which she can say in 100 different tones.

She still sleeps in our room, right next to our bed. She feels safe and secure and right now that is what we want. The fact that we are a bit out of bedrooms is also part of this.

She is hilarious and so stinken cute honestly we can hardly stand it. Her hair gets curlier the longer it gets. She is still such a tiny pixie and fits in as our baby just perfectly.

When I look back at the photos of her in China I am shocked. It is hard to remember how much she hated me, how sad she was, how EMPTY she felt.

God has breathed life into Mercie. She giggles all the time, she rarely cries, she hugs & kisses freely and you can just see the light that shines from her.

There are moments I remember wondering if my story was going to actually include her. The fear I felt as we pursued her, begging God to let her be ours.

And now she is!

Our sweet son is doing AMAZING. Everyone told me you will be shocked in 6 months, and I AM.

Syler has embraced his role in our family and hasn’t looked back.

Language is booming. He is in 3rd grade and in the same class as Mavery at school. He has an amazing Christian teacher and the school has gone above and beyond in helping him. We do not have ESL classes but they are doing everything possible to help him succeed. He works so hard and you can tell he is just smart. Things come easier for him than some.  We struggled on sending him vs homeschool.  We wanted to make sure he felt secure and loved before sending him off. It is good when you see God confirming your choice as we watch him blossom at school.

He is VERY laid back (thank the Lord!) and calm. He is snuggly and full of hugs for his mama. He is all BOY and is happiest running around outside.

He eats everything. We joke about how he did not want to try things at first and turned his nose up at most things. Now there is nothing he does not inhale. Seriously, he is the least picky in my house. He says “Mama make good food”. J

We very rarely see defiance in him, unhappiness, jealousy etc.. He and Sage had some competition going on for a while but that has even gone away.  Recently I found a ton of GUM, chewed gum hidden on the floor beside his bed. But once we talked it through (and took away gum chewing for a time) we have not had problems.

Seriously he is like the perfect child and has made older BOY child adoption look easy.

He holds us accountable to family devotions every night and prayer before meals. Recently his cross fell off his wall and he was holding it. I asked him “Syler who is that cross about.”. He answered Jesus. And I said “who is Jesus?” He quickly answered Jesus is God.

6 months and my son can say the name of Jesus.

Because HE has rescued us.

Of course Syler does not understand all of how God has written His story quite yet. But everyday we point life back to the author.

Someday Syler will have such a story to share. Unlike his sisters, He does remember life in China. And while I know these memories could make him bitter, we continue to pray that they will make him better.

Better at seeing the Rescuer and how His plans are always best.

I realize older child adoption is not for everyone. And how scary older BOYS can seem.

But we are here to say if God is nudging you in that direction, He will make it beautiful.

Sometimes it seems we are ALWAYS teaching Syler. How to speak English, school stuff, how to act in situations, manners, rules, schedules, the list goes on and on.  AND on.

But in reality, Syler has taught us more than we will ever teach him.  No matter the situation Syler NEVER complains. He looks at everything as an adventure. He accepts what is given to him and never gets down. If it were ME walking in his shoes I would never get over my pity party. Learning a language is HARD work. Going to school and not understanding the other kids is hard. When everything is new for me, it is HARD. And I whine and carry on. But not my son. He just smiles.

There are times that I am tired. It IS a lot of kids. It is such a variety of needs. I am parenting toddlers AND teens. (for the record, they are both hard! Toddlers are physically EXHAUSTING. Teens are mentally EXHAUSTING!)

But in those moments when I get frustrated, it all comes down to me and my selfishness. I would love to have the time to do things for ME. I miss writing. I should exercise. I like shopping ALONE. I don’t want to help with homework or homeschool or change a diaper or well you get the idea.

Then I look around me and see how much God has given me. SO much more than I deserve.  I look at my children, each of them, and see how God has grown their hearts. I think of the ones we have left behind in that orphanage, who are dying inside as they hope for a family.

praise God for being our HOPE.

I make comments often, “IF we adopt again, etc and so on” Tonight someone said back, It is not IF but WHEN….

Quite honestly right now I have no idea if our family is complete. (for the record, IF we adopt again, the child MUST be pottytrained!! Ha!)

I have no idea how God will continue to write our story.

Maybe this is our 7th Heaven and we are done. 

Maybe it is more. (there is such a gap between the 3 and Mercie, I mean really, I DO like having twins!)  ;-)

Whatever it may be, I trust in the One who brought us this far. 

The one who has allowed me to see these 2 beautiful children, who grew in my heart for so long, blossom to LIFE in my arms.

6 months since FOREVER..