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Showing posts from 2015

Why we are "still" adopting

Since announcing my pregnancy, there have been many questions that I thought could come, and I had prepared answers to these, ready to give a well thought out answer.  Thankfully, no one was so bold or curious as to ask.  Yet still, in case anyone is wondering, I thought I would answer one question.  Why are you still adopting?  Some people did come close to asking. Or, at least, they gave indications that, in their opinion, it would be best if we didn't.  And, I think if this were our first adoption, I may have been more nervous to proceed.  And, if our sole purpose to adopt was simply to fill a desire to have more children, then we would probably have stopped the adoption.  But, that is simply not the case.  Although we love our children and are happy to have more, we were pretty content with our three boys.  But, we knew God was calling us to adoption.  There was more behind our yes to adoption than just simply wanting to have more children (that more will be covered in a momen…

The Murphy Family 8.0 - The details

Yesterday I posted the above picture to Facebook with the caption: 


The Murphy Family 8.0. Coming in 2016!  #thismomsgonnaneedlotsofgraceandlotsofcoffee #adoptionrocks #andsodobabies
And that was it.  No real explanations.  In some ways, I did want people to stare at the picture and attempt to figure it out.  I was trying to be slightly creative.  But, I did want to share further details, for anyone who did not wade through the comments and read my replies to questions.
So here are the details:
- As you all remember, we are adopting the cutest little two year old boy, Thomas Joseph, or TJ. We expect him to be home late February or early March.
- We are also having a baby!  I am right around 17 weeks pregnant, due May 9, 2016
- Because I am old of advanced maternal age, there are some pretty amazing tests they can do, simply by taking my blood, that can tell, with around 95% accuracy, if the baby has any genetic disorders, etc.  This blood test can also tell you the sex of the baby.  We are h…

She remembers . . .

Felicity has been in our arms for 10 months today.  And over that 10 months, I have prayed about, thought about, and felt sadness for Felicity's losses.  Mainly the loss of her birth parents.  The loss of everything she knew. The loss of her culture.  But, somewhere along this journey, I forgot that she lost one very special person to her.  Just weeks ago, I was reading a book on brain development that stated most children under the age of two will not have any memories because the brain is developing new neural pathways so quickly that they simply do not remember.  Well, the book was not exactly accurate . . .
One morning I was in the kitchen washing dishes.  The boys were in the living room. One of the boys had pulled out our family photos books.  They love sitting down and looking at these books filled with wonderful memories of our family.  Felicity had crawled into Joshua's lap and began looking on.  Suddenly, I heard Felicity say "Mama."  And no sooner did she …

Midsummer update and a few more photos of our son

This space has gotten quite quiet for the last several months.  Life is happening and as much as I love this space, I find little time to document all that is happening.

The summer has been busy with many fun and crazy things happening.

9 months ago THIS happened . . .





It is so hard to believe that it has already been 9 months!  Felicity is doing amazingly well!  She had her palate surgery in January and is currently going through speech therapy.  She is saying more and more, but I think we may be the only ones who truly understand what she is saying!



The boys are doing well. We have had fun adventures in Harpers Ferry and vacation in Cape Cod.  They all swam on the swim team and Andrew made his first B meet!!



In June we were rear ended (badly), our van was totalled. Thankfully, the worst of the injuries seem to be me, but thankfully Physical Therapy is helping a bunch.  Thanks to my father who spent countless hours looking for a vehicle for us and found us a new (to us) Town and Coun…

An open letter to my son

Dear Joshua,

You know I watch you.  Watch you as you swim each stroke.  And I see the dissapointment in your eyes as you hop out of the pool; hitting the wall after others.  And I want you to know something my wonderful son.

I see you dive in, swim the pull out effortlessly.  You come up and begin the breaststroke.  And watching you, it truly is a thing of beauty.  My eyes well with tears as I watch you swim.  You are beautiful to watch in the water.  You know that I think that.  It is not just because I am your mom, but because, as I see you swim, swim against others that are faster, I see the care that you put in each pull, in each glide of the stroke. Not all swimmers have the beauty and grace you do in the water as you swim breaststroke, even if they get to the finish line faster.

I want you to know that it matters. What you do, how you do it.  It matters.  This is your art and the beauty with which you complete each stroke, is giving glory to God.  And it not only makes me smile,…

A reflection on the year

We are on vacation this week. Being in Cape Cod usually makes me wax poetic and reflect a lot.  This year is no different.  I have been thinking about the last year. Being here, at this moment, has brought up a great deal of memories.  Last year at this time, two days into our vacation, we got a call that our agency had gotten the hard copy of our LOA.  That is the moment in the adoption process where time finally seems to speed up and you are literally on the fast track to China.  Just a few more steps and a few more documents and you are boarding a plane to China.  For me, it was when the yearning to just get Felicity home got worse and I just wanted to be on the other end of those documents.  So, when we sat on  the same beach that I wrote LOA in the sand and posted for the world to see, the flood of emotions came back; but this time Felicity was right there with me. Smiling and swimming and falling asleep in my arms.  There was a full circle sort of sweetness and joy to it all.

But…

What is He asking you?

Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”“No,” they answered.He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for…

His name (and a picture too)!

A little over a year ago, I wrote a post called "Her name (and a picture too)!"  If someone would have told me that I would be writing a similar post in a year, I would have laughed at them.  It is all too fitting that my morning devotional started with the She Reads Truth Bible Study: Women in the Bible and I read about Sarah.  Oh, how we all often laugh in disbelief at God's promises.

It took us a while to figure out a name for our little guy.  Here we had pictures, videos and the certainty that God was calling us to adopt him, but we had no name. No idea of a name.  He was born right around the Feast of Pope St. John Paul.  A great man, and amazing saint.  But, everyone has a John Paul and as much as I love the saint, I was not too thrilled about naming one of my children after him (it is a character flaw, I rarely like to do what "everyone else is doing").  He was found on the Feat of All Saints (November 1st), an incredible feast day and one of our signs …

God is a much better writer than I am

These next few days mark big dates in our home. 
One year ago tomorrow we got the call that all adoptive families wait for and a few minutes within that call, we saw a picture of Felicity for the first time.
6 Months ago today, she was placed in our arms. Forever.



And today she is a thriving, happy little girl whom we all love. In the book of our adoption, this is a perfect place to end the story. To say “and they all lived happily ever after.” After all, most fairy tales end before the nitty gritty of life begins.
But, God has a few more chapters He is writing in this story. Chapters that began 6 months ago, on the day of the visit to Felicity’s orphanage. A chapter that had a major plot twist today. One He set in motion months ago. Today we will send in our LOI (Letter of Intent). Today we began the journey to bring home our son. It is almost surreal typing that sentence, so soon after bringing home Felicity. Only God could have brought this about. 
On a Thursday in China, 6 months ago. …

Wrecked

Felicity has been with us for 5 months.  5 months as a family of 6. 5 months of having a daughter. In those 5 months we have travelled to the other side of the world, just my husband and I.  We experienced a different culture.  We saw one of the Wonders of the World.  We ate GREAT Chinese food.  We toured Little Flower Projects, where some of the most medically needy orphans are cared for and thriving.  We travelled to our daughter's Province.  She was placed in our arms.  We toured her orphanage.  We travelled to another city and spent time with some amazing adoptive families.  We journeyed home.
The trip was incredible.  Life changing.
But, not as life changing as what was to come after we came home.
I always thought I had a heart for orphans.  I have organized a small fundraiser for the last three years for Little Flower Projects.  My heart breaks when I see photos of orphans and when I hear stories of children being abandoned.   I have hung photos of orphans on our refri…

How we did it (adopt without debt)

A few weeks after we came home from China, I was sitting down to finalize our adoption expenses spread sheet.  I added the last of the expenses from our time in China and I hit the sum button.  I was a little bit shocked, well, amazed at God's goodness is a better way to describe it . . .

The grand total: $33,773.21

That number includes every check written to our home study and placement agencies, airline tickets, finger prints, visas, etc, etc: even every express envelope mailed with very important documents.

And that amount was paid if full, without any debt. While the total amount seems daunting, and it was to me, we did it.  We adopted without debt and here is how we did it.

 (A disclaimer before you read the list:  Pete and I work really hard to follow Dave Ramsey and live without debt.  Pete has worked for the Church for the last 11 years and we had to learn early on in our marriage to live within a tight budget, save, and, go without what the "Joneses" may have had …

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

March 7th

I have debated about NOT writing this post.In fact, I was not going to.There are parts of Felicity’s story that are hers and should only be hers.So, when this urge to write my thoughts and feelings about March 7th came, I dismissed the desire and call to write and was silent.But, after watching The Drop Box for the second time last night, I knew I needed to write about the day Felicity was abandoned.Maybe more for myself, so I can sort through the emotions that came up so someday I may share with her more clearly when the questions come . . . .


Felicity’s birthday was March 4th and we celebrated BIG, just as planned.I hope she felt special, and loved and honored.She opened presents, went to mass, had a fun journey downtown and ate cake.It was a perfect day.But, I must admit, as the day drew to a close, I began to get sad.We had just celebrated her birth and in days, we would be upon the anniversary of her being abandoned. It happened on March 7th.The Feast of St Felicity and St Perpetua…