Thursday, December 28, 2006

We Are LID - YAY!!

I received an email today that we now have an LID date of December 11, 2006! The clock has officially started to tick as far as the CCAA goes and we are in line behind everyone before us :)!
Lots of things are happening in the China adoption world. The CCAA has made some pretty big changes effective May 1, 2007. The changes would not affect us even if we were logged in after May 1, 2007, but quite a few people are reevaluating their choices of China because they do not meet the new requirements.
We are currently in Woodward with James and Sue (Lyndal's parents). His brother, Mike, his wife, Michelle, and his family and their two kiddos, Nathan and Brooke, are also here. The kids have had a ball playing. The adults have enjoyed movies, eating, and shopping!

YAY! We have an LID!!!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

A Few Pictures of the Kids

Conner and Ethan bonding. Jasmine loved the snow we had a couple of weeks ago. Nicci joined Brownies this year! Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 15, 2006

Merry CHRISTmas Everyone!

Nothing like a blog Christmas card, right? Well, this way you at least know where to come for updates on our adoption process and other things going on with us.
We did receive word that the Chinese Center of Adoption Affairs is probably not going to speed up anytime soon. Right now the wait is about 15 months. They just matched families with babies who had an LID of Sept. 8, 2005, and have reviewed adoption documents with an LID of Jan. 31, 2006. We were DTC on Nov. 7, 2006 and do not have an LID yet. Patience, I really need to quit asking God for more of it.
Conner is almost 10, very tall, and just the best kid. He's funny, smart, and clever. Right now he really likes Scouts, especially camping. We just started basketball season. It's so fun to watch the games now because the boys are really getting into it. It's not as nerve wracking as it used to be when they were younger. Of course, the kid loves video games like his father. On December 10 we had our Christmas program at church and Conner was one of the stage hands which was exactly what he wanted! He did a great job and took it very seriously. He loves church and all his friends there.
Nicole/Nicci/Zoe is going to be 7 on Dec. 22! She's a girly girl and has such an "Other's First" attitude. When I asked her who she wanted to invite to her little birthday party she made sure and asked some boys so Conner wouldn't feel left out. She just started Brownies (DO NOT ORDER COOKIES FROM ANYONE BUT NICOLE AND HER MOTHER!) and we love it! It reminds me of Camp Fire Girls when I was younger. She can't wait to go camping.
Ethan will be 19 months on Dec. 25. He is quite the kid! He's so funny and just a sponge. Some of his most used and favorite words are "mine!" "NO!" "More?""Bite?""Guy?(drink - don't ask me), and "Puppy!" He's a traveling man, too! We really have to watch this kid because he will escape if given the chance or he'll climb on things. He's keeping me young (I'm only 29 anyway, right?).
Avery is somewhere in China, maybe not even born yet. We pray for her birth mother and birth father everyday. Without them we wouldn't have a daughter. She's already so precious to us and we are so excited to get ahold of her.

More later!

Merry Christmas!
The McMurphy's

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Her Name Is . . .

We have decided that her first name will be Avery which means "ruler of the elves" (isn't that cute?!). We will probably choose one of her given Chinese names for a middle name. The director of the orphanage usually names the children when they come. Their family name (our version of a last name comes first in the Chinese culture) is usually the last name of the director or somehow tied into the name of the SWI. Then the director usually gives them a first and middle name that somehow describes their personality or whatever sounds good at the time (kind of like American names). However, if one of her given Chinese names doesn't make sense or sounds strange in America we will use Xiaochan (show-chen I think). Xiaochan means "laughing, beautiful, graceful girl."

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Our dossier along with 7 other families is currently on it's way to China! That means we are DTC - YEAH! Now, we wait for an LID which could take anywhere from 1 day to a couple of weeks. God is so good! God is soo good!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Lori's Christmas Wish List

Here is a little list of the things I'd like to have for Christmas (no particular order):
1. A Cleaning Lady twice a month
2. A Weekend Away
3. A King Size Bed
4. The CCAA to Give Us Bigger Numbers
5. A Rockin' Body With Abs that Show and Nothing that Jiggles When I Walk

I don't ask for much, just 5 things!

I Opened the Comments Section

I opened the comments section up. So, if anyone who reads this wants to leave a comment feel free. We'd love to know who is reading this! Sometimes I feel like I'm talking to myself :)!

Here's What the CCAA Currently says:

The CCAA has finished the review of the adoption application documents registered with our office before January 31, 2006.

The CCAA has finished the placement of children for the families whose adoption application documents were registered with our office before August 25, 2005.

As you can see we have a long way to go! But every day is a little closer! The rumor (which I don't hunt out I promise, I just happen to hear about this one. Seeking them out can make you crazy!) is that the reason the referrals have been really slow is because there was baby trafficking going on in the Hunan province and the CCAA moved to new offices. So, hopefully those issues have been resolved and things will start picking up.

Next Week We Will Have a DTC Date!

I emailed Bethany AGAIN! (We are so blessed that she is so patient and gets my sense of humor because I threatened to fire her, picket the Dillon offices (I don't even know how to picket except that you make signs, at least they would be cute because I would use my cool fonts on my computer), hunt down people we were waiting on, etc. - all empty threats I assure you). She said that ALL we are waiting on is for other families' I-171h's to get back from being authenticated which only takes a few days! YEAH! We will finally be on the wait list!
This week was a busy week in the adoption world. Families who received their referrals last month got their TAs (travel approvals) and their CAs (consulate apts.), and new referrals were sent out, AND it was the biggest batch of referrals we've had in a while! Unfortunately, it was no one at our agency who got referrals because our August '05 group already got theirs. Our agency only sends out one group a month (or in our case they skipped a month).

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Still Waiting

It seems like things are just moving very slowly in the adoption world. I talked to Bethany this week and she's saying that we are still waiting for other families' dossiers to finish being authenticated before they send us all over in a group. There have been no new Consulate Appointments (CA's) granted for those who have already received pictures of the children they've been matched with. There have been no new referrals for those families who are next in line. So, we all ask for your prayers that the feelings of doubt and anxiety will disappear!

Isaiah (43:5) Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
I will bring your children from the east
and gather you from the west.

Micah (7:7) But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD,
I wait for God my Savior;
my God will hear me.

Psalms (37:7) Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Our Dossier is Finished

I got word from Bethany today that our dossier is complete and ready to go. However, not everyone else's who is in our group is ready and is moving a little slower than she expected. So, knowing that, we are probably looking at an early November DTC date. What's another week or two? But we were first done in our group! That means we won. We are ahead! I don't know, it makes me feel a little better.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

DTC is Coming Soon

I had all the rest of the paperwork for our dossier to Dillon by 10am this morning. We do not have anymore paperwork to do until we get a referral. Bethany, our caseworker, said that we should be DTC by the end of the month! While we wait we have some parent education classes and books to read. Parenting an internationally, adopted child is not the same as parenting a biological child. Depending on her age and temperament we may have some pretty big hurdles.
Here's to praying that the wait shortens. Not just for our sake, but mostly for all the orphans' sake.

That PPP We Were Waiting For Came Yesterday!

After almost 6 weeks of waiting (the shortest wait is 8 days, the longest is 8 weeks) we finally received our I-171H from immigration! YEAH!! That is the last piece of the puzzle we were needing to finish our dossier. All we have to do now is get it to our adoption agency and then we wait to hear about a DTC date, then an LID date. The current wait is about 12 mos., but in April of '05 it was about 8 mos. So, the pendulum does swing back and forth.

PPP=Pesky Piece of Paper (while you are waiting for it) or Pretty Peace of Paper (after it comes)
DTC=Dossier to China (sent from our agency's office)
LID=Logged in to China (when it's logged in at the CCAA, the date the clock actually starts ticking)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

One of My Favorite Pictures

I just had to post this one. It's from Candy Day last year. It was totally spontaneous, I didn't tell them to pose this way. I think it's just hilarious! Posted by Picasa
Here are a few recent pictures of the kids and Jasmine. Ethan is getting so big and so ornery which is just the way I like him! That's Nicci with Hannah, then Conner with Jacob and Blaine at our annual "Blessing Party." Our three families get together for dinner, a "Back to School Relay," and we pray over our kids before they start school. As far as the adoption goes we are still waiting for what they call the PPP (pesky piece of paper) from USCIS. Once we get that in we take it to our agency's office and we are done with paperwork until we have our baby girl!

 Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 28, 2006

Chinese Lesson #1

There's a website called and it has all kinds of information about China plus gifts, clothing, and jewelry. I was rummaging around the other day and found what Grandmother and Aunt were in Chinese. “Lao Lao” is for maternal grandmother. I believe it's pronounced kind of like "l-ow l-ow"and the ow is like wow and you don't pronounce it as two syllables. Does that make sense? Paternal grandmother is “Nai Nai,” pronounced like what a horse does, that's a little easier! I also found out that Ni Ni is for maternal aunt and Gu Gu for paternal aunt. So, Sue, Lyndal's mom is Nai Nai Sue, and my mom is Lao Lao Marcy. Angie, Amber, and Gaye are Ni Ni and Michelle, Lyndal's brother's wife, Cathy and Mary are Gu Gu. Alright, stay tuned who knows what I will come up with next!
The Chinese language is complicated because it has different tones and different tones can make a word mean different things. I think there are four tones. There are also different dialects of Chinese - Mandarin, Cantonese, and others.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

One More Step Done

We drove to OKC this morning to get our fingerprints done. I was so worried we were going to have to wait forever and have to deal with a bunch of junk (I don't know what I was basing that on?!), but we got there about 11:05 and were out by 11:30 - YEAH! Now we just wait for them to send us a form, send that form to our agency, and we wait! I think after we get this form and send it to our agency we are done with our part of everything and we just get in line. YEAH! God is good!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A Name for the Baby Girl . . .

. . . According to Nicci!
Sweet Nicole is so creative and thoughtful. Does anyone remember when I was pregnant with Ethan and she was so sure it was twins and she wanted to name them Climber and Slider? Well, we got Climber a.k.a. Ethan - the kid climbs on everything! OK back to her ideas on what to name our little China Baby . . .

Pretty Star

Isn't that so beautiful? We told her we'd put it on the "list." What does everyone else think?

Monday, August 21, 2006

How Long Have We Been "Pregnant?"

We began the paperwork for our little China Baby in November of 2005. When Dillon received our Pre-Application they let us know that we would need to hold off until Ethan was a year old before we go any further. When March of 2006 rolled around we began working on Application II. So, we have been what in the adoption world is known as "Paper Pregnant" since November of 2005. Only about another year to go! I think that's longer than an elephant?

Friday, August 18, 2006

More Good News!

Our dossier has been authenticated and we are just waiting on the I-171H. We can't get the I-171H from Immigration until we do our fingerprints next Thursday. YEAH!!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

We Got Something in the Mail!

We received our letter to go get fingerprinted yesterday! This means that immigration received our Home Study Report and we are just moving to the next step. We have to show up anytime on a Thursday in OKC and have them done. We plan to go next week to have them done, before Lyndal starts having to travel to San Antonio for a couple of months.
Yes, you heard me right, we are back being a family living in two cities again. He will be traveling Mon. - Thurs. for a couple of months. We've done it before, we'll do it again!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Bible Verses I Learned Yesterday

I am keeping a list of Bible Verses that we can stand on while we go through this. So far, they are mostly about orphans and patience. God is good and patience has not been a problem! We pray every night that this baby girl never knows the feeling of abandonment, being unsafe, or being unloved. We also pray that her birth mother and birth father will somehow know they don't have to worry and will strangely have a peace about them when they have to make this difficult decision.

Isaiah (49:23) Kings will be your foster fathers,
and their queens your nursing mothers.
They will bow down before you with their faces to the ground;
they will lick the dust at your feet.
Then you will know that I am the LORD;
those who hope in me will not be disappointed."

Habakkuk (2:3) For the revelation awaits an appointed time;
it speaks of the end
and will not prove false.
Though it linger, wait for it;
it° will certainly come and will not delay.

Micah (7:7) But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD,
I wait for God my Savior;
my God will hear me.

Psalms (37:7) Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;

James (1:27) Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

A Few More Pictures of Us

Ethan sneaking an apple, but not for long!
Conner at Scout camp.
Nicci at PaPa and GaGa's in Woodward.
One of the pictures we used for the adoption application. It's not easy getting all five of us to smile/face the camera/not drool (Ethan)! We took a lot of pictures of us! Posted by Picasa

This is Us (minus me, the mom)!

This is from our trip to Disney World last November. We are Lyndal, Conner age 9, Nicole age 6, and Ethan now 14 mos. old (6 mos. at the time of this picture). Pretty soon, about another year, there will be a fourth child! Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 07, 2006

One More Step

Our dossier paperwork looked great and has been sent to the consulate! We now wait for an appointment with immigration to get our fingerprints done. It's so hard to believe we are this close - I know I keep saying that, but it is amazing!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Brief Update

I took our dossier paperwork to Dillon today. Our case manager will review it and send it off to be authenticated (make sure the notaries are legitimate). Our Home Study Report will also be sent off to immigration this week. Once immigration gets our Home Study Report they mail us a new piece of paper and we make an appointment to be fingerprinted in OKC - closest fingerprint office for us. After the fingerprinting and the authenticating are done everything is sent to the Chinese Consulate in Guangzhou. We are looking at a DTC of September or October. Once we have our Dossier to China (DTC) we wait for a Log In Date (LID). The LID determines when the clock starts as far as a wait for a referral and the unlikely chance that some of our paperwork should expire. Does that all make sense? Bottom line is is that we are almost to the big wait period!! That was easy!! The wait will go by fast because we have some adoption education classes we have to take, some books to read, and hopefully learn some Chinese even!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

China Heritage Camp

Here is Nicci with her class. She was with the Fish Group. She was one of two American born kids in her class.

 Posted by Picasa

Lots Going On Last Week

Last week we had China Heritage Camp. It started on Thursday and ended on Saturday. Nicci was in the Fish group and was one of two American born children. She learned so much! I was very impressed with all that she did and learned. She learned a little Chinese in songs and basic language (numbers, greetings, etc.), she learned some Kung Fu, she learned a little about their cooking, and general information about the country itself. I was in some Parent Education classes the first two days. The first day was about talking to your child about being adopted. The second morning I was in a Chinese cooking class. We learned how to make boiled pork dumplings. It sounds kind of gross, but they were very good! The third morning I worked in the nursery. Ethan was one of three American born kids and one of two boys. The other boy was American born also. They were all so cute and fun to be around! Conner couldn't go because he was at church camp for the weekend. I did take him up there twice so he could just get used to seeing what it's like.
This same week we received our dossier packet. This is most of the rest of our part of the paperwork that goes to China. We are so close to being done with our part it's hard to believe! After our part the big wait comes! WOW!

Our New Puppy!

We got Jasmine Shiloh a week ago today. She is now 7 weeks old! She is a great dog and doing very well on potty training and crate training. Conner and Nicci love her a lot. Ethan really doesn't like her at all! Lyndal thinks she's pretty cute too! She is named after Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's daughter Shiloh because she was born two days after her :)! She's a pug and wont' get very big, about 20 lbs.

 Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 10, 2006

One Step Closer!

We just finished our last home study visit. Rebecca came to visit us at our house this time. She took a tour of the house to make sure we weren't living unsafely and then sat down to ask us some questions about our families and about adjustment issues for the little China baby. She also asked the kids a few questions. She asked Conner how he was punished when he misbehaved and he told her that he's gotten about 50 spankins! Nicci told her that the China baby will like her daddy because he hunts (Lyndal doesn't hunt). Then in the middle of Conner talking Nicole let a little pootie go!! Luckily, everyone laughed (especially Nicole). Rebecca was a lot of fun to get to know and she was so sweet and very helpful.
The CCAA posted that they had finished matching children with families with an LID of June 28, 2005. Right now they are running at almost a year from LID to referral. This could speed up or slow down. It's been known to be 6-8 mos. of a wait or has gone as far as being 15 mos. We are hoping and praying for the time to get shorter not only for our benefit but for the waiting families and all the children needing forever families.
Our next step will be working on our dossier and continuing work with USCIS (immigration). Nicci and I are going to China Heritage Camp this Thursday through Saturday (Conner will be at church camp). It will be a lot of fun getting to know some of the families and learning about the Chinese culture. YEAH!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Funny Conner Story

James and Sue came to visit us on Friday and Sue wanted to go to the Philbrook Art Museum. Conner said, "Is it Chinese art?" Sue said, "No." Conner said, "Good. Cause I'm about Chinesed out. With her (me - Lori) it's Chinese this and Chinese that."
Poor guy. I guess he thinks I'm over doing it a little. Oh well!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Fun is Just Beginning!

Just about a week after we were approved we started our home study process and our immigration paperwork. Our home study case manager is Rebecca Hackworth (Pastor Paul's daughter - Pastor Paul is the founding pastor of St. James, where we go to church). We met her and had our first meeting last Tuesday. We left Ethan with our neighbor because he was voted "Most Likely to Distract," but the other two kiddos were with us. Rebecca is taking her time during our visits getting to know all of us, asking lots of questions about our family (extended family and our little immediate family - is anyone scared?), our parenting styles, and just us personally. We have two more visits and a personal inventory, we should be done with the home study the second week of July. After our visits are done, she writes a summary and sends it to immigration as part of that paperwork. As we were leaving the Dillon offices from our first meeting with Rebecca, Conner starts telling her about the time he was at his PaPa's house practicing shooting a bow and arrow and almost hit his cousin with the arrow! It was a lovely way to end a great meeting. I said that that was why we don't go to PaPa's house very often. Thankfully, one of the requirements Dillon has as a parent adopting is a sense of humor.
I mailed the first of our paperwork to USCIS today! Immigration can be challenging to deal with, so I kind of sweated over my part of the paperwork, but it's off to OKC and out of my hands now. Once it visits OKC it gets sent to China to let them know we are planning to adopt.
Nicci and I are signed up for China Heritage Camp the second week of July! Conner will be at church camp that weekend, so he couldn't go. But, Nicci and I will have fun learning about the Chinese culture, food, people, and everything else. I think Nicole is a little nervous because she won't know anyone, but she'll be fine once she gets going.
The China Center of Adoption Affairs has not moved much. This is the organization that handles ALL adoptions in China - matching orphans with families. They are currently caught up to June 15, 2005! It seems that they update their site every 3-4 weeks and only move about a week at a time. We are just praying that they start to pick up again. If they start to get too far behind then we have to have some documents redone and resubmitted - that would be a huge pain, but not impossible.
Please feel free to leave comments if you want! We'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


We officially are approved! We passed! Everything is clear!! We are definitely going to adopt a baby girl from China!!
I turned in the last of our paperwork today and we got word from Bethany, our case manager, that we are officially approved. The next step is to go through the home study. This will consist of one home visit and and two visits in the office with a home study case worker. During this we start our immigration paperwork and dossier paperwork. The immigration paperwork is filed with USCIS (United States Center for Immigration Services - I think that's what it stands for) and just lets China and US know we are bringing a resident from China to live in the US. The dossier paperwork is kind of an advertisement about us to the China Center of Adoption Affairs (CCAA). The CCAA is the nationwide organization that handles all adoptions in China. The CCAA will go through our dossier then match us with a child. They will look at pictures of Lyndal and I on separate sheets of paper and try to find a baby that looks like us. (We're gonna get one with a big nose, aren't we? Ha Ha! - that's Lyndal's joke) It sounds wierd that they try to match a caucasion family with an Asian baby, but remarkably they do a very good job! I am very happy with this process in that I could NEVER look at a file folder of pictures of baby girls and pick one to be ours, I would pick them all. Or I would find one for everyone I know. The CCAA is caught up with everyones dossier to June 15, 2005! They seem to do about a weeks worth of dossiers in about 3 months!! There are a lot of people wanting to adopt baby girls from China, there aren't as many babies that are "paper ready" even though there are A LOT of children in orphanages, and domestic adoption is on the rise in China. This gives us some things to pray about.
Now that Ethan has turned a very ornery 1 year old, our baby girl can be born at any time now. The last batch of referrals that came in (babies matched with their families for Dillon, our agency) were 6-10 mos. old. My thinking is that since we haven't turned in our dossier yet and since the CCAA is running at about 11 mos., she will probably be born around December or January of 2007? I could be completely off base, especially since I'm not much of a math person! At any rate she is probably growing in her mommy's tummy right now! Despite what I think, God knows every hair on her head, her birth mommy's head, and her birth father's head, and He is going to surround her with love wherever she is. She will know she is a chosen one right from the start. I pray for her birth parents a lot and this horrible decision they are going to have to make, that they have a peace about them and just somehow know that this is the right decision.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Not just yet . . . but soon we will be approved!

We have to turn in one more piece of paper and then we will be officially approved! I have to have Conner do an updated physical (Nicci and Ethan's was within the two year time limit). I didn't think I needed to do this, I thought I just had to go in and have a current height and weight and a copy of their shot records. But that is the only thing I sorta messed up on!! Pretty good for turning in all that paperwork.
Bethany, our case manager, said she enjoyed reading our application - that was so nice to hear! She said that once we turn that in then we will be approved and get to move on to the next step which is the home study process. We meet three times with a home study case manager, once in our home and two times at Dillon's offices which are based in Tulsa. Our home study case manager is Rebecca Hackworth. She is Pastor Paul's daughter. Pastor Paul was the pastor at St. James before Pastor Gary. We do not personally know Pastor Paul, but I had one of his granddaughter's in my class at church (not Rebecca's daughter). So, that connection is kind of cool.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Cool Bible Verse!

Isaiah 43:5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
I will bring your children from the east
and gather you from the west.

Isn't that just awesome! Because God is AWESOME!

Bethany is currently reviewing our application. Once she's done we will know if we get to move onto the next phase which is the home study. Hopefully I'll know something by this Friday!

Friday, May 05, 2006


I think that means "it is finished" in Hebrew. I learned that in college. Anyway, we turned in our App. II today!!! They say that this is the hardest part of the whole process and it's all downhill from here. I am so relieved! This has been our fourth child for several weeks now and hopefully I can get back to taking care of our house and laundry. I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize to my family, especially my husband, for neglecting things around here because I've been so busy with this paperwork (I know ya'll still love me!).
The next step is for us to be approved. I asked our case manager what causes a family to be unapproved and she said that if there was something in the background check, some medical problem, or a concern in a reference letter then a family would be turned down. So, we should be approved next week and then we move on to the home study phase. We meet with a home study case worker three times. I think while this starts we get the first part of the paperwork for immigration.
God is so good!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

STILL crunch time

Well, Monday has come and gone and we still haven't turned in our App. II and the paperwork that goes with it. We had a little delay in our taxes, but that will be remedied tomorrow and I am planning to turn everything in Thursday or Friday. We took some more pictures of our whole family this evening. I finished taking pictures of different rooms in our home yesterday. I am signing and dating things today, waiting on a couple of things from Lyndal, we got our application notarized today, and I still have to make copies of everything. We are REALLY so close now that I can almost taste it! What a relief. I'll post again when we actually turn it in.

Monday, April 24, 2006

What do YOU take with you to the storm shelter?

I'm a born and bred Oklahoma girl. I've seen a few tornadoes in my day, been in the storm shelter more times than I can count, I've even been tied into a tree with a fishing stringer during a tornado (I DO love my Uncle Gary!). So, when I saw that we might be in for some tornadic activity this beautiful Spring evening I cleaned out the closet under the stairs, grabbed the children, the radio, some books for the kids to read, AND, as any Okie girl preparing for an adoption would, the precious computer that has all my information I have been working on for the adoption (my autobiography, which is 4 pages long; my letter to the People's Republic of China, etc.), and "the" notebook that has all the documents, forms, instructions, etc.

I'm not stupid.


By this time next week (Monday 4pmish) we will have our Application Part II turned in!! So, the rest of this week is filled with completing forms, tying up loose ends, organizing, taking pictures (will be used for our dossier), and running errands. It feels sooooo good to be this close to the end of this part! After our App. II is approved we are moving into the Home Study section, and while that is going on we go through the process of filing immigration paperwork so our baby girl will be legal!!


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Just Plugging Away!

Well, our goal is to have the Application Part II in by the end of this month. So, everyday this week I have been trying to fill in blanks, gather paper work, asking questions to our case manager, and just kind of being anxious! I don't know why I'm anxious, just because of all that has to be gathered and done. I just have to remind myself that I need to take one piece of paper at a time.
There are about 4 families from our agency that are in China right now having their Forever Family Days. I have been enjoying watching their videos and seeing their pictures and reading their online journals via their websites. I cry when I see their first pictures as a family together. I can't imagine what that sweet baby girl is thinking when she is handed over to "strangers!"
In the mean time I am trying to remember to dot every "i" and cross every "t." Lyndal is out of town during the week just for the month of April and that keeps me hopping with me and just the three kiddos. I try to make it fun by going to the park and getting ice cream, but I'm going to be a cow if I don't watch it with all my milkshakes! Anyway, if you are reading this, just say a little prayer for our family.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The McMurphy Family Christmas 2005 Posted by Picasa

Saturday, March 25, 2006

An Organization in Oklahoma Helping Orphanages

Packages of Hope Incorporated provides a wide range of necessities to orphanages around the world. Visit to find out what they are doing, where, and how you can help. They even look for groups to help pack up boxes to be shipped. Their offices are on Garnett between 51st and 61st.

Some More From Lost Daughters of China

Here's a little more from the book:
- The only time a birthdate is really certain is if a mother delivers in a hospital, giving a false name usually, and then disappears, leaving the baby behind, or when birth parents leave a note with the child containing basic information. Otherwise the birthdate is an estimate, picked at random or for convenience. It's not unusual for a pediatrician here to disagree with the assigned birthdate.
- Ethnic minorities within China - there are numerous strains, particularly in the borderlands, but they add up to less than 10 percent of the population as a whole and were in some cases diminishing - were routinely aloud 2 children.
- Forced sterilizations, mandatory insertions of metal IUDs - which could be monitored by X ray to make sure they remained in place - became commonplace assaults on the women of China, as did forced abortions, even at full term. (Broken Earth, The Rural Chinese by Steven W. Mosher, 1983) (Human Rights in China documents "Caught Between Tradition and the State," 1995) (Slaughter of the Innocence: Coercive Birth Control in China by John Aird 1990)
- Officials of the Women's Federation of the Communist Party kept track of women's monthly cycles, and listed those to be sterilized and those required to have IUDs inserted. (A Mother's Ordeal by Steven W. Mosher, 1993)

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Something to read to help pass the time . . .

I have been reading this excellent book called The Lost Daughters of China by Karin Evans published in 2000. It is about her adoption of a Chinese baby girl and the plight of Chinese women and their babies. There is tons of information in it. I just finished it, but am rereading it to share with everyone some different facts. There's so much more to this than just babies being abandoned.
- It is predicted that by 2003 there will be 30,000 Chinese children living in this country, most of them girls. (US Immigration)
- Chinese women's reproductive lives are largely controlled by the state. Permission from the government was required in order to have a child; women who became pregnant without consent were often forced to have abortions, even late in their pregnancies. If that baby was a girl, her husband and his family could disown her for giving birth to a child of the wrong gender. She could lose her job and her home.
- For rural women, who constitute 70% of China's populace, life is desperately hard, even in boom times and model villages. The suicide rate among women in the countryside is the highest in the world. China is, in fact, the only nation where the suicide rates for women top those for men. Most victims are young. The means of self-destruction, most often, is a lethal gulp of the poison closest at hand, agricultural pesticide. (NY Times January 24, 1999)
- A Chinese parent who wants to give a child a chance at being adopted must conveniently disappear, and so must the rest of the family, if anybody else is around. It's the Chinese equivalent to what's known in this country as "making an adoption plan." Thus, a birth parent who disappears is often intentionally creating a chance for her child to find a new home.
- Abandoning a child is against the law in China, another reason why parents are usually careful to leave no traces. A specific provision of the 1992 Law on Protection of Women's Rights and Interests forbids "forsaking" baby girls (often, on Chinese adoption papers the child is listed as "found forsaken"), although no one has reported any substantial pattern of prosecution. (Human Rights in China, December 1998)

Friday, March 03, 2006

An Update . . .

We have been given the green light from our case worker to go ahead and start the process of Application II. She said that we can turn it in as soon as the end of March. I don't think we'll be getting it in that soon because it is very involved and wants to know lots of things about us: how much our house is worth, full physical check-ups for Lyndal and I, health status on the kids, background checks, reference letters, notarizing things, etc. We have had to go slow at first because there has to be at least a years' difference between our last biological child and our adopted child. So, she hasn't even been born yet!
I went to this website called it shows some provinces and where most of the orphanages are. There are between 30 and 50 orphanages in each province. I'm not sure how many provinces there are in China, but China is very large! That is a ton of orphanages! China has started using foster care for some of the children.
Here is a general guideline of the steps we have to go through: fill out and turn in Application II, go through a home study, file paperwork with USCIS (immigration), gather and turn in our Dossier (this is the last of the form gathering we have to do I think) to our agency, our agency waits for any other families on the same timeline as us then mails all the dossiers at once - called DTC (dossier to China), we get a Log In Date (LID) of when our dossier is logged in with the Chinese government, wait for the Center for Chinese Adoption Affairs (CCAA) to review our dossier and match us with a baby girl (they actually try to have your baby look like your family), the CCAA sends us a picture of the baby they have matched us with called a referral, we take the information on the referral to our pediatrician and have him review it with us, we approve or disapprove of the referral, tell our agency we accept the referral, they tell CCAA that we accept, then we wait for travel clearance. WHEW!! The CCAA is currently estimating that it will take about 10 months from LID to referral. That time frame changes frequently throughout the year, it could be longer or shorter of a wait. I'm not sure what affects this timeline.
We told the kids of this plan tonight at dinner. Nicci was very excited and already has plans for her to sleep with her when she gets bigger because she has a big bed. Conner was a little apprehensive. He said, "Mom, you know how I like to fit in and not stand out? Well, this is, well, you know." We told him that he has a year to pray about it and get used to the idea and we'll learn how to deal with standing out together. He also said, "Chinese people eat dog Mom!" I told him that we were going to take Sammy with us to China. He thought that was pretty funny. Ethan said, "BAH!"

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Pre-Adoption Workshop Today!

Through the treacherous weather and having to use a back-up to the back-up for childcare (which worked out really well anyway especially because of the icy roads - we used our next door neighbor - THANK YOU KATY, JENNIFER, AND LEE!) we made it to the Pre-Adoption Workshop. We learned quite a bit, but still have some questions which I'm sure will be answered in time. Going into this I wasn't really totally set on China, but after today I am! I just had a peace about me after hearing all the case workers talk about the other country programs (Haiti, Guatemala, Korea, Vietnam, and China) I just knew China was it. Good thing! I would have had to change this whole blog thing up! Anyway, we met some really cool people both first time adoptive families and returning adopting families. This is really going to change our life, not just in the sense of adding a family member, but we are going to need to become half Chinese in a sense! They really emphasize you getting involved with organizations celebrating your child's birth country culture and the post-adoption services also supporting your child's birth country (which was one of the deciding factors for us in choosing Dillon, our adoption agency) which we really agree that that is what needs to be done. We were also told by a second time adoptive mother that we need to just look at one piece of paper at a time, not the whole stack because if you look at the whole stack you will get dizzy and overwhelmed. Thankfully, the application we are working on now will be very similar to our Dossier, so we won't have to do a bunch of new and unknown paperwork. I finally feel like we are on our way!

Friday, January 27, 2006

A Little Progress

This week I obtained copies of our birth certificates, I applied for a passport (which sounds exciting and like we are close to the end, but we're really not!), and a few weeks ago I started working on my autobiography. The autobiography was not as daunting as I thought and once I got going it wasn't that hard to put my life on paper.
This whole process is so exciting and I pray everyday that God makes everything clear and gives us patience. Our God is NOT the author of confusion or distraction!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

The Application Process So Far . . .

We haven't started filling anything out yet. The paperwork and required documents are very involved and will take a lot of work. The more I look at everything the more sense it makes and the better organized it is in my head. We attend a workshop in February and I'm sure that will clear some things up. To know that there's a little girl already being formed and handpicked by God just for our family - that is an amazing, bigger than life thought!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Origin of the Name of the Website

The red thread is an ancient Chinese belief. "An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place or circumstances. The thread may stretch or tangle, but will never break." We felt this was appropriate for the journey we are about to embark on.