Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Little Miss Got a Haircut

I'm getting caught up on some things that I wasn't able to blog right before we left, so hang in there!

Miss Carlie got her first real haircut a few weeks ago! She thoroughly enjoyed the princess treatment that Miss Jennifer gave her while she was in the chair. Nicci was a big help when it came time for Carlie to look down :).

Lyndal asked Carlie this evening if she wanted to be called "Pepper" or "Tink?" She said, "I'm a PRINCESS!" When Nicole was about the same age she said something similar . . .
"Nicole, why are you so grouchy?" I asked. She said, "I'm not grouchy! I'm a PRINCESS!"
I love it!
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We Got Our Girl!

We now have had Avery a little over 2 weeks. The above picture is our very first look at her in person and the bottom picture was taken Dec. 28 (after she was sharing the dog food with Jasmine:). I will post more details on our trip as I get time, but thought I'd at least start the blog up again. Avery fits perfectly! She has jumped into our household like she's been here forever. She eats a lot - constantly if we'd let her. She is sleeping pretty well and getting better at that even after recovering from jet-lag. We love her and still cannot believe she is here!
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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Cuz We're Leavin' on a Jet Plane . . .


We are to be IN Beijing by 6pm on Dec. 11! Dec. 11? YES!! Dec. 11!!!!!

From here on out I will be using our Chinastork site:


Password: AVERY

Got to go! Lots to do!!!!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Hunting and Gathering

I started this pile a few weeks ago, just in case we needed to be ready quickly. And now it looks like we might need to be ready quickly! This is by no means everything, but it is a good start. Most of our foods, medical supplies, the front pack carrier, some Avery goodies, and other fun stuff are in here. The clothes will come later (if there's room:)!
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Monday, November 30, 2009

We Have Travel Approval!!

China called and they want us to come and get our daughter! YAYAYAYAY!!! We hope to leave about Dec. 10 or Dec. 17. If we leave Dec. 10 then we will be home in time for Christmas which would be wonderful! Hopefully, by the end of the week we will know for sure.

Excuse me while I go pack for INNER MONGOLIA!!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Girls

This weekend family came! And with that family my niece Reagan was here! My daughter Nicole is never more herself than when Reagan is around. They sing, dance, play, talk, giggle, and act goofy the whole time they are together. I love it when they are here! I wish we lived closer to them so they could spend a lot more time together, but I guess it makes their rare visits all the more special. We are thankful for family!
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Friday, November 20, 2009

A friend of mine told me that often in China they will shave their babies/toddlers hair believing that it will grow in thicker. Huh. So maybe the orphanage is doing it because they want her hair to be thick and luxurious? I'll buy that . . . may not agree with it or start shaving my own head, but at least they might be doing it for her best interest.

I have bought her a couple of hats. Very girly ones so that she will feel like the princess that she is!


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

WAIT! There's More!

Look at all those teeth! OK, I want her now! I want her here now! I know God is listening and his timing is perfect, but just thought I'd say it in case He wasn't sure what I was thinking :)!

Glory Be!

This morning we received THIS updated picture! It is priceless, but not enough. It just makes me want to get her even more. She needs us! Looks like I need to get some headbands with bows attached since her little head is still shaved. She's also going to need some cozy hats! The temperature in Baotou is in the 30's during the day and the teens at night and it will only get colder. I think we will be spending quite a bit of time in our hotel room staying cozy!

Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Listen to THIS

1 Corinthians 12

7Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.

(emphasis mine)

So, when you hear a friend say that they have the gift of prophecy you kind of take it with a grain of salt. You sort of say to yourself, 'OK, I know this person, she's not crazy, but does she really know what she's talking about? I'll make note of what she is saying, but won't put everything I have into it.' But you definitely make note of what they are telling you.

I have a friend and she told me just that. That she thinks she has the gift of prophecy. I'm like, cool. She said that she thinks we will be getting a call on the 23rd of September. I'm thinking, 'Huh. Interesting.' She said that she keeps seeing Avery on the 23rd of September. She said that it has happened to her before, that she 'knew' something was going to happen before it happened. She told me this a few times. I remembered it.

My hubbie was going to be out of town. One of the dates he was to be gone was September 23rd. I held off telling him what my friend said for a while. I didn't want him to think I was losing it and following some weird psycho. But as it came closer to time for him to be gone, and the person told me, yet again, that we should expect a call on September 23rd, I felt it was time to let him in on what this person had been saying to me. I said, "I'm fixin to tell you something and I want you to just listen to me, sort of just hear me, know that I am not crazy, but I'm just putting this out there because I want you to be aware of it, too. . . A friend of mine at Bible study said that we should be expecting a call about Avery on September 23rd. I just wanted you to be aware of it in case you have to come home suddenly or just so you know." He said, "Huh, wow. OK, I'll keep that in mind."

September 23rd came and the phone rang at about 1:30, I think. It was our agency. She asked if we would consider a baby girl with a heart defect. We had not checked that when we did our special needs checklist because I had heard a horror story about this family. They had gotten to China and their daughter was in horrible shape and they had to fight to get her out of the country because her heart was so bad. I wanted to protect us from a situation like that. Denise explained that this particular child had a repaired ventricular septal defect. I said that since it had been repaired then we would definitely consider this child. She said that she would probably call us back in a few days. Huh. Well, that was the big phone call we were expecting. My friend was sort of right. I called the husband to tell him what had happened. That was the end of that.

At about 3pm our agency called again. They said that they think they have found a match for us. Would I like to see the file? YES! Do I want a picture with the file? ABSOLUTELY!!! How can I look at a file of a child and not see their face? I had to go get two kids from school while they were sending me the file. Drive fast.

I called Lyndal and told him what was going on. We agreed that when I got back home I would call him and we would both open the file at the same time. We did. She's ours. She's perfect.

The date we got THE CALL was SEPTEMBER 23, 2009. Just like God prophesied through my friend. HE is AWESOME.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Avery's Care Package!

There are a few sites that will send your child a care package. You can download pictures for them to print off and put in a photo album with labels on them, and you can buy different things like books, a blanket, candy and nuts for the foster family, disposable cameras, and have a letter translated. We ordered one last week and got the picture of what we sent today! She did a great job!

We also received an update on Avery today! She weighs 18.7 lbs and is 22.8 inches long (which is in the 50-75% on the Chinese growth charts, and Nicole was about that size when she was 1, too). Her feet are 12 cm long which is about 5 1/2 inches or a size 5 shoe (she must have her daddy's long toes). Between meals she likes to eat cookies and she likes yellow cake (just like her momma!) She is walking and has 11 teeth. Again, she is perfect!

Hopefully we will get updated pictures this week.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Today Was WONDERFUL! (despite the head butting goat pictures)

Today was an adventure. We trekked to OKC to welcome some friends in from China with their children. They had been in China for over 2 weeks and flew in just today! Their whole family was together for the first time and it was all good. I wish I could post pictures of the family, but I gotta protect them. Just trust me that it was so good to see them home after such a very long journey. After the airport we went to visit family. We saw my Grandma and Kenneth for a while. Carlie finally opened up a little bit and showed her sassy side to them! The older kids spent most of the time outside climbing the tree. Then it was off to my Dad and Leslie's house to play with the goats and shoot guns (just Conner)! They got some new Boer goats - Cowboy and Boulder. Cowboy is the one playing with Conner, Boulder would have very little to do with us. Cowboy is so cute! I wanted to take him home and he could be our new 'dog.' But Dad said that they were going to eat him! I protested, but am not sure if I will win or not :(. I hope they get a male and a female next time so they can have baby goats - Dad said they might. Wouldn't that be cute? Little baby goats? Then Conner did some skeet shooting. He's an excellent shot! It was a great day, and we are pooped.

We hope to get an update on Miss Avery this week!
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Saturday, November 07, 2009

We Are at %100!

Well, I thought at least one of us would be clear. Apparently, I was wrong (ain't the first time). He's four and he needs glasses pretty bad. Not once in his beautiful four years has he ever complained or seemed to have difficulty seeing, but a trip to the ophthalmologist changed that. He's wearing them fairly good today, at least they are on his face even though they are hanging down on his nose most of the time.

He's just too cute.
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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

And a Great Big BOO to YOU Too!

So, we had a Zombie Lawyer, a Purple Cat, Darth Vader, and a Strawberry Fairy this year. We trick-or-treated around our neighborhood enjoying the bee-a-U-t-ful weather! The kids a had blast and the adults looked forward to an extra hour of sleep that night. All was great.

Anyone up for Inner Mongolia for Christmas?
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Sunday, November 01, 2009

Snapshot Sunday

This snapshot is priceless. PRICELESS! It is the very first known picture of our daughter when she was about a month old. It's kind of fuzzy. I hope we get a clearer print of it sometime, but it is part of her history. That perfect round head. Those beautiful Asian eyes. That little bitty nose. That cupid's bow of a mouth. Priceless. Treasured. I could stare at her all day. I can't wait to hold her, smell her, and play with her.Those first few moments, I hope they go in slow motion.

This is my "Snapshot Sunday" even though I didn't take this snapshot.
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Friday, October 30, 2009

What Now?

You might be surprised if I tell you that what happens next as far as traveling and bringing Avery Lan home is - MORE PAPERWORK!! Yup, I have quite a pile of paperwork to attack right now. This is for immigration so we can legally take her out of Ch*na and legally bring her in to the U.S.A. It's not like the 4 inch thick notebook I already have, it's much more manageable, but still . . .

We also received this spiral bound book from our agency with the words "Ch*na Travel Guide" on the front of it. It will prepare us for what to bring, expect, customs, $$ to bring, how it all works, etc. It just all brings it home to me how real this all is and how close we really are to holding this child!

Thank you to EVERYONE who sent us an email, posted a comment here, or posted a comment through Facebook congratulating us on Avery Lan! I even got a comment from my 5th grade Science teacher who's husband used to make her chalk for her! She is the SWEETEST! Not to mention the precious friends and family who have left comments. They all mean so much to us! We hope you all follow us along as we continue on this adventure.

OH! A good friend of mine, who now lives in the South, called me to tell me that their son is from the same part of Inner Mongol*a! There is a small chance that we could be there at the same time! I haven't seen her since they left Oklahoma, and to possibly be reconnecting in, of all places, Inner Mongol*a - what a hoot!

We will be able to send a care package to Avery Lan! She will be able to see pictures of us, receive a translated letter, some books, a blanket, and a disposable camera so her foster family can take pictures of what her life is like there! We are so excited to be able to reach out to her and love on her. Hopefully this will also prepare her for the transition, this little girl's world is fixin' to be rocked, bless her heart!

Another thing I wanted to share is a little more about Miss Avery and a couple of prayer requests that we have. Avery is considered a special needs (SN) child. She has a repaired VSD (ventricular septal defect) or hole in her heart. She got it repaired when she was about 6 months old in the hospital in Beijing (and she didn't have her mommy and daddy there to love her through it). Usually, children with VSDs once they are either surgically repaired or heal on their own there are no lifelong complications. Our prayer is that when we bring her home and the pediatric cardiologist checks her out they will see a completely healed heart.

Another of our requests is that we are able to meet her foster family when we travel. We are so grateful for these people to take this precious child into their home and provide her with a bed, food, and love until she gets a forever family. Then they have to say good-bye and hand her over to these foreigners (but we are nice foreigners). I can't imagine being in their shoes! I want to hug on this foster mother's neck! How do you say thank you? What can I possibly do to tell her how precious she is to us? We want to be able to say thank you (xie xie) in person. Wouldn't it be so cool if we were able to pray with them? We do pray for them now and will continue to, trying to let Avery know that she had a China mom (besides her tummy mommy) who was very special to her and us.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009


This is OUR DAUGHTER!!!!! Her name will be Avery Lan McMurphy and she will live with us FOREVER!!!

All praises to God! He has given us more than we could ever hope for and so much more!

Chinese Name: Pan Lan
Pan is her surname, Lan is her given name which means orchid in Chinese.

Location: Baotou, Inner Mongolia, China (Baotou is pronounced 'bow' 'toe.')
She is currently in foster care.

Date of Birth: September 7, 2008
These photos were taken when she was about 6 months old. We can't wait to get ahold of some updated pictures!!!

A brief description of her by the orphanage in Baotou where she spent about a month: "She is a beautiful girl who has ready smile. She has moon-like eyes, which looks so sweet when laugh. Caretakers all like her very much, change many beautiful clothes for her. She seems know her beauty, and happy to show out and communicate with others.

We hope to travel within 2-5 months from now. So, who wants to go to Inner Mongolia with us in the middle of winter? WE DO!! WE DO!! WE DO!!
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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Walking With Our Buddy!

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This weekend we ventured off to Kansas City to walk with our buddy Ashtin and her family. Ashtin happens to have more chromosomes than we do. She is absolutely precious and I can't get enough of her! We haven't seen her since last year and she's changed quite a bit. She is very close to walking, but in the mean time she gets around just fine. She sits on her hiney and scoots forward toward anything she wants or anyplace she wants to go. It is hilarious to watch! She can even go backwards with this 'scoot' thing AND stand up! I know, it's hard to explain, but just trust me. The girl loves an audience, too! She has a great sense of humor and can get a group of people laughing in no time :).

Between the "M" family and ours we have 7 (soon to be 8!) kids. And despite their varying ages they play very well together which leaves us adults some time to eat, chit chat and play games. We played "The Newlywed Game" and Lyndal and I didn't do very well :(. One of the questions was "What phrase or words do you hear most coming out of the bedroom?" Lyndal's answer was "I'm tired." My answer was, "Do I have any clean white socks?" Apparently we got some work to do!

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