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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Monday, October 19, 2009


Fall Break brought us to Ga Ga's in Northwestern Oklahoma. I love living in Oklahoma because we get to experience all the changes of the seasons with God surprising us with all His creativity and glory. Not too far from my mother-in-law's house is a lake and the kids and I decided to go exploring (except for Carlie, she stayed back and got some one-on-one Ga Ga time, and Daddy worked on the deck). The lake was very low so we were able to walk where there is normally water. The kids thought that was pretty cool to see what a lake bottom looked like. When I was a kid I used to think it would be cool to see what you could find at the bottom of a lake, mostly because I used to lose my earrings and I wanted to see if I could find them again. This was not that kind of lake - no swimming or water-skiing going on here, and the fishing is catch and release only. One of our favorite finds when we went on our walk were these huge cattails! I haven't seen cattails in years and I think they are really cool! We cut down a couple of them to take to Ethan's class for their sensory table which now has a Fall theme. There wasn't anything too interesting at the bottom of this lake, just a couple of plastic grocery bags (those things will never go away), one Heeli*s tennis shoe minus the wheel, lots of big sticks, broken glass, and aluminum cans.

By the way, God's timing is perfect. Even though we did not get our request answered for last week, we are looking forward to another prayer full week as we present our request to Him again. Can't wait.
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Sunday, October 11, 2009

We Have a Prayer Request . . .

But God is able to do even exceedingly above what you are able to think or imagine.  
Ephesians 3:20

We are not able to tell you what our request is exactly, the Lord knows what our desire is.  We also know that HIS timing is far better than anything we could ever imagine.  Thank you very much for praying for us!  God is good.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Samwise Shortshanks

Our little dog Sammy died today. She was only eleven years old and she didn't seem sick or anything. We woke up this morning and she was in her crate not moving. So, C and Daddy buried her in the back yard and said a prayer over her. She was a mixed breed. We know that her mom was half cocker spaniel and half beagle, not sure what her daddy was, but by the looks of Sammy we are guessing he was dachshund. Sammy was a bit tempremental and a bit odd, but we loved her. She will be missed.

When I told N and E this morning they both seemed very distraught and said, "Oh how sad. When can we get another dog?" Carlie said, "Cereal." She hadn't eaten breakfast and she's only two, so who can blame her. The oldest was the only one to show any emotion about it. Our other dog did a little dance and ate some marshmallows. Jasmine was very jealous of Sammy and Sammy let Jasmine run all over her even though Sammy had seniority.

It's always sad when a pet dies. Sammy was a very cute dog. She and Conner had some good times together. Goodbye sweet Sammy.
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Thursday, October 01, 2009

Carlie is TWO!!

Today was Carlie's 2nd birthday! She had quite a fun day. She and I went to Toys R Us to spend her birthday $$ that her GaGa and Great-Grandma's gave her. She wanted a baby! She saw one baby and carried it around, then she'd see another one and yell, "BABY!" drop the one in her hand and go get the other one. We had babies all over the aisles. And she can't ever get a baby without buying a bottle for that baby. All her babies need their own 'bo-ulls.' Then she and I went to Gymboree to get some cute clothes. She actually likes clothes shopping! Two of her favorite foods are fries and pizza. We had fries at lunch and pizza for dinner at Mazzios. Ethan asked if we were going to eat IN the restaurant, I said that we were and he goes, "YES! I LOVE eating IN restaurants!" (Guess what we usually do when I don't cook? Yep, have it delivered or go get it at the drive-thru.) And if you could've seen Ethan at the restaurant you would know why we don't eat IN the restaurant very often! He was a little wild. Good thing there weren't very many people there. We got back home, ate cookie cake, played outside for a while, then opened some presents. It was a great birthday!
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