Sunday, December 8, 2013


This first week of Advent was all about hope. And I felt it so intensely.


As we prepare our hearts in anticipation of the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ.


As we prepare our hearts for another child in our home.

I am at such peace with this adoption process, and I have complete faith that God's hand is in all of this. I feel patient, even with the wait this time around. Somehow, I've found the way out of my type-A shell, and I am letting God. It feels right.

We received an email early in the week that the orphanage is willing to send our little one for a new MRI, since they haven't sent the original for whatever reason. As I mentioned before, Jimmy and I will gladly pay for this new MRI. Believe it or not, in China the MRI will only cost $200 U.S. dollars.

We also received another new piece of information...a CT scan report from 2012. We have forwarded the report to a couple of trusted medical professionals, but again...we realize that we want "the real thing," which is why we have asked our agency to proceed with our formal request. Whether the information helps us decide to bring this child into our family or someone elses, we do believe that it is money well spent for this child's future.

Jimmy and I received, on Wednesday, notification of our appointments with USCIS for fingerprinting on 12/18...another important step in the process that we look forward to knocking off our list. 

As we enter this second week of Advent, we have a nice surprise visitor at our house. Madi is in her second year of CCD classes, and since the beginning of the semester, Sister Lucy has been rotating a special statue of the Blessed Mother among the students. When I picked up Madi from class today, I noticed she was holding a big red bag. I had forgotten about the statue, which Madi has so desperately wanted to bring home, and I asked her where the bag came from.

"I GOT MARY!" she replied so proudly. 

I don't know why but I became very emotional. Weirdly, I couldn't stop crying. I guess it just seems like a beautiful and very fitting time for us to have the Blessed Mother's presence in our home, and I felt like it was a sign that the Holy Spirit is with us.

I pray she brings us miracles this week.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Round two.

It's taken me a few days to bounce back from our second garage sale on Saturday.

But let me just begin with this...


We are SO blessed by our community. Again, people showed up to donate items for the sale. Again, friends came and overpaid for items on purpose. Again, some friends made an appearance only to give a donation. And again, we had angels who broke their backs to help us through the sale.


There were some crazy lows...the haggling is such an ugly place sometimes, and I lost patience in the battle more than I'd like to admit. And though there wasn't rain on the forecast totally poured. A deluge. Sadly, it ruined a lot of things. I thought Jimmy was going to cry. But then, suddenly, he didn't have time to cry, because Charlie and his little buddy had decided to pour 1/2 jar of dried worm food into the turtle tank. Thank goodness for Madi, who came running out to deliver the news, but she was devastated because she felt responsible. And that was after Charlie decided to touch Peter, our Christmas elf, which had Madi in a troubled state to begin with. It was shaping up to be a Murphy's Law kinda day.

Then came some amazing highs. Jimmy removed himself from the scene to clean the turtle tank. Thankfully, he made it back out front in time to see the RAINBOW, which had formed at the very end of our driveway right before our very eyes!! It only lasted for a few minutes, but we saw it. And it seemed like we were standing right next to the pot of gold.

We felt HOPE.

And you just know, by now, that there's always a special story to share. Well, toward the tail-end of our sale, a beautiful family whom we know from church, pulled up. Seeing them was such a bright spot, and their timing was so perfect. The Holy Spirit, indeed.

Their daughter handed me a card, with a generous donation clipped inside, and it read:

Dear Murphy Family,

I found money on the ground. Although I tried to find the owner, I could not. I decided to do good things with it. First, I gave some to the Core Ministry. Then, I planned to do something helpful at Christmas. My mom told me that you were going to adopt another child and I thought that I can donate some money to you. I hope this donation helps.


Seriously?  Oh, my heart. People just amaze me. What a testament to the goodness of God on this Earth. And from a young child's heart no less. 

The sale ended early, once again, due to the weather and the fact that I was rescued by a commitment to speak about adoption at the 4 o'clock Mass. Time in the Lord's house was exactly the peace and calming medicine that I needed for my soul. And you won't believe who the altar servers were at Mass..the sweet girl who found money and donated it to our adoption, and her brother. Amazing, huh?

Our timing for these sales was perfect. Banyan Creek, Madi's elementary school, happens to be having a clothing and shoe drive this week. We delivered four huge Hefty lawn & garden bags and one large box full of clothing and shoes. I think we might've filled the bin!  And our church, St. Vincent Ferrer, is already collecting items for their Spring rummage sale, so they are going to get the mother lode this week! It feels so good to give in the midst of all this receiving!

Thank you, thank you to ALL of you on this journey with us. It takes a village, and we sure appreciate ours more than you'll ever possibly know.