Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The latest...

Today came a big milestone in our adoption! We've received our I-800 approval from USCIS, which approves our family to adopt Joseph as our child. We now move on to several different steps to obtain our travel approval. Fingers crossed, we may be in China in early August to bring our son HOME!

As anticipated, we received an email from our friend at Agape Adoptions, once she just returned from China last week. Her email message came as an early surprise to me, knowing that she had just returned home and was likely very jet lagged. Not to mention the fact that it was Saturday night, yet she chose to take time to accommodate the hearts and minds of waiting parents! She truly is a kind person, and Myriam will always be remembered in this adoption process.

I had woken up around 3 a.m. a few nights earlier, and instantly--as my eyes popped open--I envisioned Joseph opening our gifts. It was as if I could sense that it was happening a world away (China is 1/2 day ahead of us). It turns out that Myriam was there delivering his gifts that day! At the exact time? Who knows, but I like to believe that the Holy Spirit was sending me signals!

So back to the update. The beautiful update...

She had this to say about our son:

"He is a very sweet boy. He takes a while to warm up to people, and its hard to get him to smile, but he is so very sweet and his shyness is just that. He is very alert and aware of his surroundings. He gets along well with other kids and seems very age appropriate to me in his development."
The only tough part of her update, that might've stood out to you, too, is that it's difficult to get him to smile. That is what hit my heart the most. We will have our work cut out for us, but Jimmy and I have faith that we'll get Joseph to come out of that shell. And hopefully he'll be smiling quickly and often.

Thanks to Myriam, we also received a few photos of our little munchkin. I think he looks like a wise, old soul, and I can hardly wait to wrap my arms around him. Forever.  Soon, little man, soon you will be a part of this Murphy family. 


Monday, June 2, 2014

Extra Brave

About a month ago, a sweet friend of mine, Andrea, offered to translate Joseph's Chinese name for us. If you are a blog stalker, you might affectionately know her as "Rini's Mom" and you may know of her beautiful family, and their precious survivor Empress Rini, through her blog. Andrea and I share a love for heart babies, and we also share the same adoption agency!

In all of Andrea's busyness with her family, and the medical needs of her precious children, (not to mention her dedicated advocacy efforts) I was so thankful for Andrea's kind offer, as this was something I'd often wondered about, and it was not mentioned in Joseph's file. 

Andrea was able to translate his name by looking at his Chinese file, which contained the characters for his Chinese name, Xiao Xiao ( 骁 骁 )

I waited, with anticipation, for this reply:

  "The character used for "Xiao" means "brave, strong."  
When doubled, it means "very" or "extra." 

We know in our hearts that Joseph is, indeed, extra brave and strong. All of these children are, aren't they? They are all warriors in their own right, surviving with and without things that most of us take for granted on a daily basis.

I can't begin to imagine what the first five years of our son's life have been like. But come August, that's all about to change...