THE P. MURPHY FAMILY
"Even before I was married, I knew I wanted to adopt. There were times that I wasn’t sure that that desire would be fulfilled, but God weaved adoption into the fabric of our family and created a family so beautiful that I am in awe of His plan.
Pete and I met while working together at the same university. Two years later, we were married and began our life together. As we dreamed of what God had in store for our marriage, and some day, our family, I envisioned adoption as a part of our family. We would talk about it, but had no plans of how adoption might be a part of God’s plan for our family. And when we began to have children, adoption seemed to become a memory in the busyness of pregnancy, nursing and the raising of small children.
However, three incredible boys, and three C-sections later, the last with complications, left Pete and I having to seriously discern what God was calling us to. We have always been open to life and we fully embrace all of the Church’s teachings, but I was in physical therapy for scar tissue build up and pain caused by my C-sections. My OB was cautioning me that if I were to want to have more children, I would need to discuss it with a panel of OBs from the office. So, we prayed. A lot. And when our youngest was 18 months old, we knew that God was telling us to not try to have any more children at that time.
During this time, the desire to adopt, that lay dormant for so many years, began to be awakened. Both Pete and I loved the idea of having more children and while it seemed that having more children biologically was not going to happen, adoption seemed like a natural next step for our family. The discernment process for adoption was LONG and it took both my husband and I many years to know God’s timing and will for it (you can read more about that here https://www.nohandsbutours.com/2017/01/31/reluctant-husband-syndrome/ , and here http://www.blessedwithfullhands.com/p/blog-page.html?q=adoption ). In 2012, we began the process to adopt from China.
In May of 2014 we got a call from our agency and a few minutes later, in my inbox, was the file and photo of a beautiful 14 month old little girl. She captured our hearts, and would become the pink among our house of blue. After my boys’ initial disappointment that they would NOT be having another brother, they embraced this little girl, Felicity, as their sister long before they even got to hold her. Our whole family was excited, we had pictures of her all around the house and prayed for her and her caregivers daily. We could not wait to bring her home. In October, 2014, Pete and I boarded a plane to China and our family of 5, officially grew to 6!
While adopting from China, most families have a day that is called “Orphanage visit day.” A few days after the adoption is finalized, the family can chose to visit the orphanage. It is a time when your child can say good bye to friends and caregivers and you, as parents, can see where your child was cared for. On that day, we entered the play room of Felicity’s orphanage. There were only a few children in there at the time. I was busy with Felicity, so I did not give much attention to the children in the room. But, at one point, Felicity got down to play, so I took off my shoes and walked onto the mats by the children. There was a little boy busily playing with a toy in his hands. I guessed this little guy was around a year old. I began to talk to him and his hands started to wave the toy wildly. I tickled him. He smiled at me. A huge smile. I said good bye to that little boy and gave little thought to him after I left the room. Life with our daughter had begun and we became busy about attachment and cocooning.
Four months after that day, I was on our agency’s Facebook page, scrolling through photos of children they were advocating for. I scrolled past photo after photo and then stopped. My eyes fell upon a familiar face. He was bigger, yes, but it was unmistakable that I was looking at the little boy that I had played with at Felicity’s orphanage. I told Pete about him right away, but, honestly, even though my heart leapt a little when I saw his photo, both Pete and I thought it was way too soon to adopt again. We had barely had our bags unpacked from our first adoption trip! So, we did not pursue the little boy. I began to pray that a family step forward to adopt him and I would check in with our agency to see if anyone had stepped forward for this precious little guy. However, two months later, no family had stepped forward and we began to wonder if maybe no other family had stepped forward because WE were his family. We thought it could not hurt to lock his file and have a doctor review it for us. After a week of calls with doctors and our agency, and lots and lots of prayers, we knew this little boy was written on our hearts and was our son. We began the adoption process to bring him home in April 2015 and Pete and our oldest son went to China to bring Thomas home in February of 2016. During Thomas’ adoption process, we were blessed to find out that we were expecting a little baby girl due May 2016. So Thomas became a little brother of 3 brothers and 1 sister when he arrived home; and a big brother to his little sister Hope, just two months later.
Today, Felicity has been home 5 years, Thomas 3 ½ years, and our family is blessed beyond measure by our “yes” to adoption. Adoption is borne out of brokenness and can be a challenging journey. However, throughout the journey, we are constantly reminded of God’s faithfulness and His love for us. He restores all things and makes all things new (Revelation 21:5). Not only are our children transformed by His love, but we are as well and we experience that in a way we never would have if God had not called us to this adoption journey.
As you read through the stories here on ARISE, and learn more about adoption, I pray that the information here may help you to discern your own journey. I pray that God show you if adoption is a part of your family’s story and know you are prayed for every step of the way!"
-Katie Murphy, Green Bay, WI