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Monday, September 28, 2015

An Update on LiLi Featuring a Guest Blogger Which is Her MOTHER

On the last day of our trip in 2014 we prayed before we left our hotel that we would be able to speak with whomever was in charge of the files so that we could best advocate when we got home.  We were told there were 2 kids on the list.  When we arrived at the orphanage our guide came to us and said that the "woman in charge of the files" was there to talk to us.  We looked at each other with wide eyes and tears because we were not expecting this door to fling wide open.  She sat with us and shared all of the FIVE kids who were on the list - all boys.  Wonderful news!  But, there was one child, the youngest at the orphanage they did not mention who had Down's Syndrome.  We said, "What about LiLi?  Can she have a file?"  The woman said, "If you find her a family, we will prepare her file."  Do you know how hard it is for a cryer (me - Lori) to keep from crying at a moment like this?  Another door flung wide open.  We got home and got to work advocating for her.  She was featured on and within days I had multiple emails asking about her but one family stood out.  The rest of the story is here in their own words:

In August of 2014, the life of our family took a dramatic turn in ONE day, due to ONE blog post, due to ONE friend that posted a link on her Facebook page, due to ONE team made of many that went to be love and found ONE little girl that was meant to be our forever daughter. The title of the blog post where we first saw her precious face was "A Family for Lee Lee." 

We had been in the adoption process for over 4 years at that point, and still waiting. Our paperwork sat in Ethiopia almost all that time and was never matched with a child due to governing delays in the process. During that time, we had some life changes like adding another child through foster care, job changes, and moving to a new city. Life went on but our hearts still longed and ached for our daughter who we felt was in another land. We had heard the clear call to adopt, it just felt as if there were scattered puzzle pieces laying around that were yet to be a finished picture.

About a month before seeing the blog about Lee Lee, we had inquired with our agency about what options were available to us if we switched countries from Ethiopia, since we were still at a standstill. Our family coordinator said China's Special Needs program would be an option. We had first desired to adopt from China when we first began the adoption process. At that time, however, we were disqualified due to a cancer history in our family. But, things had changed in China during our wait and we were now eligible. We decided as a family to take some time to pray and see if that was the right direction. 

August 3, 2014, with our family vacation beginning the next day, packing procrastination had set in. Facebook browsing was underway and then, boom! The blog post that would change our lives forever was before us. I (Angela) read it first and many things caught my heart. Lee Lee's need was Down Syndrome and we had been in a conversation about a year before in our marriage about considering adopting a child with that specific need. The night before our long drive to our vacation spot, I showed the blog post to my husband, unsure of what his response would be. After all, we had seen thousands of similar advocacy blogs throughout our 4 year wait. But, my husband was also intrigued and his heart tugged. We ended up staying up almost all night praying, dreaming, crying, wondering....could this be our daughter we had waited for all this time? We inquired by email and got a quick reply so the next day, we packed our van with all our typical vacation items but also took our printer/scanner, adoption paperwork, financial documents, anything else we could think of, in case the possibility became a reality. 

That August week was a roller coaster of events that became the first of many miracles we would see in Lee Lee becoming an orphan no more. Our agency was guarded about saying "yes" to helping us. There were just so many places that logistics could stop the whole thing. For example, this child had no file started. The orphanage had said they would prepare her file if a family was found, but would they follow through? Not only that, we needed to fund raise and do all new paperwork for a new country. All we knew for sure at that point was that God had burdened our heart for this little girl, she needed a family and we hoped we could be that family. Our promise to God was to walk obediently through the doors He opened and to accept whatever His will was for us and for Lee Lee.

We had no idea the miracles that were waiting to happen. Each piece of paper completed, each dollar fund-raised, each "yes" from government officials, down to the details such as someone donating the airfare for our three biological sons to go with us to China to bring Lee Lee home. 

So, so many prayers were answered. We brought Lee Lee (now named Lia) home to be with our family forever on July 9, 2015. We envisioned the joy she would add to our days and even what we imagined has all been surpassed in just the few weeks we have been together. All the arduous days of waiting and wondering are now over for her and for us and we are blessed to be the recipients of the richest gifts on earth...seeing God perform real life miracles right before our very eyes. 

Now we sit and smile when we think that her crib was once in a room filled with boys. Her new home is also filled with all brothers, who love her immensely. She has a Mommy and Daddy to tuck her in bed at night and to be there first thing in the morning, memories are being made, milestones met. A family for Lee Lee was found! 

Lee Lee in 2014 with a one of our team members.

Lee Lee with one of the nannies that loved her like she was her own (she has worked at the orphanage for over 20 years because she loves the children).

And, now Lee Lee (now known as Lia) HOME almost exactly a year later - she has FOUR brothers, the same amount of "brothers" she had at the orphanage!  If that is not al little wink from the Father then I don't know what is!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

How was your trip?

We often get asked "how was the trip?" Many times, the emotions threaten to spill over when we're asked this, and it is easier on our hearts to simply make a general reply like "oh, it was really great!" or "It is so wonderful to spend time with the children." It is wonderful to spend time with the children. It is also heartbreaking and at times haunting. The first year I took my teen on a mission trip, after we returned home, she couldn't sleep more than a few hours at a time without waking and sobbing "Who will love our babies now that we're not there?" She had a crash course in giving her cares to Jesus and knowing He loves our babies more than we do.. And when we speak of our babies -- some of them are adults, in beds, unable to function. They are our babies!

A friend who I have had the honor of serving with on some of our trips wrote this heartfelt post after we returned home. If this is your only view of our work, I would tell you this describes my heart better than anything I could have written myself. I'm sharing this with her hesitant permission. As you read, know this is so. very. real...

My daughter, adopted 9 months ago at almost eight years of age, caught me looking at pictures. They were hard pictures to view. Pictures into a world of disabled starving teenage children. Not from the orphanage that I visit, but from one I had been to before. Thankfully it was also a place where we were starting to see some improvements. She began to ask me questions before I put the photos away…

”Why does he not have a bottom?"

” Well, he does have a bottom, he just doesn’t have any fat or muscle on his bottom so you are just looking a bones with skin stretched over them, and It has happened because he is starving. But, he is getting better because they are starting to feed him more.”

“There was a girl like that at my China home. Her arms and legs were very skinny, but her body wasn’t so skinny.”

“If her body wasn’t so skinny, she was being fed more and that’s good.”

“She was really, really pale.”

“Did she ever go outside?”

“No! Of course not! She couldn’t walk!!”

And just like that, I feel the urge to get on a plane, fly to China, take an overnight train, find a small orphanage, walk up those flights of stairs, and see if I can take one special girl outside. It’s what my heart compels me to do. It’s sometimes exactly what I do when I visit China.

Is it enough?

It never feels like enough. Especially after I’m home.

The statements ring in my head, “You can’t really do anything in one week.” and “You haven’t really done anything to change her life.” I hear those both as my own questions and as statements from people telling why they would never go. I understand the truth of that.

Then amidst the clamor in my head comes a quiet voice ringing like a bell, “I was thirsty and you gave me a drink.”

From Matthew 26:35-36 “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me…Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”

A peace washes over my heart. Going is the right thing for me to do. It has value to my King, and suddenly the struggle turns into worship. He loves me like that. He loves ME like that. He would get on a plane, take an overnight train, climb flights of stairs to take me outside. He loves me like that. He loves you like that. There is no one like Jesus and His extravagant love. He is the one that can change a life and sometimes he starts with a heart.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Those who stay...

Four girls who are orphaned with little or no hope of ever having a family to call their own. These children have our hearts. During worship on Sunday morning, during prayer time in my home, when my heart is singing praises to my Father, and so many times during the day,during sacred moments and not-so-sacred moments,snapshots of the children who remain in the orphanage crowd my mind and remain with me.

Let me introduce you to some of these who kept a piece of our hearts when we left China.

Esther, Reserved. Modest. Quiet. Humble. Self-controlled. Hidden. The story of Esther is a beautiful story of a young woman who showed strength in her reliance on God during troubled times. I found this statement about the name and the girl... “The true honor of the princess is within.” That is our Esther. She has an inner beauty. An unshakable joy. And a strength that comes from making the best of her circumstances. Our girl Esther...

The young lady on the right in this photo is Rachel, beautiful and well favored. Jacob loved Rachel deeply and worked to bring her into his home. Our Rachel is quiet, sensitive, and deeply loved. I pray she will realize how much we love her, how much her Father loves her.

These two. They wake us in the night hours. They bring us to tears and drive us to our knees as we go through the day. Our girls. Rachel and Esther. Orphaned. Many of the children at the SWI have physical or mental special needs that for one reason or another have caused them to be placed in the orphanage. These two girls are healthy with no special needs. Their minds are sharp. Their thoughts are clear. There is no way for our hearts and minds to reduce the magnitude of the fact that they are orphaned, and they know it!

They were on break from 'orphan school' while we visited. Can you even begin to imagine knowing you are going to orphan school? Knowing that people who see you, see 'orphan' before they see the person you are? These girls know the best their lives ever have to offer is being tagged 'orphan.' When I first met Rachel, she looked as if she had nothing to smile about. That broke my heart. My desire was that we see her smile before we left. And we did. My daughter (standing next to Rachel in the photo) was ready to come home and BEG her dad to start paperwork to adopt a teen sister. Another teen member of our group had started planning ways to convince his family to bring the other girl home... But we discovered these two are unadoptable. They have social circumstances that pretty much guarantee they will live their childhood lives as orphans. Funny thing is, my mind knows their situation. My heart knows their Father, and He keeps reminding me that He places the lonely in families.

Naomi means “my joy,” “my bliss,” or “pleasantness of Jehovah,” and is a name suggestive of all that is charming, agreeable, attractive. All that is charming, agreeable, attractive. Oh sweet Naomi! How I long to give you and hug -- and to get a hug in return from you. Such a loving young lady, and it is, oh, so easy to love her!! She is the first one we see when we arrive at the orphanage, and she stays with us as much as she possibly can. This young girl is so full of love and simply desires to have that love returned to her.

Ruthi, Companion; friend; vision of beauty. We never saw Naomi without Ruthi at her side. These two have learned the art of friendship. And dear goodness, we could learn a thing or two from them... We told the girls the names we had given them. We told them the meanings of their names. They knew we didn't take naming them lightly, and they had a deep appreciation for this gift we gave them. Ruthi was shy. The "r" sound is a difficult one to make in the Chinese language. She would sit with me when no one was listening and work at sounding out her name. Precious, precious girl...

Ruthi and Naomi. These girls. As I wrote about our other teens, the two who attend 'orphan school,' my heart broke for these two girls. Ruthi and Naomi don't even have school. They watch as the other teens leave for school while they stay at the orphanage. I work in a learning atmosphere with children here in the states, and I've seen the joy on the children's faces when they realize they have learned something new or mastered a task. How sad that these girls aren't given the opportunity to experience that joy. In a good case scenario, they will remain at the orphanage and work as adults. I hope they get that good case scenario. I'm reminded that life isn't always easy or fair. The Lord and I talk about these two often, join us?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Sweet Angel

We recently visited an orphanage in northern Ch*na.  A team had not been there in several years so we weren't sure what to expect.  We were oh so very surprised to find love here!  Another thing we discovered was several beautiful children in need of forever families.  So, this is where our fight begins.

With Lee Lee . . . 

Lee Lee was born in 2011 with designer genes and she wears her genes well!  She's the youngest here and plays the role of little sister very well.  Her crib is in a room with four little boys and they treat her just like any brother would - part love and part rival.  

Lee Lee was very shy with us.  It was very hard for me to not just pick her up and squeeze her and carry her around!  But, her body language told me to take it easy, so we did.  I love her.  And, just so you know, her smile is worth it!

The nannies take very good care of her, giving her snuggles, and lots of attention.  She's the jewel of this toddler room.

When we asked about her file, they said, "If you find her a family we will prepare her file."  I think my heart fell out of my chest because a lot of orphanages don't think these gifts have a chance at being adopted, but the door was open even if it was just a crack . . . 

So, here we are, fighting for this one, this one who has more chromosomes than we do, who might have more challenges than a 'typical' person might, this one who is also capable of so much love.

Our team is committed to finding this girl's forever family.

To learn more about our sweet Lee Lee please email (serious inquiries only):
lori mcmurphy @ gmail .com
gen dvm @
kimberly a humphrey @ gmail .com
(but don't use the spaces:)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Nick needs a family! We just spent about 5 days with this sweet boy. Born in 2007. He's a very good boy and gets along well with others. He would make a great brother. Likes sports and playing with cars. He has waited so long his SWI said his paperwork expired and is being renewed. He really loved the older boy with us and would like to have a big brother but said he liked little brothers and sisters too. He asked the boy with us if he could go with him when we left. It was probably one of the harder moments of our say that wasn't possible. He has a personality probably on the strong-willed side. He has definite ideas about how he wants things to go, but he accepted correction easily and responded immediately. He is in a very loving SWI, but he is chafing a bit at the walls of the orphanage. He needs a family to take him to soccer games, school, have a life outside four walls.

Nick loves to be active, loves playing sports. He likes drawing, and he likes transformers.. He is loving. He would love to have a family full of siblings.


Meet Matthew. This is another one of our guys we met while on a recent trip. He is six years old. He is the most loveable, sweet, and and fun-spirited boy. His file will be ready and go to the shared list. He has a very minor sensitive special need. He's so easy to love! He's a performer! He loved to sing and did not hesitate to do it when the ayis asked him to. Born in 2008. Matthew would LOVE to have a family and he would be a huge blessing to a family!!!! Could that family be you?


This is JoJo born in 2011. Jo's needs are minor. He has a repaired heart condition and strabismus with one eye. Neither seem to have effected his development. His file should be ready in 2-3 months and will go to the shared list, so someone could have their agency watching for it. There is a possibility that he will be LID only so a family would need to already have paperwork completed, but the fact that he has more than one issue might make him Special Focus. We aren't sure about that! Special Focus would mean a family could lock his file before starting paperwork. He needs a family! We just spent a week with him and we can tell you that he is a JOY and that he is full of personality! Are you his family?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


John --
John is an active little guy who loves playing sports. He also enjoys drawing. What he really wants is a home. He wants a big sister. :)And he wants a family that would love him

Monday, July 14, 2014


Robert is a six-year-old boy with arthrogriposis. He longs for parents, and would love legs like other kids, but he’s extremely mobile utilizing his thighs to walk. He works very hard in therapy twice per week. Robert likes to share snacks with other kids and help the nannies organize toys at the home. He also loves speaking his mind, and is never afraid to ask questions. He’s a huge fan of superheroes, and seeing what he’s accomplished qualifies him for membership in that club!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Fundraising for China

Will God provide the funds?  Absolutely.  Do we have to do our part?  You betcha.  I heard a quote, not sure who originally said it, but I heard it from our music pastor, "If you want your prayers to work, get off your knees."  That's what we are doing . . . 

We are selling two different kinds of lotion.  The coconut lotion is thick and rich and great for winter weary skin.  The almond oil lotion is not quite as thick but just as wonderful.  My kids have very dry skin, especially my China born daughter, and this is all I use on her to keep her from getting SO dry and scratchy.  

For a minimal donation of only $10 we will get you some lotion.

Almost looks good enough to eat, doesn't it!

I make more lotion in this mixer than almost anything else . . . I'm not much of a cook or baker.

Here's how to order some lotion . . . 

1.  Click on the Visiting Orphans link on the side bar
2.  Where it says "Fund Category" scroll down to see Fushun Nichols/McMurphy and click it
3.  You can specify a team member (Gael Nichols, Kate Nichols, Kim Humphrey, Halli Humphrey, or Lori McMurphy) but you don't have to, if it goes in our general fund that works as well!
4.  Send me an email at with LOTION in the subject line and email me your address.

Isn't that simple!!!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Pieces of the Puzzle

This is how I picture our Father . . . He's putting this massive puzzle together, it's not a hard puzzle, but each piece goes in it's place at the right time.  He has a gentle "I'm going to knock their socks off" grin on His face.  And, we are down here praying for each piece, not knowing when He will put the next piece down.  When He does put a piece in we do a cheer, and cry, and tell people, and tell Him that THIS IS SO AWESOME WE CAN'T BELIEVE WE GET TO WATCH THIS!!!  MORE, MORE, MORE!!!!

There was one little girl in particular that we've been rooting for.  She's verbal, smart as a whip, active, ornery, and very much loved by the nannies.  She told one of our team members that she didn't want her two friends to be adopted because then she wouldn't have anyone to play with (most of the other kids are nonverbal).  Due to her special need she is unable to go to school, we knew that she needed to be lifted up in a lot of different ways.  So we started lifting.  And God started moving . . .

By chance we came across and 'friended' a foster mother in Shenyang which is the capitol city of Liaoning Province.  This foster mother had been fostering a gorgeous little girl who was about to go and live with her forever family.  This little girl was wasting away with very little attention given to her at all in the orphanage.  She was born with designer genes and maybe, for whatever reason, the nannies didn't think she'd ever be chosen so they did not give her the nutrition and attention she needed.  Melinda took her home, fed her, got her medical attention, educated her, loved on her and now she is THRIVING and was about to meet her forever family in just a few days.

One day, Melinda, accidentally posted on one of our timelines and a conversation started about how we had been to the orphanage in Chaoyang, how we loved the children, and would she please just check on this one little girl in particular . . . she said she would.  Pieces of the puzzle . . .

Sweet little girl with the designer genes goes and lives with her forever family.  Melinda, grieving and rejoicing for the little girl, but knowing this is what our Father wants her to do - to foster and get them ready for their forever families.  Now, Melinda has an 'opening' for another child to come and be fostered.  Can you just check on this one little girl for us?  Another piece of the puzzle . . . Melinda goes to Chaoyang SWI and asks about our precious Jing who is very much loved in this orphanage, but has no future here (an orphanage has very little hope at a future no matter how good the care is - that is slowly changing but it is what it is, a family makes all the difference in the world).  Our precious foster mother requests to foster Jing.  She waits for approval and gets it.  A child we were working on getting just a tutor for now has a foster mommy requesting to do so much more! A GIANT piece of the puzzle!


Jing, for the first time in her life, has a birthday party to celebrate her 7th birthday!  She celebrates Christmas!  She has a foster sister and a foster brother, is learning English (she will most likely end up in an American home), is getting the medical attention she needs to see if her medical need 'needs' anything, she has an advocate getting her paper work moving so she can have her own forever family.  And, just last July she was an orphan telling us she didn't want her friends to be adopted.  Mountains moving.  Puzzles being put together.

We want to SEE what He has in store for this precious child!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Orphan Sunday


Orphan Sunday is November 3.  ALL God's children are precious to him, no matter where they are from.  He doesn't care which orphans you serve or where you serve them.  This is a video on our trip to China.  We are going back to Liaoning Province June 25-July 6, 2014 with two teams.  One team will go back to Chaoyang and another will rekindle a relationship with the orphanage in Fushun.  This is your chance to Go. Be.  LOVE.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

We took a few photos of empty rooms, empty halls. How I wish those rooms and halls were empty because all the children had found someone to call their own, someone to love them despite their brokenness. Those empty halls haunt me. They should either be empty because the children have left with someone who loves them, or they should be filled with running happy children. But they aren’t. My heart breaks for the orphan.

And I am reminded they are loved by One who loves them even more than I love them. Even though we never knew some of their names, He does. He sent us to be his hands and feet -- to be His arms hugging, holding, and loving on these children. We walked in and Love went with us. We left. Love stayed. And I believe somewhere within their hearts, the children know their creator. Sometimes, I suspect they know Him better than we do. I can find no other way to explain what we experienced -- The laughter of a child who has known no joy in life. The teen who finds beauty and clings to it within the drab walls of an orphanage. The autistic child’s excitement to see us, when he really prefers routine over new and exciting, until the new and exciting is found to be less scary than he had thought…

These children have less to laugh about than just about any other soul on this earth, and still they laugh. They laugh with overwhelming joy that someone took a few days to show them Love. Yes indeed, our Lord, His Love, walked in with us when we entered the orphanage in Chaoyang. Those precious children knew it. They embraced it. How many of us as adults can say that we do the same? I went on the trip to minister to them. I came home a different person. While I was ‘helping’ them, they were helping me…

Thursday, August 29, 2013


Our little Chen is another of the kiddos who suffers from autism. It made my heart hurt to watch him process our group coming in and anything new and different for that matter... Once a person passed that initial stage, though… look out!!! One member of our group spent countless time going over to the ball pit and playing with Chen. Seems he LOVED being tossed into the pit! It was such a joy to hear his squeals of delight rather than his tears of struggle as he processed new things. He also convinced me to go into the play area. He would coax me up a climbing area until I got so high I was afraid my adult weight would cause the equipment to collapse. Then, he would push me further into the climbing area. He was so disappointed when I wouldn’t go any further…

Our little Mr. Chen must have a sweet tooth also. On our last day with our kiddos, we had a birthday celebration complete with a monster-sized cake! It looked yummy. I guess Chen thought it looked pretty good too. He kept trying to get to the cake before the party. One member of our group kept trying to keep him from the cake. He finally caught his moment and dove in. The cake was missing a bite out of the side when we served it. This little boy had just a teeny amount of frosting on his face before the party began.  Oh, how I love these kiddos.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Two steps forward. One step back.

Prior to our outing at the amusement park, I had not spent much time with Dong Dong. I was afraid that he would be reluctant to hold my hand since he didn’t know me yet. When I grasped his little arm and started walking through the park he immediately resisted because of all the sights and sounds he was bombarded with. When you spend as much time in the shelter of the orphanage like Dong Dong does, you’d understand how overwhelming this trip was for him. As we walked, he would take two steps forward and one step back. Like several children in the orphanage, Dong Dong has autism. He self-soothes by rocking and this was his way of observing this new setting while staying in the confines of his “world”.

We eventually got into a rhythm, he and I. I would walk slowly while he did his steps and to outsiders I’m sure it appeared as if we were doing a waltz through the park! On the rides Dong Dong would let out a laugh that would shatter the silence between the two of us and lift my heart in a way that I never imagined. Once our time in the park was coming to an end one of the nannies gave him a balloon that truly brought Dong Dong out of his shell. While flapping in the wind the balloon would bump me in the head and he would just laugh his little heart out. So much so that we turned it into a game and I would gladly make myself the fool just to hear his laughter again and again. I can hear it now echoing in my mind.

Upon returning home, I’ve struggled with the overwhelming need to help these children, to rescue them from their life of solidarity and loneliness, to give them a voice. I question why I was allowed to spend such little time with them and make (in my mind) no difference in their lives but then I remember that laughter.

Our trip did make a difference. Seeing his smile and watching his joy made all the difference…to him. I will now walk through life like Dong Dong, two steps forward towards the future and one step with my eye on the past. These children will not be forgotten for they have gained a voice to share their story…mine ----Amy