Sunday, September 30, 2007

Please Sign this petition. . . call for help

We have to bring this sweet little face home. Please pray for us.

When we first started our adoption, we were well aware of the risks involved in Guatemalan adoptions. We were advised early in the process that Guatemala and the United States are not signatories of the Hague Convention, designed to safegaurd the rights of children against child-trafficking. We were assured, however, that our agency has implemented policies that go above and beyond the specifications of the Hague (as do a majority of the agencies operating in Guatemala). Nonetheless, we recently received news of a very disturbing memo from the US Department of State, threatening to close all adoptions from Guatemala that are not finalized by December 31st, 2007.
Our impression has always been that we could disregard such political posturing in the past (designed to put political pressure on Guatemala's president to become Hague compliant), because our adoption is "grandfathered" in; our adoption would be completed and our child would be allowed entry into the United States. Somehow along the way the DOS has changed their minds and are now NOT making good on their initial "good faith" promise. They are saying that any "in process" adoptions that aren't completed by December 31st of this year (which Lucia's adoption could or could not be completed by this time) will not have a guarantee for completion. This is a very serious situation that could affect our adoption as well as countless others. Our agency has advised that we send signed petitions and elicit the signatures of as many friends and family as possible. Please take a moment to click on the link below and provide your name and email address. I have signed this petition and given my e-mail. They sent me one e-mail confirming my signature, but have not sent any others.
This situation is very complicated and a bit hard for me to explain, in detail; but, the latest statement from DOS (United States Department of State), speaks for itself... It is pretty easy to find if you google it. There is no doubt that reform needs to happen in Guatemala so that they no longer need to reliquish so many children to adoption each year. However, it will not happen overnight and if "in-process" cases are not allowed to finish, the children will be the ones left without homes. Guatemala does not have the infrastructure to support the 5000+ children that are currently in process. This statement is not what is best for the children who are in the process of adoption. Please say a prayer for us tonight that Lucia will come home as soon as possible. Please also include all of the children in Guatemala who could end up stuck in this mess.
We would be devastated if we cannot bring home Lucia to a part of our family. She is our daughter emotionally and in our hearts. Please pray that this is all resolved. At this point it is still just a threat, but a little scary. Here is a link if you are interested in reading more about this situation.

***For those of you who have a few extra minutes to email your senator on our behalf, I will paste a form letter below. By using the below link, all you will need to do is to copy/paste the below letter into the provided space and fill in your info and the letter will automatically be emailed to your senator at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting our family on this journey.
Here's the link to email your senator:

Copy the below letter and paste it into the provided space for you to email your senator:

Our friends are in the process of adopting a child from Guatemala. On September 25, 2007, the Department of State (DOS) issued a so-called “warning” in which it stated that unidentified “Guatemalan officials” had informed DOS of a “plan” to disrupt in-process adoptions from Guatemala effective January 1, 2008.
I am deeply troubled and saddened that the U.S. government, rather than informing American families how it was acting to protect their interests and those of the children they are adopting, chose instead to take a course calculated to induce panic and interject additional stress into a process that is already emotionally overwhelming. DOS should be resisting this “plan,” which would harm thousands of American families.
Equally troubling is that the “plan” DOS refers to is inconsistent with the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption, particularly articles 7, 9(a), 9(b), 20, 24, 33, 35, 44, and 46, which DOS is charged by law with implementing in the U.S. and has promised to assist Guatemala with implementing.
I write to ask your help in bringing all appropriate pressure to bear on DOS to do everything in its power to protect and advocate for American families and the children they are adopting, including providing complete and accurate information.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Perfect Ending to a Perfect trip - WE GOT PA!!!!!!!

I love her sweet eyes!
She is always laughing:)

My joyful little cutie-patootie. . .

Grammy holding her in the outfit she made her.

Remember the skeleton costume Kinkade took off his Starbucks bear and begged me to pack for Lucia, so she could have a costume for Halloween. Well this picture is for Kinkade. She is such a good sport.

She loved her bath time this time. We brought down a the little foam pad to put into the little bathtub the hotel gives you and she loved it. She kicked and splashed and had so much fun.

We had her all bundled up out by the pool. It was windy and a little rainy.

Our last night at dinner. She usually slept through meals, but she stayed awake this time and just watched us.
This was the first dress I bought for her. My first baby girl purchase. Last trip it was way too big and now it fits perfectly.

I walked in the door to two very excited boys to see their mom! I was so happy to see them too. I missed them so much. This is the first time we haven't talked on the phone when I have been away. We just e-mailed and blogged. It was hard not to hear their voices. We spent some special time going in the hot tub, cuddling, reading books and then I put them down for their nap. I came downstairs to check my e-mail and there it was an e-mail from the US Embassy saying we got Pre-Approval. I had been praying the whole trip that Lucia would get into PGN (the last big step) by the time she is 3 months old, which is in 3 days. We will find out soon when our file enters PGN! Thank you God you have been so faithful. I can't thank all of our family and friends enough for all your prayers and support.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Look at this BABY GIRL!!!

We are having the time of our life! She is so much fun! I am not sure how we are going to leave.
Laughing at Grammy Sparkle!

Cutie Happy Lucia.

I am so big now almost 10 pounds.

Mommy loves this picture. Just like Keagan's pouty face:)

What is this on my head mom??????????????????????? Are you joking?

Whitney how do you like my juicy suit. It fits perfectly. Hi Volleyball girls. Good win last night. Look at my sports bow with my sweats. My bow is better than all of yours, esp. Randi's bow:

Look at my feet. . . so sweet. . .

Kissy face! Muchos!
I miss everyone very much. But, we are having a Blast with Lucia. Thanks for all the sweet comments. I keep checking my computer. Keagan and Kinkade and Daddy you are going to love your baby sister. She is so excited to see you in November. How did you like Day 2 Guatemals gifts? We will keep posting!

Visit trip #2 with Grammy Day 1

She is so beautiful, but more than a pretty face she has the sweetest most joyful personality!

Here are the famous dimples:)
We have been talking to her about her two brothers. K&K she loves the green dragon, she smiles everytime we play the music. I think she is going to join right into the McMurray dance parties.

My favortite pic.

My Grammy is magical with babies. She makes me smile all day and she sings to me! I think Grammy is head over heals.

Showing off my polka-dots.
We will end on the famous Lucy smile.
We are having a such a relaxing time. Lucy is as sweet ever. She woke only once last night at 4:30 and than slept until 8:00. We will keep updating the blog. We would love to hear from you. It is so much fun to interact with home.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

She has a barrette in her hair!!!!!

This is a bumbo seat. I guess they are the new thing. I am bringing one down for our Foster mom.
Not too happy in this photo. But look at all that beautiful hair and the Beret!

I can't wait to kiss those cheeks! And I can't wait to post pics Friday of her smiling with a cute outfit on:)

Kind of a smile. . .

We leave tomorrow and I just got these photos. I can't wait to go and get the smiles. She is smiling in the pics with her foster mom, but I can't post those. Please pray for safety and that all our luggage gets there. I can't wait to kiss those cheeks and love up on that baby!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Ready to go for Visit Trip #2 - 5 days left

This is Aaron's favorite picture from out first visit trip when she was 4 weeks old and only 6 lbs.
She looks older because I zoom in with my camera and she is so alert and smiley. I can't wait to see her in 5 days.
I got these ear-rings for our Foster Mother and her 3 daughters. Each time we go we take a special gift to her. Every picture I see of her with Lucia she has on a different pair of ear-rings. Last visit we brought linens and a gifts for each daughter. They are laying on my favorite blanket that Mandolyn made for Lucy before our last trip. I had been looking for a white blanket for photo shoots when we were there. And of course my thoughtful, talented friend Mandolyn whipped one out.

Grammy bought this towel blanket before our last trip. I absolutely love it.

These are the three dresses we are bringing for her next stage to give to her foster mother 3-6 months. The polka-dot one is form the Armstrongs. The second one my mom and I have had for 4 years waiting for a special little girl. The third I got is the most adorable sweater dress!
I think I might have a bathing suit fetish. Maybe it is because I hate wearing bathing suits now, so I just buy the cute ones for Lucia.

This is so sweet. . . I looked over our bed this morning where I have everything laid out for Lucia, and this little bear outfit had been added. Kinkade took it off his Starbucks bear from Grammy and wants me to bring it so Lucy has a Halloween costume.

My famous quote is "I have been dying to put tights on somebody!" The boys would probably let me, but Aaron would not be so happy. Check out these tights Grammy and I found are they not the cutest:) The tights, socks, and bows are my favorite. I swear I am not a foo foo girl! What has happened to me?????????

These are my two favorite hand-me-downs from Anna Miller in 3-6 months. The Millers have been so good to us with all the clothes for Lucy.

My two favorite outfits! Whitney and Jordan gave us the brown Gap sweatsuit, and I got the pink one on sale for the next stage. So soft and hip!

This is what our bedroom looks like. . .. . hmmm. . . . We leave Thursday night. Please pray for safe travel, and another amazing time bonding with Lucia.

OK, I had to show you these red outfits. My favorite color on little girls is red. She is going to be so sweet in these.

THE INFAMOUS BOWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! See they are not that big they just look huge in the pics b/c she is so tiny. I was hoping to get some surprise visit pictures before we left from our agency. Keep checking back and of course I will post pics while we are in Guatemala. Thanks for praying!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

First Day of School & ready for Halloween

Someday Lucy is going to be ready for school. . . I love this picture from our trip of her smiling at her books. It must be meant to be she is my daughter at 4 weeks smiling and checking out all the books I left with her foster mother. This was the last picture I took before we went to say goodbye.

YES! I know I'm crazy the boys have already chosen their Halloween costumes. This is what I found at nap time the day we bought them. For all of you out there who are worried about safety I did remove the mask, he was sound asleep. We are ready for Halloween . . . counting down the days (literally !!!!!! )
As a family we celebrated the last day of summer at Riverfront park and then lunch at Salty's on the water. The boys rode all the rides for the first time. Aaron and I tried the "Sizzler" with them and were both green (is this part of getting old?)

First Day of pre-school at the Church. . . . so excited that we got there half an hour early and had time for another photo shoot:)
Off to school . . .
Mom and the boys!

Kinkade Trevor McMurray First Day of School

Keagan Thomas McMurray First Day of School

Well. . . keep praying we just received wonderful news from our agency that the US is speeding up on their Pre-Approvals. We could get it maybe anytime. . . Christmas might be actually realistic if this happens. Then off to the big scary PGN. The hardest, most unknown, long part of the process. Keep praying for our Pre-Approval. We also are hard at work re-doing one of our documents that we found a little mistake in. It is hopefully a blessing we found it now, instead of getting kicked out of PGN.
The boys are loving every minute of pre-school. We adore their teacher. She looped up with the class from last year. They now go three mornings a week instead of two. My prayer was that they would LOVE SCHOOL and have an amazing start to their education and it has been more than answered.
I am counting the days until my mom and I leave next week. Only 10 more days until I am holding Lucia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Keep checking back we should be getting surprise pictures before we leave. I have really been missing her this week. My therapy is re-folding and packing her clothes over and over. I think she will still be in 0-3 months when we are there, but we are bringing a whole bunch of 3-6 months since we won't see her before then.