And His Real Name Is?

Judge finalizes adoption on July 18

By Alan M. Murray
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esting his right hand atop a small hotel notepad, he carefully printed each letter of his first and middle names. Then he paused, saying each one out loud as he wrote six life-changing characters, “M. U. R. R. A. Y,” forming his new last name.

Our driver, who regularly works with families adopting children in Colombia, had recommended that he practice writing his new name before meeting with the judge to finalize his adoption.

And so, the next day, in the warm, sunny town of La Mesa, somewhere west of Bogota, Judge Nubia Esperanza Ceballos Triana approved and finalized what we had been working towards for almost an entire year, the adoption of Andrés Felipe Murray.

Even so, we still had several more days of paperwork and waiting rooms, navigating a complicated immigration process that ended with an overnight flight from Bogota to Miami where he walked through immigration and became a United States citizen.

And after some delays with our final flight, his new grandparents met us at the Philadelphia International Airport on Wednesday, July 24, exactly one year from the day a then 12-year-old boy met us for the first time in the very same place, launching us into a whirlwind undertaking to bring him home.

As we end this unexpected journey and embark on the next chapter, we know we could never have made it this far without your help. The donations, the prayers, and the encouragement have made a difference in a child waiting for a family. At last, we’re happy to say that together we helped him home.