Murphy House Project

Meet the Murphys

Like most parents, the home of John and Jeanette Murphy is filled with pictures of their beloved children. That’s a lot of frames when you are Mom and Dad to a family of 27.

The Murphy’s, already the parents of four, have opened up their home to 23 children with special needs since adopting their daughter Shannon in 1983. Their children have various disabilities, including Down Syndrome, autism, and heart defects. Click here to see the bios of each child.

Despite their special needs, John and Jeanette strive to teach their brood – ranging in age from 6 to 40 years – independence, teamwork, and the skills necessary to grow into thriving adults, while experiencing as normal a childhood as possible. They school the young children at home and teach them sign language to help them communicate. Afternoons and weekends are spent roller-blading, hiking and taking field trips to the zoo. And somehow, they always find the energy to make a home-cooked breakfast every morning!

The Murphys’ story began when John and Jeanette were volunteering at a home for mentally handicapped adults. Saddened by the experience, the couple wished that they could do more to help. They came to believe that a strong family environment might be beneficial for youngsters facing similar handicaps. Later that same year, they were overjoyed to adopt Shannon. The rest is family history.

Through the years, John and Jeanette have filled their home and their children’s lives with respect, compassion and love. They have struggled through sad times and the loss of several children, but have remained a strong and caring family. To the Murphy’s, the rewards far outweigh the hardships.