Adoption Update: Home Stretch!

It has been almost two years since Aubrey and I decided to pursue adoption. We have learned much during the process and it has taken quite a bit longer than we expected. Our adoption has been an “at risk” adoption. What that means is that there was difficulty in getting documentation from the birth father, which in turn meant that there could have been a contestation of our adoption if the birth father showed up and decided that he wanted the baby. We were blessed to be able to accept our little girl when she left the hospital. In fact, we were there for the birth and stayed with her and the birth mother for the entire time. It was an amazing and trying experience. Since then we have loved her and raised her as our child. However, during this period she has not legally been our child. In November of 2016, the termination of parental rights hearing took place. We figured it would be a short wait after that, but God often lets us wait beyond what we think is the correct waiting period.

All that said, our finalization hearing will be in less than three weeks! At this point, there really is not much risk. Our case has been fully reviewed and the hearing is a little more than a formality. It will be a day of joy and tears, of many pictures, and a celebration with our family and friends. We look forward to sharing pictures and videos with you all (without hiding our little girl’s face). It has been a long journey and we are so thankful to God and to you, our friends and family who have supported us in countless ways.

Thanks be to God!

How Far is Too Far in Sanctification?

What exactly is “sanctification”? This is the process whereby God works in our lives to change us and to transform us in many degrees so that we are like our elder brother, the Lord Jesus Christ. I know this on an intellectual level, but what does it mean in my life? I’ve known that this was a hard process, that sanctification can hurt. I also know that it is necessary. I thought I’d experienced the pain of this process. To be quite honest, I’d even glamorized this process somewhat, thinking that I was such a good Christian: “Look at me! I’m being sanctified… I’m suffering for Christ’s sake.” That was before this past week.

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We Are a Happy, Little Family

I wrote this little poem for our adoption profile book, but realized that I didn’t have it recorded anywhere else. I figure it would be nice to save it for posterity, and I hope that you may be encouraged by it.

we are a happy, little family
with room in our hearts to grow
we were bound together by God
the Creator
our Savior
who loved us
and called us His own

we believe in extravagant love
in piggybacks and hugs
in laughter and joy
and comfort through sorrow
and doing all we can do
to enjoy this life
for the glory of God

Author: Jonathan P. Franzone

Photo Credit: AimeAyers via Compfight cc

Firm Through the Fiercest Drought and Storm

We live in the Northpointe neighborhood in Pensacola, FL… the one that got hammered with a tornado Tuesday night (February 24, 2016). Aubrey and Ragan were away from home, babysitting for some friends while I held down the fort with my younger two children. We knew that a fairly large stormfront was coming through, but I had no idea that we would be in the center of it.

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Preparing Room For a Newborn Child

Sovereign Grace Music produced a Christmas CD last year called, “Prepare Him Room: Celebrating the Birth of Jesus in Song.” It is a really good album and I would commend it to you. The title song, Prepare Him Room, speaks of the wonder and mystery of Jesus, the Son of God, coming to be born as a baby. It calls the listeners to prepare Him room, in our hearts and minds.

This theme has had extra significance for us this year. We have decorated our house with a Christmas tree. There are lights inside and out, and many other decorations to remind us of the season. To remind us that we worship a God who loved us enough to come and be one of us. This is the season of Advent, when we celebrate the coming of our Lord and Savior. We have also setup a baby crib and rocking chair in it’s place. So while we celebrate Advent and the coming of our Savior, we are also preparing room in our physical home and in our hearts for another newborn baby, a baby that we will adopt and name as one of our own.

This process has been a rollercoaster of emotions. We have been thrilled and filled with joy at the prospects of loving a new little child, and we have experienced sadness as we wait… and wait, not knowing when we will meet our new baby. Aubrey and I thank you all for your prayers and support during this process. We are well on the way financially, but not there yet. We know God will meet the need. We thank you for your love and words of encouragement. We thank you for being a part of our journey and calling us family.

We wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas. Remember to Prepare Him (Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Messiah) Room in your hearts and minds and traditions this year.

Photo Credit: Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery via Compfight cc

The Giant Yard Sale

This past weekend was the GIANT Yard Sale! G-I-A-N-T! I have never been a part of such an enormous yard sale.

When Jonathan and I decided to adopt, we were encouraged to do some fundraising and a garage sale was one of the suggested events. Friends and family began spreading the word and I soon had a garage full of baby items and more. I continued to collect items, but as the months went by I kept saying, “when it’s cooler I’ll do it” or “this weekend is so busy.” I soon became discouraged and overwhelmed at the pricing job before me and was about to give up when a sweet friend came along and said, “why don’t you let me organize the yard sale and put it on Facebook.” She offered to collect items in her big van (she has a family of 9) weekly at our homeschool community! This quickly became a large event with many friends and family joining our family and lightening the load.

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Adoption Update: Home Study Packet Done

Hello friends and family. We are happy to announce that earlier this week we submitted our Home Study Packet to the adoption agency. What does that mean, you ask? Well, it was a large packet of documentation which had to be completed and turned in prior to our home studies. It was an exciting moment for Aubrey and I as we checked off one more requirement between us and meeting our new child.

So, what’s left? How soon can we expect a baby? These are the questions we get most often and so I’d like to answer them for you. Continue reading Adoption Update: Home Study Packet Done

Our Quiver is Not Quite Full

Aubrey and I have an announcement…
we have decided to pursue infant adoption.

Allow me to add some context…

Broken Hearted

Aubrey and I have three wonderful children. We started having children after being married for three years. It was our intention to wait to have children. We also stopped having children after our first two and then decided later that we weren’t quite finished. After a miscarriage God blessed us with our third. We arranged to have a tubal ligation during the planned c-section to prevent any further pregnancies.

Aubrey and I have both become remorseful over those decisions. The decision to limit when and how many children we had and the final decision to stop having children. If we could go back and do it all over again, we would not put any limits on when and how many children God blessed us with… they are a blessing.

God is sovereign. We take great comfort in that knowledge. He is not a weak God that could not have prevented us from stopping Aubrey’s womb. That isn’t to say we blame God for our decisions, but we know that He works all things together for our good (since we love Him and are called by Him).

So, here we are wanting more children without the ability to have any … biologically.

Continue reading Our Quiver is Not Quite Full