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.
My grandpa, Joseph Anthony Franzone, died on August 4, 2016. This is a video I made from pictures taken off of walls and out of photo albums in his house. I hope to make the photo scans available soon.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
Aubrey and I have an announcement…
we have decided to pursue infant adoption.
Allow me to add some context…
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.
We are hoping to provide more updates about our family and parenting in general in the near future. To enable us to better communicate with you, our friends, family and readers, we have upgraded our email subscription provider to use MailChimp. If you are reading this in an email, then do not be alarmed! Hopefully the layout is a bit better and will provide a better reading experience. If you have any issues with the new email layout please let me know. Just hit reply to communicate.
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I recently discovered this folk band called The Gray Havens (thanks to Tim Challies), who borrow a lot from C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien for their lyrics. The above song titled Far Kingdom really struck me as I remembered the Pevensie children along with Eustace Scrubb riding on the Dawn Treader to the end of the ocean towards a “far kingdom,” the kingdom of Aslan.