Franklin Five

Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Where we are in the Adoption Process

Several of you have been asking us where we are in the process. We are currently gathering paperwork and completing requirements for our home study and dossier, a collection of documents to submit to Ethiopia. It is a rather tedious process, but I'm sure it will be well worth it in the end. We met with our social worker for the first time last week and will meet with her two more times before completing the home study. Next week, Tim and I will meet with her individually to reveal our deepest, darkest secrets. Not really, but it does feel like we have to share our life stories. I keep reminding myself that it is a good thing the adoption process must be so thorough to ensure precious children are placed in good homes.

We just submitted a document that will take 6-8 weeks to be approved and returned to our agency. We've had our fingerprints made and our background checks are being run. I'm taking the boys tomorrow to their doctor to have TB skin tests done as a part of their physical exams. (Pray for us if you think about it. I'm dreading that for the boys.) We've requested birth certificates and our marriage license and are collecting documents that will need to be notarized. We are completing an adoption course on line and have begun reading the books on the required reading list.

We are hoping to complete the dossier and home study over the next 2 to 3 months. After our home study is complete and the dossier has been sent to Ethiopia, the waiting begins. We are told we will wait about 9 to 12 months to receive a referral. The referral is a picture and information about the child that has been matched to our family. It sounds rather random, but we believe there's nothing random about it. God has picked out the child for our family and will orchestrate the details to bring us together.

We've heard that some families look back on the paperwork time with fondness because they felt like they were accomplishing something rather than just waiting. Right now, I look forward to having completed this paperwork, but I'm sure the wait will get long and difficult.

Once we have the referral, we hope to travel to Ethiopia in a month or two and bring our daughter home. Tim and I will travel together and the boys will stay at home. We will be gone for about a week.

Monday, July 20, 2009

First of all, I'm sorry I have not posted any new pictures recently. Our camera is dead because it fell in a creek. Well, actually I feel in the creek and the camera was in my bag. After I picked myself and my bag up, I realized the bag was completely saturated. Needless to say, our camera no longer works. Bummer!

I do want to tell you about the amazing VBS that is going on this week at my church. It is like no other VBS I've been a part of. The setting for the entire week is Rome several years after Jesus' crucifixion. The adults and children all wear costumes reflecting that time period, and all of the activities from the dramas, music, crafts and games go along with the theme.

We are learning about Paul and the persecuted church. Today, we talked about how Paul remained hopeful and full of joy despite his hardships. He had a gift which could not be taken from him. A gift of everlasting life and God's love.

A very meaningful time for me was when my family group participated in the "underground church". We entered the dimly lite, intimate setting with hushed voices. A simple melody played on a guitar filled the air. As we began to worship together, I thought about how Christians all over the world worship in this way today. They meet in secret and in fear that their time together might be interrupted by a hostile visitor seeking to break up their peaceful meeting. I realized how often I take for granted the privilege we have to worship in the way we desire. The freedom to meet with fellow believers is one we should not take lightly.

The words of a song we sang today continue to echo through my mind tonight. "They will know we are Christians by our love..."

Is it evident to others that I am a believer in Christ because of the way I love them? Do others see the way I love my children and feel certain I am a Christian? Do they look at the way Tim and I interact and know we follow Someone much greater than ourselves?

Monday, July 06, 2009

Happy Birthday, Wesley!

Our sweet boy is two!
We love you, Wesley. It is a joy to watch you grow and learn. We are blessed to have you in our lives.