Franklin Five

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

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Big Brother

Graham is really beginning to take his role of big brother seriously. He and Wesley have started playing together so well, and it seems they are truly enjoying each other-not just coexisting. I love watching their friendship deepen. Graham likes to "read" Wesley a story before naptime, and when Wesley was sick a few days ago, Graham would give him kisses on the check and say, "Are you feeling better, little buddy?"

We still have lots of moments when the two are struggling to share, but right now, I want to be thankful for how they are both maturing and learning to love each other.

Graham is also excited about being a big brother to his "baby girl", as he affectionately calls her. He frequently asks when we will get her picture in the mail. Today, he said, "Mommy, I used to not want a baby girl with dark hair, but now I do. I can't wait for her to come." I told him how excited I was too and that God made her so beautiful and perfect for our family.

It seems that it's not just my heart that is getting bigger. In the tender heart of a big brother, God is growing a love for his little sister.

Monday, October 26, 2009


DTE=Date to Ethiopia October 23, 2009

Our paperwork is complete, has been notarized and certified, and is in transit to Ethiopia as I type these words. Our adoption agency gives everyone a date when their paperwork has been sent to Ethiopia, and the agency refers to that date throughout the process. It's an important date, and we feel like we have made it to a big milestone now that we have our DTE. We are so excited to be well on the way through the adoption process. We hope to receive our referral in about 9 to 11 months and be traveling to Africa next Fall.

I've heard it said several times that when you adopt, you don't have a baby growing in your tummy, but the baby is growing in your heart. Everyday I feel my heart stretching, getting a little bigger, and I find myself thinking about our baby even more. I picture her playing with her brothers, and I get a lump in my throat every time I think about kissing her sweet cheeks.

In some ways, I think these next nine months will go by quickly. Our boys keep us busy and our days are full. We have a lot to do to get ready for our little girl. I want to cherish this time and not wish it away. I know lots will change once she's here, and there will be lots of adjustments for all of us as with every new baby in a family. Right now is a sweet time with Graham and Wesley, and I am trying to treasure each moment with them. But sometimes I find it hard to be patient. I can't wait to see our baby girl and to have her here with us.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pumpkin Farm

For the last few weeks, we've been counting down the days until our trip to the pumpkin farm. My boys just love going to see the pumpkins, going on the hay ride, and playing in the dried corn at the farm. Their cousins joined us again which made the day even more special. It was a little chilly, but that didn't stop us from having a great time.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Our trip to California

A few weekends ago, Tim and I traveled without our boys to California to visit some good friends. Amy and Jeff live a few hours outside of San Francisco, so Tim and I got to spend a few hours visting the city before heading to our friends' home. We drove through some of those crazy, hilly streets, walked around Fisherman's Wharf, and enjoyed some yummy chocolate ice cream at Ghiradeli square. I had never been to San Franciso so I thought it was really interesting.
After our afternoon in the big city, we drove through farmland to the small town where our friends live. It was so fun to see where they live and even more exciting was meeting their sweet baby girl that was born about six months ago. We had lots of fun playing with their four-year old boy, Jonathan, as well.
Amy and Jeff took us to see Yosemite and that turned out to be quite an adventure. Once we got to the park, it started snowing and then turned into a rainy mist. We weren't about to do quite as much as we had planned in the magnificient park, but we were still able to get a glimpse of God's amazing creation. Someday, I'd love to go back with our friends and bring all of our kiddos.
The trip ended with a nice dinner out. Amy and Jeff got a babysitter and treated us to a delicious dinner. It was so great to be with our dear friends!
me in front of Ghiradelli square
Half Dome, a well-known mountain peak in Yosemite, is behind us trying to peak through the clouds.

my sweet friend, Amy

The four of us before going out to dinner

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Down the Red Clay Road

My mom is one of eight. I'm beginning to think that's pretty neat. I'm not saying I want to have eight children, but I love seeing all of her brothers and sisters together, hearing their stories, and being back at her family's farm.

She grew up in a tiny town in Southern Alabama on a farm. Her dad was a farmer, her mom was a teacher, and together they raised eight children. There's quite an age gap in some of the kids, so my mom and her little brother were like their own family unit with her parents. My mom's little brother, Mark, was her best friend, and tragically she lost him when he was only 15. In his memory and her honor, we chose the name Mark for Wesley's middle name. I have always wished I could have known her little brother who I can't help believe would have been one of my favorite uncles.

We made a recent trip back to Southern Alabama to be with my mom and her brothers and sisters while they buried another one of their brothers. It was a sad reason to get together, but I'm thankful for the time spent with my mom and Sam, and my aunts, uncles and cousins.

There is not a lot to do in this tiny town, but some of our extended family has a small house on the lake. For a week of every summer during my childhood, we traveled to AL to see my grandmother. We stayed in this lake house, and I learned how to ski on this lake. So, it holds some neat memories for me. It's fun to take the boys there and to relive some of those memories. It's especially neat to do that with my mom.
Not a lot of excitment awaited me as a teenage girl on a 12-hour car ride to that small town where my mom was raised, but now I'm beginning to learn there are many lessons to be learned down those red clay roads. I hope my children will grow to love them as I now do.
Nana and Graham before bedtime

on the pier in front of the lakehouse

my mom with her brothers and sisters

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

When I need to be reminded...

Today has been a long day, and I'm tired. It's days like these that I doubt. Should we really bring another child into our home? Am I really prepared to parent a child who has been born in another country?

It's days like these that I cry out to God and ask Him to remind me, to reassure me, to give me affirmation. He always does! When I ask Him, He is quick to answer and tell me our daughter is waiting for us. If it were not for His gentle hand leading me, I would have given up months ago.

Tonight, after I prayed that familiar prayer, I checked our Adoption Fellowship Group's blog and found this video. It was just what I needed to be reminded to press on, to not let fear stop me, and to not give up. Our daughter is waiting for us. And so are many other children. They are waiting for others who are willing to open their hearts and give them a home.

Pause the music on my blog, and scroll down at the bottom of this page to see the video.