Franklin Five

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

Friday, June 25, 2010


Our house is bursting with excitement this weekend. Yesterday afternoon we got the call that we've been waiting for for over eight months now. We have a daughter!!! She is beautiful with lovely brown eyes, and I am ready to jump on a plane tomorrow for Ethiopia.

Now, we will submit our acceptance for the referral and wait for the court date to be assigned. It should be sometime in the next few months, but the rainy season in Ethiopia is coming up in August and September. It causes the courts to close for approximately 45 days, so that can throw a kink in things. Once our court date is assigned, we will start packing our bags and get ready to meet our daughter. We will spend a little less than a week in Ethiopia and will visit our daughter every day for about 3 hours each day. She is in our agency's transition home, and I have great peace knowing she is well-loved and well-fed there at the home. After the court date, we will come home without her and wait for the embassy date to be assigned. Hopefully, that will occur two months after we pass court.

The boys are thrilled about the news of their little sister. We printed off the two pictures our agency sent us, and Graham asked if he could hang one in his room. Later, I found the picture of sweet Lidiya (that's her Ethiopian name) taped to the wall by his bed. He said he wanted to look at her as he fell asleep. My heart melted! The boys often ask me throughout the day what time it is in Ethiopia, and we talk about what Lidiya might be doing in that moment. We try to stop and pray for her at each time.

I feel like I can breath a sigh of relief. We finally have a precious face to spend time gazing at, we have a name to replay in our minds, and we have a hope that the end is in sight. But, it's really not the end. It's only the beginning.

We ask for your prayers for her health. She is very small, and we pray she will quickly gain weight in the transition home. We pray God will protect her little body from illnesses. We pray that a court date will be assigned quickly.

Thank you for your support, your prayers, and your excitement. It has been so fun to share the news, and our hearts are overwhelmed not only with thankfulness for our beloved daughter but with gratitude for the love of our friends. We cannot wait for you to meet her!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Over the past month, I have felt the enemy's attack in a real way. Tim has felt it, too. Yet, I have felt God's protection around me, and He has spoken sweet words of love and encouragement that have strengthened my heart at times that I have been so discouraged.

In three different ways at three different times, God brought two verses to mind that I knew He wanted me to hear. Sometimes, God uses repetition to get our attention. This is one of the verses:

Lamentations 3:22-23
Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

God first brought that verse to my mind last week as I was feeling very weary over the potty-training issues. I just felt like I couldn't wake up the next morning and do it all over again the next day. Then, my life-long best friend emailed the verse to me. Later that day, someone in my Bible study read the verse aloud. God has used this verse at another time in my life, and I wrote it on a sheet of paper that stayed on the fridge for months. God's word is more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. Psalm 19:10

The second verse He used to encourage me this week is

Psalm 121:1-2
I lift up my eyes to the hills-where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

First, this verse came to my mind, and then I heard it in a song on the radio. Finally, it was part of a scripture reading in church today. Again, this verse was special to me when we first moved to Nashville for Tim to go to grad school. Tennessee is full of beautiful hills, and often when I look at the hills around our city, I think of this verse. Help from the maker of heaven and earth-where could you find better help than from Him?

I am so thankful and in awe that the maker of heaven and earth, the creator of all things, and the God of this universe cares for me. He sees my daily struggles that in the grand scheme of things are quite small. He speaks to me in real ways, and He longs to encourage my heart.

In worship today, we sang a beautiful song entitled One True God. Here are some of the lyrics:

You're the God of the falling fire.
You're the God of the coming rain.
You're the God of the gentle whisper-
Surely You are, Surely You are

The one, true God-
Strong yet beautiful,
Just yet merciful,
Proving yourself to be
The one true God-
Never changing, but
Still mysterious
The infinite, yet intimate God.

The part of that song that really made me think was the very last verse in the chorus. God is infinite yet intimate. He is amazingly huge, omnipresent and omniscient, and yet, He knows everything about me and wants me to know Him. He knows and loves and ordains the days of a little girl in Africa, and He knows and loves and ordains the days of a woman in Nashville. Somehow using His creativity, His wisdom, and His compassion, He is working to bring the two together.

Infinite, yet intimate...

our God.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

It might come tomorrow...

or it might not.

For almost three weeks now, the name Franklin has been staring at me at the top of the unofficial list on our Ethiopian Yahoo Group. Our family is the first in line for a referral for a baby girl. When I first found out we were at the top of the waiting list, I was so excited. The call we've been waiting for could come at any time. Every time the phone would ring, I would think, "Is this our agency calling to tell us they have our referral." Now, I find myself wondering if we will ever have our baby girl. I know it's not really rational of me to think that way, but the longer we wait, the more my faith wavers.

These past few weeks have been so full of emotion for me. From being apart from Tim for two weeks, to waiting for the referral, to potty training-or trying to, and finally, waiting for the results of a biopsy, I just feel zapped.

I got this weird rash last week, and it was really annoying. Every time I was in the sun, my exposed skin became extremely itchy. After a few days of going crazy and thinking I would have to hide from the sun all summer, I had an appointment to see a dermatologist. While I was there, I asked the nurse to check some moles on my back. She immediately called the doctor in to look at one of them, and he said I would need to have a biopsy done. It completely caught me off guard and really made me nervous. Thankfully, I heard today that it is nothing serious, but I will have to have it completely removed.

The thought that keeps entering my mind is gratefulness. I am so thankful that God used that annoying rash to get me to the doctor so I could have this abnormal mole removed. I feel like His hand of protection was over me, and it reminds me of how He uses frustrating situations for His good and often times, for our good.

Tonight my heart is thankful, and I continue to pray for patience...patience to wait for the child God has picked out for us and patience to not yell at my son for peeing on the carpet. Pray for me, too!