Franklin Five

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

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Immeasurably more

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21

Today is the day we leave! Our bags are packed, and we are ready. Tomorrow we will arrive in Addis Ababa, and by Friday, we will have met our daughter. I can hardly believe it!! Our court date is Monday, but Ethiopia is nine hours ahead so please pray for us on Sunday night.

God has been so good, and as always, His timing has been perfect. We have a court date four days before the courts close. As we are leaving our boys for a week, Wesley is finally potty-trained (well, mostly). Graham hasn't started kindergarten. I was a little concerned that we would have to miss his first week of school. The boys have not expressed any sadness about us leaving. They are so excited to see more pictures of Lidiya and to hear how she is doing. They are just thrilled to be getting a new sister. All the details are coming together.

As we embark on this journey, we pray God will do immeasurably more than we can imagine. We pray this trip is more than just a get-away to another country (of course, it can't be just that as we are meeting a little girl that will add so much to our lives). We pray for our hearts to be changed, to be broken for what breaks His, and for our eyes to be opened to the ways that He is working on the other side of the world as well as in our lives.

I cannot wait to tell you all about it.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My Head is Spinning!

Literally, Tim and I both feel sick tonight-mainly from the four vaccinations we received yesterday but also from the details around this trip we are trying to plan in a week.

If you haven't heard yet, I'd like to share some exciting news...we are going to Ethiopia next week!! We got the call yesterday telling us our court date has been assigned for August 2. We will need to be in the country by July 30 for some appointments to prepare for the court date.

We can hardly believe in a little over a week we will get to meet our daughter. Yesterday, I could not stop smiling and thanking God for answering our prayers to receive a court date before August 6 when the courts will be closing for 50 days for the rainy season. Today, I've come down from the cloud of bliss I was on yesterday, and I've landed with a thud on the floor of reality. We have so much to do in so little time.

This trip will be for the court date, so we will not get to bring our sweet daughter home with us. Typically, only 50% of the court cases pass on the first try, but we are praying we pass this time. Usually, what causes the case to fail is not within control of the adoptive families. It might be something as simple as a power outage that day in court or a birth relative was unable to make it. We are praying that God will bring all of the details together so that we can pass. Then, we would come back to Ethiopia in 6 to 8 weeks for the embassy date and to bring our daughter home.

I just continue to be overwhelmed with God's provisions and watching His hand work in our lives. He is providing loving and generous friends and family to watch our boys while we are gone. What a huge blessing it will be to us to know our boys are in good hands while we are apart. So many people have shared their excitement and support, and it warms our hearts so much.

Please pray for us on our trip. Pray for safe travel, for the boys while we are gone and those caring for them, for our first few days with our daughter, for us to pass court, and for our hearts as we say good-bye to our little girl and the other precious boys and girls waiting for their families.

If you would like to send something with us, I am going to be packing donations to take to our transition home and to some orphanages we will be visiting. Donations include used baby and children's clothing and shoes, OTC medication and vitamins for children, candy or granola bars, formula and diapers.

Thank you for sharing in this amazing journey with us. It is way beyond my comfort zone, but it is here that I am seeing God's glory in ways I've never seen. I'm reminded of a challenge I heard last year from a Beth Moore Bible study. She encouraged her readers to live a life of purpose, not of comfort.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My daughter's hand

We heard from the sweet family today that took our care package to Lidiya. They said she is doing well and is beautiful. They showed her the book we sent of pictures of our family, and they put her in a little outfit we sent. It brought my heart so much comfort to know God had sent another family to love on her. Isn't it amazing how He works? One of the lessons He's been teaching me through this experience is to let go of the control that I would like to have and to trust Him to care for our daughter. He's doing a wonderful job, and I'm so thankful she is in His hands.
This is one of the sweet pictures they sent us. Isn't her tiny hand adorable? I can't wait to hold it!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Paperwork for Court

We received word today that our paperwork has been officially submitted to the Ethiopian government and our court date should be assigned to us soon. Our agency said we should hopefully have a court date in the next two to four weeks, but it could be that our court date will be after the courts reopen after the closing.

We were thrilled to know we are continuing to get a little closer. Keep praying!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Rainy Season

Everyone wants to know when we are traveling to Africa. I'd like to know, too! Right now, we are waiting to hear from our agency about our court date. Our daughter's birth certificate has to be issued first in order to be assigned a court date. Our agency said we should receive a court date between 4 and 8 weeks after we accepted the referral. We accepted it on June 30 and were hoping to have a court date in August.

I just found out that the courts in Ethiopia will close from August 6 until September 27 for the rainy season, so I'm not too sure if we will get a court date before they close. Ugh...the idea of waiting until October to see my daughter is really hard, but I know God knows what is best. I'm praying He will put us in Africa at the time that is best for Lidiya and best for our family.

We also found out last week that Lidiya has some type of upper respiratory infection and is on antibiotics. I think this is fairly common in the transition home, and I am thankful she has a good doctor and medicine to help her get better.

I would love for you to pray with us for our little girl's health and for our court date. I would love to get to travel in the next month to meet Lidiya, but if that doesn't happen, pray that we will have patience and peace and continue to trust in God through this.

I sent a care package this week with another family from our agency that is traveling for a court date. They assured me to give our little girl lots of love, hugs, and that they would pray with her. What a comfort they are to me, and I've never even met this family. They are going to send us an email later in the week with some pictures of Lidiya and a little update. I'm looking forward to hearing from them.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Happy Birthday, Wesley!

Sweet Wesley,
We celebrate your life and the gift God gave us three years ago when you came into our lives. I pray your tender, sensitive heart will always listen and follow God's Spirit leading and guiding you. Your smile lights up a room and your laugh is one of the sweetest sounds in my ear. You adore your brother, love on your doggy, and melt the hearts of your parents. You love being outside, pushing trucks, going swimming and eating desserts. Soon you will be a big brother, and I know you will love your sister well. I am proud of you, Wesley. Remember, you can do all things through Christ who gives your strength.

2 years old

6 months old

one year old

almost three!

Monday, July 05, 2010

Summer Update

Even though this summer has been challenging, we've had some really great moments. Here are a few of those moments I want to remember: A few days after we got the referral, Tim and I went out on a date to celebrate. We decided to try a local Ethiopian restaurant. It was an interesting experience, and some of the food we really enjoyed. We've heard that Ethiopian food can be enjoyed more as you try it more and get used to it. It was also a special time to celebrate our daughter's culture and get excited about traveling to Ethiopia.
My mom and her husband were here over the Fourth of July weekend. We had so much fun with them, and our children soaked up the love of their grandparents.

We had my brother and his family and my cousin, Andrew, over to our house to celebrate Wesley's birthday (a little early).

We are trying to enjoy some snuggly moments with Shelby this summer. Shelby has been a part of our family for over 10 years. We were saddened to find out she has cancer and may not be with us very much longer. Right now, she is feeling good, enjoying walks, and still loving being around the kids.

In June, we went to Tim's mom's house to visit Perpy and Tim's sister and her kids. Despite a trip to the ER, we had a great weekend together. The boys loved playing with Davis and Hayley.

Graham and Wesley have so much fun swimming in our neighborhood pool. We go there often for the boys to burn off energy, cool off in the water, and it helps me keep my sanity.

We celebrated my birthday at my mom's house in Tyler earlier in the summer. My mom does such a great job of making me feel loved. I love the way she pampers me.a trip out on my brother's boat with the cousins