Franklin Five

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

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

Just a little glimpse into the past...this picture was taken in 2007. Graham was two and Wesley was almost four months old. So fun to remember and to see how much they've grown. 2010
Graham was a race car driver (again-mom likes that), and Wesley was a dragon (the costume Graham wore when he was three-mom likes that, too). Lidiyanna was a strawberry.

Even though Lidiyanna didn't wear this trick-or-treating, I just had to put her in the pea pod costume that both of my boys wore.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Our Littlest Pumpkin

This is a face Lidiyanna makes often. She has discovered how fun it is to stick out her tongue.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Brother and Sister

Lidiyanna can now sit up on her own. She loves to sit next to a basket of toys and play. She would much rather sit up than be on her tummy or back. I'm just amazed how quickly she is growing. She is quite vocal now, too. She loves to make noises and explore with her voice.

Wesley and Graham continue to be great big brothers. I think some of the newness for Wesley has worn off, and he sometimes struggles with no longer being the baby. It's hard to give up that slot, but he's learning. I try to give him extra hugs and time together while Lidiyanna is napping. I have to admit it is very busy being a mom of three, and making special time for each child is a challenge. I love it though. My heart is so full of love for each of my children.

This picture cracks me up. She's giving him a look that says, "Don't you mess with my ball."

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Airport Homecoming

My cousin, Andrew, brought his friend, Jen, to the airport to take pictures when we arrived home from Ethiopia. I knew it would be a special moment when Graham and Wesley would meet their sister for the first time, and I was so thankful Jen could capture the moment for us.

We had some great friends meet us at the airport, too, but they met us downstairs at the baggage claim. We had a few minutes with the family before heading down to see our friends. I was so exhausted after over 24 hours of travel with a sick baby, but I could not wait to see my boys. I remember walking towards them and seeing them waiting for us behind the glassed-in area. My eyes welled with tears and I gulped back the lump in my throat. The long-awaited moment was finally here. My children would all be together, and we would finally see what God had planned for our family long ago.

If our homecoming was just a taste of what we'll experience in heaven when we are finally home with our Father and the loved ones who have gone before us, I cannot wait. What a glorious day it will be!!
Perpy and Andrew meeting Lidiyanna

My dad and the boys watching us walk towards them.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Movin' On Up!!

Lidiyanna had her first "big" doctor's appointment today. We've actually already been to the doctor twice for her, but those were just for little things. Today, she left the doctor's office with six band aids. Yes, six!! Ouch! She and I won't quickly forget that experience. She basically has to start over with vaccines, and she had to have blood drawn and a TB skin test done. All of this is standard procedure for children adopted from other countries.

She also has an ear infection. I'm not sure if the one she had a few weeks ago just never cleared up or if this is a new one. Ugh. Fortunately, she has shown no signs of fussiness, so I was surprised by the infection.

Besides that, the doctor said she's doing very well. She's gained two pounds in the month she's been home and moved up from below the percentage line to being in the 12% on the growth chart. I was excited about that. My little girl is growing from the love and calories she's getting at home.

Despite the tears shed during the needle party, I experienced a very sweet moment with her. The nurses were doing their job of poking (I have to brag on the nurse and say she got the vein the first time-pretty amazing considering this baby's tiny vein is not easy to see under her gorgeous, brown skin), and I was helping to hold her hands still. Lidiyanna was screaming, so I knelt down and placed my face very close to hers. Her tears were streaming down her face as I felt my own emotions pushing their way up my throat. As I comforted her, I thought about how glad I was to be right there in that moment. The last time she got some shots, she had no mother around to offer words of solace. No one was there to kiss her forehead and tell her it was almost over.

It was a moment where I felt that undeniable need to protect that all mothers feel with their children. My baby was hurting, and I was going to do everything I could to make it better. I am beginning to treasure these moments because it's then that I truly know she is mine.

I hope in that moment she felt protected by me. I hope that when she looked up at me with those big, pleading eyes, she knew I was going to take care of her. I think I saw it in her eyes...she knew I was her mother.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Nursery

Although the room has been mainly ready for a long time, the final touches were completed earlier this week. Lidiyanna's nursery is beautiful and sweet, and it's a place in which I like to be. A wonderfully creative friend painted the canvases above the dresser, and I am so pleased with the amazing job she did on them.

I think Lidiyanna likes her room, too.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pretty in Pink

Lidiyanna is thriving!! Several adoptive moms had told me as their children grew in their new homes, they blossomed like flowers. I feel like I totally understand what they meant now. Lidiyanna is like a beautiful flower opening before our eyes. Yes, it may be a bit cheesy but it's a perfect illustration. Each day, she seems to be more comfortable, more at home, and more secure with us. I can see that she is bonding well to us. She will start to fuss if I walk out of the room, and the minute I return to her side, she smiles and kicks her little legs. She has started babbling a lot and saying "dada".
Last Thursday, she got a fever and was really fussy. After going to the doctor, we learned she had an ear infection. So, for a few days, things were rough around our house. She is now feeling much better, and we are all glad.
Lidiyanna is a delight in our home. I think she can sense how much we all love her. I thank God everyday for the blessing she is to us.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Lots of Love from the Big Brothers

Graham and Lidiyanna after a cool, Fall walk in the evening

Wesley and Lidiyanna reading books together in the nursery

Lidiyanna has now been with us at home for over two weeks, and yet, it seems like she's always been a part of our family. It almost is difficult to remember what it was like to not have her with us. She is adjusting really well to her new home. The boys continue to love spending time with her. I've noticed she seems to light up in recognition when she sees our faces. I love walking into her room in the mornings after she wakes up. When she sees me, she gets a big smile on her face and starts kicking her legs excitedly. I think she knows I'm her mama, and it feels good.
As I was putting Lidiyanna to bed tonight, I held her little face to mine and thought about her first mama who never had the opportunity to know this precious child. I've heard once you adopt, you have a bittersweet place in your heart that never quite goes away. I now know the feeling-the bitterness of loss and the sweetness of new life swirled together. It's a taste that will forever linger on my tongue. At the beginning of this journey, I questioned whether I really wanted to enter into this struggle-forever being filled with joy and sadness at the same time. Now, I know it is completely worth it. And it gives me just a glimpse of what Christ did for us.
As a friend on our trip to Ethiopia described it, Christ left His home of bliss and willingly entered into our fallen world taking on all of our pain. This friend and his wife were adopting a child that was HIV positive. They willingly entered into their daughter's pain so that they could love her and give her hope and a new life. Her pain became their pain. As I pondered on their sacrifice, I was amazed at the ultimate sacrifice our Savior made for us.
As the months turn into years, I wonder if the sweetness will overpower the bitterness. I am certain, my heart will always be filled with joy as I look at my daughter. Yet, I know I will never forget how her life began, and I don't want to.