Franklin Five

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

Sunday, July 31, 2011

One Year Ago

One year ago, Tim and I got on a plane that took us to the other side of the world to meet our daughter. This week, I am remembering with a joyful and thankful heart the journey that took us to Lidiyanna. What an amazing week it was and I will never forget that first moment that I saw her. Tim and I waited nervously on the front steps of the transition home while a nanny brought Lidiyanna out to us. She was wrapped in a purple blanket which now seems so perfect. We always say purple is her color and she just loves her blankets. She cannot go to sleep without them. The nanny placed her in my arms and was wiping Lidiyanna's eyes. She had a cold and her eyes always water when she's sick. I just started crying and felt such a heaviness in that moment. It was a good heaviness but it was one of those defining moments that change you forever.

We spent a week in Ethiopia visiting Lidiyanna every day at the transition home. I treasured each moment there and dreaded whenever our guides told us it was time to leave each day. Lidiyanna was so sweet, smiling whenever I kissed her, making great eye contact with us, and falling asleep in our arms. We bonded so quickly with her, and it was very difficult to say goodbye at the end of the week. I was so thankful for her loving nannies and the way they cared for all of the babies is something I was always be grateful for. I think that's part of why babies from Ethiopia tend to adjust so quickly in their new homes.

Today, as I was watching her play, I could hardly believe it has been one year since I first met her. She has grown and changed so much, and we have enjoyed getting to know our daughter. Thanks for remembering and rejoicing with me.

Sunday, July 24, 2011



I realized this past week that my home is no longer Nashville. It has taken me two months to learn that fact, but I think it has finally clicked.

I got really brave, or crazy, and took my children on a 14-hour road trip to Nashville last week-without Tim. What was I thinking? Well, Tim was traveling to Seattle for business and I just didn't want to stay in Canada without him. Plus, my church in Nashville was having VBS and it's the best VBS I've ever been a part of. I also have really missed my brother, his family, and my friends, and I just wanted to see them.

We had a great time, but my heart longed to go home. And, I just couldn't. I couldn't go to my old house on Meandering Way, and yet, I don't feel like my house in Canada is home. You know the feeling you had when you went away to college and came home for the weekend. You realized you didn't quite have a home anymore. You were floating around in the middle not quite sure where you belonged.

We drove by our old house to visit some neighbors, and I felt so sad. I wanted to be home. We went to church and saw precious friends. It was bittersweet to be reminded of such great friendships. I couldn't wait to get home.

My home is not in Nashville, and my home is not in Toronto. My heart will not be at rest and fully at peace until I am Home and in the arms of my heavenly Father. God has been good to remind me that our bodies are only temporary dwelling places for us, and someday we will rest, fully and peacfully rest in a beautiful, perfect home beyond what we can imagine now.

So, tonight as I wrestled with this internal struggle and longed for my Home, I felt God telling me to be thankful. Be thankful for the good things He has given me now. His good gifts make this temporary passage a little more enjoyable.

Right now, I am thankful for ...

  • the big, brown eyes and toothy grin that greet me every morning
  • the older brother grabbing his little brother's hand on the way home from the park
  • the sunshine and gentle breeze
  • a good book to keep me company tonight
  • a hard-working husband that is devoted to his family
  • the forgiveness offered to this tired mama after yelling at her boys for fighting over who had more bubbles in the bathtub
Meanwhile, we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling...Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
2 Cor. 5:2-5

  • Thankful for what is to come.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Happy Birthday, Wesley!

We celebrated Wesley's birthday with a dinner of rice and chicken (his choice), cookie cake, and a bike ride (he got to ride in the trailer-also his choice). It was a simple yet sweet celebration for my precious boy. I can hardly believe he's four!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Fourth of July with our friends

We had some good friends from Nashville come to visit us this past weekend. Mark grew up outside of Buffalo so he had already planned a trip up to visit some family. We were so happy to get to see some familiar faces and spend another Fourth of July with them. We have celebrated the Fourth together for the last four years so it was fun to carry on the tradition even though we didn't see any fireworks this year. While they were visiting, we took the train into Toronto and rode the ferry to Toronto island. It has some beaches and a small amusement park on the islands. We also visited Chinatown and had some yummy food. It was a crazy experience and we were all exhausted at the end of that day, but it was well worth it.
The Hoesels

Lake Ontario

We learned our lesson the first time we traveled in the city on the train and opted to take Lidiyanna in the backpack instead of bring the stroller. It was much easier to get around and through lots of stairs without the stroller. She was a trooper the whole day and took her nap in the backpack.

one of the beaches on the island
We steered clear of the clothing-optional beach on the other side of the island.

Friday, July 1 was Canada Day which is similar to our Fourth of July. The kids wore their Canada shirts and we went to the lake and watched fireworks.