Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Right now my son is sitting/standing/kneeling on my bed. He's pointing out the window, exitedly telling me about every car that passes our building. Several of these "cars" are in fact trucks, but he doesn't seem to care about the distinction. No matter how many times I try to get him to say truck. Living in Texas, this could be a problem. :)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Who Do You See?

I've been reading an excellent book that I highly recommend - Faithful Women and Their Extraordinary God. It's a collection of five mini-biographies written by Noel Piper (John's wife). The last bio is of a woman named Helen Roseveare who was a medical missionary to Africa in the middle of last century. Several things stood out to me and convicted me, but I'll just share from one right now.

At one point in her service, Helen was struggling with impatience, irritation, being "overwhelmingly tired" and over-worked. She went to one of her pastors for advice and counsel. Here is an excerpt from Helen's account of the conversation:

Opening his Bible at Galatians 2:20, he drew a straight line in the dirt floor with his heel. "I," he said, "the capital I in our lives, Self, is the great enemy...

"Helen...the trouble with you is that we can see so much Helen that we cannot see Jesus."

...My eyes filled with tears.

..."you should just life your heart to God and pray..." and as he spoke, he moved his heel in the dirt across the I he had previously drawn, "...Please, God, cross out the I."

There in the dirt was his lesson of simplified theology - the Cross - the crossed-out I life..."I have been crucified with Christ and no longer live, but Christ lives in me" (Gal. 2:20)

To be crossed out, for the ME part of me to be minimized so that all that is seen is Jesus, that's a scary thing. My pride clings to the idea of myself as an individual, and wants to assert that I'm important! But the Word says to live is Christ.

Obviously this is a bigger thought than I've covered in so brief a post. Perhaps I'll come back to it later. But for right now Brian needs the computer back and it's past my bedtime. So this is something that I'll (hopefully) be thinking about and pondering in the future: does my husband, my son, do my co-workers, the youth, do they see Janelle or Jesus?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Home Life

I thought with a son at home, I'd have even more reason to post, but I find that I also have less time to post. Funny - who'd've thunk?
The previous three days were pretty rough. I think Jonathan is realizing that he's with us for good, and he is very understandably missing his great-uncle Wayne who he used to live with. Unfortunately, this makes for a very sad, whiny, cranky Jonathan. And a stressed-out, cranky Mommy. I had a good cry on Brian's shoulder last night (just what he needed - someone else in tears) and he "made" me sleep in this morning. When I got up and got downstairs a very cheerful Jonathan was already eating breakfast. Brian took a long break from his school-work and spent a couple hours giving Mommy a break. Overall, it was a good day. Jonathan was in a much better mood as well. And I remembered more often throughout my day to pray for patience and more love for my son. It's amazing how God will give you patience and grace in the middle of a tiring moment. He is so good!

Here are a few pictures from the past few days:
This was Sunday morning at breakfast. Brian's mom bought these jammies last weekend. Shout out to Jack Anderson - Monkey Man!
We took Jonathan out to Micah's tee-ball game last week (Go Bats!) and all the Coleman and Ayers kids were so excited to meet Jonathan. I thought we were going to get tackled before we even got out of the car! :) They were all great, wanting to play with him, and loving on him. Jonathan seemed almost mesmerized by Cara Beth at times; he would just stare at her. Austin and Anna Kate spent the most time with him, I think, and he seemed to enjoy hanging out with them. I'm definitely looking forward to Jonathan getting to know the kids in our church learning to count them special friends.

And a few pics of Jonathan playing with Daddy. In the first one, he's probably about to be "got" by Dad, which of course involves being tickled until he squeals. He has the cutest laugh, that escalates into a (happy) scream when he gets really excited. Brian flew him around the den for a while, and I tried to get a good picture of his grin, but our camera is a pain and I haven't figured out the delay with the flash.

So it's been a good day. Brian had class tonight, so I put the little guy to bed by myself. I know he's attached to his Daddy because several times he would say, "Da?" wanting his Dad to put him to bed. Poor little guy - I hated to tell him that Daddy wasn't home. But I loved hearing that he noticed and missed him.

Thanks for all your prayers. God has definitely worked in my heart today to give me a better attitude. Please continue to pray that Jonathan will continue to grow more comfortable with us and in his love for us. As well, pray that our love for him will grow, especially on the days when he's unhappy.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

We're Home!

We're home. After seven hours in the car and several stops to stretch our legs, we are back in Bryan. Our son is in bed (though apparently not asleep yet) and Mama and Daddy are about to follow. It's been a long day.

Yesterday was a big day for the Franklin family. The birth parents signed relinquishment papers, which means that after the lengthy legal process we will be able to officially adopt. Yea! Just because it will take a while doesn't mean he isn't ours. He's ours for sure (as long as the FBI doesn't come up with anything ;)

To mark his adoption, we will be giving him a new name - Jonathan Russell Alex Franklin. We'll call him Jonathan, but we wanted to keep Alex as part of his name to keep that link with his birth family.

Monday, April 14, 2008

On being Mama...

So it's day three of our parent adventure. Everyone seems to be doing ok. I'm probably the shakiest of all three of us. Our son has seemed to adjust pretty well. He's had a few tantrum-meltdowns, but that's to be expected. I think he's probably hearing "no" consistently for the first time in his life. And I'm sure he's confused and missing Wayne as well.

Our first night went well for him. After we finally got him to sleep, he slept all night. His mama, however, woke up to check on him every time he moved. So I didn't sleep much at all. Between the lack of sleep and stress in general (somehow night-time seems to bring it out more) Sunday morning was not fun for me. I was feeling pretty sick, so I stayed home and went back to bed while everyone else went to church. I started feeling better after lunch, but when I thought about putting him to bed (this takes a couple hours b/c we sit with him until he falls asleep) I would get panicked again. Then after we got him down, I would just stare at the baby monitor, afraid he would start to cry again. I'm not exactly sure why I get so stressed over the sleep thing specifically, maybe it's just the most obvious sign of my lack of control and the feeling that I don't know what I'm doing. (but what first-time mother does, I know)

Thankfully I have a wonderful husband who always points me to Jesus. He has reminded me several times that God is in control and I need to put my trust in him. I've been reminding myself of several Bible verses when I start to get nervous.

From Psalm 121: "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...He will not let your foot slip, he who watches over you will not slumber...the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night." When we originally memorized those verses, I couldn't understand why anyone would be afraid of the moon. Now that verse means a little more to me.

Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways ackowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." I just keep trusting, for the grace to get through the difficult moments, and trusting that the ultimate outcome is in His hands.

So, overall we've been having a good first few days. And when I start getting stressed, one of the good things that I think forward to is getting to introduce him to all of you.
Ok, you're all thinking, enough talking. Show us some pictures! Here they are. Just a few snaps from the past few days.

Thanks to all of you for your prayers. Knowing that we have so many people praying for us is one of the things that God has been using to calm my heart when I get anxious. Maybe we can post more pics soon, but right now, he's keeping us pretty busy. We have a court hearing tomorrow morning, so after that hopefully we'll have some more good news.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Meeting Update

For any of you who haven't checked Brian's blog this afternoon, our meeting this morning went really well. We can't say much more than that due to confidentiality agreements, but it was pretty much everything we've been praying for. We have a court hearing on Tuesday, so at that point, we'll have more information for you. Thank you for all your prayers to date. Please keep praying with us that everything will work out for full adoption.

Wayne (Alex's great-uncle) worked this morning and will call us sometime this afternoon to discuss bringing him over here. I think he'll be here sometime before dinner. I haven't asked Brian specifically this morning, but I'm actually feeling pretty good...

...I was going to say that I'm not really suffering from nerves, but Brian just poked his head in and said Wayne called and he'll be here in about 5 minutes. Yikes! Guess I better get off the computer and go welcome my son.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Thank You!

I meant to write this post last week, but our weekend was rather busy.

I want to say THANK YOU to our church for the wonderful Preparation Party last week. It is such a blessing to be surrounded by and showered with love from our church family. I love that our son already has an extended family that can't wait to meet him and love on him. I get teary-eyed just thinking about it. For over a year, Brian and I have talked about how much we wanted to raise our children in this church, with these families and kids that we love so much. And now God has answered that desire, though certainly not in the way I expected! :) But thankfully, God is bigger than my wildest dreams.

I start my maternity leave tomorrow, and I'll be cleaning, organizing, doing laundry, packing, trying to get as ready as possible to bring this little guy home. We're going to spend tomorrow night in Fredericksburg, as our last fling as a family of two. Then Friday we'll drive to Odessa, and Saturday we'll get our son. Our plan is to drive home on Wednesday, and start getting adjusted to this new life. We're hoping to be at the church picnic on Saturday, so he'll get to meet some of his new friends. I'm thinking that he may be less overwhelmed by the number of people he's meeting if he's not in a contained space, but able to run around and play.

Please continue to pray for us. I can't begin to imagine how this transition is going to take shape. He's going to be confused, disoriented and grieving. I'm praying that he'll learn to love us soon (not only because that's what every mom's heart wants), but because I think that will make his transition easier. The list of things we need prayer for is long - wisom, patience, discernment, love, dependence on God, grace...I'm sure the other parents out there can add a few to the list.

Thank you all for your gifts, time and prayers. One of the things we knew we could most count on in this adventure was the support of our family and friends. Thanks for loving our son before you've even met him. I can't wait for him to meet his new family!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

It's a Date!

Yes, we finally know when we'll be getting our son. WooHoo!!

Brian talked to CPS this morning and, Lord willing, we'll have our son in our home two weeks from today. We will be in Odessa next weekend and the first part of the following week. We have the family conference meeting to discuss adoption on Saturday the 12th. Then there is a court hearing on Tuesday (the 15th) that we will go to. CPS is going to bring our son to us sometime that weekend, while we're staying with Brian's parents. So when we leave Odessa to come home either Tuesday or Wednesday, we will have a third person in the car. :) That is still really hard to imagine.

I find that I am left rather speechless by this thought, and have nothing else to say to wrap up this post. I need to go put up all my breakables...