Aubrey and I are in the middle of our second adoption. We began the journey back in June of 2017 when our youngest turned one year old. We built a new profile, went to meetings, had our thumb prints scanned, and our backgrounds checked. As of the first of this year (2018) our home study has been complete and we now find ourselves in the “big wait”. In domestic, infant adoption this wait could be over today or it could last for another year. We really have no idea. We must be prepared to receive a baby at any minute, while being open to the possibility of waiting for months (or more) with no news. I have been asked if this go ’round is easier than the first time. Surprisingly, it has not been. As the song says, “the waiting is the hardest part.”
The real question is, how do we pass the time during this period?
I sat down this weekend to work on my New Year’s Resolutions for this coming 2018 year. The brief list below is roughly what I came up with.
Know Christ (even more than I already do)
Work on Translating Venutian Better (i.e. communicate with my wife better)
Write One Blog Post Per Week
Manage Time Better
Get In Shape (at least a less round shape)
Build Relationships (outside of family)
Share Christ with More People
Become a Morning Person
I’d planned on writing more detail about these things, but then my pastor preached a sermon wherein he touched upon these types of resolutions. Where are we placing our hope this year? There are so many things we can be tempted to hope in, like people, money and control (power). These things will all ultimately fail. Even making resolutions like this can be turned into hoping in our own ability to change ourselves.
I still want to do the things on this list, but I have been forced to think about why. Why do I want to do these things? Ultimately, I want to please Christ, but I think a major motivation is the removal of chaos. So many times I feel like I’m just holding on, white-knuckled, to the safety bar on a roller coaster like Steve Martin in Parenthood (1989).
I don’t like chaos. Having a rightly ordered life is a good thing, but it shouldn’t be the main thing. If I place my focus and hope on Jesus Christ and what he has already done for me, then I should (in theory) have a sense of peace even in the midst of the chaos. I do also recognize that peace is a fruit of the Spirit, and as such I cannot just generate it. It must come from the source… from the Holy Spirit.
As I step out into a New Year, I pray that God would help me to live according to His purposes and will. I pray that He would help me to strive to discipline my life so as to love God and love neighbor. And I pray that He will do the same for you. God bless and Happy New Year!
I usually try to pick a plan to read the Bible through during each year. I’ve used several different plans over the years, my favorite being the Tabletalk Bible Reading plan from Ligonier Ministries. However, this year I had some special requirements that I wanted to try out. I could not find a plan that matched what I wanted, so I created my own.
Following this plan will get you through the Psalms twice, Proverbs about once a month and the entire Bible once. Each day should follow this set of readings:
Read/Pray a Psalm. Start with Psalm 1 on January 1st. Keep track of which Psalm you are on. After reading/praying through all of the Psalms start back at the beginning with Psalm 1.
Read Proverbs. Read the chapter in Proverbs that matches the date (i.e. Read Proverbs 1 on January 1st).
Read the Bible reading for the day and mark it off the list.
As you all know, we are raising money so that we may adopt another baby. We are continuing our efforts with a raffle for this beautiful, homemade, Christmas themed quilt. To date, we have raised just under $4,000, which means we still need to raise around $19,000. We thank you all for your prayers and support as we pursue our God given passion for adoption. I hope that these fund raisers are a fun way for you to participate in our journey.
I am thankful for adoption, first and foremost, because it was really God’s idea. God first adopted us and showed us the blessing of adoption.
“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”
– John 1:12-13 (ESV)
We are only able to love because God first loved us. I am thankful that God showed me His mercy, opened my eyes, and saved me. I am thankful that “in love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.” (Ephesians 1:5)
Just over two years ago, Aubrey and I embarked upon a journey to adopt. In March of this year, our first adoption was finalized, and we have had the privilege of being Mommy and Daddy to a beautiful little girl from her birth. Now, we are beginning the process all over again. That’s right. We’re adopting another child.
I’ve received a number of responses when I tell people this. Some encouraging, some comical, but thankfully, none too rude. I would like to address the reasons why we are adopting again and the things that are NOT reasons why we are adopting again.
If you ever feel overwhelmed, burned out, or just generally ill-equipped to balance parenting and homeschooling and the rest of regular life stuff, then the Homeschool Teaching Summit is designed for you. It will refresh your excitement for the homeschool journey, equip you with practical teaching tools, and transform your vision for Christian education and discipleship, to prepare you for your best year of Christ-like teaching.
Most importantly, each video from this event will focus on the truth found in God’s Word and the hope that lies in trusting in Jesus Christ for today and for the future.
All of the video interviews with speakers bring a Christ-centered focus to these topics:
Teaching Foundations (the big-picture homeschooling vision)
Teaching Mechanics (teaching how-tos and strategies)
Teaching “That” Kid (struggling learners and parenting helps)
Teaching with Sanity (schedules and simplicity)
Teaching for Eternity (Gospel-powered homeschooling)
The entire event free if you sign up by October 16th, and in addition to the video content, you’ll also get access to an easy-to-search online vendor hall (with exclusive discounts and freebies) and an a private Facebook group to connect with speakers and other attendees.
I encourage you to sign up today for the Homeschool Teaching Summit for a week of being refreshed, equipped, and transformed on the journey of homeschool teaching for God’s glory!
The next round of adoption fundraising is here, and it is being run by our Sister-in-Love (sister in law to ordinary folks), India Gatewood. We will be raffling off the opportunity to WIN 1 MONTH WORTH OF FROZEN MEALS! No, these are not grocery store, frozen TV dinners with instant mashed potatoes and Salisbury steak (imitation grill marks). No sir! These will be homemade meals created by an army of friends and family, ready for you to simply heat up (instructions will be included) and enjoy! Here is how you can help and be involved:
PRAYER! – Please be in prayer for the Franzone family as they travel down this road of adoption for the 2nd time.
DONATE MEALS – We need donations for freezer meals. They need to feed at least one family of 4 and freeze well. If you are willing to donate a frozen meal, please contact India Gatewood. (If you don’t know how to contact her, please comment below to request details and we’ll try to arrange that.) You will get 1 FREE raffle ticket for donating a meal.
BUY RAFFLE TICKETS – 1 Ticket = $5 (USD) or 5 Tickets = $20 (USD). Each ticket is a CHANCE OF WINNING 1 MONTH WORTH OF FROZEN MEALS! This is awesome, especially with the Holiday season nipping at our heels and as schedules become even more hectic than usual.
SHARE THE LOVE! – You can share this post via any means at your disposal (email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.). Heck, you can print it off and hand it out if you like. Just help us get the word out! There is an Instagram-worthy image at the bottom for sharing.
Tickets are on sale NOW and the drawing will be held at the end of October.
NOTE: To participate you need to be local(ish) to the Gulf Coast area (Escambia County, Santa Rosa County, Jonathan’s coworkers, etc.). Basically, we need to be able to get the food to your house (driving) without it all thawing out and the point is to raise money, not spend it on shipping. Thank you for understanding!
“And whoever welcomes on such child in my name welcomes me.” – Matthew 18:5
You can make payment via PayPal. Send to the account jonathan _at_ franzone _dot_ com and use the friends & family option. Your tickets will be placed in a sealed envelope and sent to you once payment is made. Please email me at aubrey _at_ franzone _dot_ com and let me know that you’ve sent payment and once that is received, I will send your tickets to you. Please include your address if you are not local.
Pay directly to India Gatewood (if you know how to find her).
If you would like purchase raffle tickets in person (i.e. at CC community day, church, or other) please email me and let me know how many you would like and we can make arrangements to get those to you.
* NOTE: The email addresses above should be read by you (a human) and translated into our actual email addresses. Writing them as they are above keeps the mean spam robots away.
It has been almost two years since Aubrey and I decided to pursue adoption. We have learned much during the process and it has taken quite a bit longer than we expected. Our adoption has been an “at risk” adoption. What that means is that there was difficulty in getting documentation from the birth father, which in turn meant that there could have been a contestation of our adoption if the birth father showed up and decided that he wanted the baby. We were blessed to be able to accept our little girl when she left the hospital. In fact, we were there for the birth and stayed with her and the birth mother for the entire time. It was an amazing and trying experience. Since then we have loved her and raised her as our child. However, during this period she has not legally been our child. In November of 2016, the termination of parental rights hearing took place. We figured it would be a short wait after that, but God often lets us wait beyond what we think is the correct waiting period.
All that said, our finalization hearing will be in less than three weeks! At this point, there really is not much risk. Our case has been fully reviewed and the hearing is a little more than a formality. It will be a day of joy and tears, of many pictures, and a celebration with our family and friends. We look forward to sharing pictures and videos with you all (without hiding our little girl’s face). It has been a long journey and we are so thankful to God and to you, our friends and family who have supported us in countless ways.
My grandpa, Joseph Anthony Franzone, died on August 4, 2016. This is a video I made from pictures taken off of walls and out of photo albums in his house. I hope to make the photo scans available soon.