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.
UPDATE: WINNER ANNOUNCED at the end of the post!
Continue reading Win an AMAZING Christmas Quilt!
God Adopted Us
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)
Continue reading 7 Reasons I Am Thankful For Adoption
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.
Continue reading Why We Are Adopting… AGAIN!
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.
Please share this image to get the word out!
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.
Thanks be to God!
I wrote this little poem for our adoption profile book, but realized that I didn’t have it recorded anywhere else. I figure it would be nice to save it for posterity, and I hope that you may be encouraged by it.
we are a happy, little family
with room in our hearts to grow
we were bound together by God
who loved us
and called us His own
we believe in extravagant love
in piggybacks and hugs
in laughter and joy
and comfort through sorrow
and doing all we can do
to enjoy this life
for the glory of God
Author: Jonathan P. Franzone
Photo Credit: AimeAyers via Compfight cc
Sovereign Grace Music produced a Christmas CD last year called, “Prepare Him Room: Celebrating the Birth of Jesus in Song.” It is a really good album and I would commend it to you. The title song, Prepare Him Room, speaks of the wonder and mystery of Jesus, the Son of God, coming to be born as a baby. It calls the listeners to prepare Him room, in our hearts and minds.
This theme has had extra significance for us this year. We have decorated our house with a Christmas tree. There are lights inside and out, and many other decorations to remind us of the season. To remind us that we worship a God who loved us enough to come and be one of us. This is the season of Advent, when we celebrate the coming of our Lord and Savior. We have also setup a baby crib and rocking chair in it’s place. So while we celebrate Advent and the coming of our Savior, we are also preparing room in our physical home and in our hearts for another newborn baby, a baby that we will adopt and name as one of our own.
This process has been a rollercoaster of emotions. We have been thrilled and filled with joy at the prospects of loving a new little child, and we have experienced sadness as we wait… and wait, not knowing when we will meet our new baby. Aubrey and I thank you all for your prayers and support during this process. We are well on the way financially, but not there yet. We know God will meet the need. We thank you for your love and words of encouragement. We thank you for being a part of our journey and calling us family.
We wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas. Remember to Prepare Him (Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Messiah) Room in your hearts and minds and traditions this year.
Photo Credit: Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery via Compfight cc
This past weekend was the GIANT Yard Sale! G-I-A-N-T! I have never been a part of such an enormous yard sale.
When Jonathan and I decided to adopt, we were encouraged to do some fundraising and a garage sale was one of the suggested events. Friends and family began spreading the word and I soon had a garage full of baby items and more. I continued to collect items, but as the months went by I kept saying, “when it’s cooler I’ll do it” or “this weekend is so busy.” I soon became discouraged and overwhelmed at the pricing job before me and was about to give up when a sweet friend came along and said, “why don’t you let me organize the yard sale and put it on Facebook.” She offered to collect items in her big van (she has a family of 9) weekly at our homeschool community! This quickly became a large event with many friends and family joining our family and lightening the load.
Continue reading The Giant Yard Sale