The Franks family has expanded…kind of. Nope, none of my kids have taken child brides (deep breath, Summit elders). But a few weeks ago, Christopher & Nicole welcomed baby Noah into the world.

A few years back the Summit had an adopt-a-college student program. Families could take in a broke-and-homeless college student and pull the ultimate bait and switch: “You can wash your clothes at our house!” “You can spend the night at our house!” “You can eat a meal at our house!”

[somewhat muffled voice: “You can babysit our kids for free at our house!”]

Because of Nicole’s involvement in our then-3rd grader’s classroom, we picked her. (She also looked destitute, and we’re a sucker for destitute.) She very quickly became a part of our family. Lunch on Sundays most often included Nicole. She’d bring a few friends over to watch UNC games at our house. She’d sneak our UNC fan into the Dean Dome whenever she got a chance. She even went on vacation with us once.

She did things that few others could get away with, like throwing up in our car after a particularly curvy road trip. Or leaving our kids in a running car outside a sketchy gas station (not that I’m still bitter about that four years later).

And then along came Christopher. He was the guy I was convinced I wouldn’t like. There was no way he’d be good enough to her or good enough for her. Oh, how wrong I was. They quickly fell for each other, and I quickly realized that he was the man God had gifted to her for a husband.

Merriem and I were privileged to do their premarital counseling, and I performed the only wedding where I’ve ever gotten choked up during the ceremony (I was a blubberhead).

So it was with no small amount of history that we were able to get all excited about Nicole’s pregnancy. Merriem doted, shopped, and giggled all nine months. (I’m pretty sure she outfitted Noah with more stuff than she did our own newborns.) And a couple of weeks ago, we got to meet the little dude for the very first time.

My first task? I took him to a gas station and left him there.