Adoption Story: The Miller Family
By Tiffany Miller
I wish I could say I remember the exact song that was playing, what I was wearing, or even the date. Sadly I don’t remember any of those details about the day I heard God speak. I couldn’t hear audible words in my ears, but there was no denying what God was saying to my heart on that Sunday while worship music played around me. “I have adopted you as my own, and you are to do likewise for your next child.”
My husband and I were blessed early in our marriage with two beautiful sons. I loved my pregnancies and adored seeing them grow from tiny newborns into personality-filled toddlers. Our boys were ages 4 and 2 at the time, and we had been discussing “when” we’d like to have a third baby, but that was the extent of the conversation.
So when I told my husband what God firmly pressed on my heart later that night, he was clearly surprised. None of our families or close friends had adopted before, and we were (wrongly!) under the impression that adopting a child was for the uber-righteous or those who had walked the difficult road of infertility. After praying about it for a few days, the feelings of being unqualified fell away. We did some serious research, and ultimately felt God drawing us towards international adoption.
Enter the doubt. Most people know that adoption is expensive, we just didn’t realize how expensive. And we didn’t understand why. After looking through estimated fees, we were so confused as to why God would even give us this desire if there was no way we could afford it. It felt more than irresponsible to jump into an adoption process “because God said so” when we were new business owners, young parents, and trying to be good stewards with our money.
As we left that first information session at our adoption agency, I remember feeling thankful that I could understand the “why” part of adoption being expensive (side note: on this side of things, I must say I’m thankful for the way that our agency’s work and these steep fees help ensure that adoptions are ethical and appropriate). I also understood slightly bit more of the process itself. Yet, I was in tears because we were still completely confused on the “how” this was going to work financially. It just felt impossible. We decided to share with some family and close friends that we were thinking about adopting, hoping that they would help us discern God’s will and His timing. Everyone was so excited, and their enthusiasm continued to give us the slight nudges we needed to keep researching fundraising ideas and financing options.
In mid-July we submitted our preliminary application and were accepted into the Korea adoption program immediately. Then it came time for the first big fee to be paid. The paralyzing doubt crept in again, in a huge way. My husband kept feeling like it was irresponsible to step into something that we couldn’t afford. And the realistic side of me completely agreed with him! Who were we to assume that the money would just show up because we decided to adopt? However, I couldn’t argue with the strong sense that we were supposed to move forward and trust that God would provide.
I told my husband, “We just need to decide one way or another, because my heart can’t take this back and forth!” This was on a Wednesday. His reply was, “Let’s just pray some more and make a decision on Friday.” Oh, of course. Let’s draw this out a little longer. I mean, what was going to happen in two days that would make all the difference? (My thoughts were less than loving towards my husband in that moment.)
Do you want to know why my husband chose Friday? Because even though he didn’t recognize it, he was hearing God too. Friday started like any normal day but quickly changed as soon as I got the mail. Friends of ours sent us a letter, and I assumed it was a thank you card from their recent wedding. I opened it and immediately felt tears in my eyes and God’s peace in my heart. I ran down to my husband’s office in the basement to show him. And in my husband’s true calm manner, he replied “I guess we’re adopting a baby.” Our friends’ generous financial donation was just the confirmation that we needed to move forward.
God repeated His perfectly-timed faithfulness throughout our 18-month journey to our son. He provided extra job opportunities and allowed success in fundraisers. He worked in hearts of people around us to provide generous donations and emotional support. We received multiple grants that paid for over half of our total fees! We were careful to budget and account for each dollar that was given to us, and God literally provided for every single fee that we needed to pay. There’s no denying that He truly made it all possible!
Any adoption process is difficult. Waiting to bring a child home while loving them from the other side of the world tested my heart like nothing else. But I can truly say that our season of waiting was also one of feeling God’s presence in a way we never felt before. I’m so grateful for the way God wrote our journey to our son and for the way He’s grafting us together as a forever family. We know that our son has experienced deep grief and trauma from losing his first family, his birth culture, and a life that could have been. But we pray that our son would one day see this journey as an example of God’s faithfulness and protection over his life, and a picture of how God can bring beauty in unexpected ways.
That letter from our friends also included a Bible verse. It was our lifeline in the waiting, but also reminds us to focus on His promises even now.
1st Thessalonians 5:24 tells us, “For the God who calls you is faithful, and He can be trusted to make it so.”
|PC: Ashleigh Mallory—amm photography|
Tiffany Miller is a wife to her high school sweetheart, mom of 3, and registered nurse from Lancaster County, PA. Most days are filled with housework or Nerf gun battles, but she also enjoys trying new recipes, traveling as a family, and connecting with fellow adoptive families.