You've found yourself in a hard place. You are looking for a way out, a purpose, hope through this experience. You are not alone. Others are in hard places too. Others have been in your shoes and have come out the other side. Here are their stories of how they found The Rock in their hard place.
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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
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.
This site is a collection of real stories by real people about The Rock in their hard places.
It is curated and edited by Kara Ranck, who is a wife and mother of two children living in Pennsylvania. Kara herself has traveled some hard places in life and knows there is hope and power when we tell our personal stories about The Rock, which brings us through. Thank you for joining us here!
The crime November 3,
1991, was a beautiful fall day—cool, clear, and crisp. After church my brother,
Jeff, and I shoveled down dinner and rushed out the door to play football with
our youth group. Along the way to the game, we picked up some friends. Though
only 17, I thought I was the best driver in the nation as I steered our car on
to a local country road. We crested a
small hill and saw an Amish horse and buggy ahead of us (a common sight in Lancaster,
PA.). I thought to myself, “I’m going to blow by these guys!” I stomped on
the gas, accelerating to 70-75 mph, steering the car into the left lane to pass
the buggy. As we raced closer to the buggy, I will never, ever forget seeing
the nose of the horse turning towards me, and I instantly knew they were trying
to turn. I wasn’t even watching for their turn signal, nor did I see the small
country road they were attempting to turn into. Instinct took
over as I slammed my foot down on the brake pedal. The brakes locked and…
By Amanda Miller One of my husband’s characteristic
sayings is, “What’s the worst that can happen?” It’s meant to dissuade anxiety or
unrealistic worries, and it used to help a little. Until one day, the worst did
happen. Brian was ran over by a
tractor. Actually, he was run over by the
farming implement the tractor was pulling — a 20-thousand-pound no-till drill,
a heavy beast fitted with rows of sharp discs meant to plow through hard-packed
Kansas soil. The tractor kept going, until it
lodged itself in a grove of trees in the middle of the section, a quarter mile
from the dirt road. So by the time anyone started to be concerned at Brian’s
absence, it was already getting dark. I was at work, and normally I would
have tried to be in contact with Brian several times throughout the afternoon
and evening, but I was in the throes of prepping for and teaching a cooking
class and didn’t notice that there was no response to my single text. I had no
idea it had already been almost five hours by…
Alone I stumbled back to IMU to frantically pack up our things; alone I crumpled, sobbing, into a corner in the much-too-familiar ICU waiting room; alone I pleaded for updates while they still wouldn’t let me see Brian.
This was one of the only days I was alone. It feels a little cruel that this of all times was when no one was there with me, but (especially after the fact) I can see the grace in it. In all reality, I was only by myself for a couple hours — the hours of crisis when I had no idea what was happening with Brian or if it was all over. There was no one to distract me, comfort me, strengthen me—no one to lean on but my God. The other crises I always had people to bolster me, but this time I only had God...and he was enough.
Brian made it through the day, and over the next day or two showed small signs of progress — before he started tanking again. His lungs started shutting down, and in a horrible progression he went from room air to a bi-pap mask to the venti…