The Miller Family
Oh hey, short on time? No worries! I'd love to join you on your commute or daily walk/run, or shoot, even while you take care of that to-do list. We can't let these things get in the way of this friendship. It's just starting to get good! Click below to listen to the blogcast.
As we take a short break from our Bible 101 series, I cannot think of a better thing for us to talk about than family, because that's what The Bible is all about - God welcoming us into His family as adopted sons and daughters.
This week, I'm excited to introduce you to The Miller Family. I know you'll be blessed.
"I want him to know he was chosen and loved from the very beginning. He has a community of people who have loved him, prayed for him, and waited for him. There’s never been a moment he isn’t seen. Every night, tucking him in, we pray boldness over him. We want him to live a life not in fear but in faith - so bold and proud of himself!" - Erin Miller
Tears come to my eyes as my friend shared their family story. I remember being in their home and seeing the sweet, thoughtful nursery they had prepared for their child. Hope as tangible as the sweet baby blanket folded neatly in the basket. At that time, they did not know when their child would come, but they believed God would provide. Whimsical touches of Winnie the Pooh adorned the walls with a sign that read, "I would wait a million years for you."
Truer words could not have been hung for this sweet family.
I'm truly honored to share the story of my friends and their beloved son - Landon, Erin, and Whit Miller.
Meet The Miller Family
From their season of dating, it was something Landon and Erin had always talked about. They imagined "one day" they would adopt but expected it to come much later. After enduring two years of infertility, they could hear God nudging them with this purpose he placed on their hearts years before, "I said you were going to adopt..." Seeing now how He had taken away all of the biological factors, they agreed, "Okay, this is what we’re doing."
They began to recognize God-ordained moments confirming this decision. When a new pastor joined their church and his mission statement included adoption, their ears perked. Soon, they experienced Adoption Sunday, which allowed them to see many families in their own church community who had adopted and later learned of adoption scholarships through their local church. God's preparation extended beyond Sunday though as they were surprised to see this same thread surfacing in all of their weekly television shows.
"We didn’t have to look for things. It found us." - Erin Miller
October 2017, they began to look into different agencies, and settled on Special Delivery, a Christian-based organization with widespread locations focusing primarily on private adoption for infants. Landon and Erin were very impressed with their mission to serve not only the adoptive parents and children but the birth mothers, offering counseling to help them feel important and safe and let them know they are not forgotten. Recognizing adoption is birthed through immense brokenness, peace flooded their minds to see the intentional care given to birth moms. The agency walked alongside the birth moms through the entire journey - from their prospective moments to care during the pregnancy and care after delivery.
When asked about the state of their hearts during the season of waiting, Erin simply answered, "Waves. We'd be fine and then feel like, 'Dang. We've been waiting a long time." The routine of work and family helped, but the hardest part was when people would ask if they had heard anything and the answer was repeatedly, "Not yet."
Key word being "yet." They found strength in the song, Take Courage by Kristene DiMarco. The lyrics, "He's in the waiting," became their anthem during those days and a reminder to trust God was working all things out for their good. Their job was to wait and be patient.
"We knew we were where we were supposed to be." - Erin Miller
Preparing the nursery, this place became a source of peace for them. They would go into the nursery and pray for their child, waiting for their baby to be there.
July 2018, they were fully ready to be looked at by prospective birth mothers. (Special Delivery allows adoptive parents to create a photo book to describe their family and values as well as provides a space on their website for birth mothers to read more about prospective parents.)
By the end of January the following year, they had been personally selected. Seeing their photo, the birth mom later shared how she knew, "That's them."
With their families waiting alongside and supporting them, sharing this news with their family was a very sweet time. Joy spread through phone calls telling loved ones they had been matched and even cookie cakes declaring their long-awaited joy, “Baby Miller Coming!”
Adding to the sweetness, Erin was able to attend doctor appointments, even getting to see her unborn son on the ultrasounds. Also, their son's birth mother was able to meet their families, allowing her to see a glimpse of what her son's future would look like.
The day he was born, they were able to be there (the hospital even allowed them to be in the next room so they could be close but have their own space) and share the tender memories filled with both bonding and grief. They recall a mix of emotions, wanting to love on the birth mother while also feeling so much joy for the baby's arrival. As hard as it was, an underlying sense of peace guarded this decision and the days ahead.
Becoming a Family
Today, the open adoption looks like a lot of texts and FaceTime calls. When the birth mom lived locally, they would meet every last Thursday of the month to spend time together. To this day, she is still a very big part of their son's life. It's a very sweet relationship for their son, Whit. He is very little, only three years old now, but he knows he is very loved by a lot of people.
Based on their state legislation, they had to wait six months to finalize the adoption in court. They celebrate their "Got You Day" every year with Whit at their favorite ice cream place in town, the same way they celebrated when Landon and Erin first met his birth mom.
They rejoice seeing their prayers answered - a child born in such fear, nervousness and anxiety to now a thriving little boy with no fear in him. He is so friendly and says hello to everyone. He gives hugs, climbs, jumps, and leaps! His actions display the fulfillment of their prayers to not be scared -
"It came to fruition in him! He is our perfect little miracle of craziness!" - Erin Miller
What Do You Want Others to Know?
Infertility and adoption can be very scary for a lot of people; it's often seen as taboo. The Miller's love sharing their story to show the beauty that can come from the brokenness of adoption, how it brings people together and how you don't have to believe everything you see on Lifetime movies - birth mothers are lovely and kind. Adoption doesn’t have to be scary.
Through this journey, they've learned birth mothers deserve a voice. They want to ensure these women are seen and loved, not just a statistic.
For them, God's faithfulness all goes back to Whit, seeing their son growing and so intelligent.
"When God puts desires on your heart, it can be even better than you imagine. It’s worth the struggle." - Erin Miller
As for the sign they put in his room, both Landon and Erin agree, they'd wait a million years for Whit. They are exactly where they are supposed to be. They were meant to have this relationship with his birth mother. All is exactly as it should be.
While Erin never felt the need to be pregnant, she did very much feel the need to be a mother. If that's you, she wants to remind you,
"Sometimes we forget there are options, that it can look differently. We have to let go of our expectations to see the direction our lives are meant to go. Life doesn’t have to look like the internet with gender reveals." - Erin Miller
She remembers the season of wanting to be so happy for her community and friends when they shared news of their growing families and feeling so sad they'd never have their "turn." She said,
"I was so heartbroken. I've learned it’s okay to be in your grief and grieve this. There are still times I grieve this, but we are not called to sit in our grief. I wouldn’t have a fulfilled life if I stayed there." - Erin Miller
Nor would she have found the courage to lay down her expectations and trust God to provide for them. Grief is part of all of our journeys, but thankfully as Christians, it is not our destination.
We live in a broken world, so we will experience brokenness. But God's power can work through us and bring restoration, hope, and healing when we choose to trust God's plan above our own.
Wherever this story finds you -
Maybe you’re facing the pain of infertility...
Maybe you are considering this path towards adoption, maybe you’re currently walking it, maybe it’s a path someone you know is walking or it's a path you will walk one day...
Maybe circumstances led you to give your child up for adoption and your heart often feels the sadness of the loss of connection but also the hope for the life your child now has...
Maybe it's not the path God has called you towards...
Wherever you are, I pray you are encouraged and more deeply rooted in faith in hearing The Miller's story.
Let us always remember God doesn't just look down on our brokenness. Love stepped down so we don't have to sit in our grief alone or stay there. We can overcome and experience beauty because of Jesus, who makes all things new.
Friend, I pray this verse over you today -
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." - Proverbs 3:5-6
Let’s find strength now for the unexpected days ahead. Let's live by faith, believing there is joy on the other side of this just up ahead. Heaven is hanging over the rails cheering us on. Let’s listen for that rally cry when the sorrow and frustration are all we can see. Let’s find peace in His sovereign hand and rest knowing He has been preparing us for this path all along. Let's lean into Him and know He is with us every step of the way.
The good life, well it starts with a good day. Then another. Then another. Let's choose to live #TheGoodDay one day at a time.
Oh, and if you're as eager to see the colors of Summer as I am, check out this fun idea to add some van Gogh inspiration to your flower pots this year!
I love hearing from you, so go ahead. Leave a comment. Be brave. Maybe your comment will speak life into someone else!
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