The past year, it’s been hard to write in this space. It’s been no secret… fewer words, lots of ache.
Over the several few weeks, especially, adoption things seem to be spiraling out of control. It looks less and less likely every day that things will turn out how we’ve prayed so fervently. I vacillate between believing in miracles and accepting what seems like the reality of the situation. I’ve shared bits and pieces on instagram over this time, and have included those posts throughout this one, to give you a clearer picture of the journey.
12/22/2014 on IG: We are in need of a miracle today. Urgent prayer requests for the next 48 hours regarding our adoption & 4 other adopted kiddos at M’s orphanage. Can’t share details here but thank you in advance for lifting our girl up to the Lord & praying for angel armies to go before her. “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23 /// photo @thea21campaign /// #millsadoption
Some days have been incredibly dark. Over Christmas and New Years, we got news that felt quite hopeless. For the first time ever on this journey, I believed that my little girl would never come home. The grief that flooded in the wake of that news was unlike anything I’ve ever known. In death, there is finality for those left behind. Terrible pain still, yes, but, the person is gone. In this, my girl is very much alive, but trapped in a system that may keep her from ever coming home. On Christmas Day I tried so hard to act OK for the kids, but my heart hurt worse than it has in experiencing the death of loved ones. I kept thinking that if the adoption was not in fact over, that the deep grief and loss I was experiencing was just a shadow of what my girl is feeling. I still believe that; that the Lord allows pain for the adoptive parents to taste just a tiny drop of the sorrow and loss of the child. She has lost so very much.
12/23/2014 on IG: So. I’m going to be honest. Today was one of the most difficult days of many hard days on the #millsadoption journey. As I shared a few posts back, my friend Nicole is on the ground at the orphanage this week & some really important things HAD to happen in our case for things to move forward. We were also praying the children that are legally adopted would be able to be moved to the capital city because they are truly unsafe where they are for a number of reasons. And as Will & Nic get ready to board the tiny plane back to the capital in a few hours, no children are coming with them. The other things needed for our case to move forward did not happen, not for lack of effort by my faithful friend, but because of a hundred other roadblocks. So. Here we are, I’m not even sure what’s what, what’s next, what’s up or down. Yet, I’m here to claim that while all I feel tonight is grief, I know God is God and He is able. I know that even though my heart is aching, I can claim Psalm 71:14, “As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more,” because He is my comforter and He himself is my hope, in spite of any circumstance. If you’d like to lift up some prayers on our behalf, please pray specifically for wisdom & clear resolution for us, in one direction or another, & for our girl. We love you guys. Thanks for being praying people tonight.
In the depths of the grief, I couldn’t see much. I started to pray that the Lord would help me to have true, unconditional joy. That my contentment in Him would not be conditional on a day with good news; that a bad news day would not mean complete sadness. And while I didn’t think I could ever see through the darkness, He has answered my prayers. He has shown me that He is God in the darkness of the night and He is God in the joy of the morning.
12/28/2014 on IG: Dear Jesus, Guard & protect her tonight. Be near. Bring her home as only you can. Amen
One of the hardest nights, I had to write a devotional for Anchored Hope on James 1:2-4, Joy in Trial. It was the furthest thing from my heart, to write about how a hard, disappointing process was refining me. But y’all, the Gospel is truth, ya know? Because the testing of my faith is working out my perseverance. The hard things, they are drawing me nearer to Him. It’s not been pretty or tidy or comfortable or enjoyable, but it is good.
1/6/2015 on IG: God has been speaking to me so much about suffering. Many days I don’t understand why the Lord led us to this place, how our adoption journey has become so painful, & what He is doing in what seems like a completely chaotic situation. But somehow, God is with us in the pain. And, If nothing else, I am being drawn closer to Him in the process. I’m becoming confident in Him in a new, unshakable way, regardless of circumstance…. Sharing a few more thoughts from James on trial + perseverance over at @anchoredhopeprayers today.
1/6/2015 2:24 PM on IG: Ok praying people. Two weeks ago I shared that we hit some of the hardest days of the #millsadoption journey & that really nothing that needed to happen during that Christmas trip to the orphanage happened. Things look bleak. I’ve been hesitant along this process to share details online, but have felt continued nudging to share this story, in hopes that more would join us in prayer & that He might be glorified. A few days after that last plea for prayer, the orphanage our kids were at was shut down. By “our kids” I mean our one girl & 4 other adopted kids, 2 each belonging to two of my dearest friends. All kids were placed in local homes. Two children have still not been found. We thought at first the orphanage closing was a positive thing, but two of those kids are now living with a very abusive man. His abuse towards the children has already been witnessed by multiple people, his wife was recently hospitalized due to his severe abuse towards her, & those kiddos are in danger. It’s crazy complicated, but essentially the adoptive family has no right over the kids, & they are left completely helpless. Government will not help. Police will not help. Yet, I cannot believe that they will be left abandoned. I cannot. I trust Jesus loves them so tenderly, & I’m begging him to rescue them from the most impossible situation. I don’t know if they’ll ever come home to the states, but I desperately need to know they are safe & loved. Their mama needs to know that. Will you join me in coming boldly before the throne on behalf of these two very vulnerable children? Please pray they can be released from this situation swiftly, that God would lead them out miraculously, that their mama & dad here would be comforted & reassured of their safety, & that it would be all God. We trust YOU alone, Jesus. You are able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine. Gather those children in your arms & bring them to safety, even as we speak. In the mighty, matchless name of Jesus Christ we pray, amen.
1/7/2015: Nights over the past few weeks have been restless. I wake up panicked, wondering where my girl is, wondering if she’s safe, wondering if she’ll ever get out, wondering if this is all real. (If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, hop back one post for the update on our #millsadoption). Last night was similar, yet when I woke, clear as anything this Matt Maher song was impressed on my heart. The sadness remains, but His peace that passes understanding is there, too. “Because He lives I can face tomorrow Because He lives Every fear is gone I know He holds my life my future in His hands Amen, Amen I’m alive, I’m alive Because He lives Amen, Amen Let my song join the one that never ends Amen, Amen”
And here we are. We don’t have any more answers than a few weeks ago, but we have more Jesus. We know He is near. We have experienced that deep, true peace that passes understanding (Philippians 4:7). We are trusting He is who He says He is, even when we can’t see.
Yesterday, a friend shared this song with us. It’s become my anthem.
I pray that whatever trials you’re going through, you would know that God is near to the brokenhearted. That His love has not been cut off. That He is faithful even when we cannot see. That He hears the cries of His people. That He will not turn a deaf ear. That He grieves and weeps right with you. That He demonstrated the fullness of His love on the cross, and that love is available for you right now, today.
Regardless of the outcome, we will declare His praises. We declare along with our anthem, “Let go, my soul, and trust in Him. The waves and wind still know His name.”