Hearts Revealed

This past month we saw love demonstrated by amazing friends and complete strangers. We held two adoption fundraiser garage sales and were completely overwhelmed by the support and excitement. Donations poured in to the point where our garage was full, our neighbor’s garage was full and it looked like Goodwill exploded in our living room, dining room and foyer. I wept in the driveway as complete strangers brought us loads of amazing items to sell; train tables, tricycles, furniture, TV’s, toddler playscapes, and so much more. We had friends helping us throughout the week organizing and then arriving at 6:30 a.m. the day of the sale to help us set up. We had helpers stay throughout the garage sales even in the brutal Texas heat. Our garage sales raised over $3400 (and we still have great items for sale on Craig’s List!)

Just as amazing as the amount of money we raised was seeing people’s hearts and compassion for adoption. One incident in particular moved us all. A little girl (I am guessing 8-9 years old) was at our garage sale with her mother. At check out we had a donation jar. Each person who donated was asked to write his/her name on a small paper heart and attach it to a big thank you poster. The mother began explaining to her daughter the purpose of our fundraiser and without hesitation the little girl added her money to the jar. As I began thanking her, her mother shared with me that she (the daughter) was born with a heart condition/disease and has undergone 42 heart procedures. I could see the scars on the little girl’s chest and my heart ached for all she had been through at such a young age. The mother proceded to tell me that her daughter wants to be a nurse when she grows up and help people in Africa! I asked the little girl if she wanted to fill out a heart for our poster and she wrote: Kassandra … Love You. At this point tears were streaming down my face and I hugged sweet little Kassandra and thanked the Lord for this little walking miracle. Her weak, little heart is full of compassion for people she deems more needy than herself. 42 surgeries and the only bleeding heart she’s experiencing is one that aches for the people of Africa, including our son and daughter, to experience hope.

 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!  – 2 Corinthians 9:13-15

We are SO thankful to all of  you that made donations or sacrificed your Saturday(s) to help with our fundraiser. Your generosity certainly resulted in thanksgiving to God!

We cannot wait to one day tell our children about the amazing friends that helped to bring them home!

The kids set up a lemonade stand to help raise money
We had to expand into our neighbor's driveway.
Kiley working hard to make some sales
Melissa with our friend's daughter, Khloe.
Our dear friends, Rachel and Bethany
T-Shirts we made for the garage sale.

Meant to Be – by Carrie Stephens

I sat on the porch and chatted with my friend who is twenty-two weeks pregnant with her second child. She told me all the details women love to hear from pregnant friends. Sleeping (lots or not at all), cravings (sweet treats or salty snacks), when she feels precious baby kicks (at night or all day). 

“The other day I was trying to remember if I felt all of this when I was pregnant with Jackson,” she said.

Then we both burst out laughing because she hadnʼt carried her first child in her womb; Jackson is adopted. He is so much a part of her it seems he must have been born of her own body.

Some children are born into our families from our wombs and others are carried in our hearts for years before we hold them in our arms. Either way, the miracle is one of overwhelming grace. God trusts us with His children despite our inadequacies, weaknesses, and selfishness.

Once they are ours, it seems like they have always been there. It is nearly impossible to imagine life without our children. It all just seems so “meant to be”. The love we share forever weaves our hearts and lives together.

When I think of Brett and Melissaʼs babies in Ethiopia, I wonder if they know that their destinies are meant to be woven into a precious American family. I pray for the hands that feed and care for those sweet children as they wait for their forever home.

In my mind I can see the moment Brett and Melissa will walk on a plane and bring them home, promising to love them for real and for true for all their lives. I think of the day that Kiley, Ethan, and Landon will reach out their arms and hug their sister and their brother. Five little lives meant to learn friendship, sharing, and life together.

Our church family will be forever different with these two new loves running down the halls. How many children will find new friends because Brett and Melissa brought their children home? For all my husband and I know, one of our children could be about to meet a lifelong friend or a future spouse when those sweet Ethiopian feet walk into our lives.

Someday, we will not be able to imagine the Millican family without two more faces in it. Until that day, we all will carry hope in our hearts that God will bring them home very, very soon.

After all, itʼs meant to be.  

Carrie Stephens, and her husband Morgan, are some of our dearest friends. We so appreciate their love and support in our adoption journey. You can read more from Carrie on her personal blog Carriesburnttoast.blogspot.com
the Millicans & Stephens at our kids' birthday party

What It Took To Make You Mine

Honestly, adoption is costly. Not only from a financial perspective, but from a life perspective as well, and…we’re just getting started. We’re 4 months into an (approximately) 18 month process, have completed three of our four home studies, and have already sent in thousands of dollars with many more thousands to go. There is certainly a cost to adopting.

But, you know what? It’s worth it. If this is what it takes to bring home our children, it’s worth every dime, every second, every drop of sweat. It’s worth it because they are worth it. I look forward to the day when I get to tell our children the story of how they came into our family. I look forward to telling them how we spent weeks praying for God’s direction, how our church family so passionately prayed for them and sacrificed to help make their adoption possible. I’ll talk about all the work that went into fundraising, the hours that went into paperwork and the hundreds of tears that were shed because of the longing in our hearts to finally meet them.

I want them to know this because I want them to understand that there was no obstacle too big, no amount too high, no demand too steep, to keep us from loving them. I want them to know that there was nothing but joy in our hearts with every step of the process. I want them to feel that kind of limitless love because I know what it’s like to feel it, and it is life-changing.

You see, one of the biggest truths we are learning in this whole process is just how deeply and passionately God loves us. Every step in this process that demands more time, more money and more energy simply reminds us of how much God had to go through in preparation for our adoption. I mean think about it…the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ made our adoption possible. Which means the immortal God had to be able to die. So, He had to plan and prepare a body. He needed cheeks for Judas to kiss, a back for the soldiers to flog, a brow for the crown of thorns to press down on, hands and feet for nails to be driven into, a brain and spinal column so the pain could be fully felt and endured, and a pericardial sack that could fill with water to crush the heart and finally bring about the death He certainly didn’t deserve. Our adoption was the result of preparation and planning that cost Jesus everything

In the way we have set our eyes on the day when we call our new children our’s, and have begun following that plan set forth to make it happen, so God, in His infinite knowledge, looked forward to the day where His Spirit would grant us the gift of adoption, and knowing what it would cost Him He willingly walked out that plan of redemption. It was a plan that would demand His life, but there was no obstacle too big, no cost too high and no requirement too steep to keep Him from loving His sons and daughters.

My prayer is that our children will know the security of a love willing to lay down its life, not only from parents who were willing to give finances and time, but from the God who was willing to give His life.

“In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the
purpose of his will.” – Eph. 1:5

 

“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Rom. 8:38-39