Overwhelmed With Gratitude

We are blessed with wonderful, amazing friends and by other Christians all over the world. We are so thankful that so many of our friends are supporting us and encouraging us in adopting Nikolai.

On Sunday, some friends stopped by and handed us a check for $500 toward Nikolai's adoption. Then today I checked our sponsor link at Reece's Rainbow to see our account was at $1203. Some other friends had given $500. Some people we have never even met as well as many other friends have given, and we know they are making a sacrifice to do so. We are just blown away at the generosity we are experiencing. Nikolai has $3756 toward his adoption that did not come from us.

It's not just the monetary support that we are so grateful for. We have received so many emails and notes letting us know that we are being held up in prayer. It's so comforting to know that our family is being prayed for.

Our dear friends Jason and Joanna Bursch are giving a benefit concert May 7 at the NHCC Community Cafe in Taylors, SC, and are giving everything made toward Nikolai's adoption. And another friend is designing a poster and invitations for the concert.

Another friend gave us a stack of books to have, to sell on our Amazon account, and she is having a yard sale and giving us the proceeds from it.

Really! I think the list could go on and on. We just feel so overwhelmed with gratitude. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I can not express in words how much having the support and encouragement of friends means to our family.

Adopting the Hurt Child

I just started reading "Adopting the Hurt Child" by Keck and Kupecky, a few days ago. I've worked with children and teens in foster care and group homes before and I've seen and learned of how badly these kids are treated. In fact when I was 20 years old I had my first experience working with children in foster care, and it was that experience that God greatly used in my heart to give me the desire to one day foster and adopt.

The authors of this book state that in the U.S. alone, their are 510,000 children in foster care and 129,000 of them can be adopted (written in 2006). Most, if not all of these children have been hurt or abused, and it is often difficult for them to love and trust anyone. But there is hope, if a family will open up their homes and hearts to these children "it is never too late to hope."

It's convicting to think that we go to church every week and talk about God's love, we engage in debates over the downfall of our society, and we claim to be pro-life and fight for the rights of children. Yet, we have in America a great "problem;" these children, as the author points out, are "society's children." But, this problem is not without a simple solution. Do what Scripture tells us, as believers, to do. Care for the orphans. "Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress" James 1:27.

Not everyone is called to be a foster parent or to adopt, but as Christians we are all called to care for these children. We all have a role to play in these childrens' lives. What is your role?

Adoption Progress Update

I feel like we may be setting the record for fastest paperwork filler-outers :) We have the final meeting for our homestudy tomorrow evening. We have a great homestudy agency which is processing our homestudy very quickly and not charging us the usual extra fee to do so. The director of the homestudy/adoption agency has been so helpful and has made herself available to answer our questions and help us pro-bono. She has been so patient and kind and has been a tremendous help to us. Reece's Rainbow has a team of volunteers that have compiled our dossier for Ukraine and are guiding us step by step as we complete it. Because we are adopting "independently" we are saving thousands of dollars. We could not do this without the time and help from those volunteers at Reece's Rainbow and the director of our homestudy/adoption agency.

We have completed our I600A Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition. This document along with our completed homestudy goes to USCIS (formerly INS) and they set up a time for us to go to Atlanta to be fingerprinted. Then they approve or disapprove of us adopting Nikolai and bringing him back to the US (the simplified version). Well this process typically takes 90 days in Georgia and we don't have 90 days. We have contacted Georgia Senator Chambliss' office and they have been so helpful. They have already contacted USCIS on our behalf and are going to follow up on our application. We pray and hope that the added nudge from the Senator's office will speed up our application!

Until USCIS approves and processes our paperwork we can't submit all of the necessary documents for our dossier (which goes to Ukraine). Please pray that everything will go smoothly and quickly. We want so badly to bring Nikolai home soon! We pray that he is kept safe and well til we can see him.

I'm Not Really Sure What to Call This One

As children of God we are ADOPTED, we did nothing to earn the title "Child of God." We are His because He chose to make us His, even those of us that are the most difficult, unlovely, weird, whatever ... Yet Drew and I have received negative comments from "Christians" about the fact that we are adopting a child with Down Syndrome. They hurt and make me angry all at once. I wish I could make some people understand that we are not adopting because we naively think that our life will be a walk on the beach, or because we are ignorant of the fact that having children with special needs means things may be more difficult. I want to say to those people "We know what we are doing may appear crazy, we realize we are not rich, we know that at times we will grow weary, but where is your faith?" "There is so much more to life than being comfortable!"

We would rather never have nice cars, a big house, nice clothes etc... so that we are able to adopt children into our home, love them, make them our sons and daughters and provide for them. This is what God has called us do and we are so happy to do it. We would never have thought that we would be these people, but God knew all along that he was preparing us to be parents to children with special needs. I can't imagine doing anything else with my life and I don't want to.

Nikolai is our son, the same way Lane and Hudson are our sons. It just so happens that Nikolai has temporarily been in the custody of an orphanage in Ukraine. But, he has always been our son and God has always known that. Some just don't understand that. I don't fully understand myself, why we didn't find him sooner, how our hearts can love this little boy, who we have never even met, so very much. The only way I can explain anything is that it just has to be a God thing. And it kills us that on April 7, when Nikolai turns 6, he won't be with us to celebrate his birthday together. We think about him, worry about him and pray for him, just as much as we do Lane and Hudson. He is our son.

It just amazes that any one who claims to be a child of God would not fully understand and support another Christian's decision to adopt. Where would you be if God had not adopted you?

A Snapshot of Grace

The last couple of weeks have been so busy with paperwork and meetings that I feel like I haven't had a lot of time to really reflect on many of the things that God has been teaching me. I like writing them down so I can really think them through, go back and revisit them and maybe someone else will be encouraged too.

The fact that God has rescued me from a life of sin and grafted me into his family has gained new meaning to me over the last few weeks. On many occasion as I have been working on adoption paperwork, I have stopped to think about how truly amazing it is that we can be called sons and daughters of the King. Our adopting Nikolai is a picture of God's grace in that way, but it is really only a snapshot of grace. What God did for us, we could never do, and his love is perfect, unselfish, and immeasurable.

As I have thought and prayed over being a snapshot of grace to Nikolai, this thought entered my mind "how am I a snapshot of grace to Lane and Hudson?" Am I a parent like God is a parent to me? Do I teach them in a kind and gracious manner? Do I make sure they know that they are forgiven? Am I as patient with them as God is with me? What kind of picture of God and grace am I painting?

God is patient, kind, slow to anger, always there, gracious, generous, and forgiving. He delights in his children and his love is perfect. That is the kind of parent I want to be and need to be.

Adoption Homestudy Tonight

We have our adoption homestudy interview as a couple tonight at 7pm. Tomorrow evening we will have our home inspection as well as individual interviews. Next Thursday will be our last homestudy interview. Please pray that these go smoothly, and that the homestudy is processed quickly.

We have received a few emails from some of you regarding donating through Reece's Rainbow with concerns over whether or not your donation has been credited properly to Nikolai. If you do donate through Reece's Rainbow please go through this link After you enter your information you click on "send special instructions to the seller" and you can put in a note to designate the donation to the Miles family. You can also donate directly to us through our Paypal account.

We covet your prayers for us and for all three of our boys.

Grace and Peace,
Drew, Kamarie, Lane, Hudson and Nikolai Miles

If you want to be added to our email list you can email us at

Reality Check

It just hit me yesterday...we could be bringing Nikolai home in June! That is only three months away. Then a sort of panic ensued; it was brief as I stopped to pray. "God, you have made it clear that Nikolai is our son, you have worked out everything so far to this point. You will somehow give us $18,000 so we can bring him home."

We were told to expect our total costs to be about $25,000. Drew and I have about $5,000 and we are selling nearly all of our books, DVD's, CD's and more which will hopefully generate another $2000. I hadn't really thought about where the rest of the money would come from until yesterday. It seems like a huge amount to us but we know that God will make a way.

So we are calling all pray warriors to pray with us!

If you feel lead to donate to Nikolai's adoption, you can do so through our Paypal Account

All we need 450 people to give $40 each.

If you want to buy some of our stuff on Amazon click here.

A Real Hero

I have known Beth Milbourne since our sophomore year of college. We've been through a lot together over the past 11 years. I love that although our lives are very different and our dreams and aspirations are at times not at all the same, we both have a common goal...using our lives for whatever God would have for us, to his glory.

About a month ago, after the earthquake in Haiti, Beth felt called to go to Haiti and serve the people there. She had just finished her Bachelor's Degree in Nursing; she took and of course "aced" her boards, and a couple of weeks later she was on her way. God provided the money and the means for her to get there. Yesterday, she posted this update on facebook.

Today marks 2 weeks for me on the ground in Haiti. I have avoided sending a specific update because what I have seen and what is going on here is completely overwhelming when I stop long enough to think about it. Even now as I sit here with the purpose of sending an update, I am having a hard time knowing where to start or what to say...
I made a concerted effort to be without expectation coming here. But as we all know, that seems to be impossible. My first day in Haiti, I was definitely confronted with things I never expected. The organization I came down with (IBG Haiti) has rented a house just outside of Port au Prince for the entire year. Our first day here, we spent "setting up house" putting together 13 bunk beds, setting up a kitchen, etc. I really struggled with the thought that we were going to be sleeping in a house, on mattresses, while the people we were here to serve were sleeping in the streets or under sheets. One of my first steps of faith while here was to submit to the leadership of the pastors that God had put over me. The more I have learned about their plans for that house, the more I am thankful to have been a part of setting it up. The plan is for the long-term, using the house to help Haitian pastors with theological training as they work to rebuild their lives, their churches and their country.
Since then I have moved to a place called Quisqueya. It is a Christian school that since the earthquake has become a compound and deployment station for medical workers and some US Army. I am amazed at the heart of the leadership and staff here. They are true servants. (Please check out their website/blog If anyone is interested in coming to Haiti or supporting a specific ministry, I would recommend going through IBG or Quisqueya. God has definitely directed each of my steps and prepared the way before me. (Side note: Just as I typed that last sentence there was another aftershock, the ones that I have felt have only lasted a few seconds and have done little or no damage)
For the majority of the time that I have been here I have worked at one hospital, CDTI. Because of the amazing relationships God has given me, that has been a primary purpose for me while here, to build relationships with the people God has put right in front of me. By working at the same facility I have been able to build relationships with patients, their families, staff members, translators and other relief workers. I love coming through the gates and hearing patients calling out my name, happy to see me back. The hospital was a private, 18 bed facility prior to the earthquake. The man who started the hospital had the goal of raising the standard of health care in Haiti, so it was a top notch facility with CT, digital xray, mammography, fluoroscopy in OR, an ER... now we are down to mammography. There is one functioning CT machine in Haiti and it is on the Comfort ship that is parked in the port. CDTI is a primarily orthopedic hospital, so the lack of xray has been very difficult. There is a foundation working on getting us a working xray processor. We currently have 75 in-patients in 11 tents in the courtyard, and run an out-patient clinic that sees between 100-150 patients each day. Since I have committed to be here for a longer period of time I have been promoted rather quickly. This past weekend the American doctor that has been administrating at the hospital took a much needed R&R, leaving me in charge. It was (and still is) an intimidating thought. I am constantly having to remind myself of 2 Corinthians 5:5-7 “He who has prepared you for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight...”
One of the amazing things about being in Haiti right now, is that God has literally brought the world to Haiti. I have worked with people from all over the US, Mexico, Bangladesh, Canada, England, France, Germany, South Korea, Israel, just to name a few. I was hit with the thought that God could be bringing people here to Haiti to hear His Name and return to their country changed, proclaiming the Gospel of Christ. God's purpose for allowing such a catastrophe could be to start a worldwide revival. As I have ridden in the backs of every type of vehicle imaginable around Port au Prince, the song “God of this City” has been running through my head... “You're the God of this city, You're the King of these people, You're the Lord of this nation, You are. You're the Light in this darkness, You're the hope to the hopeless, You're the peace to the restless, You are. There is no one like our God... For greater things have yet to come and greater things are still to be done in this city...” God has a bigger plan for Haiti than we could ever imagine. He loves the people of Haiti more than we will ever understand. He died for the souls of Haiti. He has called us to be His hands and feet, what an amazing privilege!
I know that the prayers of many saints have sustained me over the last couple weeks. This has definitely been the hardest thing I have done in my life, but I know that God has called me to it and I know that He is, and will continue to be my strength.

Beth truly is a hero, she is giving of herself even when there is "nothing" to be gained in return. Please pray for her with me as she serves in Haiti.

The Treasure

When Drew and I first followed God's leading to commit to adopting Nikolai, we sort of laughed to each other knowing that we do not have $25,000 readily at hand to cover all the costs. But we knew that God would provide. We also know that part of God's provision is showing us what areas we needed to make sacrifices in or be more frugal in. Though it's not the perfect analogy, I suddenly felt like the man in Matthew 13. We too have found a treasure, our son Nikolai. We have found ourselves in a state of mind that we have never before been in. Willing to sell EVERYTHING we can possibly sell to bring Nikolai home. And it has brought an even greater joy to our family to see God working in our hearts this way.

On Friday, we set up a seller account on Amazon HELPOURADOPTIONFUNDBUYOURSTUFF to sell all our CD's and DVD's, many of our books and some household items. Over he weekend we have already sold nearly 40 items and earned nearly $500.

We also have been renting a storage unit to store some furniture and stuff we can't fit in our current home. We have begun the process of emptying it out and selling what we can. We just sold our futon!

It is only God that has made us realize that we really don't need so much of what we have. We have found a treasure, a great treasure, Nikolai, and we will do whatever it takes to bring him home. We say with such joyful hearts, "Thank you God for your leading and provision."