Plus One has a name!

Hi everybody,

It's been a whirlwind of a week at the Miller house! The bottom line is that we have accepted an adoption referral (at least verbally) for a sweet, 3-month old baby girl in Taiwan! It was completely unplanned, as we have been on the path for a domestic adoption from day #1. However, God had other plans (usually does) and now, we are scrambling to apply for passports, update our homestudy, and begin educating ourselves on our daughter's special needs. Our daughter. Wow. She is ours!

Amber Elizabeth was born in Taiwan on January 30. (There are still some undecided details about what her name will be...we are honoring both of our sisters, but we may add something that reflects her Taiwanese name). She was born at 26 weeks gestation to a birthmom who is 27 years old. Amber was only 2 lbs.

On Friday, May 6, I got a phone call from my mother while I was in the toilet paper aisle at Target. One of my friends commented that at least I had plenty of tissue for the tears that followed! Most of you know that our wait for adoption has not been very long, but to us, it has seemed like an eternity. We began paperwork for adoption in January 2010, were approved for adoption in June 2010, and we were about to have to update our homestudy in June of this year. From the beginning, we have said we were open to a domestic infant, no older than 12 months, and any race. We thought that meant we were really OPEN. Ha. Makes me laugh now.

Anyway, back to Target. Picture this: I'm running around trying to get paper towels, toilet paper, etc. and I had somewhere to be in about 20 minutes. Hadn't checked out yet and didn't even have everything I needed. I know you've all had days like that...days when you hear your phone ring and it makes you cringe. I never expected what mom said after "got a second?" She told me that her friend and co-worker, Jeff, had asked her if Justin and I were open to or had ever considered international adoption and a special needs child. Jeff and his wife have three boys adopted from Taiwan. I don't really remember what happened next, but I asked mom why. She said that Jeff had been asked by a contact in Taiwan if he knew of a family who would be interested in a baby girl. She is three months old, but was born at 26 weeks. She has some degree of hearing loss, although the extent is not known.

I began to cry and asked my mom to please tell Jeff that we would love to get some more information about her. Her Taiwanese name is Chiah-Hui (pronounced jee-uh-hoo-wa). Since birth, she has gained five pounds, so she's up to 7 lbs. She has recently been taken off oxygen and is scheduled to leave the hospital in a few days! The only physical issue at this point is the hearing loss.

After two long days of waiting, not to mention Mother's Day, we finally heard back from Jeff that the couple in charge of her was interested in finding out more about us. We sent our homestudy (the domestic one), photographs, and information about us that had changed since our last homestudy. On Wednesday, we received our first pictures of her and even though we were already convinced that this was our baby, her sweet, perfect face made it forever. The missionary couple had chosen us to be her parents. Even though there are a lot of unanswered questions about her hearing and what we will face, we decided to officially accept the referral. So, on Father's Day weekend last year, we were approved by our agency to adopt a domestic infant of any race. Mother's Day week this year, we found out that we will be adopting a Taiwanese baby girl with special needs!

There have been many "aha!" moments over the past several days that confirm for me that this is so right. Our family's reactions, our friends' joy, and just knowing that this is how I am finally going to get my fear of flying over the ocean somewhat controlled! We are blessed to know many folks who have been affected by hearing loss and they have already been a wealth of information. We know that Nashville is one of the best places little Amber could be to deal with whatever comes. I can't wait to show you all the photos. If you would like to see one, please feel free to send me a private message and I will text them to you. We are trying not to post on the internet until the adoption is final.

A couple of verses have given us so much joy in the past few days, and I'll close with them:

"Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits...who satisfies your desires with good things." Psalm 103:2,5

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father of the heavenly lights." James 1:17

"How great is the love the father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!" 1 John 3:1

Thank you for continuing to pray for us through the next leg of our journey, and for Amber and her caregivers in Taiwan.


Justin, Stephanie, and Amber Miller


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