International adoption gives Sioux City family a special gift
By Sarah Te Slaa, Multimedia Producer/ Anchor - email
Yared Miller was an orphan from Ethiopia before and now he's the adopted son of a Sioux City pastor and his wife.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -
For a variety of reasons, many couples choose adoption, to begin a family or to actually expand the one they have. Unfortunately, it can be costly. But that didn't stop one Sioux City pastor and his wife. They traveled half way around the world to add one more Miller to their family.
Meet Yared Miller. He's a playful, energetic, and talkative five-year-old. He's also pretty lucky. Four months ago he was an orphan in Ethiopia, and now he's the adopted son of a Sioux City pastor and his wife, Matt and Marie Miller.
"We kind of felt we were called to this adoption and we were matched with a child that God wanted us to have," says Marie.
And Yared definitely needed the Millers.
"For some of these kids, it's certainly a matter of life or death," says Matt. "When you give a child a home, you give them a family and opportunities that wouldn't have had otherwise, but you also get this incredible gift as well."
Their journey to adopt took nearly three years and was sparked by a mission trip to Haiti after the devastating earthquake in 2010.
"When the earthquake hit, it occurred to us that there are all these children, more children then what we have seen in previous trips that are going to be in need of family and we saw what their life was like," says Marie.
When adopting from Haiti wasn't possible, they chose Ethiopia.
"We looked at different countries and tried to find what would be a good fit for our family and where we felt there was the most need of children who needed families," says Marie.
Two years went by and when they finally got the phone call.
"Our case worker at the adoption agency said well we have a referral for a boy she sent us a picture and all of his information and we knew that this was it," says Matt.
So Matt and Marie, along with their two daughters, Andi and Gracie, headed to Ethiopia to adopt Yared.
"Our whole family went over to meet Yared," says Matt. "It was important for us and for the girls to see where he was coming from and be a part of the adoption really from the beginning because it's not just about us welcoming him into our family, it's about all of us all four of us."
But the family would have to fly home without Yared. The Millers had to wait for the adoption to go through.
"It was really hard," says Marie. "We knew we were coming back, but we struggled with whether he could comprehend that we would be back to get him."
After two months of waiting, they flew back to Ethiopia to bring their new son to his new home.
"I think he danced two inches off the floor for two days straight," says Marie.
But soon after, the Millers discovered the challenges that come with adopting from another country.
"The hardest thing with that was that he knew about ten words in English, so it was a lot of pantomime," says Marie.
And there's been a lot of getting used to have a boy around.
"We have this little boy with all this little boy energy that, it's different. It way different," says Matt.
"He likes to dance, sing, and make funny faces, and talk, from sun up to sun down,"says Marie.
"You don't have to be perfect to be a perfect parent because all a child is looking for is for someone to let them know that they love them, that they will take care of them, and that they have a place world," says Matt.
And to them, Yared's filled a place in the family perfectly.
The Millers say they couldn't have gone through this whole process without the support of their friends, family, and members of his church.
Matt is the pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Sioux City. He says has been able to use what he's learned through the adoption process to share his experiences with his congregation and work with the kids who go there in a whole new way. He says instead of just talking about faith, he's putting his beliefs into action.
"The idea that the church or we as Christians that we belong to God by adoption and by experiencing that with him has given me a whole new sense of what that means personally," says Matt.
Matt says it's also helped him realized the importance of ministering to children at his church to make them feel a part of the adopted church community.
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