Our story

How we became Niles and Maria

Niles was born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina and I was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico.The Lord, in his infinite wisdom, brought us to the same city at just the right moment- when we were high school freshmen.One year later, Niles asked Maria to be his girlfriend, and we’ve been together ever since! We spent the rest of our high school years marching together in the band, hanging out with our friends, watching tons of movies and growing up- together .After graduation we went to two different colleges (Niles=Winthrop, Maria=USC) and commuted on weekends to see each other.Those four years of college were difficult as we began our adult lives in different places, but the Lord used that time to grow us closer to Him as individuals. We were engaged the December of our senior year and were married in July, almost 7 years from our first date.

We have now been married for 8 years and have been together 15 half of our lives!

When 2 became 4

The Lord has blessed us with two beautiful biological children, Turner Niles who is 5 and Calvin Richard who is 2 ½.

Turner is a sweet, inquisitive preschooler that loves soccer and superheroes.
Calvin is a hilarious, determined, curious and active 2-year-old.He loves cars and his snuggly-sheep and is REALLY excited about becoming a big brother soon!

The Call to Adopt

June 19, 2011 was the day God clearly spoke to me (Maria) his desire for our family to adopt a baby. It was Father's Day. Our pastor, Skip MacMillan, was preaching a sermon on Deuteronomy 1 where Moses was recounting to the Israelites the last time they stood at the precipice of the land of Canaan (the Promise Land). Moses spoke of the fear and disbelief that prevented the Israelites from obediently entering ad taking possession of the land. This disobedience condemned the Israelites to wander the desert for forty years.

Skip cautioned us against similar disobedience citing specific examples in Deuteronomy 1:26-28. In those verses Skip discussed 3 things the Israelites did that lead them into a dark, disobedience.

1. Unwillingness "Yet you would not go up, but rebelled against the command of the LORD your God" ( v. 26)

2. Believe Lies about the Lord to excuse disobedience you murmured in your tents and said, 'Because the LORD hated us he has brought us out of the land of Egypt,to give us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us” (v. 27)
3. Blame Other People for their own disobedience “Our brothers have made our hearts melt...” (v. 28)

As I considered these things, specifically the Unwillingness to follow and obey God, to trust God promises, power, love for them, I found myself asking the Lord to show me areas of unwillingness in my heart.

The answer was so loud, so clear, that I felt like my head and heart might explode! God made it clear to me that for some time he had been calling our family to adopt a child and I until that moment had been unwilling to obey. The thought that ran over and over and over in my mind was "You have a daughter somewhere else- go get her." There was such a sense of finality in that moment-the direction was clear and I was to walk in it. As the Israelites were called to walk in God's promise into the Land of Canaan our family was called to walk down the path of adoption.

During that service (and the following one which I stayed in to make sure I was hearing clearly!) the Lord blessed me with encouragement. He brought to mind several recent and positive adoption conversations I had had with friends and family... there were moments while singing that I was so overcome with love for my daughter that I couldn't even sing or stop the tears from flowing... And so our journey began! We are aware that the Giants on this road are many and yet we are certain if the LORD delights in us, he will fulfill this desire he has given us and he will work the details out to bring our baby home.

As we have took steps toward bringing our baby home and have spent more and more time learning about God's heart through his Word, our hearts grew bigger and bigger for adoption. We better now understand that adoption is a beautiful picture of God’s love for us. No matter what we’ve done, or where we’re from, He has brought us into his family and adopted us as sons and daughters by faith in Jesus. Not only that- but he DELIGHTS in us! We cannot wait to share this truth with the baby the Lord brings into our family.


2 1/2 years later...


We are blessed beyond words to FINALLY be a family of 5!  You can catch up on the details of our story in the blog archive but if you want to skip right to the good part :)  I encourage you to start here at the post of Ruth's BIRTHday!  We give The Lord ALL honor, glory and praise for his provision and for his sustaining grace through the journey.  We are forever changed.