Ciara’s story spread quickly. Last spring, she graduated high school as valedictorian of her senior class. She was accepted at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has begun her freshman year.
Ciara Stubblefield never knew her birth father. Her mother was 16 years old when she moved to Tennessee where Ciara was born. She was strong, independent minded and determined to care for Ciara and her younger sister.
“My sister and I felt loved,” she remembers. “I know my mom made bad choices, but it was the drug addiction that destroyed her and our family.”
Their mother overdosed and died on July 3, 2013. In November, the girls came to Mills Home.
“When I first arrived at Mills Home, I couldn’t help but feel that I had done something wrong,” she confides. “It took a while for me to realize that what had happened to me wasn’t my fault. I began to understand that God had a plan for my life.”
In October 2014, Ciara said, “It clicked.” She had watched her Christian cottage parents and listened closely to Mills Home Baptist Church pastor Randy Stewart’s words. She knew she wanted Jesus in her life.
“I’m part of that BCH statistic that says 80% of the children who come into care are unchurched,” she says. “I went from attending church occasionally, to attending church every Sunday and Wednesday. There are cottage devotions. You learn how God wants a relationship with you. It’s mind blowing.”
For fall break, Ciara returned to the Mills Home campus in Thomasville. She spent the week in the cottage with the other girls and cottage parents she has grown close to throughout the years.
“My family at Mills Home is there for me, encouraging me, giving me a place to call home,” Ciara says.
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Article written by Blake Ragsdale, Managing Editor and Jim Edminson, Editor