November is National Adoption Month, a month set aside to highlight the need and benefits of adoption, particularly for children in foster care who are waiting for a loving and stable home.
This month takes on a special significance for our family because we have recently adopted twin girls — adding two more to the three children we already had. Yet at the same time we have nearly doubled the joys and blessings of children in our lives.
My wife Christie and I never planned on becoming adoptive parents, but the one truth we have learned from this experience is to never discount what the Lord has in store for us.
Growing our family had not been on the radar screen for us — having just taken on the job of Congressman and all the duties involved in that — we really had our hands full with the businesses, the ranch and life in general. But the situation presented itself and we prayed long and hard over whether we should proceed with adopting the girls.
We talked with our three children about the prospect of adding two more to our family. From the first moments they were completely supportive — without hesitation.
The girls themselves, Ivy and Lynette, made the transition into our family go smoothly. They were very accepting of our children and of us. Our three oldest children, Jim, Andrew and Larra, have been big-hearted. They have welcomed the twins in a seamless manner and it is as if the girls have always been a part of our family.
It is a wonderful sense of parental accomplishment to see the way Jim, Andrew and Larra have demonstrated their selflessness and compassion, even though it has changed the dynamics a bit. Where Larra was once the baby sister, she is now a big sister to two little girls. Where Jim and Andrew outnumbered the girls, now the girls outnumber the boys. Suddenly the number of girls’ dolls and tea sets around the house outnumbered the boys’ toy trucks and toy cars.
One of the most exciting moments in this adventure was to hear the twins say “I love you mommy” and “I love you daddy” for the first time. That is something that comes naturally from your biological children, but it is a feeling that must develop in its own time for adopted children. Knowing that the girls finally felt that way about us and were willing to vocalize it of their own accord was a priceless gift we will always treasure.
The chaos of having a family of five children under the age of 10 is significant and requires a considerable amount of planning to get from one place to another. We are back to high chairs and strollers and all of the equipment we had already finished with and given away.
However, in the grand scheme of things, these challenges are temporary and the precious years of their young lives pass altogether too quickly.
God put us in the right place at the right time to help two sweet girls get the loving family they deserved. We decided that if God was calling us to do this, who were we not to answer His call? God’s timing is always perfect.
If God is calling on your family to consider adoption, we strongly encourage you to open your hearts to one or even multiple children who deserve a permanent family. Only time will tell how the Lord will use you or your family in some marvelous way.
MARKWAYNE MULLIN respresents the 2nd District of Oklahoma.