Family Stories

The McMillan Family

Each family’s adoption story is specific to their circumstances; ours is no different. Although each is unique, there does seem to be a common theme among all adoptions: God has a specific child for each family, and He leads the family to that child.

We have three beautiful biological daughters; they are 21, 20 and 17-years-old. We were entering a time in our life when we were anticipating grand-parenting and an empty nest. God had a different plan for us!

I have always thought adoption was such a unique and special opportunity. The idea of providing a home to a child that might not otherwise have a family was always something that was in the back of my mind. We have been blessed in so many ways, and even though I had thought of sharing those blessings with others, especially a child that might have been overlooked due to age or disability, I never seriously thought that we would actually do it. My husband, Lon, had never really thought about adopting and wasn’t exactly excited about the thought when we first started talking about it. But over time, that changed. The reason he might not have been too excited about it is that, for some time, I had been suggesting that we buy a farm and start a dairy/orphanage. I told him, “We could adopt/foster children and they could learn to be dairy farmers and work with us on the farm.” Lon reminded me that we don’t know anything about being dairy farmers. He said, “There's more to it than just buying a bunch of cows and milking them.” Looking back, we can see that the LORD was executing His plan even in those early conversations. We ran across several articles about families that adopted and they become more and more interesting to us. Somehow in all of this we found and read the book Fields of the Fatherless by Tom Davis. This is a wonderful book that sheds a new light on the whole subject of adoption and God’s plan for caring for orphans.

One weekend in February when Lon was out of town on business, I attended church with my parents. At that service they announced that the church was hosting a seminar on adoption. To my surprise, when I asked Lon if we could attend, he agreed to go and listen to what they had to say. This is how we met America World Adoption Association (AWAA). AWAA gave us some material about adoption and a DVD with the agency's founder’s and Stephen Curtis Chapman’s adoption stories. We still didn’t know that the LORD’s plan was for us to adopt, and that He already had our son waiting for us.

At this point we talked about adoption with our daughters. Our oldest and youngest daughters were okay with the idea, but our middle daughter had some reservations. As we prayed about this, we asked the LORD to show us His will and to open the hearts of our family to a child if that is what He intended for us. I started looking on the AWAA website that pictured waiting children. The children on this site are so precious. Each of them waiting for a family and overlooked by many. This is where I first saw Jacob. He caught my attention right away...such a cute little guy! He was 4-years-old and had a repaired cleft palate and lip. Even thought I don’t think men’s hearts are wired that way, I sent Jacob’s picture to Lon in hopes that he would instantly fall in love with him too. Months went by and we kept praying, asking the LORD to guide us. One day last August when I came home from work, Lon gave me a picture of Jacob that he had printed off the AWAA website. My heart skipped a beat! He said we could call AWAA and get a more information about Jacob. I didn’t waste a minute getting Allison, the Special Needs Coordinator, on the phone. When Allison told us that Jacob had been on the site since February (that’s when attended the AWAA seminar) and not one person had inquired about him, we knew he was our son! As we started the adoption process, the paperwork seemed a bit overwhelming and the process seemed long, but the thought of our son thousands of miles away, in an orphanage without a family kept us going. It is truly a small price to pay for the privilege of becoming a child’s parent. The months turned into weeks and then days. Before we knew it, we were in China about to meet our son. I can’t explain the feelings of that day, a roller-coaster ride of excitement, joy, and terror. I just kept thinking about all the potential challenges facing us in the next few hours like what if he is afraid of us and does not like us. Then I reminded myself that the LORD had brought us this far and was not going to abandon us at this moment. In the end, the LORD was so kind and it was a perfect day. Jacob was scared, but he bravely and happily went home with his new Baba and Mama. We continually marvel at the LORD’s provision and graciousness.

Our family has grown through this experience not just because there are now six of us, but we have each opened our heart to love a child that God has placed in our care. I think I speak for the rest of the family when I say Jacob fits into our family perfectly! When I think of Jacob living in an orphanage for four and one half years without a father and mother, it breaks my heart. The thought of surgeries, vaccinations, bad dreams and scraped knees, without the loving arms of a parent to comfort and encourage him, is more than I can bear. Then I think of the rest of his life and his future and I’m so grateful to the LORD for giving him a family, even more so because the family he gave Jacob is ours. Praise be to the LORD!

"Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed." Proverbs 16:3

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