Apr 25 • 3M


One Minute with Marlin

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One minute episodes with Marlin Miller, the founder and publisher of Plain Values magazine.
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My wife Lisa and I have a favorite quote, “Adoption: when your family tree becomes an orchard.”  Our family will forever be connected to the family trees of each of our children. Even as time passes and seasons change, we remain connected through open adoptions. Each of our children joined our family through a series of connections and events which could only have been orchestrated by God’s timing and ultimate plan. What a miracle!

Our youngest son arrived in what we have described as a surprise adoption. Miles is our most unexpected gift. Upon moving to our home, we had closed our adoption home study and notified our agency and the National Down syndrome Adoption Network that we were not planning to adopt again. Technically, we should have never even heard about Miles. His birth family connected with someone who then put them in touch with our adoption agency; the person at the agency happened to be the exact person who had worked with our family over the years. Again, they should have never heard about us. A phone call on a Sunday afternoon led to a meeting a few days later, and Miles arrived at our door and was handed to us with great love by his birth family. We completed a new home study from application to approval in two weeks while caring for our new baby. Just four days before, we had been going about our daily routines with no inclination that something amazing was just around the corner⁠—our family had just grown by two feet.

Lisa is reading a book about miracles. She shared with me a rarely known detail of Joni Eareckson Tada’s story. The miracle of how Joni survived that life-changing dive from a raft into a lake is a testament to our Lord’s sovereignty. The second Joni hit the bottom of the lake, she was paralyzed from the neck down. She was wholly underwater, with no ability to move her arms or legs to propel herself back to the surface. The clock instantly began ticking.

At that moment, her sister was walking toward the shore with her back to Joni when a crab pinched her toe. Joni’s sister turned around to warn Joni about the crabs and saw blonde hair just under the surface; she quickly realized something was wrong and swam to her sister’s aid. The very night before, Joni had bleached her hair on a whim from a “mousy” brown to a white-blonde. This act ended up helping to save her life a short time later. Had she not changed her hair color, Joni’s sister wouldn’t have noticed her beneath the water, and she most likely would have drowned.

Even though we had both read her stories before, these were new details of which we had never heard, adding to our amazement of God’s plan for Joni’s life. If we take the time to do so, most of us can look back over our lives and remember something incredible that could be seen as a miracle.

As always, may you find joy in the simple things. This is Marlin with Plain Values magazine. Learn more about our work, and subscribe, at plainvalues.com.