Traditionally, Thanksgiving gives us an opportunity to express the many ways that we have been blessed.

Everyone has something to be thankful for, whether it’s good health, a job, a roof over our heads, a family that loves us, a Savior that died for us—the list goes on.

When I count the numerous ways the Lord has blessed our family, I give thanks for the gift of adoption. Frankly, our family would not be complete without two very important members: Ivy and Lynette.

It took longer for me to open my heart to adoption than it took my wife and kids. Despite both girls living with two loving family members, the twins were living apart and needed a more permanent place to grow up. While I remained unsure about adopting the girls, Christie asked me to pray about it.

When we talked to our kids about adopting the girls, Jim, Larra, and Andrew put it simply: “They need a mommy and daddy.”

Ivy and Lynette became a part of our family in the spring of 2013. To this day, the decision to make them a permanent part of our family is one of the best decisions our family has ever made.

It is fitting that Thanksgiving and National Adoption Day both fall during November.

In a season where we give thanks for our blessings, I am always reminded that our five kids are the greatest blessing that God gave us. When I give thanks for my family, I’m grateful that the gift of adoption brought two more members to the Mullin family.

People tell Christie and me that we are a blessing to our twins, but the truth is, they are a blessing to us.

Our kids are living proof that the blessings you treasure most might be ones you never anticipated.

This November, give thanks to the blessings you have and for the blessings you have yet to receive. Most importantly, when God delivers a blessing to you down the road—accept it graciously and give thanks.

Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) represents the second district in the U.S. House of Representatives. He can be reached through, and at 3109 Azalea Park Drive, Muskogee, OK, 74401, 918-687-2533 or 202-225-2701