Meeting with Mike and Traci along the shores of Harrison Lake on a recent sunny and bright Saturday morning was a real blessing. In a matter of minutes a person realizes that this is a family of passion and love for one another.
Both Mike and Traci grew up in large families, and knew they wanted a large family of their own. Little did they know that it was going to be bigger than they were planning and it is still growing. Mike and Traci were married in Lyons, Ohio on September 16, 1995. 14 months later they had their first child, a daughter, soon followed by two sons. Their lives were rich and full.
After three children, Mike and Traci thought they were finished having kids, but it turned out that God had other plans. “Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west.” Isaiah 43:5. They adopted their first child, a daughter, from China in 2008 and their second, a son, also from China, in 2011. They are currently in the process of adopting another son, Micah David, and anticipate bringing him home this fall.
When their youngest son, Will was adopted, the entire Maginn family packed up and headed to China for a few weeks. Traci said, “It was the best trip we’ve ever taken. My mom was also with us for part of our journey which helped tremendously. We were thrilled that all the children could be with us at such an important time and each could come home with a richer understanding of China.” Although they won’t be bringing the entire family this fall, they are planning to bring their youngest daughter, Maeve in order to ease the journey for Micah and visit places that are important to her life story.
Earlier this school year, Maeve had to use her vocabulary word “combine” in a sentence. She wrote, “God combines people to make a family.” Yes, He really does.
“Ohana Means Family” – The Maginn Family Story as told by Liz Maginn:
“Hello! I am Liz Maginn, the eldest child of the Maginn family. A lot of people think my family is insane, and I’m here to confirm that. That being said, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Our house is never quiet and always busy. It is filled with laughter and craziness. If you would have told me 10 years ago that my family would be like this, I would have laughed.
I specifically remember when my parents told me about each one of my siblings being adopted. When I was 10 years old, I had pneumonia and had to stay home from school. The next day the social worker was coming over (for a parent interview), so they told me that I was getting a sister. I was super excited, I had always wanted a sister. When I was 14, my parents sat all of us kids down and told us that we were adopting again. Our first reaction was “are you kidding me?!” but one look at Will and we knew he was meant to be in our family. This year I found out that my parents are adopting again, and all I can say is “bring it on!”
There is something special about families. They are always changing. They are constantly growing or shrinking. People are born and people pass away. My family just grows in a different way. My little siblings don’t look like me, but they belong in our family. People always tell me that we are such good people for giving them a second chance at life. That’s not the case though; we need them in our lives more. You don’t realize that until they are home.
New parents usually have an image of a “perfect family”. “I don’t care if it’s a boy or girl, I just hope it’s a healthy baby.” People say that often. But being born with a birth defect or special need doesn’t remove the value of that baby’s life. My little siblings have special needs. Maeve and Will were both born with a cleft lip and palate. That means several surgeries throughout their childhoods, special speech therapy and lots of doctor visits. Micah was born with cerebral palsy. We’ll learn more about him after he comes home. But they are so much more than their physical “label” – they’re little kids who love to play and sing and dance and have fun. Every person has to overcome their own struggles, whether it is a physical challenge, an emotional challenge or any other life challenge. All life has value because we were all created and are all loved by God the Father.”
Traci reminds us that adopting children can be scary – special needs, international travel, cognitive delays, enormous expenses – all take giant leaps of faith. The decision was always difficult when they asked themselves, “Can we do this? Can we afford this? How will this affect our family? Can we do this, again?” But God was asking a completely different question, “Will you follow ME?” and when they answered that, everything fell into place. “Yes, of course” we answered – and our family is growing again.
John may be reached at