By Lisa Flam
Markwayne Mullin had just been elected to Congress when the father of three began another, even more important journey that would change his life. He met the twin toddlers, distant cousins, who would one day join his family as his daughters.
It was the fall of 2012, and he and his wife were already parents to three young kids. Their hectic life, filled with work and family, was about to get a whole lot busier with his new job in Washington.
When the twins paid a visit to the Mullin home, on a 1,000-acre horse and cattle farm in Westville, Oklahoma, to celebrate their second birthday a few weeks after the election, Markwayne was struck by the way his wife, Christie, and their kids took to the little ones.
And he sensed what was coming: Christie would suggest they adopt the girls, born to her distant teenage cousin.
"It wasn't a good situation," Markwayne said. The girls were separated as infants and being raised lovingly but apart, tended by Christie's aging great aunts.