How One Family Became A Troupe Of Rodeo Entertainers

Jul 8, 2017

This story originally aired on December 3, 2017.

Lynette McMillan had a small, quiet family, relatively speaking. She and her husband were raising three kids on a ranch in Soap Lake, Wash. They took a trip to a friend's place, a couple that had taken in foster kids and giving them a better life than what they had previously. This was the inspiration for the McMillans to become foster parents themselves. 

Three kids became four, then five, then six, and now 10. And as you might imagine, it was not without it's challenges. Aside from the standard expenses that come with feeding and clothing 10 kids, many of the foster kids were exposed to hard and destructive environments before arriving at the McMillan home, and a variety of emotional and behavioral issues were attached to them as a result. 

While Lynette McMillan is the first to say that she is not a perfect parent, her primary goal has always been to show these kids a better life so that they might someday be able to give back, be self-sufficient, and have a strong family of their own someday.

The McMillans also provide animals for the children and attend a variety of rodeos during the rodeo season. Lynette McMillan grew up with a mother who was a trick rider on horses. While her mother never let Lynette learn how to trick ride, Lynette wanted to give her children that opportunity. She took a few of them to a trick riding class in Colorado, and they were hooked. When they returned home, they started teaching the tricks to the other kids, and eventually started performing in rodeos. 

Lynette McMillan sees lots of opportunity in this. First, she hopes that her children can serve as positive role models for kids who might not have a lot of positivity around them. She also hopes that others see the impact being in a healthy environment can have on a foster child, and perhaps influence other potential foster parents to consider bringing in a child into their homes.