We are the Laughner family. We have four biological children and have adopted two children from Ethiopia. People tell us all the time how lucky our kids are and how blessed they are. But I do not see it that way. I truly believe that we are the ones that have been blessed! It is us who are so lucky. It is also amazing to see the impact that our children have had on others. Our kids have taught others to love and that love sees no color nor race.
What have we learned? The Wait is Worth It!
Adoption isn't easy, it isn't cheap, but, it is worth it! The paperwork can be never ending and the waiting can be brutal. There are so many things that are out of your control but God is Great! In the end, God's timing is perfect. The kids that you are matched with fit your family, and there is a reason for the wait. I now know that sometimes, it isn't about us. Our kids may not be ready to come home. They may need more time to work through things, to accept things, to learn, etc. Enjoy the time with your friends and your loved ones while waiting on that "Gotcha Day".
Educate yourself as much as you can so you are ready for whatever comes your way when your child comes home. There will be a transition period and it is not easy—they will be adjusting to a new culture, language, food, and family. Be ready.
Look for ways to stay involved with Ethiopia after your children come home. Sponsor a child, look up Ethiopian recipes, and look for other ways to give back as a family.
Last, get to know other adoptive families—those in the process and finished with the process. Get together with them, and talk to others on the phone. Don't be afraid to ask questions and to hear the truth. That is how you will be ready for what comes your way! Once you are home with your new child, don't stop communicating with other adoptive families. They are the ones that will understand what you are going through and how you are feeling. I love the network of adoptive friends that we have built, some in person and some on the computer. Together we have built a great adoption network, and now they are part of our adoption love story.
Adoption is good, hard, and life changing. But be encouraged, the wait is worth it!