By Katie, adoptive parent
“Five minutes and then we are leaving.”
It seems like a typical conversation between parent and child, but to our family, those words reflect so much more. We are a family formed both through birth and adoption. In 2005, we had two biological children and adopted a little baby boy from Ethiopia. Over the next four years, we added one more son through birth and three more sons and a daughter from Ethiopia. In 2013, we decided to pursue an adoption through foster care.
We were quickly matched with a three-year-old boy and his two-year-old sister. Within three months of learning about them, they were in our home, and then the true work of becoming a family began. Our newest additions were traumatized by their difficult pasts and scared of their future with the group of strangers that were to be their family. As we navigated through the tangible things like doctor’s appointments, school meetings, and food preferences, we also focused on the intangible; safety, comfort, and love.
With the help of our amazing adoption agency, gifted therapist, and fantastic pediatrician, we started making those wonderful emotional connections that form a family. We began to see peeks, then glimpses, then hours, and now months of the healthy children that our kids are meant to be. So when I say it is time to go and my son says, “Okay, mom,” I know the work that went into those words. I see the safety and comfort of belonging that my children feel. The success of our adoption is not a large celebration of a finish line; rather, it is the accumulation of those little wins. Our children have made our lives infinitely better and helping them grow to be flourishing adults despite their rough beginnings has been so rewarding. We are incredibly lucky to be given the privilege of raising our ten children and getting a front row seat to watch the future generation.