FY22 Annual Report: Success is maintaining family ties after adoption

Family Connections helps siblings find forever homes

Every child deserves a safe, loving, and supportive family. Family Connections provides foster care and adoption support for Iowa families across the state. We recruit stable, nurturing, and diverse foster and adoptive families to keep children safe from further trauma and assist them in their transition to permanency.

Everything changed for a family of 10 children, ranging in ages from infancy to teenager, when they became in need of foster care. Amazingly, the team at Four Oaks Family Connections was able to find homes for all the children in the same town in Iowa.

Over the course of the children’s stay in foster care, the foster families worked to ensure the siblings remained connected while living in separate homes. They attended one another’s birthday parties, had sleepovers, and watched their siblings participate in sports.

Before long, several of the foster parents decided they would begin the adoption process, legally making the children members of their families. All of the children were eventually adopted, many remaining with their foster parents permanently through adoption.

Five adoption ceremonies occurred the same day with all 10 siblings present at the courthouse, and the day was filled with joy. Gina, one of the adoptive parents, said, “It was such a blessing to be able to be surrounded by all of the people who have supported us throughout our foster care journey and who love our kids. It was very special that all of the siblings could see each other closing the chapter of ‘foster care’ in their lives and know that everyone would be moving into a new chapter of their lives.”

Adoptive parents Jean and Kip remember the day as incredibly emotional. “Mounds of people behind us were willing to accept these three kids into our lives and their lives. The people at the courthouse weren’t used to celebrations of that size,” laughed Jean.

Eryn, another adoptive parent, said, “It was a high I’d never felt before.”

The families are optimistically looking toward the future. Adoptive parents Gina and Max said, “We are eager to see continued healing and growth in our kiddos.” The families want to plan a getaway where everyone can be together and go camping.

The families are thankful to Four Oaks Family Connections staff for their continued support of their kids. Family Connections staff made it a priority to find the children homes where they could continue to maintain relationships with their siblings. “They made the kids the center of the process,” said Jacob.

None of the foster-turned-adoptive parents could have imagined how full fostering would make their lives. “We got so many other people as well… it’s like a really nice extended family,” said adoptive parent Amanda. She continued, “It takes a village, and we’ve personified that.”

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