Foster care and adoption had always been part of Mindy and Aaron’s lives. Growing up, Mindy’s grandfather told her stories about the children who had stayed in his family home during the Great Depression, and he fondly remembered all the Christmas cards he received from those kids later in life. Meanwhile, Aaron was adopted as a child and knew first-hand the positive impact that could make in someone’s life.
As they started their own family and raised two biological children, they had never thought of themselves as potential foster or adoptive parents. But now, they are making a life-changing difference for Iowa children through LSI Foster Care and Adoption.
LSI Foster Care and Adoption recruits, licenses, and supports foster and adoptive families across 30 western Iowa counties. The service helps Iowa children, teens, and sibling groups find safe temporary foster homes or forever adoptive families, all while empowering parents to feel confident caring for the children in their homes.
Mindy remembers the moment her family seriously began considering foster care and adoption. It began with some guidance from a sermon series at their church.
“The topic of the series was about why we are here, what our purpose is, and how we could use our gifts,” Mindy says. “It was about what you are doing that’s good in the world that you already love, and how you could do more with it.”
At the end of the series, an offering plate was distributed and everyone was asked to write down what they thought they could do more of. Mindy and Aaron both wrote their answer privately but as they sat down to lunch later that day, they told each other what they had written: providing foster care or adoption.
Mindy and Aaron are now licensed to provide foster care and adopt children in need of forever homes, and they specialize in caring for sibling groups. When you make a gift to LSI, we can be there, ready to walk alongside parents like Mindy and Aaron as they help children overcome years of trauma and create bright futures.
Over the years, Mindy and Aaron have adopted two sibling groups and in addition, they have provided foster care until another child could safely return to their family of origin. They are now the proud parents of eight children, and their passion for providing foster care continues. Mindy says one of her favorite parts of fostering and adopting has been coaching the kids, helping them to overcome behaviors and build skills, then seeing them grow and demonstrate something they had learned from her.
But more work needs to be done to support Iowa children, and Mindy and her family are dedicated to sharing their foster care and adoption experience with others. They hope to inspire more families to consider fostering children in critical need of care. And when you make a gift to LSI today, new Iowa foster and adoptive families can receive the training and support they need to lift up the children and teens who are counting on them.
Foster parenting is a crucial way families can support Iowa children and teens, but it doesn’t just come down to the parents, Mindy says. It’s important for churches, community groups, friends, and family to join together as a support network and wrap care and resources around the foster and adoptive parents in their lives.
“There’s this negative connotation that these are going to be challenging kids. The children are not the challenge, they’re just kids like every other kid. They have traumas they need to work through,” Mindy says. “There are so many Iowa kids who need homes. Our state has kids who need places to go, and I believe this is an important thing we need to think about as a society.”
You can join us on our mission to provide hope and healing to more children in foster care. When you support LSI, you are empowering foster and adoptive parents and creating strong foundations for Iowa families. Please consider making a gift today.
P.S. Western Iowa children were referred into foster care 538 times last year. Thanks to your support, LSI could ensure they had dedicated foster families to care for them. If you feel called to be a foster or adoptive parent, please visit LSIowa.org/foster.