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Foster Care Services creates ‘one miracle after another’ for children, families

The path to parenthood is unique to each family. Some will arrive suddenly, while others plan the birth of a child years in advance. But when years of planning and anticipation don’t go as hoped, some will feel called to pursue a different path through fostering or adoption.

Such was the case for Hannah and her husband. Years of struggling to start a family led them to LSS, where they became licensed as a foster family and adoptive resource in the fall of 2016.

“We are thankful we chose to do this journey with LSS,” Hannah said. “We have been blessed to work with a team of people who are professional and faithful in their dedication to serving children and families. They coordinate resources and walk with us in difficult times and celebrations.”

LSS Foster Care Services works to ensure all people are healthy, safe and accepted — placing children from unstable backgrounds in safe and nurturing homes and providing support to foster families for however long a child is with them.

Hannah and her husband have since adopted five of their foster child placements through LSS. Each child entered the family with their own story, but there’s one who clarifies for the family their true purpose on this earth. His name is Henry.

‘I became his person’

Henry experienced traumatic injuries at just 12 days old and spent 12 days in the NICU where he was not expected to survive. He required constant care and supervision, needing to be fed every three hours so he would not forget how to eat.

“He showed us one miracle after another,” Hannah explained. “I logged so many hours with Henry, day and night, for months. Pacing the floor with him, singing to him, praying over him. He cried and screamed his way through healing — and not just physically. He cried when someone coughed or sneezed, and we found out later that his abuser had a perpetual cough. Henry would wake up screaming in the night, terrified. Many tears fell, and many prayers went up in those first months.”

As a result of the abuse Henry experienced, he is blind, has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and over half his brain is water, she said.

“The reality is that Henry was lost in there and could’ve been forever, except my heart connected with his in those horrific moments of pain and healing, and I became his person.”

Like Henry, Hannah was working through a past filled with trauma and hurt. A shared sense of hardship led the pair to form an inseparable bond.

“Henry’s pain was that he needed someone to love him no matter how long the nights were, no matter how he screamed and how he communicated his needs. My pain is that I had nine miscarriages and had asked God for a baby so many times that I’d given up hope and hoped again for 20 years. Henry and I were the perfect match because I needed him as much as he needed me.”

Safety that leads to strength

Henry needed a loving and nurturing environment to help him heal, grow and survive.

He is now five years old and has a safe home, four other siblings, and he is loved deeply by his forever family.

“Every child deserves to grow up safe and protected from abuse and neglect— that is our goal at LSS,” said Jill Jensen, LSS permanency services director.

“Caring foster parents offer children support and stability when they need it most. South Dakota is in extreme need for foster parents who can work with us at LSS to empower children in need to become stronger and more confident individuals as they grow into adulthood.”

The ongoing support of LSS has allowed Hannah and her husband to give their children wonderful Christmases, supplied them with clothes and gifts, and even helped cover the cost of activities.

“We’ve been lifted up by generous gifts that LSS has connected us with,” Hannah said. “We thank LSS, all the faithful staff and volunteers and giving partners who give so generously to make life better for so many kids. I thank you for your heart, kindness, prayers and giving. You all make an enormous difference in the lives of kids who would be lost otherwise.”

The decision to become a resource home or a foster care provider is a big one. If you would like information, contact LSS today.

LSS Foster Care Services offers a safe, nurturing environment for youth statewide through treatment foster care. LSS Foster Care serves youth under the age of 18 with behavioral, emotional, developmental and medical needs.

In addition to supporting youth in foster care, LSS recruits, trains and supports foster families through Resource Family Services.