Fifty-some years ago, when Duane and Janice Johnson were growing their family through adoption, it was often considered something to be kept a secret. But Duane and Janice rejoiced in the opportunity to build their family and were grateful to Children’s Home for making it possible.
Throughout the decades of their marriage, the Johnsons supported Children’s Home with financial gifts and by participating in volunteer and social activities with other adoptive families. “My dad always told us we were special because we were adopted,” said Sarah McSweeney, the youngest of Duane and Janice’s three children. “Our parents wanted to be sure that Children’s Home would continue to be available to other families.”
“Children’s Home is an integral part of what made our family.”
Since Duane died in 2009, Janice, now 86 and in memory care, has continued her support. As Janice’s fiduciaries, her two daughters make financial gifts to the organization on her behalf. (Their brother Brad, the oldest of the siblings, died several years ago.) “Mom and Dad were both teachers,” Sarah said. “They valued family, education and music. They didn’t have a lot of money, but they donated to the things that were important to them, including of course, Children’s Home.”
Kris Kleinjan, the middle of the three children, said her parents understood the needs of the wider community and how important it was to support organizations that gave the greatest benefit to those who had less.
“Children’s Home is an integral part of what made our family what it is,” said Kris. “Even though our mother’s world is changing because of dementia, she is still a strong, stubborn, sassy woman. She has let us know — in no uncertain terms! — she wants to continue to support Children’s Home financially. We are honored to act on her wishes.”