Because every child needs a family, and every child deserves a chance to thrive.
Your gift to Children’s Home during our Little Red Stocking campaign helps unite children with loving, nurturing families through adoption. It ensures that people touched by adoption receive ongoing post adoption support throughout their lives. Thanks to your generosity, the Little Red Stocking campaign has been helping children in our community since 1909.
Dean traveled across the world from India to come home to the Ellermeier family when he was just shy of 2 years old. It didn’t take him long to bond with his new sisters, 5-year-old Ingrid and 3-year-old Willa, in whom he found a kindred spirit. Dean and Willa love exploring outside and getting into everything together. “If he sees his sister doing something, he’s going to do it too,” said his adoptive mother Heidi.
When Heidi and her husband, Jeremy, decided to expand their family through adoption they knew from research they had done that they wanted to preserve the birth order of their children. This meant their next child would need to be an infant or a toddler. After exploring domestic adoption and realizing the length of time they may need to wait, they learned about the international adoption programs of Children’s Home and LSS.
“We felt like we had a lot of love to give. We know that there are a lot of parentless children and we knew there was somebody who would be a good fit for us. Nine months after we called, we had Dean! We were officially matched with him right at Christmas,” said Heidi.
Dean and his sisters all get along famously — enjoying outings at a splash pad or hiking at the local nature center. Heidi and Jeremy trade off work schedules and feel lucky they each get one-on-one time with their children. It might sound like a dream, but it wasn’t always simple.
“I’m not going to sugar coat it, it was really difficult,” said Heidi. “In India, Dean was grieving pretty hard. Once we got home he accepted me, but it took him three or four weeks before he would let Jeremy care for his needs. It was fear and the limitations of what the orphanage could do. There wasn’t a transition period.”
Heidi and Jeremy were originally intimidated by the idea of adopting a child with orthopedic needs. “Some of these special needs seem scary, but they’re really not. The prospect of adopting a child with a limb difference was pretty frightening, but that’s not a concern for me anymore,” said Heidi. Connecting with local support groups and their physical therapist helped Heidi and Jeremy understand Dean’s needs better.
“Some of these things seem overwhelming and some of them are, but it’s amazing how much kids can overcome and adapt,” said Heidi. “At the end of the day, kids just want to be involved and feel loved. You prepare for the worst, but overall the process has been easy,” said Heidi. “The girls have been really excited and accepting of their brother and Dean really feels like he belongs.”
How Your Gift helps children thrive
Your contribution to the Little Red Stocking campaign has a life-changing impact on children and families. Here are just a few examples of how your gift helps Children’s Home address the greatest needs:
$25 helps a child join a family and provides lifelong post adoption support to adoptees and their families.
$50 ensures a parent who calls our Post Adoption Helpline receives the guidance they need to help their child through a difficult time.
$125 trains an adult adoptee volunteer to be a mentor for an adopted child.
$250 sends a child to Adoption Day Camp, where she can make friends who understand exactly what it’s like to be adopted.
$400 facilitates an adoptee’s search for urgent medical background information.
$1,000 connects a teen with a family that will provide a safe and permanent home before he ages out of foster care.
$2,500 provides an adoption grant that helps an older child, a sibling group, or a child with an identified need join a nurturing family.
YOUR GIFT IN ANY AMOUNT MAKES A DIFFERENCE!