Lincoln – Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services employees will join court officials to observe National Adoption Day across the state on November 19 featuring the adoptions of foster children, mixed with fun activities. For one family, the day is a celebration of their decision to adopt two brothers in order to keep them together.
Cody and Jilian Colgrove of Lincoln adopted Daniel in March 2014. When his brother, Shaden, was born, their desire to ensure the two would grow up together led them to adopt him last month.
“National Adoption Day gives us a chance to focus attention on the children who are looking for a forever family and celebrate those who are adopted,” said Doug Weinberg, director of Children and Family Services. “It’s rewarding to have adoptive parents like the Colgroves who adopt foster children and accept them as their own. We thank them and all foster parents for making this commitment to improve the life of a child.”
The Colgroves urge others to serve as foster parents and to consider adoption by calling 1-800-7PARENT (1-800-772-7368). In addition, DHHS’ website has information about adopting foster children and photos and biographies of children available for adoption at: www.dhhs.ne.gov/adoption.
The search for foster parents is never-ending. Nebraska has about 1,500 foster parents, and Weinberg said the state always needs more to find the best match to meet the specific needs of each child. DHHS has seen nearly 2,500 children adopted during the last five years and Weinberg praised the families who provide security, love and positive guidance for them.
“Their adoptions were the happiest days of my life,” Jilian said. “It’s important for siblings to be connected throughout their life, and watching our boys grow up together is amazing.”
With National Adoption Day approaching, the Colgroves will celebrate adopting their sons along with many other families. Observances will be held:
• November 19th at:
- Grand Island, 10:30a.m.-1:30 p.m., Evangelical Free Church, 2609 S. Blaine St.
- Hastings, 10 a.m., Adams County Courthouse, 500 West 4th Ave.
- Kearney, 1-4 p.m., World Theatre, 2318 Central Ave.
- Norfolk, 3-6 p.m., YMCA, 301 Benjamin Ave.
- Omaha, 9 a.m.-Noon, Omaha/Douglas County Civic Center, 1819 Farnam
• December 3rd at:
- Lincoln, 8 a.m.-Noon, Lancaster County Courthouse, 575 S. 10th St.
• December 10th at:
- Gering, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Brannan Bounce Skate World, 775 Crescent Dr.
Jilian worked for an agency that provides services for foster children and families, and is familiar with the perspectives of bio parents, foster parents and children. Based on what she saw at work, Jilian and Cody decided to help meet the needs of foster children by becoming foster parents.
“We felt called to care for these kids,” Cody said. “When Shaden was born, we thought about how we’d feel if we were in that situation. We’d want to grow up with our siblings, too. Right away, they became attached to each other as brothers should. They’re concerned about each other, they play together and, of course, they fight just like any brothers, too.”
Jilian also communicates with the boys’ biological parents. “As the boys age, contact with biological parents has a positive influence. We’ve found their biological parents feel more comfortable as they learn about our family life and how the boys are doing. By meeting their needs for information, I also feel comfortable knowing they won’t cross boundaries, and our relationship will be positive as the boys grow older and have questions.
“God wants us to care for these children when their parents aren’t able,” Jilian said. “Through my previous job, I found that foster children are just caught in a bad place. They only need parents to care for them, give them love and provide a good family environment.”