The kids we adopt aren’t lucky. We are.
David Goodman was one of the guests at a National Adoption Day event at the Wapello County Courthouse early Saturday. He said adoptive parents receive as much as they give, or perhaps more.
He told a nearly full courtroom that there are lots of reasons people give for not becoming a foster parent. But there are kids in Iowa who need a loving home, either for a few weeks or forever.
He and his wife, Aprile, the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) coordinator, started fostering kids in need many years ago. Their first placement was only for a little while.
The boy’s name was Isaac, he recalled, and when Aprile came outside with him, he was squinting against the light. The boy’s previous guardian believed he was “allergic to the sun” and kept him away from sunshine or even most light. A bright day was overwhelming for him.
Since it was just a fostering arrangement, he left after a few weeks. Aprile and David missed Isaac. They wanted him back. In the end, they adopted him. He’s 18 years old now, yet David insisted Isaac was not the lucky one. David was the lucky one because he has become a better man.
“I am a different person today because of Isaac Goodman,” he said.
Saturday was a day to celebrate adoptive families and to create new ones across the nation. Juvenile Court Judge William Owens formalized five adoptions, and the Clerk of Court opened her office so the shift from foster family to adoptive family would be official.
“You do invest a lot into them,” said Heidi Hughes of Eddyville. “A lot of time and love.”
She and her husband, Nick Hughes, adopted a son officially on Saturday. They already had a biological son and four daughters. They’d been a foster family, but the couple knew they’d like to adopt.
“We’ve always talked about having six children,” Heidi said.
After five, she’d been pregnant enough, she said. They’d also tried twice for a brother for their son. By adopting, they were able to choose a boy.
“My husband and I thought there’s enough children out there who need a home,” she said.
Yes there are, said Judge Owens. The Hawkeyes are getting ready to play football in The Big House. Instead of 100,000 fans, picture 100,000 children waiting for a home. That’s the number in the United States.
In Iowa, there are more than 6,800 children in the foster care system. Of the ones cleared for adoption, about one in three will never be adopted.
Robert and Shari Bowman of Fairfield went into the courtroom with their attorney on Saturday. The couple was adopting two children, a boy and a girl.
Of the five adoptions Saturday, Owens said, “All of these children will celebrate their Thanksgiving a little early.”
Bob Bowman said they’d just started out as foster parents, wanting to do some good. Two and a half years ago was when their new son and daughter came to stay for a temporary visit.
Bob was asked if, during more than two years of caring for these children, he remembered when the family decided to make it a permanent arrangement.
“For me, it took me a little longer to realize than it took Shari,” he acknowledged.
OK, so how long after the children’s arrival did it take his wife to realize these should be their children?
“About two hours,” he said.
The kids we adopt aren’t lucky. We are.
The Grinch stole their Christmas
OTTUMWA — One Ottumwa family’s holiday season was made significantly more difficult this year after they discovered the house they were moving out of had been broken into. Just like out of Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas, thieves knocked d
- Police seek data about stabbing OTTUMWA --- Police investigators are still trying to work out details of what happened in a stabbing at the end of last week. Ottumwa Police Lieutenant Jason Bell said the victim was cut, and that there had been someone else involved. But because it'
- United Way offering win-win to small businesses OTTUMWA — Getting recognized around the community is something every business owner wants, and donating to a great cause in the process creates the perfect situation for local small businesses. The United Way of Wapello County is granting the small b
- Man with gun captured OTTUMWA — Police Chief Tom McAndrew reports his officers tackled a man who they allege was illegally carrying a gun over the weekend. Around 3:44 a.m. Sunday, Ottumwa Police officers responded to a report of a verbal argument. The call was from a bus
- Road to Iowa history OTTUMWA — The Iowa Department of Transportation librarian fielded a lot of questions in Wapello County this week. But he knew most people were thinking, "The DOT has a librarian?" Leighton Christiansen finds the books, essays and articles needed by e
- Early intervention focus for new senior care center OTTUMWA — The idea behind Ottumwa Regional Health Center’s new care center follows one of the basic tenets of modern medicine: early intervention provides better results. The Senior Behavioral Care Center is scheduled to open next May. Construction i
- Navigating Obamacare OTTUMWA — It's no secret there have been problems with new federal health care regulations. What hasn't received as much attention: there are experts ready to help applicants navigate the sometimes challenging paths of the Affordable Care Act. Sharon
- Menards spreading holiday cheer OTTUMWA — During the holiday season, perhaps nothing can brighten your spirits more than seeing children who usually go giftless get new, unwrapped toys. For the fourth consecutive year, Menards is participating in the Toys for Tots program, which is
- Battling hunger -- and each other? OTTUMWA — A husband and wife are ready to fight each other, but it's for a good cause. "They're going to compete as to who can collect the most food," said Adie Morrow, an AmeriCorps volunteer helping at the Southern Iowa Food Bank. She had met with
- Volunteers bring a brighter Thanksgiving OTTUMWA — For older residents alone on Thanksgiving, Thursday may bring a meal and a short visit. For some, it'll be the only person they see that day. Around 400 people in the community call the Salvation Army of Ottumwa the day before Thanksgiving.
- More Ottumwa Headlines
- The Grinch stole their Christmas