High school sweethearts, Brooke and Brandon Krause from northwestern Minnesota, married and dreamed of having a big family. Heartbroken and disappointed after tireless unsuccessful years of fertility treatments, they decided to move forward with adoption. An acquaintance, aware of the challenges Brooke and Brandon were experiencing, knew of a sibling group of four young boys in need of a forever home.
Starting in February 2015, the Krauses worked with Children’s Home to come up with a plan that would ease the boy’s transition of getting to know Brooke and Brandon. Brooke said, “It was a good process for the boys. We got to meet them in May. After many play dates and sleep overs we told them we were going to be their forever family.” They moved into the Krause’s home August 2015 and the adoption finalized in March of 2016.
The devastating impression that trauma leaves on a child was evident when one of the boys asked Brooke if he would soon have to move to a new family. “That’s really sad to hear,” Brooke explained, “but it’s fun to say, you are in your forever family. You’re going to stay here forever.”
The Krauses enjoy free time together watching movies, going out to dinner and playing front yard football. Free time fun may sound easy, but Brooke and Brandon always keep each child’s needs at the forefront of how daily activities are approached. Three of the boys deal with an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and one has suspected fetal alcohol syndrome. While they have shown great progress, Brooke and Brandon strive to find as much one-on-one time with their children as they can.
Brooke is thankful that during the stressful life that these boys have lived, they have always had each other to lean on. “They have a lot of love for each other,” said Brooke. They call Jacob, age 8, the third parent because of his wise comments. He told Brooke, “Even though my brothers get on my nerves a lot, I’m really glad we got to stay together, because I do love them.”
Life as a family of six feels like a perfect fit for the Krauses. Brooke explained, “I can’t picture my life without them. I love them more than anything. People say the boys are lucky to have us, but Brandon and I feel we are equally lucky to have them.” Brooke and Brandon relish the joys and the challenges of newfound parenthood. They are proud of all the boys’ accomplishments in such a short period of time.
This summer the Krause family plans to take frequent trips in their new camper to the lakes of Northern Minnesota. These trips will include time spent helping their boys catch up on skills that were missed in their earlier years. Brooke explains, “Those little life lessons that you give to your kids gradually, we’re kind of packing them all in. They’re smart kids and will be very successful.”
There is currently a high need for families willing to adopt sibling groups from foster care. In 2016 Children’s Home placed 75 children living in foster care with permanent adoptive families. There are many more who are waiting to be matched with a loving, permanent family. To learn more: chlss.org/fostercareadoption
Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota and Children’s Home Society of Minnesota are partners in adoption services.