Single Parent, Foster Parent

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When Danielle lost her husband in a car accident 10 years ago, she was pregnant with her youngest daughter, Codi, and caring for her toddler twins, Peter and Coco. In addition to her three biological children, Danielle had also taken in a fourth child, Danny, who was in need of a safe home. Through an agreement Danielle had with his parents, she has cared for Danny (now 20) for most of his life.

Still, she was drawn to fostering. Her friends thought becoming a foster parent would be too hard for her to handle alone. They worried it would be too much for her biological children. Despite their concerns, Danielle forged ahead.

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New Perspective Leads to Hope and Healing

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“I didn’t care anymore. I felt worthless,” said Bea, who sustained serious, life-altering injuries after a car accident.  Bea was rushed to the hospital where she underwent hours of therapy to help stabilize a brain injury and cope with permanent vision loss.

“It was as if a dark cloud had settled over me and a deep fog was in my head,” she said. Things that were once routine like paying bills or cleaning the house became near impossible. “I could barely get out of bed in the morning without falling over in a fit of dizziness, let alone remember how to do every day things.”

The widow of a longtime U.S. Army intelligence officer, Bea found help through Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota (LSS) Military and Veteran Services. The broad range of services are aimed at empowering military members, Veterans and their family to find the treatment and support they need to improve their quality of life and find stability.

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Sharing meals together brings happiness and better health to older adults

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When Dallas’ wife died of complications from severe dementia, he was devastated. For more than 50 years, they were a team, each other’s best friend and constant companion. It was the loneliest time of his life. Dallas’ days, once packed with responsibilities of farmer and husband, suddenly stretched long and were too quiet. He missed the sound of his wife’s infectious laughter and the comforting smells of her famous roast beef and potatoes.

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A Journey to Sibling Adoption

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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.

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Foster Care Leads to Forever Family for Baby Brothers

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When Baby Mason was born, he was in urgent need of medical care for respiratory issues and was later diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome. His stay in the neonatal intensive care unit was preceded by his placement in the state foster care system at birth. Ill and alone, the tiny baby needed someone to love and care for him. When Amy and Mark Syvertson learned of little Mason’s plight, they welcomed the chance to care for him as his foster parents. For the Syvertsons, fostering is a way of life.

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Shedding Stress by Shedding Student Loan Debt

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LSS Financial Counselor Katie Eastman, back, works with Julie Killian on student loan repayment.

Only months away from a wedding to her husband-to-be, Julie Killian should have been spending time talking to wedding planners and making sure every last detail of her special day was in order. Instead, she was spending time on the phone with debt collectors, trying to remedy a problem with her loan.

Ten years earlier, Julie was working her way through school. To relieve some financial pressure, she co-signed a loan with her then husband. Always diligent about making sure every duck was in a row, especially the kind with bills to be paid, she made good on each monthly installment — even after she and her husband got divorced and the loan stayed in his name.

Without a hitch, years of payments went by until Julie got a notice from her bank stating that the loan had been forgiven. The language in the notice led her to believe she could stop making payments. Julie assumed everything was fine until she got a phone call from her ex-husband saying that payments weren’t being made and his credit score was severely impacted. Continue reading