So much news this week, the burglary at the Ag Building and news of the resignation of Superintendent Dr. Sheldon Buxton, just to name a couple of ongoing stories; and we will get to all of that (and more) soon.
But something else happened to a Luther family Thursday, December 8, 2016, that will put a smile on our faces. Rob and Amanda Allen adopted a child. They began fostering their sweet little guy when he was just days old. As the court system ran its course, the Allens pursued adoption. Today, at long last, the adoption was final at the Logan County Courthouse.
Evan Jett became an Allen just a couple of months before his second birthday. He was in foster care 651 days.
It’s safe to say most of us are aware of the need to care for the state’s most vulnerable citizens, those in state custody and in need of foster and adoptive parents. They are the children taken from their homes for a variety of reasons – reasons that will break your heart and make you shake your head. It’s a problem. Ask most any foster mom, and she will desire that each child in state custody could be reunited with the child’s birth family in a healthy and safe situation. Sometimes it happens.
But It takes one click to the OKDHS.ORG website to see the sobering stats.
548 children waiting for forever families
9906 children is OKDHS custody
2369 adopted in 2016 (or make that one more with the adoption today of Evan!).
Luther is a haven for foster children. There is Anna’s House Foundation serving many foster children in family settings with a support system (donations and volunteers are always needed). There are many other individual families who are foster parents, offer respite care or serve in a variety of other ways.
Amanda said Evan was their fourth foster child. The family became involved in the foster care system when they cared for a child from their church who needed help. That experience opened their eyes to the tremendous need.
“The blessings are indescribable. Everyone always comments how blessed the kids are to have us. I have to disagree. While yes, they are safe and loved while with us, we are the ones receiving the blessing! Five years ago, I never imagined our lives being where they are. Now, I can’t imagine our lives any other way. This is our calling,” said Amanda who you might see driving around in a van big enough to hold all of the carseats and buckles for ALL of the children who are safe and loved in the Allen home.
A courtroom full of family and friends crowded the second floor at the Logan County Courthouse Thursday afternoon to witness the adoption.
There were a few tears.
Logan County Associate District Judge Louis A Duel, after confirming the adoption, congratulated the family.
“I don’t get to do a lot of fun and exciting things from the bench … this gives me great joy to know there are people out there who will take care of the people in this county. Thank you very much. I really respect what you do. You have another member of your family. Congratulations,” said Judge Duel.
Amanda said she would love to talk to anyone who wants to learn more. Because there is a need, always.