LSS Adoption Family Earns 2022 Governor’s Award

Carl and Marcella BlomWillis were 2022 recipients of the Governor’s Outstanding Adoptive Parent Award in Wisconsin, one of six families honored by the state. In working with Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin & Upper Michigan (LSS), Carl and Marcella’s 20-year devotion to foster care and adoption parallels the dedication LSS shares in strengthening families.

Tanya Meyervandeurzen, a social worker for LSS, nominated the BlomWillis family for the award through the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF). Speaking of Carl and Marcella, Tanya said it is a privilege to work with them, and “their home is open, warm, and friendly. It is filled with an overwhelming sense of love and commitment to all of their children.” Tanya’s role through LSS continues to be a substantial factor in the BlomWillis story.

“Our family is eternally grateful for Tanya and the role she played in our family’s journey,” Marcella said. “She was always incredibly responsive and warm. Our entire family came to adore her for the time we worked together.”

Tanya and her many colleagues across Wisconsin live for the opportunity to help the more than 300 children LSS serves in public adoption. These children are between pre-adoptive foster homes and county foster homes. Families like Carl and Marcella’s are vital, with so many children needing foster homes and “forever” homes through adoptions.

The BlomWillis family is full of love – and kids – with two biological children and seven adopted members. In a unique twist to their two-decade welcoming spirit, they recently adopted two children of one of their former foster daughters. They understand and value the connection between birth parents and their children as a cornerstone for long-term success through foster care and adoption.

None of the families welcome children into their homes to earn praise or win awards; however, it’s essential to recognize their efforts when possible.

 

“All adoptive families deserve to be celebrated,” DCF Secretary Emilie Anderson said. “We appreciate the dedication and commitment of adoptive parents, as well as those who work with families in the adoption process.”

That includes organizations like LSS, which has proudly served the community and assisted with adoptions for over 100 years as they continue strengthening families through Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. The award and overall success require a total team effort between families and LSS.

“We are very humbled by this recognition,” Marcella BlomWillis added. “We’re very grateful for LSS and the role they’ve played twice in growing our family.”

LSS Helping Afghan Refugees (Fox 6 News Story)

West Allis, WI – As tens of thousands of refugees from Afghanistan begin their journey to the United States, Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin & Upper Michigan (LSS) has been preparing to serve those who may settle in Wisconsin. Fox 6 News in Milwaukee, Wisconsin covered the story and spoke with Héctor Colón, President and CEO of LSS.

Though the individuals and families fleeing war will first stop at Fort McCoy, many will end up in different parts of the state where LSS can support them.  LSS helps to get the refugees on their feet and moving forward toward true independence.

“We connect them to all of the resources that will help them be as independent and self-sufficient as possible,” Colón said. “We help these individuals come to Wisconsin, to our country, because they’re fleeing from war and persecution.”

You can watch the full news story below:

LSS Foster Care Going Strong, Needs Loving Parents

Eau Claire, WI – There are more than 5,000 foster kids needing a home in Wisconsin, and  Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin & Upper Michigan (LSS) is doing everything they can to provide loving parents across the state through foster care.

WEAU 13 in Eau Claire recently ran a TV news story featuring LSS Foster Care by speaking with Alissa and Art Broughton, foster parents who themselves were raised in a foster care system. The Broughtons have fostered children for 15 years and understand the vital need for willing parents, especially in Wisconsin where the number of children in need far outweigh the available homes that are available.

Many people are unsure if they can handle being a foster parent, but Alissa says in the story, “It’s not as scary as it sounds. And the paper work looks like a lot and the classes look like a lot, but when it comes down to it, it really is just for the children.”

Heather Yeager, Regional Director of LSS, told WEAU 13 that they receive referrals on a daily basis for foster care, but there just aren’t enough homes right now to place children. Yaeger added, “We have kids from all dimensions of diversity, we need foster homes that are divers to work with the children, too.”

You can click the link below to watch the news story and see the wonderful benefits of becoming a foster parent. There are thousands of wonderful children in need of homes and they all have a unique story.

https://www.weau.com/2021/07/14/lutheran-social-services-facing-foster-parent-shortage/

If you have interest in becoming a foster parent or just want to get some information, contact LSS at 888-746-2850 and they will be happy to give you all the details you need and even walk you through the process.