Saint Francis Ministries has begun its annual Christmas for Kids campaign, which provides presents to children in foster care at Christmas. Each year, Saint Francis and its community partners work hard to ensure that no child served by the ministry goes without a gift under the tree on Christmas morning.
Dozens of Kansas children received their forever families last week as their adoptions were finalized at National Adoption Day celebrations hosted by Saint Francis Ministries. Of the nearly 400,000 children in foster care nationwide, more than 115,000 are awaiting adoption. Traditionally scheduled on the Saturday before Thanksgiving Day, National Adoption Day helps raise awareness about the need for adoptive parents and honors those who make the decision to welcome a child into their family.
Landon was the only child to walk through the Beltz door with a suitcase in his hand. He arrived at their Wichita home with his little red suitcase, packed and ready to leave again at a moment’s notice. That had, after all, been the pattern up to now. “He was very shy and reserved,” said Melanie Beltz. “He didn’t say much at first, but he was polite and helpful. I remember that he had a slip of paper with his grandmother’s phone number on it. He kept in his shoe, and that just about broke my heart.”
Lydia Lund prayed for eight years that her husband, Tyler, would share in her desire for them to become foster parents. Thanks to a career in social work, she knew firsthand the effect a good foster parent can have on the life of a child. Although not completely opposed to the idea, Tyler just wasn’t sure if it was a good option for them. He and Lydia had recently started their own family and already had two little girls, ages five and two. Then one day, following a conversation with friends who are foster parents, something clicked with Tyler. Three weeks later the Salina couple were in a foster parent training course. “I knew that once he decided, we would go all in,” said Lydia.
Join Saint Francis Community Services for our annual Christmas for Kids Toy Drive! Find out when and where!
It took an empty nest and a baby girl to show Lynda Cantu her life’s vocation. Four years ago, her mother called and asked her to take in Lynda’s six-months-old niece for a while. The child was about to be placed in foster care, and Lynda was the only family member qualified to keep her. She agreed, little realizing how that decision would affect her family and her life.
An 18-bed secure care facility for juveniles judged to be chronic runaways has opened in Sedgwick County. It is licensed by the State and operated under the direction of Saint Francis.
About 220 foster and kinship families from across the state traveled to Hutchinson Saturday to spend a free family day at the Kansas State Fair and to be honored for the work they do on behalf of children.
Gage was left with a sense of abandonment. That’s why this energetic, eager, and affectionate 7-year-old desperately needs a family to love and accept him unconditionally.