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Many 'Incredible Children' Need Homes

​​​This blog post is written by Matt Priest of Boys Town Foster Family Services. It was published on November 3, 2016.

The hustle of the holidays was full speed ahead. It was December 23, and I was ​working at a child welfare agency in Omaha. I was meeting with three children at a shelter who needed a foster care placement.

Entering children's shelters always brought mixed emotions for me. While it was great to interact with the children, the reality of their situation leading to a shelter stay was always at the forefront of my mind. And with it being two days before Christmas, I was determined more than ever to move these children to a safe, stable foster home.

As I checked in with staff at the facility, a young child crawled over to me and pulled on the bottom of my coat. David was temporarily staying there with his older sisters.

The children successfully transitioned to a foster home and blossomed. The foster parents worked to stabilize the children in their home while supporting the court's efforts to identify a permanent living arrangement. This typically means returning to a parent's home.

Days led to months. Months led to years. David and his sisters learned social skills, were involved in activities and improved in the classroom. And while the children flourished, their mom continued to struggle and the likelihood of these children returning home grew smaller.

Two years later, the court decided David and his sisters should be placed for adoption. The foster family had fallen in love with these children and wanted to adopt them. Paperwork was finalized and a date was set.

The children would get the same permanency other children their ages had. A chance to be kids. A chance to be "normal". As we finalized the paperwork and headed to court, the foster mom pulled me aside.

"Did you hear we decided on a new middle name for David? His middle name will be Matthew, after the worker who brought him into our lives. You ... He's named after you."

We shared a hug and wiped a few tears and proceeded into the courtroom to make the adoption official.

We work with a range of foster parents at Boys Town. Some desire to work with one child, others prefer siblings. Some have expertise with medical issues. Others are bi-lingual. And while many prefer fostering, some have the ability support a lifetime commitment to a child.

Regardless of your situation, we will guide you along the way and offer endless support. You are never alone in the process or the experience.

November is National Adoption Month. It is a time we recognize and educate others of the incredible children in the system needing an adoptive home. You don't need to be a perfect family to be a perfect place for a child. A number of children have a special holiday wish, to find a family they can call their own. You can get more information about becoming a foster parent here

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Matt Priest is married and has two children. He has worked in several capacities at Boys Town and currently is the director of Boys Town Foster Family Services. For the past 16 years, Matt has worked in foster care and adoption in the Omaha area.​