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Boys Town New England Foster Care Couple Give Sisters a Forever Family

Kaylee & Avery

Sometimes, it's just meant to be.

When Katie and Jon Russell first heard about Boys Town New England, that's how it felt. They were ready to grow their family and had been exploring options for a while, but just hadn't found quite the right fit.

Then, on Mother's Day a few years ago, members of the Boys Town New England Foster Care team visited Katie and Jon's church to share information about becoming a foster family. Once they learned about the children placed through Boys Town, and discovered the constant, committed support Boys Town would offer every step along the way, they knew – this was it.

From day one, Katie and Jon loved fostering through Boys Town. “We never felt alone in the process. We'd never been parents; we started at ground zero, rookie level, and Boys Town supported us the entire way."

As placements started arriving, any fears they had going into the process quickly disappeared.

Kaylee & Avery

Yes, it was hard. The children in their home had experienced trauma; many of them had a multitude of challenging and heart-wrenching behaviors to work through. But Katie and Jon quickly realized that what these kids needed was patience, support and love. That, combined with safety and creature comforts, was the recipe for success. They could offer all those things in abundance, and soon poured their hearts and souls into the children placed in their home. They quickly built strong relationships with the Boys Town staff, fellow foster families, and the youth placed with them.

Then, two sisters stole their hearts.


Kaylee arrived first. At only 6 years old, Kaylee had already been placed in four other homes, including one congregate care facility, before coming to Boys Town. The following year her little sister Avery, only 3 years old and on her fifth placement, also moved in with Katie and Jon.

The girls had not lived in the same home since Avery was an infant, and therefore had never experienced the “normal" moments sisters should. They had never listened to bedtime stories together, never enjoyed a popcorn and family movie night on the couch, and never headed outside on a warm summer day to play. Katie and Jon were thrilled to watch the girls' relationship grow and thrive.

One evening, the Russells drove the girls to visit with their biological aunt; they met her at a local Friendly's. It was freezing cold, and she was running late. While they waited, the girls snuggled up together in the backseat. Sitting there, watching the girls giggle and whisper secrets to each other – Katie and Jon knew, Kaylee and Avery were here to stay.

It wasn't long after that they reached out to the girls' social worker and began pursuing their adoption. It wasn't a simple process -- the girls were removed from their parents because of rampant drug use and homelessness, and there was plenty of paperwork and court dates involved to solidify the adoptions – but none of that mattered. These sisters, separated for months, would now be a family again.

Happy FamilyOn Thursday, July 23rd, 2020, Jon, Katie, Kaylee and Avery became a forever family. The team at Boys Town New England is so thrilled to be a part of their story and wishes them all the best!

And, the story doesn't stop there! Katie and Jon will continue their foster care journey and they, alongside their new daughters, will continue welcoming Boys Town New England children in need into their hearts and home.

For tips, tricks, resources and stories about foster care please check out Katie's blog at Learn more about how you can #BetheOne to make a difference in a foster child's life here.