More than three-dozen children were adopted by 22 central Iowa families at the Hamilton County Courthouse in Webster City over the weekend. The annual Adoption Saturday event is coordinated by the Iowa Kids Net organization and similar events were held in Des Moines and Sioux City this month.
Bambi Schrader, spokesperson for Iowa Kids Net, says the adoption process isn’t complicated. Schrader says it takes one phone call to get the process started. A packet will be sent in the mail and the prospective parent or parents will go to an orientation class, fill out paperwork and take a 30-hour training course and a home study course. Then, the child will be matched to the home.
Schrader said the families came from a cross-section of central Iowa to attend the Webster City ceremony from cities including Ames, Fort Dodge, Story City and Newton. She says 22 families adopted 38 children at the event. Most had already been foster parents for at least 180 days.
One of the new parents is Linda Shimun of Newton who found it a rewarding opportunity. Shimun was adopting a 14-year-old boy who had been living with her since he was nine. She says it’s been a long struggle and she’s glad the day has finally arrived. Shimun says she became a foster parent quite by accident. She said her sister had to move to Texas and her foster son could not go along so the boy went to live with Shimun.
Over the course of time, Shimun said she has adopted 35 kids at her Newton home. Shimun said each one of her adopted teenagers have been special in every way. She says, "The children are special because they have a sense of being different and it’s nice for them to come to your home and feel like they’re part of a family and be able to go back to their families when the time is right for them." If you would like to know more about adopting a child, log on to the Iowa Kids Net website.