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Newsroom Adoptive Family Shares Story at Adoption Celebration

When Lon and Kathy Ostrom got married in 2006, they blended their families, with Lon having two boys and Kathy having three as well. While some might say that five children make for a complete family, the Ostrom’s felt differently. 

After losing her youngest son to an accident in 2001, and unable to have more children, Kathy and Lon decided to open their home and become foster parents. Since 2007, the Ostroms have fostered more than 50 children.

But when the opportunity presented itself to make some of those children a part of their family, the Ostrom’s, who live in Manhattan, Kan., decided it was the right thing to do. Since beginning their foster care journey, the Ostrom family has adopted five children—three boys and two girls. 

The Ostrom family was present at the Governor’s Conference in Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention, Adoption Month Reception on Nov. 2, to share their story about adoption and kick-off National Adoption Month with Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) and Kansas Children Service League (KCSL) staff. 

Governor Sam Brownback signed a proclamation on Thursday, Oct. 19, designating November as Adoption Month. Throughout the month, DCF, and its contractors and community partners are taking part in a series of events to call attention to the need for more adoptive and foster families. Currently, there are approximately 470 children available for adoption in Kansas, an increase of approximately 100 children from last year. In FY 2017, 758 children were adopted from foster care.

This year, DCF is highlighting the many older youth in foster care who are eligible for adoption with the theme “Teens need families, no matter what.” Of the 471 children available for adoption in Kansas, approximately 261 are 13 years or older. 

“Often, teens in foster care feel that they are too old to be adopted,” said DCF Secretary Phyllis Gilmore. “But in reality, they need love, acceptance and a place to call home just like the younger youth in care.” 

“It is essential that we take this time to recognize the need for adoptions out of foster care because there are so many children that are waiting to find their forever home— especially sibling groups and older youth,” said Lieutenant Governor Jeff Colyer. “Every child deserves a loving place to call home, so while we take November to highlight this need, it is important to remember year-round.” 

DCF’s contracted service providers and several courts around the state will celebrate National Adoption Day on Nov. 18, when many adoptions across the state will be finalized. As the final step of the adoption process, these events are often emotional culminations of months of effort. Media are invited to the following adoption finalizations:

​10 a.m., Nov. 17 ​Barton County Courthouse, Great Bend ​​10-12 adoption finalizations
​2 p.m., Nov. 17 ​Wyandotte County Courthouse, Kansas City ​6 adoption finalizations
​9 a.m., Nov. 18 ​Shawnee County Courthouse, Topeka ​20 adoption finalizations
​9 a.m., Nov. 18 ​Johnson County Courthouse, Olathe ​10-12 adoption finalizations
​9 a.m., Nov. 18 ​Sand Hills Event Center, Hutchinson ​10-12 adoption finalizations
​1 p.m., Nov. 18 Salina County Courthouse, Salina​ 10-12 adoption finalizations​​​
DCF is also encouraging faith organizations to educate their members about adoption on Adoption Sunday, Nov.12.

The Kansas Post Adoption Resource Center (K-PARC), a DCF-funded initiative launched in November 2016, in collaboration with KCSL, to serve parents who have adopted children privately or through the foster care system. K-PARC has several events planned throughout the month of November to celebrate adoption month and provide support to Kansas adoptive families. Last year, more than 235 parents attend a K-PARC Strong Families Adoptive Parent Retreat, 83 parents and children participated in a Parent Circle/Kids Training Series, and K-PARC delivered more than 1,300 hours of Trust-Based Relational Intervention training to families, volunteers, professionals and kids. 

“K-PARC has provided much-needed resources to adoptive families across the state of Kansas,” said KCSL East Region Director Gail Cozaad. “The feedback from families has been extremely positive, and that is a reflection of the support they receive from K-PARC. We hope to continue, grow and expand upon that support system to better provide resources for adoptive children and families.” 

KCSL’s Klicks for Kids, a photographic tribute to children awaiting adoption, will be on display during Adoption Month at the State Capitol Building, in Topeka; Custom Skin Care Med Spa, in Topeka; Exploration Place, in Wichita; the First Evangelical Free Church, in Wichita; and the Bolling Federal Building in Kansas City, Mo. 

To learn more about children who are currently available for adoption, visit or call 877-457-5430. On the website, you can view photos and read profiles of each child available for adoption. 
​​From left to right: Skylar Ostrom, Anna Ostrom, Kathy Ostrom, Secretary Phyllis Gilmore, Elijah Ostrom, Ayden Ostrom, Lon Ostrom and KCSL East Region Director Gail Cozadd attended the adoption month reception to celebrate the kick-off of November as National Adoption Month. ​