Nebraska Families Collaborative Blog

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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Adoption

SkyeYou don’t have to be an angel to want to adopt a child. You don’t have to be exceedingly special or exceptionally generous. As Lillias Freeman-Hogan puts it, “You just need to be a parent, someone who is willing to be there for the kids. To be steady, secure and have love to give.”

That’s who Terry and Lillias Freeman-Hogan are: steady, secure, loving people who wanted to open their home to teenagers and surround them with a warm, safe environment. They’d successfully raised 5 other children, 4 of their own and one that came into their permanent care. After their children had grown and flew the nest, Terry and Lillias felt that they weren’t done with this parenting thing. Not even close.

They worked with Nebraska Families Collaborative to make their desire to adopt a reality. They knew they wanted teenagers. They knew they wanted to adopt and add permanency. And they knew they could provide the type of setting to welcome a child who’d long given up on the idea of ever being adopted.

Three years ago, Skye Alonzo, a then 14-year-old, was placed with Terry and Lillias. She came a year and a half after they’d adopted another teenage girl. Their home felt complete.

Terry and Lillias’ experience was positive in every sense. “Nebraska Families Collaborative has good people who work hard and care deeply. Skye’s caseworker did everything she could to improve the lives of these kids. She was in it for the long haul,” said Terry.

As for being adoptive parents, they couldn’t imagine being anything else, even with its ups and downs. Even with its new set of parenting rules and compromises.

The love that they show and the level of commitment they’re willing to give to provide for children is astonishing. They are true angels, whether they think so or not.

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Concord Mediation Center held their annual Pathways Award Luncheon on June 19th to present their Pathways Award and Ron Volkmer Practitioner Award to the 2015 recipients.

Kerri Davis (pictured at left in middle), an Adoption and Permanency Specialist at NFC, was awarded the Ron Volkmer Practitioner Award. This award honors practitioners who apply Concord Mediation Center's mission to their professional or volunteer conflict resolution efforts.

Concord Mediation Center's mission is to create pathways of constructive dialogue and conflict resolution through consensus building activities of mediation, facilitation and education. Former award honorees are Creighton University Law Professor Ronald Volkmer, for whom the award is named, and Concord Mediation Center’s Lori McKeon, Child Welfare Facilitation Coordinator.

Staff at the Concord Mediation Center had this to say about why Kerri was nominated and received the award:

“Kerri embodies our values and so much more as she approaches each family. She is patient, pleasant, respectful and understanding. She is a professional who goes the extra mile. And in a position that can be emotionally draining, Kerri stays upbeat and positive, wearing a smile that demonstrates her desire to help others.”

Congratulations, Kerri Davis! We at Nebraska Families Collaborative, and the children and families we serve, are lucky to have you on the team!

Read the article featuring the event in the Daily Record HERE.

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November 7, 2014                      

Contact: Elise Gerdes, Marketing Specialist

Nebraska Families Collaborative (NFC)

402-492-2583 |


NFC reaches out to promote adoption and locate forever families for foster youth.

OMAHA, Neb. – November is National Adoption Month. This month and throughout the year, Nebraska Families Collaborative encourages all families and local organizations to raise awareness about the more than 100,000 children and youth in the U.S. foster care system who are currently waiting to find their forever families.

One hundred and twenty-nine (129) foster youth have been adopted to date, and on November 22, another 54 children will officially become a part of their new adoptive families as part of National Adoption Day. This marks the 15th year that the Douglas County Juvenile Court will host National Adoption Day in our community. Partners for the event include Nebraska Families Collaborative, Child Saving Institute, Douglas County CASA, DHHS, Foster Care Review Office and the Douglas County Juvenile Court.

National Adoption Day is funded in part by a grant from the Gilbert M. and Martha H. Hitchcock Foundation, with additional support from various local sponsors. Children and their adoptive families will enjoy entertainment, refreshments, and much more. A post-adoption party will be held for all families at the Downtown YMCA. This day of celebration comes after much preparation and work throughout the year by the Douglas County Juvenile Court and its partners.

Yet, many children are still waiting for a forever family…

Currently, of the more than 500 foster children in Douglas and Sarpy Counties with a goal of adoption, 79 are still in need of being matched with a loving adoptive family. Parents and individuals who are thinking about adoption can begin their journey by visiting the NFC website at, where information on the adoption process, a list of local adoption agencies, and real-life adoption stories are available. For further information, contact Kerri Davis, NFC Adoption/Permanency Specialist at 402-492-4279 or

Visit to view images of children currently waiting for forever families. The Nebraska Heart Gallery is sponsored by the Child Saving Institute in an effort to introduce potential adoptive parents to children available for adoption through professional images, stories and child-specific information.


 About Nebraska Families Collaborative

Nebraska Families Collaborative is a private, nonprofit partnership of five Nebraska-based organizations with more than 400 combined years of experience caring for children and families. Representatives from each of those five organizations (Boys Town, Child Saving Institute, Heartland Family Service, Nebraska Family Support Network and OMNI Behavioral Health) provide guidance and vision as members of the NFC Board of Directors. NFC helps families overcome challenges and grow stronger, healthier and closer together, by building on child, family and community strengths so that all children and families are safe, healthy and thriving.

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The Children’s Bureau, a division of the US Administration for Children and Families, recently awarded eight grant awards for “Intensive Child-Focused Adoptive Parent Recruitment.”

The “Nebraska Adoption Project” was one of the eight projects funded. Led by Nebraska Families Collaborative, the project partners include Child Saving Institute, Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska, Nebraska Children’s Home Society, Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Division of Child and Family Services, and University of Nebraska at Omaha STEPs Program.

Together, these partners will test evidence-based models of intensive child-focused adoptive parent recruitment in an effort to improve the permanency outcomes for children and youth who are often the hardest to match with adoptive families due to their age, sibling group status, or special needs.

The Nebraska Adoption Project was awarded $500,000 for a 17-month period, which began September 30, 2014. The project will focus on foster youth in Douglas and Sarpy Counties.

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in Connections Newsletter 4638 0

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Are You a Potential Foster Parent?

Loving, patient and caring foster families play an essential role in ensuring the healthy development, safety and well-being of children and are critical in our goal of strengthening families and reuniting children with their birth families whenever possible.

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Are You Considering Foster Adoption?

Adopting a child is a uniquely beautiful and powerfully emotional journey. Loving, compassionate individuals discover space in their hearts for children in need of a forever family. Our resources will help you get started on the road to adopting a child.

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Help Support Our Mission, Donate Today!

Your donation to NFC will directly help children and families in the Omaha community. Consider making a donation and help support those in need. All donations make a difference – every little bit counts! And, there is more than one way to donate!

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