Amanda Kreuter was in her early 20s when she started thinking about becoming a foster parent, so when she and her husband Dan struggled with infertility, they decided to explore their Minnesota foster care and adoption resource, the MNAdopt.org website. “We had the heart to be parents,” recalls Amanda, “and we knew lots of kids don’t have a place to call home.” They realized Nexus-Kindred Family Healing was close to where they lived so in August 2016 Amanda and Dan decided to reach out and ask questions.
The Kreuters were in a unique situation – they were young without any of their own children so they knew they wanted to pursue a permanent sibling placement and were open to 4-5 kids at a time. “Siblings were a better fit for us. We knew we wanted the kids to have someone else, someone to play and live with.”
Becoming Licensed Foster Parents
After Nexus-Kindred sent social workers to the Kreuter house, Amanda and Dan completed 20 hours of training and did the paperwork. They also moved during the process because they knew they wanted to be in a different location before they invited kids into their forever home.
In January 2017 the Kreuters were licensed to be foster parents and on March 31, 2017, they received their first foster placement. They opened their hearts and home to four siblings – an 8 month old girl, twin 3 year old girls, and a 5 year old boy. Amanda was always interested in a baby and twins, so the Kreuters were ready to make it permanent. Unfortunately, this foster care situation ended up being an emergency placement – meaning the kids needed an immediate placement in a safe and nurturing environment – and on December 23, 2017, the kids returned home. “It was hard. When these kids were dropped off at our door, we were thrust into survival mode. We had a ton of support from our friends and family to get through that time. And while it was great for the mom and the kids to reunite, it was so hard on us right before Christmas. We weren’t prepared for that.”
On April 3, 2018, the Kreuters received their second foster care placement of three sisters ages 7, 9, and 11. These girls had been in and out of foster care for a few years and had been to different treatment facilities with their mom. Within a few weeks after placement, Amanda and her husband knew these girls were home. The girls’ social workers also noticed a difference. They described the girls as being “much more relaxed and calm” and they, too, knew it felt right. On August 7, 2018, the Kreuters adopted all three girls. Their family was now complete.
Family Life after Adoption
Life for the Kreuters is busy. Their days are filled with lots of appointments and sports. Their daughters are very involved in school activities, track and field, swimming, and gymnastics. They also continue to attend therapy every week. After years of therapy, the Kreuters are still unraveling the girls’ history of neglect and abuse. “Most people don’t notice the trauma, but we do because we know what to look for,” says Amanda.
As Amanda reflects on their foster care and adoption story, she accredits her family success to her Nexus-Kindred social workers. “Being licensed through an agency like Nexus-Kindred makes all the difference. They provide lots of support and patience that you would not get through the county. I cannot stress that support enough.”