Lutheran Adoption Service: Siblings get a “forever family”

by John Elmore 10. November 2011 16:12

November is National Adoption Month, when public attention is called to the thousands of children in need of a permanent family relationship.  For siblings Shawn, 6, and Varieanna, 4, Nov. 7, 2011, was a special day. Their adoption by their foster mother, Denise Kingbury, was finalized that day in Allegan County Courthouse with the help of Lutheran Adoption Service (


“Denise extraordinary with the kids,” said Ashley Oosterbaan, foster care caseworker in Grand Rapids for Lutheran Social Services of Michigan. “Their behavior is monitored by having conversations about good choices versus bad choices. They are required to apologize to each other and ask forgiveness after every childhood altercation. There is a lot of love and laughing and goofiness all around.” 


Kingsbury adopted her older daughter, Nakiya, almost 9, in Fairfax, Virginia nearly six years ago. Shawn and Varieanna have been in her care for four years, since Varieanna was a three-month-old “failure to thrive” infant. Over this time, they have grown and blossomed.  “They love their biological mom – their ‘tummy mommy’ – very much, and she loves them very much,” Oosterbaan said. “But after three years it was decided that she just did not have the ability to adequately care for them. They are very excited to be in their ‘forever home.’”


Kalamazoo Lutheran Adoption Service caseworker Amber Shustha-Chambers said, "Denise is such a sincere, genuine and loving person. The kids can be kids with her and there is clearly a strong bond with her. They have waited a long time for this adoption to be completed."


More foster and adoptive parents are needed. Is this for you? Find out at and Lutheran Adoption Service is a collaborative of Lutheran Social Services of Michigan and Lutheran Child and Family Service of Michigan.



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