Sioux Falls Chapter

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Two Families Began as Strangers, Ended as Friends

Two families now share a special connection thanks to a program through Bethany Christian Services.

The “Safe Families for Children” initiative gives kids a temporary place to stay when their parents are going through hard times. The program is not a foster care or an adoption program.

Program Gives Temporary Place For Kids During Family Crisis

“They develop a bond, I think it’s like their little brother, even if it’s a short bridge, it’s a bridge. It’s something they won’t forget, “says Host family Wade Blomgren. The Blomgren family’s love for little 2-year-old Aaden, is something they never saw coming. “You know I thought it would be my family blessing this family. In turn, I would say they have blessed my family more, “says Host Family Heather Blomgren. Life changed for the Blomgren’s back in March, when they met Aaden and his mother Henrietta Means for the first time.

“I had some trouble with addiction and they offered me to try the Safe Families program, “says Henrietta Means Aaden’s mother. Through the program, her son stayed with Heather and Wade Blomgren, for almost 4 weeks while Henrietta turned her life around and again this past week after Aaden had dental surgery. Although it wasn’t an easy adjustment, Henrietta knew what was best for her son. “It was a big sense of relief; it felt like I didn’t have to worry about that part. I could just focus on me and get us together, “says Means.

Even through hard times she always had the support of this volunteer family, who was willing to give Aaden a temporary home. “It’s like I told Henrietta, I’m honored you know that she did reach out because I never would have met her.  I never would have met her son, you know I love him, “says Heather Blomgren. “It’s a good thing to tell my son when he gets older.  You know these people were there for him, they loved him like there was his own and you don’t meet people like that every day, you really don’t, “says Means.

Although goodbyes are hard for the Blomgrens, they’re choosing to instead say see you later. “You miss them, but it’s good to send them off and you know kind of welcome them back with open arms, whenever the opportunity presents itself, “says Wade Blomgren. Two families with separate stories; forever bonded by a little boy.

The host families do not receive any money; they volunteer their time and home for free. The two families hope to plan occasions where they can meet up and keep in touch.