Kat Dyche was adopted.
So, when she and her husband, Greg decided to start their family— they immediately thought of adopting. They started exploring the different paths to parenthood with a home study for an infant placement.
But one day they found themselves on the Nebraska government website that shows older boys and girls who need a permanent home (http://dhhs.ne.gov/children_family_services)
One little girl caught their eye. Kat and Greg looked at each other. “She could be ours,” they agreed.
Kat called their adoption worker. Fortunately, that little girl had already been adopted. But the worker’s response? “Stop the infant adoption, explore this possibility.”
Kat and Greg became licensed foster parents. They found they loved it—and over the past decade have fostered eight children. They permanently adopted four of those children and are now working on the fifth.
Meet the Dyche kids: 11-year-old Gabriella, 8-year-old Korissa, 7-year-old Griffin, and his brother, six year old Charles. The adoption process is still underway for their fifth child, a 7-year-old girl.
Kat is so proud of her children. “I’m so lucky that I got to meet these kids. They are truly the five most interesting people I’ve ever met,” she says. “All are unique, with different talents, different personalities…but they are all resilient. They are survivors. And they have a desire to have a full life that other children may not recognize at such a young age. It’s like winning the lottery.”
But it took some work to get here, says Kat. All children who were state wards have experienced some trauma. The key, she says, is making sure they get help. “You cannot love a person into healing. You can’t wish them healthy.”
So she and Greg set up a great support team – both for the kids and themselves. Through Lutheran Family Services programs, the kids are getting the therapy they need. Recognizing that children in this situation need help with building attachments, bonding, and trauma recovery have allowed the Dyche brood to flourish. Just listen to Gabriella’s story–
Gabriella was four years old when she came to live with Kat and Greg. She couldn’t count to three. She couldn’t identify any colors. And because she had been so traumatized as a toddler, doctors weren’t really sure she even understood English. Now, seven years later, she’s a straight A student who just won “Student of the Month” at her Westside Middle School. She’s learning to cook, and she’s taking classes so she can be a babysitter next year.
“She’s amazing,” says her mom, who is convinced that many gifted children are caught in foster care. “They just need a family to help them grow. Families are built on tradition, memories, and experiences. I’m a very happy mom.”
Greg and Kat Dyche live in Omaha. He works for Methodist Health Systems and teaches at UNO and Creighton. Kat is now working on a Masters degree in language education. They hope to have their fifth adoption completed this year.
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