Governor Ricketts Thanks Adoptive Families at Capitol Event

News Release
For Immediate Release: 11/23/2022

Jeff Powell, (402) 471-6223,

Lincoln – Governor Pete Ricketts and Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Division of Child and Family Services (CFS) Director Stephanie Beasley held a recognition event yesterday to meet several adoptive families and thank them for stepping up to help bring stability to a child's life by providing them a permanent home and making them a member of their family.

At the event, Governor Ricketts signed a proclamation declaring the month of November as Adoption Awareness Month to help promote adoption and the importance of providing stability and permanency to a child's life.

“The family plays a crucial role in social development and is the essential building block of society," said Governor Ricketts. “Every child deserves to have a stable, permanent family of their own, and it benefits all of Nebraska to work towards this goal. In appreciation of adoptive families in Nebraska, and to highlight how adoption can help change a life, I've proclaimed November as Adoption Awareness Month in Nebraska."

One family who attended was Megan and Mark Grimes who recently finalized the adoption of their five-year-old daughter. “We certainly appreciate the opportunity to meet with Governor Ricketts and highlight the importance of adoption," said Megan Grimes. “Our family now feels complete and I cannot begin to describe the positive impacts this adoption has had for all of us."

Adopting a child makes a powerful positive impact on the lives of parents as well. “Every time I talk to foster or adoptive parents, I hear how this has made a powerful impact in their lives," said Director Beasley. “This is an experience that doesn't end at adoption, it is a transformation families will experience for the rest of their lives. I urge any Nebraskan considering adoption to reach out to DHHS for information and support at 1-800-7-PARENT."

Adoption is not the only way to transform a child's life. There is also a need for foster and guardianship families in Nebraska. DHHS has teams ready to assist families interested in fostering. Those interested can also contact 1-800-7PARENT.

As of October 31, 296 Nebraska children have been adopted into their forever homes this year. While this is a reason to celebrate, there are still 494 children in Nebraska seeking adoption. “Our job is not done until we find a permanent home for all of Nebraska's children," said Director Beasley.

Some attendees included:

  • Rakeesha Barber, a single mother who adopted three siblings consisting of two boys and one girl ages 10, 8, and 1. She officially adopted her children last Saturday in Omaha.
  • Megan and Mark Grimes, who recently finalized the adoption of their five-year-old daughter in May of 2022.
  • Nathan and Brandi Arneal who officially adopted their son last Saturday in Omaha. Brandi was a foster parent of their son for the past three years.

For those who have adopted in Nebraska or finalized guardianship at any time, support resources are available through Nebraska Children's Home Society-Families Forever at or by calling (844) 463-0009 or visit

For pictures of the event, please click here and scroll to the bottom of the page. 

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