Adoption in the Black Hills: A mother’s journey through the system

Updated: Nov. 24, 2022 at 11:19 AM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Acknowledging National Adoption month, which happens every November, is a way to spread awareness and encourage people to look at the process for both children in foster care and the families taking care of them.

We learn the story of what adoption can look like through the experiences of a Black Hills mother who has fostered and adopted children.

“That’s what everybody says when they start foster care is ‘I’m just going to do this kind of temporarily, and then you have kids. The second they’re in your home they are a part of your family,” says Hollie Strand, foster parent, and mother of five.

Wanting to focus on her education, Hollie Strand never saw herself having kids, let alone two of her own. But it wasn’t until Strand discovered fostering children that she found her true passion for life. Seeing firsthand what foster care did for her childhood best friend, Strand knew she wanted to be a part of something that could change a child’s life.

“You look back and you have to understand that whether a child is in your home for two hours, two days, or two years, every little seed that’s planted, that they’re valuable, they’re loved. They’re a part of our family, that’s a part of that seed that grows,” she says.

Over time, the Strands welcomed around 20 kids into their home, but that process wasn’t always easy. Getting involved in foster care took many steps, including Strand being involved with Children’s Home Society and becoming a forensic interviewer.

“We had our licensing worker out of Northern Hills. We went through 12-week training called ‘Pride’ where we learned all about foster care, being foster parents. What to do, what not to do. All of the rules, all the regulations, all the things that you need to know. We also did a home study where they meet with you, they talk to your family, they look for motivation. They look for that long-term why are you doing it?” Stand explains.

All these systems are put in place to make sure the children are going to the best possible home. The support system available for the child also plays a role in the foster care and adoption process.

“It’s tough but it’s the most rewarding. It’s exciting, it’s scary. Get a support system. When you go into foster or to adopt and you get a kid that’s 4 or 6 or 10, there’s a lot of stuff that you have to figure out. There’s a lot of stuff historically you just don’t know,” she says.

Strand and her family found a passion for fostering children, and have gone on to adopt three of those 20 kids into their forever family.

“My life would’ve been an absolute joke. It would so pale in comparison to what these kids and my husband have brought into my life.”