Archive for  November 19th 2018

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JOHNSTON, Iowa — The Saturday before Thanksgiving is National Adoption Day. Des Moines celebrated at the Polk County Justice Center Saturday morning watching multiple different families finalize their adoptions.

Over in Johnston there was an adoption conference, Hope 2018, for families who’ve already adopted, are in the process of adoption, or are considering to adopt.

One couple, Pamela and Jeff Mueri, adopted their five-month-old Lilly back in June, but say one of the greatest hardships of adoption is the cost. This year they received a $2,000 grant through the organization “Beauty Amidst the Ashes” to help them officially adopt Lilly.

“Adoption is a blessing but it can also be a really big financial burden. It can be really expensive,” Pamela said. “So Beauty Amidst the Ashes is so generous to offer those kind of grants to families that are wanting to adopt but might need that financial help.”

“I mean every day you wake up and you see her and it’s just that realization that ‘wow, what a gift we were given by a wonderful woman.’ So we are just blessed to have her and we cherish every day with her,” Jeff said.

Adoption Saturday specifically focuses on the foster care side of adoption. According to NationalAdoptionDay.org more than 117,000 children in foster care are waiting for permanent and loving families.

OSCEOLA, Iowa — Family members of the pregnant woman and two-year-old boy that was killed in a car crash Friday night got together for a vigil to remember their loved ones.

“To know that they were loved. To know that they won’t be forgotten. Unborn child, our son, my [fiancé], I loved them to pieces. I want them to know that they will always be remembered,” soon-to-be husband and father Michael Dohrn said.

Authorities say 22-year-old Bethanie Kennedy of Osceola was driving southbound on Highway 69 Friday night around 6:00 pm when she lost control and collided with an oncoming northbound truck. Kennedy was killed, as well as her unborn son due in a few weeks and her two-year-old stepson, Michael Dohrn Jr.

Nearly 50 people came out including family, friends, and members from both the Osceola and Leon communities for a vigil. A prayer and moment of silence started the observance and then concluded with a balloon release.

Dohrn says his family was taken too soon and he couldn’t have asked for a better woman to help him take care of his son he liked to call Little Mikey.

“Amazing, Beth was an amazing woman. She took my son like he was her own. She was an awesome mother. I couldn’t have been a happier man. She was beautiful. Her smile would light up the world,” Dohrn said.

While Dohrn says he won’t ever fully recover from this tragic event, seeing all the support at the vigil helped, even if just a little bit.

“It eases my mind a little bit knowing how loved they [were],” Dohrn said.

Dohrn’s brother, Dalton, helped put together the vigil so his brother could be reminded how loved he is.

“I just want to make sure Mike’s okay. I want to make sure that he is taken care of. I want to make sure that he knows that everybody loves him and that he made little Mikey and Beth happy,” Dalton Dohrn said.

Michael’s uncle said this accident has effected multiple communities, with Kennedy being from Osceola, and the Dohrn’s from Leon.

“This tragic event that happened, everybody that goes home tonight hug and kiss your little ones because as we found out you never know when you’re not going to be able to,” Michael’s uncle, Jeff Olson said.

After the vigil immediate family members headed to the crash site to pay their respects. A Go Fund Me set up to help with funeral costs for Kennedy, “Little Mikey,” and the unborn baby boy.

Authorities are still trying to determine what caused Kennedy to swerve before she crashed. The driver of the crash was not injured.