Opening your heart and home

November is National Adoption Month, and LSI is proud to announce our newest service, LSI Foster Care and Adoption. Through this new service, LSI recruits, supports and empowers foster and adoptive families across western Iowa.

Nationally, there are more than 101,000 youth waiting to be adopted from foster care, and thousands of teens age out of foster care every year without a permanent family. We know there are no unwanted children, only unfound families! To learn how you or someone you know can make a difference, visit or contact Deb Whitford, LSI director of philanthropy and church relations at 563-676-2065 or

Our mission: Lutheran Services in Iowa responds to the love of Jesus Christ through compassionate service. LSI is an affiliated social ministry partner of the Iowa congregations of the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) and a member of LSA (Lutheran Services in America). We proudly serve people of all ages, abilities, religions, sexes, gender identities, national origins, ethnicities, races and sexual orientations. Learn more at and

Opening your Heart and Home

Phillip and Ruth remember the day they decided they wanted to adopt.

It was the late 1950s, and the couple was shocked to learn abandoned babies in a local hospital were being neglected, didn't receive the attention or care they needed, and were not developing properly because of it. Phil and Ruth knew they wanted to do something.

"We decided we would adopt as soon as we could," Ruth says.

Phil and Ruth became adoptive parents through what was then called Lutheran Social Services of Iowa (LSS). The couple already had three biological children, Carol, Eric and Peter, but they had more room in their home and in their hearts. They were already for a fourth child. That's when baby Rachel entered their lives.

A few years later, the couple adopted 4-year-old girl, Paula, and their family was complete. The seven traveled the country for work and vacations, when camping everywhere, and remained a close-knit family even as each child left home for college.

Now, all of Phil and Ruth's children have lives of their own, and Phil and Ruth have added grandchildren and great-grandchildren to their legacy.

Paula graduated from the Naval Academy, received her Ph.D. in Computer Science, and now works for the IRS. Rachel, a graduate of Luther College and the University of Wisconsin Medical School, became a doctor and practices in New Orleans, Louisiana. She has a weekly syndicated health tips show on her local ABC television station, and has been awarded two regional Emmys.

Through it all, Phil and Ruth have been advocates and supporters of adoption in Iowa. For them, it was a way to make a difference in the world, one child at a time. Today, Phil and Ruth continue to support vulnerable children in Iowa as faithful donors to LSI.

"Not everyone can adopt," Phil says, "but everyone can afford to support LSI. Even a small amount, given monthly and automatically, is remarkably helpful."

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