Are You Pregnant and Considering Adoption?

December 11, 2018

When you are pregnant, you face many choices. It can be a scary time, especially if the pregnancy is unplanned. Lutheran Social Services offers pregnancy counseling to help in this difficult time.

Pregnancy Counseling

I'm pregnant, but I have hope. Our trained pregnancy counselors can be reached online and will travel to your home or a convenient meeting place. Our services are available throughout South Dakota. When you meet with your counselor, you can discuss all your options.

If you choose to parent, your counselor will connect you with the resources you need. It is important for pregnant women to maintain prenatal care for both the mother and the baby. In addition, our counselors will continue appointments with you throughout your pregnancy.

Choosing Adoption

The choice of adoption is a wonderful gift. While adoption should never be taken lightly, the options for adoption have changed a lot. You may select an adoptive family from our book of profiles. You can meet the adoptive family if you wish. Together, you can both decide the level of contact you would like.

Your counselor will assist you every step of the way. We will walk you through the decision making process and all your options. Our goal is to help you make the decision that is best for you and your baby.

Following Through on Your Decision

While adoption can seem overwhelming, Lutheran Social Services is here to help. We will guide you through the various forms and legal papers that are required. We can also introduce you to other birth mothers who have made adoption plans.

As a birth mother, you do have the option to build a relationship with your adoptive family. In addition, you can mentor other birth mothers with your experience. Your pregnancy counselor will continue to work with you throughout and provide post-placement counseling.

The Outcome of Adoption Services

 Adoption services are based on doing what is in the best interest of children – and in the best interest of birth parents. We understand there are many difficult decisions to be made. But Lutheran Social Services treats every individual with patience, compassion and professionalism.

If you are pregnant and considering your options, contact LSS today at 800-201-5061 or online. LSS is here to help.

From Mentor To Friend

December 7, 2018

Stacy Walters and Katrina are genuinely friends now rather than mentor/student. However, a few years ago they were just meeting each other through the LSS USucceed program.

Katrina was matched with Stacy when she was a freshman at Roosevelt High School in 2012. They were one of the first USucceed matches to complete four years in the program. Today, they are still in touch.

Since graduation, Katrina has earned a degree from Southeast Tech and is now working full time at Sanford as a Phlebotomist. She is engaged to be married this summer and Stacy is very much part of the wedding prep. Which only seems right because she was there when Katrina met her husband-to-be in high school!

“I remember when she first told me about this boy. Now, I am the bonus mother-of-the-bride,” said Stacy. “I am going to help decorate for the big day and have been dress shopping. Katrina is really organized and I am really looking forward to it.”

Looking back, Katrina sees how much having a mentor meant. She said middle school was not particularly good for her. She realized that she needed someone to help guide her during high school. “I needed a mentor. She helped me by just being someone else I could talk to. She also helped me with classes and school because she was a teacher.”

The two still meet up at least once a month and foresee being in communication indefinitely. Both agree that it is just fun to have another lifelong friend.

When the Sioux Empire United Way partnered with LSS to bring the USucceed program to life, this is exactly what we had hoped for. It is great to see matches and programming that works to prepare students for a successful future. We often hear of matches still meeting beyond the program. If you have a former student you’d like to tell us about, give us a call!

4 Reasons You Should Photocopy $1,000

December 6, 2018

Let’s say I miraculously have $1,000 to just give away.  So I put a post out on social media that the first one at my office will get $1,000.  No questions asked.  No strings attached.  Cash in hand and you are on your way with some serious cash to fulfill all your dreams.

Sounds great, but can you imagine what the roads would be like between here and there?  I’m not saying my social media footprint is big enough that I’ll have all of Sioux Falls running to me.  But I would reach at least a few of you (you know who you are) who would do just about anything to claim the $1,000 cash.  That’s a lot of money. Read the rest of this entry »

Making the Most of Christmas Giving

November 29, 2018

Coming from a family of story tellers, there is nothing like the telling of favorite family stories as we head into the Christmas season.  There is one particular female I’m close to (not my mom or sister) who has a family story that comes up somewhat regularly that I thought would be fun to share (to see if she reads my posts) and it makes a good point.

You see, as a younger girl, her great-aunt would always get embarrassed womanher a couple of Christmas presents.  Every year, you could count on one of those presents being a package of new underwear.  Being married and having a daughter of my own, I have learned how particular females can be about embarrassing things.  An elementary-age girl receiving new underwear for Christmas?  Apparently that’s pretty embarrassing.

So, there’s something to learn from this?  You bet!  Here we go. Read the rest of this entry »

Everybody has a Story

November 28, 2018


konnichiwa ~ al salaam a’alaykum ~ mydokumbay ~  tibuy ~  preevyit ~  jambo ~ni hao ~ hola ~ dananish ~ salamnish ~ bonjeur ~ chào bn ~  mbote ~ yambu ~ habari ~ is ka warren ~  sampurasun ~ min-ga-la-ba ~  sannu 

Every day I hear “Hello” in a dozen or more different languages because I have the privilege and honor to work with many students from many different countries.  One of the questions I get asked the most is, “Where do your students come from?”  This is a very difficult question to answer because my students don’t just come from a “place,” but they come from a story, they come from a dream, and they are still working towards that dream.

To help answer this question, some of my lit 3 students wrote about their “stories.”


Our Stories

I ‘m from Bhutan.  My job in my country was a farmer.  I feel my country is small but beautiful.  The government is not good, but the country is a beautiful place!  My country has fighting.

I came to America for safety and freedom.  I came to America by plane.  I left the refugee camp three years [ago].  I went to first Idaho.  I bought a ticket and went to Sioux Falls.

I will go to learn English before I get a job.  My dream is to get citizenship.  I felt nervous [when I first came to America].  I feel good now.  I like best [that] my life is safe.


I’m from Ethiopia.  I like Ethiopia, but there are problems.  I lived in my country for 19 years.  I had family in America.  I came to America on Oct. 2, 2013.  I came on a plane.  I came with one family member.

I left my country two years ago.  I came first to Washington, D.C. and I flew to Sioux Falls.  I came to Sioux Falls by plane.

In America I will get a job.  My dream is I will be happy.  At first I felt not good in America.  Now I feel good.  I like people because they are nice.  I like my job.


I am from Guatemala.  A friend drove me to America.  I don’t like to live in Guatemala because too much fighting.

[Now in America] I want to help my family.  I want to build my house.  I was so sad [when I first came to America].  I am happy [now] because I live with my brothers.  I like work.  I like Inglish class. Inglish is important in America.


As we prepare for this holiday season, let us remember our own roots.  We are the great-grandsons and grand-daughters of hopes and dreams.  We are the products of determination and hard work.  Today’s refugees and immigrants are full of the same hopes and dreams, the same determination to live a better, safer life.


Written and reposted by Heather Glidewell, ESL Instructor

Thanksgiving Thankfulness

November 21, 2018


On Monday evenings, LSS hosts a More English Monday class where students come from all levels of English ability to learn about computers and to expand their English knowledge.  This class is crazy and busy.  The energy is palpable.  The students are excited, even when  they are hungry and just off work after a 10-12 hour day.  The dedication is unbelievable, and everyone learns something new in More English Monday.

Our students are also very thankful and so happy to be here, safe and sound, with family and friends, with a home and food.  This week we discussed Thanksgiving and the students answered the following questions:

What are you thankful for?

I am thankful for my family because they make me happy.


I am thankful for my son because he helps me with my computer.


I am thankful for my team leaders at my job because they help me.


I am thankful for my health because I don’t have any problems.


I am thankful for my car.  It helps me for transportation.


I am thankful for my house.


I am thankful for reaching this country, the U.S., because I was a refuge.


I am thankful for American people because they give me freedom.


I am thankful because I am studying English.


I am thankful for the day.


I am thankful for my life.


Why are you thankful for LSS?

I am thankful for LSS because they helped me when I am came as a new refugee.


I am thankful for LSS, because I learn English.


I am thankful because I have very good teachers who teach me English.


I’m thankful for my English classes because I learn more day by day.


I am thankful for LSS because practice computer class.


I’m thankful for LSS because it’s a good school.


I am thankful because I meet many people who are immigrants.  They have the same problems as I.


I am thankful for LSS because they help me get citizenship.


What do you think all people should be thankful for?

People should be thankful for peace in the world.


All people should be thankful to have life.


All people need to be thankful for life because every day is a new chance to be better.


Thanksgiving commemorates a time that refugees came from Europe to find friends of the native people living in the wilderness of North America.  We celebrate family, friendship, and kindness, safety and freedom, a home, clothes, and food.  Thanksgiving is perhaps the most important of all holidays to remember where we came from and remind us where we should be going.


Written by Heather Glidewell, LSS English Instructor


On Black Friday, Don’t Forget to Smile

November 21, 2018

online shoppingAmazonSmile that is. It’s an easy way to get all of your holiday shopping done and support LSS at the same time.  When you purchase items at AmazonSmile you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to LSS at no cost to you.  That’s right. You can make purchases for all your favorite items and support the mission of LSS at the same time!

This Black Friday or Cyber Monday, if you were already planning on checking out Amazon’s holiday deals, please consider doing so through AmazonSmile. Whenever you make a purchase through that link, Amazon will donate .5% to the charitable organization of your choice. While that may not sound like a significant amount, it does add up!

Using AmazonSmile is incredibly easy too.  Simply log onto using your Amazon credentials.  Once you log in all of your information will appear in the same way as it is set up at the regular site. If you don’t have an account, you will have the option to create one. Just be sure that your supporting organization is listed; you should see this banner right below the search bar:

smile amazon

Once you have made your purchase, LSS will receive a donation from Amazon for all eligible purchases.

Thank you for your support of LSS. Happy Holidays and happy shopping!


Written by Jamie Lennon and Kylee Sivertson

%d bloggers like this: