Kyle and Tammie Olson are the parents of eleven biological children; seven boys and four girls: Royal, Ethan, Wyatt, Kade, Maggie Samuel, Natalea, Nia, Zane and Zander (twins), and Eve. Their children range in age from 23 to less than two. Royal and Wyatt are serving in the National Guard, and Kade, a senior at West Central Area, serves in the Minnesota Army National Guard. Ethan is serving a full-time proselyting mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Kyle is a contractor, plumber,and home inspector. Tammie is a professional family and wedding photographer, who also enjoys shooting the high school sporting events her kids participate in: cross country, football, wrestling, track and field, trap shooting, and FFA.
Recently, Tammie and Kyle started the adoption process for a newborn baby, Kamdyn, whose mother approached them specifically to raise her child.
“I knew this girl, Destinie Sabby, slightly from school, but one day she came to church,” recalled Tammie. “She looked heavy and sad, and I went to talk to her. She didn’t tell me she was pregnant at the time.
“I called her a month or two later to check in on her and she told me her situation. She said she was struggling to decide whether to keep the baby or give it up for adoption. I don’t think people realize how tough a decision that is.”
Tammie said Destinie called her often after that, just to talk, ask questions about pregnancy, etc. She asked Tammie to be her Birth Support, and Tammie agreed. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, her involvement was somewhat limited but she was able to go to doctor appointments with her.
Six weeks before the due date, Sabby asked Tammie if Tammie and Kyle would agree to adopt, what they knew was going to be a baby boy. Destinie said she had observed what a busy, loving family the Olsons had, and wanted her boy to be raised in such an environment.
“I felt that of course I would, but told her I would have to ask Kyle what he thought about the idea,” Tammie told her. “He said yes right away, didn’t even hesitate.”
After Kamdyn was born, with Tammie in the delivery room, the Olsons walked out of the hospital with him and took him to their home on Pomme de Terre Lake.
“It was so hard to walk away from her, holding her baby.”
The Olsons have what is called an Open Adoption and the birth mother will still be involved with his life. Tammie and Destinie talk on the phone nearly every day, and she sees the baby in church and other settings.
Now, six months later, the legal process is underway to make the adoption final. The Olsons just submitted an application for the State of Minnesota to do a Home Study, in which a case officer visits the home, and asks a lot of questions about the family, their other children, and even Tammie and Kyle’s childhoods.
It’s only the start, but the legal cost of adoption is currently beyond reach. Even when done outside of an agency, adoptions in the State of Minnesota are costly. They require an attorney, the home study of the adoptive family, and a consent to adopt. A home study typically costs $3000 to $5000. Attorney fees usually exceed $3000, and the birth parents pay a minimum of $1000 to process the consent to adopt paperwork. The Olson Family could use some help raising money for Kamdyn’s adoption expenses.
Friends have planned an On-line Silent Auction Fundraiser to raise funds for the Olsons’ adoption journey. There is also an account set up at Star Bank in Barrett (P.O. 219) and Elbow Lake (P.O. 1061) for cash donations.
To bid, go to Noelle Mickelsen’s Facebook page. Bidding will start Feb. 17 and end Feb. 20 at 1:00 p.m.
Winning bidders can pick up their items at Grace Free Church, Elbow Lake, on Sunday, Feb. 21, between 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. If you are hungry, you can also pick up a pulled pork sandwich to-go meal there. Just call 218-205-0378, by Feb. 17, (now!) to reserve a meal.