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Dustin and Melissa Dolezal of Grant, adopted their foster daughter Jazmynn, 8, (front) in April 2016. Their other children include Caitlyn, 11 (right) and Blake, 13.     

Grant family opens home and hearts to foster kids

By Brooke Pankonin

Grant Tribune Sentinel

At the beginning of this month, President Donald Trump called upon all Americans “to observe this month by taking time to help children and youth in foster care and to recognize the commitment of those who touch their lives, particularly celebrating their foster parents and other caregivers.”

National Foster Care Month has been observed in the United States during the month of May every year since 1988. 

As of March 31, Nebraska had 5,004 children in foster care, with 4,118 (82.3 percent) of those children experiencing abuse or neglect.

The family of Dustin and Melissa Dolezal of Grant is just one family making a difference in the lives of these children. 

This July, the Dolezals will celebrate their fourth year as foster parents. 

Melissa was raised by her grandmother, who she moved in with at the age of 7. 

“She had a heart for helping everybody,” Melissa said of her grandmother, who was a teacher for 40 years and “the nicest person ever.”

These values were instilled into Melissa. 

After having two children, Blake (13) and Caitlyn (11), Dustin and Melissa discovered they were not able to have more children. After realizing the number of children in the state who needed homes, they began looking into becoming foster parents. 

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