Nearly a quarter of Oklahoma children living in poverty: Oklahoma’s child poverty rate has not improved since the Great Recession, according to a new report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy. In addition, 30 percent of the state’s children in Oklahoma have parents who lack secure employment [NewsOK].

Little did Edward and Shelley Keefner know in 2013, both in their mid-50’s , that the unexpected kinship foster of their then 2-1/2 year old granddaughter would lead to their decision to open their home for respite care and the eventual fostering of 10 children. Most recently they adopted five of these children into their home. Their selfless journey is chronicled here by Tulsa Kids – Foster Care in OK.

Since the article was published the couple adopted little Emerald, age 3, and then in June the adoption became final for the other four siblings, ages 2-1/2, 4, 7 and 9.

“It’s been a journey but we wouldn’t change it at all,” said Shelley Keefner.

The Keefners are currently providing respite care for a 2 month old baby but then plan to fully focus on caring for their newly adopted girls.