CCAI’s Angels in Adoption™ Program provides Members of Congress the opportunity to honor an individual, couple, or organization from their district that have made an extraordinary contribution on behalf of children in need of homes. The Angels in Adoption™ travel to Washington D.C. to participate in three days of events all designed to train them to use their personal experiences to affect change and to celebrate their hard work and dedication to adoption and foster care issues. The events include the Adoption and Foster Care Advocacy Fair, tours of DC and networking events, an award ceremony, legislative seminar and an opportunity to visit Congressional offices to share how adoption has affected their lives.
This year, on September 12, CCAI will recognize actress Katherine Heigl, singer-songwriter Josh Kelley, and PEOPLE Magazine as the 2012 National Angels in Adoption™ for their dedication and commitment to adoption and foster care issues. They will be honored, along with local Angels in Adoption™ selected by 143 Members of Congress, at CCAI’s 14th annual awards gala in Washington, DC.
Over the next couple of days, we will be highlighting some of our Angels in Adoption Angels in Adoption™. Today, we’d like to introduce you to Angels Gary and Janice Meyer.
In 1988, Janice and Gary Meyer decided to provide a warm, nurturing, loving home to children in need and became foster and adoptive parents. To date, they have adopted seven children and are in the process of finalizing the adoption their eighth child.
All of the children the Meyers have adopted have extreme behavioral, mental health, and medical needs. When their son Austin was first placed with Janice and Gary, they were not sure if he had any vision. They immediately secured the needed services, which necessitated numerous 350-mile round trips from Salina to Kansas City so that Austin could receive the best care. The results of his testing were conclusive: Austin lacked all vision.
Today, Austin walks with a cane to assist with mobility and Janice has taught him braille. Despite the continued need for care, Janice and Gary never wavered in the process to adopt Austin. The same is true of their son Leon, who is blind, deaf, and confined to a wheelchair, with a severe brain injury resulting from shaken baby syndrome. Every three months, the Meyers take Leon to Wichita to see his neurologist and he is monitored for seizure activity and receives treatment to stimulate muscle dexterity. His adoption was finalized on July 30.
The Meyers’ ability to love and care for all of their children unconditionally and constantly reaffirm their commitment to them makes them true Angels in Adoption.