Nominate an Angel in Adoption™!
By Kathleen Strottman and Allison Cappa
“Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope.” Robert F. Kennedy said so eloquently what we at the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) try to uphold daily and who we hope to esteem through our Angels in Adoption™ Program.
The Program began 14 years ago when a few Congressional offices began to brainstorm about the good that could come from honoring deserving constituents from their state and/or district who had impacted the life of a child in need of a loving family. That first year, in 1999, an awards ceremony was held on Capitol Hill to celebrate those very constituents. As co-founding Member of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption caucus and adoptive father Rep. Jim Oberstar puts it, “the first event was sparkling. There was so much enthusiasm and love.”
Since that time, Angels in Adoption™ has grown to be three days of events with over 1800 individuals, couples, and organizations recognized for the incredible work they have done to highlight the issue of foster care and adoption. The Angels are invited to travel to Washington, D.C., where they learn how to advocate on behalf of children around the world waiting for a loving family to call their own. Additionally, they are honored at a prestigious Congressional Pinning Ceremony and at a very special Gala attended by senior members of the Executive Branch, US Senators, US Representatives and National Angels, like Kristin Chenoweth, First Lady Laura Bush, Patti LaBelle and Al Roker, who are using their celebrity status to promote adoption on a national and even global level. Furthermore, Angels in Adoption™ seeks to increase the public awareness of these individual deeds that profoundly impact a child’s life. The press from this event has spurred hundreds of human interest stories with the hope of inspiring others. Since the program’s inception, more than 1,800 Angels have been honored for their contributions to the cause of finding every child a home.
We all know the miraculous effect adoption has. Because of Angels in Adoption that message is spreading. As 2011 National Angel in Adoption™, award winning actress (star of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”), former National Adoption Day spokesperson, Nia Vardalos, said of the adoption of her daughter, “My husband and I were matched with our daughter via American Foster Care, and the minute we met her, our lives changed forever. At three years old, our perfect little girl walked into our house, and turned it into a home.”
Do you know of someone you would like to nominate to a Congressional Office because adoption or fostering children has changed their life forever? Nominate them as an Angel in Adoption™ by visiting www.angelsinadoption.org. You can also complete a nomination form online for submission which will be passed along to an appropriate Congressional office. The deadline for this year’s nomination is July 6, 2012.
The preceding article was featured on page eight of the June 2012 Issue of Adoption Today. See Adoption Today.