Thursday, November 17, 2011

Angels in Adoption

We're privileged this week to share a story from one of Iowa's 2011 Angels in Adoption nominees, the McIntyre family!

Angels in Adoption is a terrific program from the Congressional Coalition for Adoption Institute, which allows members of Congress to honor selfless individuals, organizations and families who have made extraordinary contributions for children who needing loving homes.

Past recipients include some pretty good company, such as Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, First Lady Laura Bush, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Kristin Chenoweth, Rhea Perlman, Bruce Willis, Al Roker, Muhammad Ali, Patti LaBelle, Jane Seymour, Henry Winkler and CBS Studios.

Learn more about one of our Iowa nominees and their unique experience celebrating adoption on Capitol Hill!

Making a difference as the McIntyre family

Dee McIntyre first learned about foster care as a nurse in southwest Iowa. She was on her evening shift one night when a six-year-old boy was waiting in the emergency room for his relatives to arrive.

Dee’s heart went out to him, and she immediately wondered if she could take him home to their family for the night until his family arrived. When she was told that she would need to be a licensed foster family to care for him, it sparked her awareness of the ongoing need for foster and adoptive homes in her area.

In 2002, Dee and her husband Ken received their foster care license. Fast forward nine years, and they have now adopted four children from foster care – Aubrey, 11; Dillon, 10; Sam, 9; and Abby, 8.

In October, Dee, Dillon and Sam traveled to Washington, D.C., as one of Iowa’s “Angels in Adoption” nominees, nominated by Rep. Steve King (R-IA).

The family participated in a breakfast and resource fair, a bus tour of the Capitol and other historic sites, an evening gala and many other events. A highlight, Dee said, was meeting former foster youth who were now interning at the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.

“The entire trip was so uplifting,” Dee said. “I just want to share it with everyone. You hear a lot of difficult stories sometimes, and it was so incredible to see former foster youth who had made it and were having success as young adults.”

They've got our votes! Sam and Dillon pause in front of the White House.
Her young sons, Dillon and Sam, were proud to be in attendance, she said.

“Everywhere we went they were excited to tell people they were in Washington, D.C. for an ‘adoption award,’ whether it was the bus driver or a doorman,” Dee said with a laugh.

Their journey didn’t end there. For November’s National Adoption Month, Dee, Dillon and Sam shared their Angels in Adoption adventures with a foster and adoptive parent support group in Southwest Iowa.

And that’s only one example of how many other families across Iowa are spreading the word this November, all sharing their hearts and voices to make a difference.

Thanks to the McIntyres for sharing their experiences with us, and congratulations to all the families who will be adopting at Iowa's six National Adoption Day events this weekend!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy National Adoption Month!

Happy National Adoption Month!

It's an exciting time to celebrate adoption and also to raise awareness for the more than 107,000 children across the nation who are still waiting to be adopted from foster care into forever families.

We've been hearing a lot of great adoption stories already leading up to November.

Like the couple in their mid-twenties who adopted a pre-teen and will be adopting another child this month.

Or, the mother who became a foster and adoptive parent simply because she heard an ad on her local radio station that kids needed homes.

Like the single mother adopting a 15-year-old girl, giving her a place to call home as she moves into her young adult years.

Or, like the family with five adopted children, who believes there is always more room at the table.

There are literally thousands of stories of people building positive, permanent connections for kids, and we're lucky to hear even a few of them every day.

If you've ever considered becoming a foster or adoptive parent or wondered how you could help, National Adoption Month is a great time to get involved!

Find a local candlelight vigil on our website, or download some of our resources to use in your community. Or, meet children waiting to be adopted right here in Iowa.

Thanks to all those making a difference in the lives of children in foster care!

P.S. Make sure you like us on Facebook, so you can keep up with news about National Adoption Month, including some fun giveaways starting on Monday, November 7!