Adoption Month is an opportunity to celebrate the men and women who opened their hearts and homes to the world’s “forgotten youth.”
Men and women who recognize that we are not defined by where we start, but by our potential.
In my role as representative for the great people of Illinois’s 13th Congressional District, I’ve had the privilege of working for and meeting families of all shapes and sizes. Like the Andersons.
Chadwick and Sarah are my district’s Angels in Adoption, which honors people who make extraordinary contributions in adoption, permanency, and child welfare. And extraordinary, they are.
The Andersons are living proof that courage and commitment can make the remarkable happen.
Called to adopt, the couple spent four years to bring their daughter Phoebe home from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). They were originally told the process would only take 8-10 months, but DRC President Joseph Kabila closed the doors on foreign adoption, despite the emotional toll it placed on vulnerable children and the families who love them.
After years of putting pressure on the DRC, and collaborating with other families to spread awareness of what was happening, the Andersons finally received word that they could bring their daughter home. And on March 31, 2016, Phoebe officially joined her forever family.
Not everyone could have the strength needed to keep going forward with the process. But that’s what you do for loved ones – family means never giving up. The Andersons are an inspiration, and they are a reminder to me why House Republicans want a Better Way. Because no matter your background or walk of life, you should be empowered to live boldly and confidently, and to reach your full potential.
Family helps make that possible.