U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today announced his selection of Aaron and Tami Fite of Platte, S.D., and their family for the 2015 Angels in Adoption Award presented by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, of which Thune is a member. This award recognizes the outstanding contributions of men and women across the country who have opened up their hearts and homes to children in need of a family.
“The Fite family is more than deserving of this award, and I am honored to select them,” said Thune. “Aaron and Tami graciously opened up their home, accepting the medical challenges that would come with Cody’s and Cate’s adoptions. Their selflessness has truly been an inspiration to me as well as to members of their community.”
Aaron and Tami were inspired to start a family of their own through adoption while serving on a short-term mission trip in Central America. When they arrived home to South Dakota, they were told about Cody, an infant with Down syndrome who was in need of a family. Eleven years later, Cody is now an active athlete in the Special Olympics, competing in basketball, track, and softball.
In 2006, the Fites received a call about a baby girl, Cate, who was also in need of a family. Cate suffers from a severe neurological disorder called semi-lobar holoprosencephaly and was adopted by the Fites shortly after she was born. Cate has overcome many medical obstacles during her life. Even though she cannot walk or talk on her own, she can walk in a Mustang walker and talk with her eyes through an Eyegaze communication tool. Recently, at a surprise retirement party for Cate’s personal paraprofessional aide, Cate thanked her teacher via the use of the Eyegaze.
After eight years of marriage, the Fites discovered they were miraculously pregnant in 2009, and Chloe was born in 2010. When Chloe was 10 months old, they became pregnant again, and Clare was born in 2012.
“Families have so much love to give, and when families open their hearts to what God has in store for them, it can bring immeasurable joy and growth to a family in ways they never dreamed possible,” the Fites say. “Our adoption story has inspired us to have a Christ-like love for people who are different, for children who are deemed ‘not worthy of life,’ and we are so grateful for the awareness about individuals with disabilities our children have helped bring to our community, churches, and schools. Cate and Cody have taught us more about Christ’s unconditional love and the spirit of perseverance than we ever thought possible. Cody and Cate prove that every life matters and that there is potential in even the worst of circumstances or when the odds are completely stacked against a child.”The Fites will be invited to join Angels in Adoption nominees from around the country at an awards banquet sponsored by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute in Washington, D.C., in October.