Sen. John Thune
Being a parent to two beautiful daughters is the greatest gift in the entire world, although, as any parent can attest, it did come with its challenges. Sleepless nights, balancing siblings’ needs and interactions, and helping them throughout school — you name it. Raising kids can be a tall task for any parent, but I’m forever grateful for these challenges and opportunities, and they remind me of the additional sacrifices adoptive parents make each and every day to raise their children – initial costs, medical bills, and helping children adapt to a new lifestyle, to name just a few. Parents who choose adoption give the gift of family to children, and I’m so thankful for the sacrifices these families make to better the life of these deserving kids.
I’ve been a proud member of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption throughout my time in Congress. Every year, I nominate a family for an Angels in Adoption award, which recognizes the outstanding contributions of the men and women – moms and dads – across the country who have chosen to adopt or foster children who are in need and who inspire others to do so, too.
This year, I nominated Mike and Kim Adams and their family from Sioux Falls. Mike and Kim have a heart for children, with five biological children and four adopted children. As they learned about the plight of kids in need, both here in our country and also around the world, their hearts were broken, and they wanted to do something about it. While Kim was pregnant with their youngest biological son, Josiah, she was making plans to adopt and was patiently waiting for the time to be right. At the same time, Mike was looking for ways to help address extreme poverty around the world. Through separate events and a lot of prayer, both of their hearts were drawn to Ethiopia.
In 2008, they brought their first adoptive child home – Eva. Seeing the poorest of the poor transformed them, and they sought to help children and communities stuck in poverty, as well as the children who were orphaned and had nowhere to turn. They also started using proceeds from their company, Adams Thermal, to not only fight poverty in South Dakota, but also on the other corner of the world in Ethiopia.
In 2009, they brought home another daughter, Selena, and three years later, Amanuel, both from Ethiopia. In 2014, they adopted Shakira from Uganda. A year before they completed their family with Shakira, they established the Adams Thermal Foundation whose mission is “to alleviate the suffering of the most vulnerable by confronting all forms of human poverty in our community, nation, and our world.” The foundation now runs two schools in Ethiopia that serve 1,200 students. They also work with their community in Sioux Falls on various development projects – all of which they credit the generous help of families in South Dakota that give and serve sacrificially for these children and communities.Mike said this on adoption, “So many children are in need of a loving home so it is critical to get the word out. There are so many loving and capable families – they just need to understand the need, and they will step forward and provide a loving home for these kids.” Parents like Kim and Mike Adams are an inspiration to their community, and I appreciate everything that they, and all other adoptive families throughout our state, do to give children hope for a better future.