Recent Op-Eds

Nothing is more central to the fabric of American society than the family. It is the glue that binds our communities and raises healthy children into successful adults. While each family looks a little different, the bonds of love, support, trust, and kindness are easy to spot in families throughout South Dakota. Some of these families aren’t biological, but were created by ordinary people welcoming children into their hearts and homes through the process of foster care or adoption.

November is National Adoption Month, and November 23rd will mark National Adoption Day. During this month, we recognize those who have welcomed adopted children into their homes, while also remembering the more than half a million children in foster care in the country. Sadly, more than 200,000 young adults have “aged out” of the foster care system over the past decade without ever experiencing a permanent, loving family.

Again this year, I am a cosponsor of a resolution in the Senate to recognize November 23rd as National Adoption Day, and November as National Adoption Month. National Adoption Day is a collective national effort to raise awareness for over 400,000 children in foster care, 115,000 of which are waiting to be adopted.

In August, I nominated Ryan and Rhonda Kelly and their family of Rapid City for the 2013 Angels in Adoption Award. This award is presented annually by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, of which I am a member. Ryan and Rhonda’s commitment to meet the unique physical and emotional needs of their four biological children and six adopted daughters from China is truly remarkable. Their desire to provide a loving, stable home to their adopted daughters inspires others to open their homes to children in need of a nurturing environment.

Every child deserves a place to call home and a loving family to support them. Through adoption, children get loving and supportive families and families are blessed with new lives to nurture. I invite all South Dakotans to join me in recognizing the thousands of families across our state who’ve made a difference in the life of an adopted child, and to consider opening your own home to a child in need.