U.S. Senator John Thune (R-South Dakota) today announced his selection of Scott and Jamie Nagy and their family of Brookings for the 2014 Angels in Adoption Award presented by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, of which Thune is a member.
Scott and Jamie adopted their daughter Naika from Haiti in 2006 when she was two-and-a-half years old. Naika’s adoption prompted Jamie’s collaboration with another adoptive family to create an adoption networking group in Brookings. Their adoption experience also inspired Scott’s involvement in Samaritan’s Feet, an organization that provides shoes to orphans and impoverished children in developing countries.
“Scott and Jamie’s story demonstrates how adoptive parents and families can foster patience, grace, and understanding to open their hearts and homes to a child in need,” said Thune. “Their desire to help others understand and overcome the effect of overwhelming change on both the child and the family speaks to their strength of character and makes me proud to honor them as Angels in Adoption. I commend their efforts to assist other families navigate the adoption process and raise awareness for the needs of children around the world.”
“At the onset of adding Naika to our home, we envisioned ourselves doing something good for her,” said the Nagys. “While we still believe in the benefits of Naika having a family to help raise her and having more substantial funds and resources than she would have had access to in Haiti, we have experienced profound growth and benefits we could not have predicted from parenting Naika. Our family functions as a work-in-progress, and our life story and ‘mission’ will continue to change as we grow in the understanding of our successes and failures in caring for her. We plan to continue sharing honestly about our journey with a hope of helping others involved in the adoption constellation.”
Scott and Jamie were married 14 years and had four biological children, Nick, age 12, Tyler, age 11, TJ, age 6, and Natalie, age 3, when they felt called to bring Naika into their family. Thune’s office worked with the Nagy family to coordinate the adoption in 2006.
Through their adoption journey, the Nagys developed a heart for helping others navigate difficult transitions as families learn to unite. Jamie, who was adopted as an infant, also found that the process helped her better understand her own adoption story; she has learned much from different members of the adoption constellation—birth parents, adoptive parents, adoptees, and individuals involved in foster care. Jamie also advocates for changes to state laws to help adopted individuals access their birth records. She is thankful for the support and understanding she’s received from her parents and family members as she seeks to minister to the adoption world.
In 2009, Scott was one of the first coaches in the country to coach barefoot at a basketball game to help raise awareness for Samaritan’s Feet. Scott, who serves as head coach of the South Dakota State University Men’s Basketball team, cites his interest in helping Naika’s home country as his source of inspiration for participating in the program. In 2013, Scott took the South Dakota State Men’s Basketball team to Haiti to distribute shoes. In July of 2014, Scott visited the country of Burundi to distribute shoes and conduct basketball coaching clinics.The Nagys, along with Angels in Adoption recipients from around the country, will be invited to an awards banquet in Washington, D.C., in September.