In 2002, I began to chronicle my adoption journey and created Forever Parents, a supportive online community for adoptive and waiting parents. Over the next year, we grew our support forums to include an adoption shop and a blog. Forever Parents stayed active, helping thousands of people for over ten years. I’m in the process of updating and moving all the posts to this blog, in the Forever Parents section. This post was originally published on August 30, 2010.
All of us at Forever Parents are so proud of our friend Debbie Schwartz (aka DebbieJFSG), a treasured member of our adoption forum, for being named one of this year’s Angels in Adoption.
Congressman Jim Himes has selected Jewish Family Services Adoption Connection Program Coordinator Debbie Schwartz as a 2010 Angel in Adoption (TM) for her outstanding advocacy of adoption. The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI), which orchestrates the Angels in Adoption™ program, will honor Schwartz, along with more than 190 Angels, at an awards ceremony and gala event in Washington, DC, October 6, 2010.
For over a decade, Schwartz has been a devoted and effective advocate for adoption and adoption services. A longstanding volunteer for the Adoptive Parents Committee, Inc. (APC) she has served on the APC Board of Governors and as co-President of the Hudson Chapter. For more than ten years she has facilitated the APC monthly meetings in Fairfield County, helping countless numbers of people looking to build their families through adoption.
An avid speaker and leader at area adoption conferences and workshops, she is currently promoting positive adoption awareness and education as the Program Coordinator for Adoption Connection of Jewish Family Services of Greenwich. She is an online group moderator and speaker promoting positive adoption language and support in this era of online social networking.
Schwartz is also the founder and director of the Forever Families Weekend for Jewish Families Touched by Adoption, the first program specifically dedicated to furthering positive adoption growth and education for Forever Families in the Jewish community. Forever Families Weekend is coordinated jointly by Jewish Family Services of Greenwich and the New Jersey “Y” Camps.
The Angels in Adoption™ program is CCAI’s signature public awareness campaign and provides an opportunity for all members of the U.S. Congress to honor the good work of their constituents who have enriched the lives of foster children and orphans in the United States and abroad.
“The Angels in Adoption program is unlike any other program in the Nation’s Capitol. Because of it, over 1600 “Angels’ have come to share with Washington their adoption experience and left with a renewed excitement of all that adoption makes possible,” said Kathleen Strottman. “I learned one simple lesson from my time on the hill, knowledge is power. Angels in Adoption is meant to give Members of Congress the knowledge they need to use the power they have toward making the dream of a family a reality for every child.”
In addition to the more than 190 local angels from around the country, several National Angels will also be recognized at the ceremony and gala for their dedication and commitment nationally and internationally to child welfare on a grand scale. Former “National Angels” include First Lady Laura Bush, Patti LaBelle, Jane Seymour, Muhammad Ali, the late Dave Thomas, Steven Curtis Chapman, Bruce Willis, Alonzo Mourning, and Marcus Samuelsson.
The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) is a 501(c)3 nonpartisan organization dedicated to raising awareness about the tens of thousands of orphans and foster children in the United States and the millions of orphans around the world in need of permanent, safe, and loving homes through adoption. CCAI’s goal is the elimination of the barriers that hinder these children from realizing their basic right of a family.
CCAI was created in 2001 by the active co-chairs of the bicameral, bipartisan Congressional Coalition on Adoption (CCA) to more effectively raise Congressional and public awareness about the issue of adoption.
The Angels in Adoption™ program was established in 1999 as a Congressional press conference to honor outstanding individuals. Since then, the program has developed into a yearlong public awareness campaign culminating in an extraordinary awards Gala and celebration in Washington, D.C.
CCAI does not receive any government funding and they rely on the generous support of foundations, corporations, and individuals to accomplish their mission. For more information visit http://www.ccainstitute.org/