Danny and Dawn Curtis always wanted a large family. They already had two sons when they saw a photo album of Arkansas children in foster care waiting to be adopted. They fell in love with the picture of a young girl and learned that she had three brothers. After much discussion and prayer, they adopted the sibling group and turned their family of four into a family of eight.
The Curtis family eventually adopted a total of 10 children and became valuable advocates for foster children in Arkansas, through their professional lives and personal example. I was privileged to visit with Dawn recently and congratulate her as she and her late husband were honored by the Congressional Adoption Coalition as 2020 Angels in Adoption.
Fortunately, other families are also demonstrating their commitment to change the lives of children through adoption. Thousands of families make room in their homes and their hearts each year. It is inspiring to see the love and commitment Arkansas families and organizations have to helping children in need. As willing families work with government agencies, courts and non-profit organizations throughout the state, you can see their common purpose to give every child the best life possible.
As a member of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, I am pleased, once again, to support a U.S. Senate resolution recognizing November as National Adoption Month and November 21, 2020 as National Adoption Day. There are approximately 424,000 children in the foster care system in the U.S. and half of them are waiting for adoption. The average foster child spends 20 months in that system and 65 percent of them are 10 years old or younger. This year, the COVID-19 health crisis has created even more challenges for the foster care system, prospective adoptive parents and the children who are praying for a permanent home.
There has been a lot of discussion in recent years about the high number of Arkansas children in foster care. I am heartened to see the dedicated response to this crisis from organizations like The CALL and Project Zero that help place children in loving homes, to facilities like the Young Children’s Home where they provide a family atmosphere for many children so they are not forced to move far away or be separated from their siblings while in foster care.
We are blessed to have the advocacy in our state that is making a positive impact on the lives of young Arkansans. As we give thanks for our friends and family this year, let us remember to count our blessings and keep children who are seeking the opportunity to be surrounded by loved ones at Thanksgiving in our hearts.