I’m a (mostly) modest Midwesterner at heart, so public recognition isn’t really my thing. I am inspired, however, by the other adoption advocates I find myself grouped with during these occasions.
In 2017, Bellis, a Minnesota-based, non-profit organization that focuses on adoption education and support, named me its Volunteer of the Year. Even better than that, they let me bring my kids and their birth mothers to the annual fundraising gala where I received the award. The feelings I had while saying a few words after accepting the award and looking down at the table with my wife and kids and their birth mothers…simply indescribable. What a journey!
In 2019, Senator Amy Klobuchar and Congressman Dean Phillips nominated and chose me as a Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) Angels in Adoption Honoree. Wow! I traveled to D.C. to be recognized, but more importantly, I had the opportunity to meet with congressional offices and other child welfare advocates to share my experience and expertise and to educate them about adoption.