I was recently honored by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute and by Senator Tim Johnson’s office as a 2013 Angel in Adoption. My daughter, Jordan, and I were in Washington DC last week to accept the award, meet other Angels and hear advocates speak on issues related to Adoption and Foster Care. I also had the pleasure of meeting with Senator Johnson and his staff. The event was culminated by a fantastic gala with over a 1,000 individuals in attendance all celebrating Adoption and Foster Care.
As I flew home from DC I began reflecting on what I had learned, how energizing the event was and how I was blessed to be part of something so wonderful. I realize that I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t been surrounded by some other angels along the way! They were the “village” who led me on the path of adoption, foster care and eventually to becoming an angel. So I would like to say thank you to all of you who have been my angels.
Thank you to my family. I grew up in an environment where children were celebrated and loved. My parents taught me that every child deserves someone to care for them and to be included in someone’s prayers. My husband and daughters have been supportive of my work, including nights away from home and some long work hours. They understand and respect that Adoption and Foster Care are important.
Thank you to my educators. You kept my passion for working with children and families in foster care alive. You provided me the tools I needed to do my job.
Thank you to all of the foster children and youth I have worked with over the years. You have taught me the importance of what a child needs to grow, emotionally and developmentally. A special thank you to the very first youth I worked with 34 years ago and who has kept in touch over the years. He has shown me the strength and resilience a foster child can have despite challenges in life.
Thank you to all of the foster families, birth families and adoptive families I have had the pleasure to know. I have appreciated getting to know each one of you and your stories. You have shown me the importance of being an advocate for families and children. You have shared your joys and your sorrows and how to use these constructively.
Thank you to Lutheran Social Services. You have been my family and inspiration over the last 34 years. I appreciate the “can do” attitude of the leadership and the commitment of meeting the needs of all our children, youth and families. I am privileged to supervise the Adoption, Foster Care and Kinship programs. A BIG THANK YOU to staff. You all inspire me with your passion and compassion for the work you do! It is not just a job for you. You all truly do care about each and every person you work with. I couldn’t do my job without all of you!
And last but not least – Thank you to our Heavenly Father. You have been here with me through it all. You have made the hard times easier and the good times more joyful. You have led me to a calling that has given me more than I can ever give.
So to my Village of Angels – this Angel in Adoption award is as much yours as mine! Thank you!
Dede Mogck, Director of Adoption and Foster Care