MY ANGELS IN ADOPTION: ANTONIO AND MARTHA GOMEZ -- (Extensions of Remarks - September 22, 2004)
HON. BOB FILNER
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2004
Mr. FILNER. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize two residents of my Congressional District, Antonio and Martha Gomez, who I have selected as my nominees for the sixth annual Angels in Adoption Award.
The Awards are an opportunity to honor dedicated constituents for their efforts in helping children, as well as an opportunity to raise awareness about adoption. Members of Congress are asked by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute to select an individual, couple or organization from their district who has made a difference in the lives of children, either through adoption, foster care or child welfare advocacy.
I selected Antonio and Martha as my Angels in Adoption because for the past eight years, they have provided a safe and loving home to a dozen foster children, ranging in age from 2 weeks to eighteen years. Their entry into the world of foster parenting was inspired by their daughter who had a friend who was a foster child. Because of her interest, Antonio and Martha decided to become foster parents, and they have never looked back.
Two years ago, they adopted one of their foster children who is now a happy five-year old who loves and is loved by his family, including the biological children of his parents-his 16 year old brother and 23 year old sister.
Besides being a foster parent and adoptive parent, Antonio has served as President of the Imperial Valley Foster Parents Association, and he is currently serving as Facilitator, arranging weekly training meetings for the foster parents in Imperial County, California. Martha is now President of the Association which works in cooperation with Imperial Valley College and the State Department of Social Services.
A celebratory banquet is being held tomorrow evening, Thursday, September 23rd, to honor all the nominated Angels in Adoption. Attending the celebration will be actress Jane Seymour, PGA golfer Kirk Triplett, and General Manager and Senior Vice President of the Orlando Magic, Pat Williams. My Angels, Antonio and Martha, will be joining me in attending the banquet, with travel arrangements the courtesy of Southwest Airlines and Pardee Construction Company.
I am sincerely proud of Antonio and Martha, because they have given of themselves for the benefit of the lives of so many children. Through their example, they are an inspiration to other foster and adoptive parents in the community in which they live.
It is an honor to recognize their significant contributions and to designate them as my Angels in Adoption.