A Des Moines couple was recognized today as part of a national program to raise awareness of children in need of a safe and loving adoptive family.
Allonna and Damien Stovall of Des Moines were pinned and designated "2012 Angels in Adoption" by Senator Chuck Grassley at an event in Washington hosted by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.
The Stovalls have raised seven children, four of them adopted. Three of the four adopted children were siblings who the Stovalls kept from being separated by adopting all of the children.
"Parents who foster and adopt children are nothing short of extraordinary," Grassley said. "With selfless generosity and commitment, they make the difference in the lives of children who do not have homes or loving families. It's wonderful to have this chance to honor these parents and raise awareness of the remarkable work they do and the children who need them."
Grassley has been a legislative leader in expanding opportunities for adoption and reforming the foster care system.
In addition to more than 100 Angels from around the country, the Institute this week will recognize several National Angels for their commitment to child welfare, including actress Katherine Heigl, singer/songwriter Josh Kelley, and PEOPLE magazine.