Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) announced he has selected Sandra Carrasco and Tamara Brown to be this year's recipients of the 29th Congressional District "Angels in Adoption" award, an annual award sponsored by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI).
"Sandra and Tamara have demonstrated such great compassion throughout the foster care and adoption process, and their dedication to, and love for Isaiah and Ciara make them an ideal choice for recognition as Angels in Adoption," Rep. Schiff said.
Sandra, a pre-school teacher, and Tamara, a field analyst at a charter school who conducts developmental observations, were certified as foster/adoptive parents by the Southern California Foster Family and Adoption Agency in August 2009, with the intention of providing a loving and stable home for children in foster care, eventually adopting children if they did not return to their birth families. The pair have done just that by adopting toddlers Isaiah and Ciara.
They took in Isaiah, a premature baby boy, knowing that he required much attention for his many medical issues. After Isaiah was placed in their home, twice weekly visits with Isaiah's birth mother began and continued for a year and a half into the placement, with a gradual tapering off of the visits to ease the upcoming adoption transition.
Once Sandra and Tamara learned of Isaiah's older sister Ciara, they voluntarily began making weekly visits to the medical facility where Ciara resided. Although Sandra and Tamara already had a full schedule with Regional Center and medical appointments for Isaiah, they were undaunted by the amount of care and assistance that these two children would need and happily welcomed Ciara into their home. Sandra and Tamara signed the initial adoption papers for Isaiah and Ciara on July 6 of this year and the finalization of the adoption is pending.
When asked about the amount of attention needed to care for these two toddlers, Sandra and Tamara do not believe they are doing anything exceptional.
"We are very fortunate to have their shining example as wonderful parents who have opened their hearts and home to two new toddlers," Rep. Schiff said.
Schiff also commended Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) for nominating 29th Congressional District resident, unsung hero, and social worker William Wong for the prestigious "Angels in Adoption" award. Wong has been coordinator of Los Angeles County's successful Wednesday's Child program for 10 years. Under his leadership, the program became a household name and has resulted in more than 400 adoptions.
The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute's (CCAI) Angels in Adoption Program is CCAI's signature public awareness program that provides all Members of Congress with the opportunity to honor the good work of their constituents like you, who have enriched the lives of foster children and orphans. On October 3, 4 and 5, each Angel is invited to attend various Angels in Adoption events in Washington, D.C., including the Pin Ceremony House and Reception and Gala, where all of the chosen Angels from across the country will be honored.
Rep. Schiff is a Member of the Congressional Adoption Caucus and welcomes nominations for next year's "Angels in Adoption" award. For information on how to submit a nomination for next year's award please contact Congressman Schiff's district office at 626-304-2727.