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West Virginia Family Receives National and Local Award for Family Adoptions

Senator Jay Rockefeller congratulates Ken and Vanese Cedar as West Virginia’s 2012 Angels in Adoption™ award recipients for their outstanding advocacy for children in foster care and those going through the adoption process. The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI), which orchestrates the Angels in Adoption™ program, will honor the Cedars, along with more than 140 Angels, at an awards ceremony on September 11 and gala event in Washington D.C. on September 12.

Ken and Vanese Cedar have been foster parents with KVC Behavioral HealthCare West Virginia for 25 years and have opened their home to more than 55 different children. Ranging from infancy to late adolescence, the children placed with the Cedars have had a range of mental health, behavioral, and developmental issues. They have assumed guardianship of three children, adopted three children, and have also raised two biological sons. The Cedars have a particular strength in maintaining a sense of structure and consistency in the face of difficult circumstances. They consistently go above and beyond for the children in their care and for the foster care program itself, by actively involving the children in their care into their daily family routine, volunteering to serve as mentors for new foster parents in the area, and by helping to recruit new foster families in the area. The Cedars were also recently named 2012 KVC West Virginia Foster Parents of the Year at the KVC Foster Parent Picnic in Logan, WV.

The Angels in Adoption program is CCAI’s signature public awareness campaign and provides an opportunity for all members of the U.S. Congress to honor the good work of their constituents who have enriched the lives of foster children and children needing a safe and permanent family in the United States and abroad.

“The Angels in Adoption program is unlike any other program in the Nation’s Capital. Because of it, more than 1800 “Angels” have come to share with Washington their adoption experience and left with a renewed excitement of all that adoption makes possible,” said Kathleen Strottman. “I learned one simple lesson from my time on the hill, knowledge is power. Angels in Adoption is meant to give members of Congress the knowledge they need to use the power they have toward making the dream of a family a reality for every child.”

In addition to the more than 140 Angels from around the country, several “National Angels” will also be recognized at the ceremony and gala for their dedication and commitment nationally and internationally to child welfare on a grand scale. This year’s National Angels in Adoption are actress Katherine Heigl, singer/songwriter Josh Kelley and PEOPLE Magazine. Former National Angels include First Lady Laura Bush, Patti LaBelle, Jane Seymour, Muhammad Ali, Dave Thomas, Steven Curtis Chapman, Bruce Willis, Alonzo Mourning, Rhea Perlman and Kristin Chenoweth.

The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) is a 501(c)3 nonpartisan organization dedicated to raising awareness about the tens of thousands of children in the United States and the millions of orphans around the world in need of permanent, safe, and loving homes through adoption. CCAI’s goal is the elimination of the barriers that hinder these children from realizing their basic right of a family.

The Angels in Adoption program was established in 1999 as a Congressional press conference to honor outstanding individuals. Since then, the program has developed into a yearlong public awareness campaign culminating in an extraordinary awards Gala and celebration in Washington, D.C.