Senator David Perdue selected Amanda Smith Alexander, of Fort Payne, as a 2015 Angels in Adoption awardee for her outstanding advocacy of adoption issues.
The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI), which orchestrates the Angels in Adoption program, will honor Alexander at an awards ceremony Oct. 6 and gala Oct. 7 in Washington, D.C.
“I had wanted to adopt since I was a small child,” Alexander said. “I also worked at Riverview Camp for Girls in Mentone during a summer break and had a child in my cabin who was adopted from Eastern Europe. We felt God was leading us to adopt from Russia.”
Alexander and her husband Bryan adopted a little girl named Anna from Russia in 2008. Anna’s diagnoses include severe RAD and FAS. Alexander has sought out therapies and treatments all over the country for Anna, while raising their biological daughters, Sara and Lucy. Alexander is also stepmother to twin boys, Tyler and Tanner.
Alexander is a graduate of both the University of Alabama and Freed-Hardeman University. She retired early from her career with Tennessee Valley Authority to be a full time advocate for Anna.
Alexander has reached out to many other adoptive parents who are experiencing the ups and downs of adoption and disabilities. She set up a closed Facebook group to support parents through the special needs journey. She deals with helping children with special needs such as RAD, FAS/TBI, ODD, Autism, DID/dissociation, and more. It’s a place to talk to other parents going through similar issues and challenges. Alexander said it’s about supporting and loving children.
With her new baby, a 4-year-old daughter, a child with severe RAD and FASD, and her mother – who was diagnosed with breast cancer this year, Alexander still makes the time to support other parents on their adoption journeys.
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 orphans in the United States and abroad. This year, more than 150 “Angels” are being honored through the program.
“The Angels in Adoption Program is a unique annual opportunity in the nation’s Capital to shine a well-deserved spotlight on the power of adoption and the unspoken heroes who have made the dream of a family a reality for children,” said Becky Weichhand, executive director at CCAI. “Since the program’s inception, over 2,200 ‘Angels’ have come to Washington to share their firsthand adoption experiences with members of Congress, highlighting its joys, as well as the barriers encountered in the process. Members of Congress are then able to use their new experiential understanding of these issues to create policy improvements that better support these children and the families that open their hearts and homes to them.”
In addition to the more than 150 Angels from around the country, national honorees will be recognized at the gala for their dedication and commitment nationally and internationally to child welfare on a grand scale. This year’s National Angels in Adoption honoree is singer Rachel Crow.
Former national “Angels” include Korie and Willie Robertson, Deborra-Lee Furness Jackman, First Lady Laura Bush, Patti LaBelle, Jane Seymour, Muhammad Ali, the late Dave Thomas, Steven Curtis Chapman, Bruce Willis, Alonzo Mourning, Rhea Perlman and Kristin Chenoweth.
CCAI is a 501(c)3 nonpartisan organization dedicated to raising awareness about the tens of thousands of orphans and foster children in the United States and the millions of orphans around the world in need of permanent, safe and loving homes through adoption.