The Norman Transcript: Celebrating November as National Adoption Month

By:  Sen. Jim Inhofe
Click here to read at The Norman Transcript

It all started ten years ago, in the fall of 2004 at Oklahoma State University. 

That is when Bobby and Sara met. About a year later they were engaged, and they were married in 2006.Guided by faith, Bobby and Sara Alsup started their family and throughout the years became champions of adoption.

They had two biological children, Marli and Miles. But, after a long journey of learning about the conditions of children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, and Kenya, they opened their hearts and they opened up their family to adopt its newest addition, Elie from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Alsups’ recognition of the hardships that children who are in the adoption system face domestically and internationally as well as their dedication to finding more information about the conditions of children in the adoption system serves as a testament to the spectrum of ways others can help children in need of permanent, loving homes.

Everyone can do their due diligence for these children. Whether it is financially or emotionally extending help to others who are seeking to adopt; getting involved with your local foster care system; or actually welcoming a child into your home, these ways have a lasting impact on a child in need.

Currently, Sara is a Sole Hope advocate for the state of Oklahoma. Together with her husband Bobby, they also regularly serve as references for their adoption agency, which allows them to aid families who are starting the international adoption journey.

Through their journey, they learned that adoption does not come without difficulty but it is a way to live out their faith and help so many children that are marginalized.

I have personally experienced the spectrum of adoption through my own family. My work in Africa as a U.S. Senator exposed me to the countless number of children that are left without families due to famine, violence, and other challenging conditions. 

During one of my visits, my family became connected to a newborn baby girl in Addis Abada, Ethiopia, who was found in an impoverished neighborhood and her future was filled with uncertainty. Through the threads of adoption, seven months later my daughter Molly and her husband brought home that baby girl, who we’ve come to call Marie, to be a part of the family.

From the day we met her and through the entire legal process, she was already an Inhofe in our hearts.Because of her, my eyes were opened to the countless blessings that come with adoption and have since had the opportunity to hear the experiences of others, like that of the Alsups.

Adoption is an avenue for people to look outside of themselves and recognize the dignity of every person. Adoption also gives options for families that either have roadblocks to conception or have space in their hearts and homes for more children.

Therefore, for this month and every month, I urge Americans to consider adoption and in some way, big or small, help the nearly 255,000 children that enter our nation’s foster care system each year or the millions more who live in orphanages overseas.

Hopefully next year, through prayer and leaps of faith, the number of children in need of permanent, loving homes will diminish. But until then, let us keep these children and families in our prayers.

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe is the senior senator to Oklahoma and the co-chair of the Senate Adoption Caucus.