South Dakota Family Honored for Work Assisting Families Interested in Adoption
Countless children around the world and in the U.S. are in need of safe, permanent homes and the love and support of a family. Providing a child with a loving home is truly one of the greatest gifts anyone can give. I am a member of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI), which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the millions of children waiting to be adopted around the world. Each year, CCAI invites Members of Congress to nominate an outstanding family or organization from their state to receive an Angels in Adoption award. This year, I nominated Wes and Kimberly Roth of Summerset, SD.
After getting married in 2009, they felt called to begin their family through adoption. In 2011, they made two trips to Ethiopia to bring home their son Kaleb. According to Kimberly, at that time, Ethiopian adoptions were running quite smoothly and the process was fairly reliable. When they decided to adopt a second child a few years later, the wait time for adoptions in Ethiopia was much longer than they expected. So in 2015, they decided to adopt their daughter Elsie from China, where the need for adoption is great, especially for special-needs children.
Wes has worked in the office of Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) since 2005 as a constituent services representative, where he has assisted many adoptive families with immigration applications and paperwork. Outside of work, he volunteers his time at adoption events at church and serves on the Board of Directors for Bethany Christian Services Rapid City branch. Kimberly volunteers at adoption events throughout the Black Hills and has helped raise money for families going through the adoption process. Kimberly also runs a Facebook group for adoptive families to give advice and answer questions about the complex process.
We asked the Roth’s what advice they would share with other families thinking about adoption. Kimberly said, “You don't have to know it all and have it all in order to be 'ready to adopt’. If you feel that nagging nudge that just won't go away, give the idea an honest discussion. The whole process won't be sunshine and rainbows. There will be worries, exhaustion, fears and uncertainties. But, that is what parenting is about.” She also suggests joining a support group, either in person or online, to seek out community so it doesn’t feel like you’re going through the process alone.
Wes and Kimberly are very deserving of the Angels in Adoption award. I can’t thank them enough for the work they do in our state to help couples realize their dreams of starting a family. Their commitment to building strong, healthy families through adoption is an inspiration to us all.