Recently, I attended two events that demonstrated what can happen when someone has a vision and the determination to make it reality.
In recognition of its 40th year of creating families for children, the National Adoption Center inducted Carolyn Johnson into its newly created Adoption Hall of Fame. Carolyn, working from a wooden recipe box on her kitchen table, believed that no child was unadoptable; she gathered the names of children who needed families and prospective parents and began to make “matches.” From this beginning, she founded the National Adoption Center. Carolyn’s induction was held at the Center’s annual gala, Celebration of Family, in a room filled with children whose families had been created through adoption. I was thrilled to see Joyce Mosley and her son, Kevin. Joyce was the first single woman in Pennsylvania to adopt a child; Kevin, now 42, was two when his mom-to-be saw his photograph and description in The Philadelphia Inquirer. She says, “I knew from the minute I saw his face that he was going to be my son.” Kevin is now the father of two sons.
That Sunday, I attended another celebration, also focused on children—the official opening of the Miracle Field of Northhampton Township, Pennsylvania. Through the diligent efforts of a group of business persons, parents and media, children with special needs—even those in wheelchairs and on crutches—are now able to play baseball. I watched their first game with moist eyes. It was the culmination of a dream for these boys and girls who, for the first time, were able to swing a bat or hit a ball on a safe playing field. The field in Northhampton is one of 250 such facilities in the country, an undertaking that began a decade ago in a small town outside of Atlanta.
Both events made it clear that possibilities can become realities that make a difference in the way children grow up. Peter, an eight-year-old who wears a leg brace, slid into the first base with a teenage aide at his side. He grinned at those of us cheering in the audience, letting us know that he had found his “home.”