Local couple honored as Angels in Adoption

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The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute honored Walla Wallans Kris and Anne Harrison as Angels in Adoption at an awards ceremony Saturday and a gala on Sunday in Washington, D.C.

Nominated by Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, the CCAI recognized the Harrisons for their role in promoting adoption in the community.

Kris is a pastor here. With three biological children, they found they had a strong desire to adopt, according to a release.

Anne blog when they first started the process, “We want to adopt because we love. We love our kids. We love that our kids are so loving to others. And we want to share that love with more and more people. It is weird to think that we can already love a child that we’ve never met, but that is how we feel.”

The Harrisons just celebrated the one-year anniversary of the adoption of their two children from China, and are seeing progress in both kids’ health.

Their 21/2-year-old son’s development progresses as he lives with cerebral palsy. Their 5-year old daughter’s health “is a miraculous story of healing.” When they met her, it was believed that she had cancer of the eye socket.

The couple considered if the child’s condition would be better addressed if she lived her remaining time in a known environment instead of transitioning through the adoption process. Deciding whatever time they had with her would be a gift, they adopted.

When they got home in July 2013, and after surgery, the biopsy diagnosis said it was a recurrence of cancer – devastating news. But when the doctors called back two days later, they said further testing showed it was not cancer after all, and now she is cancer free.

In recovery mode, she’s learning English and folding into the family quite nicely. Within the next six to eight months, she’ll have a prosthetic eye.

Harrison said it’s been awesome to see how God is working in their family, and they are blessed in living a way that reflects God’s love.

The Angels in Adoption program is CCAI’s public awareness campaign and provides an opportunity for 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. Each year, more than 140 angels are honored through the Angels in Adoption program.

Angels in Adoption annually spotlights the power of adoption and those who have made the dream of a family a reality for children. Since the program’s inception, more than 2,000 Angels have shared their firsthand adoption experiences in Washington with members of Congress.

In addition to the more than 140 angels from around the country, several national angels will be recognized at the gala for dedication and commitment nationally and internationally to child welfare on a grand scale.

Honorees in 2014 are Shonda Rhimes, creator of “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Private Practice” and “Scandal,” and Dr. Jennifer Arnold and husband Bill Klein of TLC’s show “The Little Couple.

See more details at www.ccainstitute.org and www.angelsinadoption.org.

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