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Angels in Adoption

The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization dedicated to raising awareness about millions of children around the world who need loving homes. Each year, the CCAI honors individuals, couples, or organizations across the country who have made an extraordinary contribution in the lives of children through adoption or foster care through a program called Angels in Adoption. I welcome suggestions of residents within Michigan's 7th District who have enriched the lives of foster children and orphans. Please contact my office with recommendations by calling 517-780-9075.

2020 Winner: Tim and Michelle Haylett of Hillsdale

Tim and Michelle Haylett Hillsdale

Tim and Michelle Haylett knew for years that they wanted to be short-term, emergency foster parents for children facing challenging home situations. After their three sons were grown, Tim and Michelle carefully designed a place affectionately called “Camp Haylett,” which has served 35 foster children in the past three years. In addition to being foster parents, the Hayletts are part of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Hillsdale, a non-profit organization that advocates for foster children in the court system. Tim serves as CASA’s Board President, and Michelle is a volunteer.

2019 Winner: Janet Sanford of Jackson

Twenty-three years ago, Janet Sanford knew that she wanted to be a mother, but she never dreamed she would foster 164 children, adopting ten of them along the way. Her ten adopted children include Sera, 34, Brittany, 33, Dawnn, 26, Tosha, 25, Nick and Nora (twins), 21, Marissa, 19, Bree and Audrey (twins), 17, and Derek, 15. She currently also has five foster children in her home. Janet is truly an Angel in Adoption to all the children and families whose lives she has touched over the years.

2018 Winner: Emily Wilburn of Jackson

Emily Wilburn is a special education teacher at Hanover-Horton Schools and the mother of Raya, age 4, and Teddy, age 2. A few years ago, Emily was interested in adoption and attended an adoption orientation meeting. She ended up being moved by the need for foster parents, and knowing she could offer children a loving, safe environment, she applied to be a foster parent. Soon after she was asked to foster Raya, and later on, her biological brother, Teddy. After a time as their foster parent, Emily went on to adopt both children.

2017 Winner: Larry and Sherry Majewski of Lambertville 

Since 2000, the Majewskis have adopted eight children from China. Their family of eight daughters now includes Mya, 17, Maylin, 15, Ivy, 13, Katy, 12, Aneyah, 9, Fayth, 8, Brynn, 6, and Bailey, 3, who was adopted in April 2017. The youngest five girls each have special needs, and three of them have spina bifida, including Bailey.

2016 Winner: Matt and Sheryl Mohr of Hudson

The Mohrs were nominated for this national award because of their selfless example and commitment to improving the lives of special needs and foster children in Lenawee County. In the past six years, the Mohrs have opened up their home to 26 foster children. In addition to their five biological children, they have also adopted five children and are in the process of adopting two more—for a total of 12 children. To support other foster and adoptive parents in the area, Sheryl currently serves as President of the Lenawee County Foster and Adoptive Parent Association.

2015 Winner: Shawn and Sharon McClurg of Jackson

The McClurgs were nominated for the award because of their selfless example of giving orphaned children the forever family that they deserve. Since 2011, the McClurgs have adopted five special needs orphans, starting with Rey, Maxim, and Sasha—three siblings from Ukraine. In 2013, they adopted Cora from China. Most recently, in June of 2015, they traveled back to China to adopt Min. The McClurg family also includes two biological sons, Michael and Shawn.

2014 Winner: Dick and Kathy Caskey of North Adams

Dick and Cathy Caskey have five biological children and have given 16 adopted children a loving home. The Caskeys feel every child deserves to be in a home where he or she is cherished and have opened their hearts to special needs children over the years that have been challenged with blindness, epilepsy, autism, cerebral palsy and other difficulties.

2013 Winner: Heather Tritchka-Stuchell of Hillsdale

Heather Tritchka-Stuchell was chosen for her advocacy on behalf of the needs of children. She and her husband, Greg, are the parents of Chloe and Olivia, a special needs child born in Taiwan and adopted by the couple. Heather also serves on the board of the local Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children (CASA) program.

2012 Winner: Carl and Kathy Macomber of Jackson

Carl and Kathy Macomber served as foster parents and later adoptive parents, adopting two special needs children in addition to having two biological children of their own. Kathy also participates in CARES (Children Are Reachable Every Second), a ministry focused on assisting foster children and supporting foster and adoptive families.

2011 Winner: Ted Chen of Battle Creek

Ted Chen was the Director of Learning and Innovation at the Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, and he advocated for innovative projects at the Foundation that provide post-adoption services and training to support and empower transracial adoptees. He and his wife Joyce have adopted two children from China.