As a baby, country music star Rodney Atkins had already experienced tremendous pain. He battled a serious staph infection, was orphaned in a Tennessee children's home and had been adopted and returned to the orphanage twice in his short life. Rodney was finally adopted by the people he now calls his family and today he's a rising star in country music and a spokesperson for the National Council for Adoption. Dr. Angelou talks with Rodney and Pamela Davidson of the NCFA about adoption and the organization's goals.
Rodney says he may have inherited his birth parents' genetics, but the love he's received from his adoptive family runs thicker than blood. "I think the things that make us who we are—our values, our morality, our spirituality, our work ethics—they come from our families, they come from the people who we're around," he says.
As a spokesman for the NCFA, Rodney is sharing the story of his adoption with people around the country and is encouraging loving families and individuals to adopt. Pamela says she hopes Rodney inspires people to not only adopt infants, but older children, including teenagers. The foster care system is where many children often end up until age 18, and then Pamela says many of those kids are put on the streets and are totally on their own. "We are working hard to change that attitude that as a child gets older, they are not adoptable," she says.
With Rodney's help, Pamela says more children may have a shot at being adopted into a loving family. "We would really like to change the perception and the attitudes toward getting these kids out of foster care and giving them loving permanent families that they rightly deserve," she says.