Debbie Velie has been involved in adoption work for 23 years and currently serve as the Domestic Program Director for New Beginnings in Tupelo, MS. Her passion for adoption began 30 years ago when she and her husband adopted two baby girls from Korea. Their arrival changed their lives!
Of her experience traveling to Washington, DC to accept the Angels in Adoption award, Debbie says, “It was a tremendous honor to have been nominated for the Angels in Adoption award. It was a great experience to be able to be involved in the activities in Washington D.C. It was enlightening to visit with various members of Congress. The banquet was an especially fun part of the events in which we participated. We enjoyed Laura Ingraham and Nia Vardalos. I had the opportunity to speak with Nia and have a photo with her at the conclusion of the banquet. I cannot say that I had a favorite event, as the entire experience was fun and it was rewarding to meet others who are also passionate about the concept of adoption.”
As the Domestic Program Director for New Beginnings, she works with birthmothers who she says are “my heroes” and adoptive parents who are some of the most incredible people she has been privileged to know. Debbie’s husband serves as the President of New Beginnings and he is also an Angel in Adoption recipient. Her beautiful daughters are both married and have blessed her with three amazing grandchildren. The blessings of adoption just keep coming in Debbie’s life. She says, “I can't imagine our lives without our daughters and am thankful for the sacrifices that are made every day by those who are involved in adoption work - both domestic and international. Thank you, CCAI, for the work you do to promote adoption and for honoring individuals and families whose lives are touched by adoption through Angels in Adoption.”
“Out of the many awards I’ve received, the one that means the most to me is the Angel in Adoption award. This award is truly a highlight of my continued effort and hard work to move foster children to adoption in permanent homes. Thank you, CCAI.”
-Judge Peter Sakai, 225th District Court, Bexar County, San Antonio, TX
“Since receiving the award we have expanded twice to represent even more children. We often look back on the award and remember how important it was to our morale as a young office just starting out and doing things a bit differently than everyone else. One of the highlights of the award ceremony was actually the day after when we got to meet with Representative Wexler in his office. It was a rare opportunity to discuss children’s issues one on one with a member of Congress. Both Representative Wexler and the CCAI encouraged us to keep on fighting as hard as we can for permanent homes for foster children. We continue to strive to deserve the award the CCAI bestowed on us every time we go to court on behalf of an abused child.” -The Foster Children’s Project, Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, West Palm Beach, FL
Each year, CCAI sponsors Angels in Adoption™, our signature public awareness program, which provides a unique opportunity for Members of Congress to honor an individual or entity that has made an extraordinary contribution on behalf of children in need of homes.These heroes hail from all 50 states and the District of Columbia and represent the wide spectrum of individuals involved in the adoption and foster care process. Because of this program, over 1600 “Angels” have come to Washington in celebration of adoption and left with a renewed excitement of all that adoption makes possible.
In addition, CCAI recognizes the work of a select number of “National Angels in Adoption.” As the name implies, a “National Angel” is someone whose impact on foster care or adoption is nation or worldwide. Previous National Angels in Adoption™ winners include: Muhammad Ali, First Lady Laura Bush, Patti LaBelle, Jane Seymour, Dave Thomas of Wendy’s, Antwone Fisher, Alonzo Mourning, and Bruce Willis.