November is National Adoption Month. Children across the state of Florida are waiting for someone to become their heroes through foster care or adoption.
Every child deserves a safe and loving upbringing.
Children need a home where caregivers invest in their lives and respectfully guide them toward becoming successful adults.
Yet, many children grow up in homes where such a positive atmosphere isn’t a reality.
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Only six out of 10,000 adults choose to become foster parents, yet hundreds of children throughout Florida can be given a safe home through foster care or adoption.
How can you be part of providing stability for these children during the most formative years of their lives?
It starts with one child.
We have been football coaches for a combined 52 years — from youth development teams to Super Bowl Champions. Through those experiences, we both have seen the power of teaching men at every age life lessons on and off the field. Nothing is more satisfying than molding men at every age.
We both have seen lives transformed through the literal and figurative adoption of these young men. Tony has seven adopted children and he and his wife have served as foster parents. Mike also is an adoptive parent and has served the Florida Department of Children & Families for more than 26 years, helping oversee the adoptions of thousands of Florida kids.
All Pro Dad and the Florida Department of Children & Families (DCF) are seeking to rally parents across Florida to provide loving homes and environments through either foster care or adoption.
This might sound daunting or difficult, especially when we tell you a child’s life and future are hanging in the balance. But, we can each do for one what we wish we could do for every one of these children. And together we can take on this task.
Just like a football game is won, one first down at a time, the overwhelming number of children who need a loving home can dwindle, one child at a time.
You can change the life of one child because you are not alone when you take on this endeavor. All Pro Dad and DCF have resources to help. Interested parents can download “The 4 Joys of Foster Parenting” and “Overcoming the 6 Fears of Foster Parenting” at AllProDad.com/Foster to start the conversation on how you and your spouse can help change a child’s life.
To see the amazing kids available for adoption in Florida, visit adoptflorida.org/.
One of the greatest joys in life is having the opportunity to watch a child develop and grow. Join us in stepping up for Florida’s children. We can both say from personal experience that the investment you make in one child’s life will positively transform your life more than you could ever imagine.
If you’re considering foster care or adoption, call 1-844-4FL-KIDS (1-844-435-5437) to take your next steps towards being a hero in a child’s life.
Tony Dungy serves as the national spokesman for All Pro Dad, a national fatherhood organization. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August. For more information, visit allprodad.com.
Mike Carroll is secretary of the Florida Department of Children & Families.