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September 29th, 2009
Congressman Grijalva Announces Yuma Family as 2009 Angels in Adoption? Award Recipient

Washington, D.C. – A local Yuma family, nominated by Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva, will be honored in Washington D.C. this week as a recipient of the Angels in Adoption™ Award.

Congressman Grijalva nominated James and Virginia Avelar for their tireless efforts on behalf of adoptive and foster children.

The Avelar family consists of James and Virginia Avelar and their 14 children. The Avelar’s have raised their 9 biological children and 5 adopted children despite the constraints and stresses of being a military family. The couple is currently fostering two additional children.

The newest member of the Avelar family, Megan Renee, was a patient at Yuma Regional Medical Center where Virginia Avelar works as a registered nurse. Despite Megan’s premature birth at only 26 weeks and various medical complications, including cerebral palsy, Virginia and James knew they had to make this little girl part of their family. With the help of Catholic Community Services, the couple finalized the adoption on Megan’s first birthday in March of 2008. In spite of all they’ve already given to so many children, the Avelar’s still feel as though their family has room to grow and will finalize the adoption of two more girls in November.

“I am pleased that the Avelar’s unrelenting efforts to offer a stable home to children have not gone unnoticed,” said Grijalva. “By continuously opening their home and their hearts to children in need, the Avelar’s embody the term “angels in adoption”. It is an honor to recognize their efforts for their commitment to provide loving homes to the children of Arizona.”

The Angels in Adoption™ Award is given out by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) at their annual Angels in Adoption™ Award Gala. The award is given to individuals or organizations who strive to help children in need of homes. The CCAI is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization seeking to raise awareness both in Congress and the general public about the tens of thousands of foster children in the U.S.

Each year, CCAI offers Members of Congress the opportunity to nominate individuals or organizations in their home communities to be recipients of the award.

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