WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) has nominated Ellis and Bess Callands of Upper Marlboro for this year’s Congressional Angels in AdoptionTM Award. The Callands raised five biological children and then provided foster care and later adopted six special needs children.
“The Callands selflessly took it upon themselves bring six special needs children into their home and hearts,” said Senator Cardin, who nominated the Callands for the Award. “Adoption is a real gift that can provide a child with a stable, loving family and the Callands did it six times. The Callands are an inspiration to all of us and what they have done shows that a family does not have to be biological — it just has to be built on love and support. ”
The Callands became foster parents and ultimately adopted the children they fostered. The first two boys they adopted are siblings. One is bipolar and the other has IED and was born addicted to cocaine. The boys are now 19 and 17 years old. They then adopted a girl who came from a family of heroin users. The three youngest children are sisters who were sexually abused and neglected. The girls had no home training when the Callands first met them. Their biological mother has mental health problems, was molested, and is HIV positive. The Callands fostered the girls for five years before adopting them and now they are 12, 10, and 9 years old.
The Congressional Angels in AdoptionTM program is sponsored by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI), which is a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to raising congressional and public awareness about the tens of thousands of foster children in this country and the millions of orphans around the world in need of permanent, safe, and loving homes. Senator Cardin is a member of the CCAI’s Advisory Board. The Angels in AdoptionTM program was created in 1999 to raise public awareness of the many different ways that committed individuals can help children and families through adoption.