WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters Thursday recognized Calumet residents Cassie Harris-Berryman and Erik Berryman as his 2019 Angels in Adoption. The Angels in Adoption program recognizes constituents for their advocacy and efforts in adoption and foster care.
“The Angels in Adoption program is an important way to recognize the work of Michiganders who are devoted to improving the lives of children in care,” said Senator Peters. “It was an honor to nominate Cassie and Erik this year. They have opened their homes – and their hearts – to make a positive difference in Calumet, and I commend all they do to ensure more children have the support of a loving ‘forever family.’”
“In the last ten years, Erik and I have grown the size of our family – and in doing so, we’ve been able to see how fostering and adopting children can change lives for the better,” said Cassie Harris-Berryman. “We appreciate Senator Peters’ efforts in elevating these important issues and are honored to join others from across the country.”
Cassie and Erik were married in 2005 and licensed for foster care in 2010. They received their first foster care placement that same year. They have adopted seven children, each of whom have various special needs, including ADHD, reactive attachment disorder, seizure disorder, anxiety, depression, premature birth, low birth weight, chronic heart condition, speech and language impairment and more. They are fierce advocates for the needs of their children, with appointments almost every day of the week. They encourage extracurricular actives, reading, music, ballet, theater, church activities and associations to enrich their lives, keep them thinking and learning.
The Angels in Adoption Program allows Members of Congress and their staff to learn first-hand about adoption and foster care efforts taking place within their state and across the country. The Angel Honorees have the opportunity to travel to D.C. to meet with congressional offices and other child welfare advocates to hone their advocacy skills, share their experience and expertise, and leave feeling empowered to continue on their good work and inspire others to do so as well.
Peters is a member of the Foster Care Caucus and the Congressional Coalition on Adoption. Earlier this year, Peters reintroduced bipartisan legislation to help states identify and meet the needs of children who come into contact with both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, also known as dual status youth.