Published November 30, 2015
This time of year let’s keep in mind those Cherokee children that need a loving, nurturing home. As we celebrate Thanksgiving and make plans for Christmas and a New Year, I hope there are Cherokees families out there that can find a place in their homes and in their life for a Cherokee child who desperately needs a permanent home.
We are in need of Cherokee families who are willing to be adoptive parents. This month is national adoption awareness month and our dedicated staff at the Cherokee Nation Indian Child Welfare department is actively recruiting families. We have an incredible case load not just within our 14-county jurisdiction, but also throughout Oklahoma and across the United States.
Principal Chief Bill John Baker
We are currently working with 1,561 Cherokee children. That number has increased since last year at this same time and although we have more approved homes, we also have more kids to protect. These are beautiful Cherokee kids who deserve to feel the loving warmth of a committed family.
The essence of the holiday season is giving thanks for what you have in your life and finding a way to share that bounty. I truly believe when you give of yourself and your home, it’s an investment in a brighter and better future for yourself, for our communities and for our tribe. The energy and love you provide will return to you a thousand fold in the joys you get back.
Our tribal values have always made our children a priority, and we raise our youth so they can one day assume their role in whatever God has planned for them. A safe, loving home can make all the difference in the world to a child and our Cherokee children should have the opportunity to grow up in a loving Cherokee home, where they remain connected to our culture and our heritage.
Sometimes it seems daunting to think about changing the world as individuals. But you can change the world for a Cherokee child. You can become a life changer and make a true difference in the eyes of a young boy or girl. That is a powerful feeling.
I encourage any Cherokee family that has considered becoming an adoptive or a foster family, to look inside your heart this celebratory season and ask yourself “Why not?” If you have the desire, financial security and the love, adoption is the gift of a lifetime to help a child in need.
These kids are our most precious resource and a critical part of our brighter future at the Cherokee Nation. They are our legacy as a tribe and as Cherokee people. I encourage you to visit www.cherokeekids.org to be part of the solution for them this holiday season.
Bill John Baker is the principal chief of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.