Weekly Columns

Our country is shaped by individuals who take initiative to serve others. In Arkansas, we can give thanks for all these givers who are willing to serve causes greater than themselves.

Two individuals who embody this ideal are Monticello’s Hiller and Marilyn Suber. The couple opened their home and hearts to Arkansas teens in need of a loving and safe place to live more than 20 years ago. Since then, they have welcomed more than 350 young Arkansans in the foster care system into their life and mentored them to stability and success. The Subers were recently recognized by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) as 2022 Angels in Adoption. 

Since 2001, CCAI has played a vital role in eliminating barriers standing between orphaned and foster children becoming part of a loving family. Through its signature public awareness program, Angels in Adoption, CCAI annually recognizes outstanding individuals, families and organizations that have made extraordinary contributions to adoption and child welfare.

In Arkansas, we are fortunate to have many other angels. Like the Subers, families and organizations all across our state are working to ensure children can live their best lives.

Hundreds of kids in our state are waiting for a permanent home. As part of National Adoption Month, in mid-November, 15 children were united with a loving family during an adoption celebration in Pulaski County.

As a member of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, I am pleased to support efforts in Arkansas and all across the country that put love into action and make a positive impact on the wellbeing of children.

I’ve championed legislation in the Senate to expand the ability of families to welcome children into a permanent home. This is often a costly process, which is why I cosponsored the Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act. This legislation would make the existing federal tax credit for adoption expenses fully refundable so it’s more affordable for families to expand through adoption.

In recent years, the Arkansas legislature has taken action to decrease the number of children in foster care. Programs like The CALL and Project Zero help place children in loving homes, while facilities like the Young Children’s Home provide a family atmosphere for many young people and prevent them from being moved far away or separated from their siblings while in foster care. 

We are blessed to have families like the Subers who are setting an amazing example for others across Arkansas and the nation. As we join with our family and friends around the Thanksgiving table, let us consider the call to serve the children around our state and across the nation in need of a forever home.