Angels in Adoption

By Dusty Johnson (R-SD)

Rep. Dusty Johnson

November is National Adoption Month which is why on behalf of the state of South Dakota, I would like to congratulate Sarah and Terry Reyelts for being selected as 2021 Angels in Adoption honorees.

In addition to having two biological children, Sarah and Terry welcomed three children into their family through adoption. Now parents to five children from ages 3 to 21, Sarah and Terry say all the children’s different personalities have perfectly completed their family.

Like so many couples that adopt, they saw a need—a need for children in South Dakota to have a place to call home—and they filled that void. More than 117,000 children are eligible for adoption each year, and I am humbled by so many South Dakotans commitment to our state’s most vulnerable individuals.

When Sarah was asked what she would say to those thinking about fostering or adopting, she gave a simple response: “Do it. Beyond the great need, especially in South Dakota… people forget to focus on the blessings in what these children do for you, not just what you do for them. They’re a delight and such a blessing, so don’t think about it too much, and if God puts it on your heart, just do it.”

Fostering is equally important, and throughout Terry’s career in law enforcement he’s witnessed the value of it firsthand, saying that many biological parents just need to “get themselves right before they can handle the family dynamic again.”

A stable and permanent family is so critical in a developing child’s life. Through foster care or adoption, these children have a safe haven they otherwise wouldn’t. The Reyelts family is an incredible example of how just one couple can change the lives of so many children.

Thank you to all foster and adoptive families for being true heroes to kids throughout our state.