By Hope Bolinger | Echo
"I thought that being adopted was my adoption story. I didn't realize it was just the first chapter."
Thus said Kerri Angell about the process that began 34 years ago when her parents adopted her and her three-month-old twin. Although she and her husband, Conor Angell, had always viewed adoption as a viable way to start a family, the calling for their family to add another member through this process marinated slowly for Kerri Angell until January, after the birth of their second child, when the "What if we adopt?" transformed into a "Why not?" question.
When Kerri Angell approached her husband with the proposal to adopt, he prayed and researched. He soon began running into adoption stories around every corner. Through all these encounters, he felt at peace about the decision, and the couple began the first of four major steps in the process in March: the homestudy.
Persevering through mounds of paperwork, which included items such as doctor approvals and 10 hours of adoption training, the couple has entered the final stages of the homestudy and will soon venture onto waiting for a referral. During this second step, Kerri and Conor Angell will wait for a call that the international adoption agency has matched them with a child.
Amidst the overwhelming busyness of the homestudy paperwork, the couple came up with an idea of a fundraiser to help with the cost of the adoption, encouraged by friends.
"It started with our love of music," Kerri Angell said.
The couple reached out to various artists, particularly in the Taylor community, to perform at the event. The Angells selected members of Taylor because they believe this community has a particular heart for adoption. Some of the singers included Jeff Cramer, Matt DeLong, Joe Ricke, Jim Spiegel, Wengatz Hall Director Josh Craton, senior Erin Davis and Conor Angell himself.
Spiegel, who wrote a song for the event, encouraged students and faculty to attend Adopting an Angell.
"There is more musical talent among our faculty than they realize."
The Alicia Keys "If I Ain't Got You" performer Craton expressed thoughts along a similar vein. "The faculty at Taylor works really hard to support and care for their students, and this is a fun, easy way to give back," Craton said. He asserted how the event offers an opportunity to participate in the community, rather than just being a part of it.
Conor Angell encouraged students to attend the event to see Taylor's community show off their musical abilities, even if those who come do not know the Angells.
"It's a performance really," Connor Angell said. "It so happens that it's to support the adoption."
Having found several volunteers within Taylor's borders, the couple also enlisted help from the community.
First, Ryan James, assistant professor of art, and his wife, Sara, offered their house for the event's location. Then, the Angells branched out to local shops to contribute to a silent auction that will take place during the Sept. 15 event.
Vendors such as the Taylor bookstore, The Bridge, facepainter Darlene Smithers, The Marion Philharmonic Orchestra, Lawson's Nursery, Muncie Children's Museum and even Lowe's contributed for the auction. Some items the attendees can expect to find will be tickets from the Philharmonic Orchestra, homemade t-shirt quilts and baby moccasins, to name a few. Those who come can also expect to find various treats and coffee for sale.
For frugal members of the Taylor community, Davis still encouraged all to attend.
"Don't be afraid of coming if you feel like you can't donate. If you can only afford the 3 dollar entrance fee, still come!"
She mentioned how students can also enjoy hearing their fellow peers perform outside of the typical show tunes and classical songs the music majors tend to showcase.
Whether to support the Angell family, adoption or local musicians, one can attend this event Sept. 15 from 6-8 p.m. Adopting an Angell will be located outside the James' house at 256 W. Spencer Ave. But, in the case of rain, the event will take place at UCC. Admission is $3 and all who attend are encouraged to bring a chair or blanket.