U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns announced Tuesday his nomination of Dave and Laura Whelchel of Harrisburg, Neb., for 2012 Angels in Adoption.
The Whelchels have been foster parents since 2000. In addition to their two grown biological children, they've adopted four children in need of a home and are in the process of adopting a fifth sister.
Each of the adopted children came into the Whelchel home with special physical, occupational and speech therapy needs.
"I have the greatest admiration for Dave and Laura's dedication to helping these wonderful children and showing them the love every child deserves," Johanns said. "Additionally, they've selflessly donated their farm, time, and talents to create Camp Grace, a camp that helps children with special needs. I could not think of a more deserving family for this award."
Three years ago, the Whelchels opened Camp Grace, a summer camp on their property for other children with special needs. The camp is held once a month during the summer and is designed to help the children work towards specific therapy goals.
Camp Grace relies on the Whelchel's donated time and resources, as well as extensive coordination from volunteers and therapists.
Angels in Adoption is a program that honors those who have enriched the lives of foster and adopted children in the United States.