WASHINGTON – They’re a family Red Sox nation knows well, but what many people don’t know is the Harrington family represent several generations of adopted families.
All John Harrington’s sons are adopted and his three grandkids are too. “We know that families are built. You build families and we come from a family where three generations across both of our families have adopted,” Christina Hall said. She co-founded an adoption advocacy group called “Foster On” with her sister Jessica Harrington.
Tuesday, John’s daughter-in-law Jessica and her sister, Christina, who also adopted a son, were given the “Angels in Adoption” award on Capitol Hill for their work with adopted teens. The award has previously gone to Muhammad Ali and Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas.
“We’re trying to really provide a voice for the foster youth, foster parents and adoptive parents to get their story out – to say this problem exists, these kids exist and there’s no unadoptable children,” Jessica said.
Their organization, Foster On, began because Jessica wanted to find a way to help teens who “age out” of the foster care system. Jessica’s own children were just becoming teens themselves.
“When they turn 18, or in some states 21, essentially they’re cut off financially and emotionally from all of the support they’ve had and I can’t imagine doing that to my children, you know the day they turn 18. I have three kids who are teenagers and I know they need me now more than ever,” said Jessica.
Their goal is for no teen or young adult to age out without a family and a home. And they’re hoping to raise awareness that family doesn’t always come from a gene pool.
It comes, as they say, from the heart.