September 17, 2008
VSB Employee Named ‘Adoption Angel’ by National Group
Lydia M. Maddox, an assistant in the office of the Virginia Lawyer Referral Service at the Virginia State Bar, was honored as a 2008 Angel in Adoption during a ceremony September 16 in Washington, D.C..
She was chosen for the award by U.S. Sen. John W. Warner of Virginia through the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, a nonprofit organization that raises awareness of children in need of loving, safe homes and eliminates barriers to adoption.
Four Virginia families were among the 130 adoptive families and organizations recognized.
Maddox, who lives in King William County and is single, became involved through Third Union Baptist Church in caring for nine siblings who were removed from a local home by social services workers and put into foster care.
Two of the children, now aged twelve and seventeen, were taken in by Maddox’s mother, Burrell Maddox. As Lydia Maddox helped care for them, she decided to adopt them. On November 28, 2007, the adoption was finalized, and Lydia, Tameka, and Lyric Maddox officially became a family.
Lydia Maddox took her commitment further. “Ms. Maddox … has made it a clear mission on her part to keep the children in touch with their siblings before and since the adoption,” according to the biography Warner submitted to the coalition. “Not only does she make sure that her children stay in touch, but she goes out of her way to visit with the other siblings wherever they have been placed to make sure they are all in touch with each other. She has been the ‘link’ for all nine of the siblings.”
Maddox works in the VSB’s Richmond office, where she answers calls from persons who are seeking legal assistance and matches them with lawyers from the Lawyer Referral Service panel. She formerly worked briefly for One Church, One Child – a Richmond organization that works with churches to encourage adoption.
Maddox said her new role as mother gives her opportunities to “do things that my mother actually did with me and my siblings,” and “enjoy childhood again as seen through their eyes.”
Of the other seven children, two are old enough to live independently, three are in the process of being adopted, and two are still in foster care.
“Ms. Maddox has a big heart and has ‘adopted’ into her life these nine children, even if she has only legally adopted the two,” the biography stated.
Photo above (left-right): Burrell Maddox, Lyric Maddox, Lydia Maddox, U.S. Sen. Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana, and Tameka Maddox display Lydia’s Angel in Adoption Award at a ceremony in the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C. Landrieu serves on the board of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.Updated: Oct 09, 2008