Super Bowl Brings NFL Adoption Stories to Indy


Although the Indianapolis Colts were not even contenders in the run for the Super Bowl this year, Indianapolis residents watched the playoffs closely to see which teams might arrive in our city for the biggest football game of the year. No doubt, many of you were tuned in when the Baltimore Ravens missed a field goal kick that cost them the game and sent the New England Patriots on their way to Indy for Super Bowl XLVI. It was a heartbreaking loss for the Ravens, and those of us in the adoption community were thoroughly disappointed as Ravens’ Offensive Tackle, Michael Oher (The Blind Side), lost out on a chance to play in the 2012 Super Bowl.

Michael Oher became a fan favorite after his story was made famous in the 2009 movie The Blind Side. For those of you who have not seen The Blind Side, it is highly recommended. The Blind Side is not your typical adoption story; however, the feeling that adoption chose you (rather than you choosing adoption) may be familiar to many who have gone through the process. The Tuohy family saw a child in need and acted immediately. What they found was that their lives were changed forever by Michael, who would ultimately become their son. The movie ends with the 2009 NFL draft when the Baltimore Ravens brought Michael Oher onto their team, where he has been a favorite for the past couple years.

Oher isn’t the only NFL star with an adoption story. DeMarcus Ware of the Dallas Cowboys, and Pro Bowler Luther Elliss are both adoptive fathers. Retired wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad adopted two daughters from Ethiopia, and St. Louis Rams’ Bryan Kehl, one of six adopted children in his family, recently learned that his birth father is former NFL player Maurice Turner. It doesn’t stop with the players either, when you tune into the Super Bowl game on Sunday, take note of 11 year old New England Patriots fan James Gale. James will be the lucky boy handing the game ball to an official moments before kickoff. James was adopted from Africa six years ago at the age of five and was the winner of this year’s “NFL Super Kid” contest. We hope James enjoys this once in a lifetime opportunity and hope you are starting to see that adoption is everywhere. Enjoy the game, everyone!

Stacy Jacobs is the MLJ Adoptions Associate Program Director for Eastern Europe and Latin America. She is the mother of four children, three biological daughters and one son adopted from Guatemala.