‘Blindside’ mom launching show to help adoptive families

New York City, N.Y., Jun 2, 2013 / 04:07 pm (CNA).- The mother whose story inspired the hit movie “The Blindside” has taken on a new television series to assist families in navigating the process of adoption.

“We are taking one family at a time and we are trying to make a difference,” said Leigh Anne Tuohy, adoptive mother of Super Bowl champion and offensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens, Michael Oher.

Ever since her family’s real life story of taking in – and eventually adopting – a teen from the streets has captured the public’s attention, Tuohy said members of the family have been offered spots on numerous shows, from “The Amazing Race” to “Undercover Boss.”

“We’ve turned them all down because that’s just not who we are,” she said in a recent press call.

However, Tuohy recently decided to get involved with UP’s “Family Addition” because “it just enhances our platform and our message” that “every child is valuable” and “every kid in every country of this world is valuable and worth having a forever family.”

Premiering June 7 on the cable television network UP, “Family Addition” will feature a different family each episode that is facing the challenges that come with adopting children.

From reorganizing homes to navigating the “maze of red tape” that is the adoption process, Tuohy wants to help parents all over the United States who are making the transition of bringing in new family members.

So far, the show has only filmed six episodes, but Tuohy said she hopes the network will pick up more so that they can help other families and “bring awareness” to how difficult the adoption process is in the United States.

Drawing the public’s attention to the situation will “hopefully help change some of the laws” and “at the same time make sure that every single child gets a chance,” she explained.

“We’re very simple people and God has picked us to tell a message,” she said.

“That is why we’re putting ourselves out there; because we want to make sure that people realize there are valuable kids in every city in the United States of America and all they need is a chance.”

While the process of adopting is “very difficult,” she said, so is “everything in life that’s worthwhile.”

“Stop thinking it’s the ‘Pollyanna’ perfect situation,” she advised. “We want people to know that it’s difficult, but all good things in life worth working for are difficult.”

Even if viewers are not looking to adopt children, Tuohy said they can still learn how to help adoptive families.

For example, one family on the show – the Jacksons from Los Angeles – adopted seven siblings in addition to their own biological kids. As a result, even the simplest household chore like laundry is a huge undertaking.

“You can show up and help somebody fold clothes,” Tuohy said. “You can make a difference and we want to make sure people are aware of the options.”

Ultimately, Tuohy said she hopes the show will drive home the message that “there are no unwanted kids; just unfound families.”

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