|By Marketwired .||
|October 2, 2013 01:00 PM EDT||
COLUMBUS, OH -- (Marketwired) -- 10/02/13 -- Rachel Crow, The X Factor standout, Nickelodeon star and Columbia Records recording artist, will serve as spokesperson for the 14th annual National Adoption Day, held this year on Nov. 23, 2013.
Celebrated annually on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, and held during National Adoption Month in November, National Adoption Day raises awareness of the more than 100,000 children in foster care waiting to find permanent, loving families. It is also a day to draw attention to more than 26,000 children each year who turn 18 and age out of the foster care system without families to support them in the future.
Crow,15, was adopted from foster care as an infant after being removed from an unsafe and unhealthy situation. Her family later expanded to include her sister, Hannah, also adopted from foster care.
"My mom likes to tell me about the first time she met me. She walked into a room, took one look at me, and knew right away that I was her baby. It was love at first sight, and it gives me chills every time she tells the story," Crow said.
Raised on a farm surrounded by country music, Crow began singing as a toddler. She sang her first song, "Breathe" by Faith Hill, at just 18 months. She later went on to enter talent contests at local fairs and decided by the age of 5 that she would be a performer.
At age 13, Crow packed her bags and set off to Los Angeles with her family. She wowed Hollywood, and the rest of America, the minute she opened her mouth at an audition for the first season of The X Factor. Her powerful voice echoed the soul of a past generation, and her spunky, sweet and sassy personality endeared even the most jaded heart.
When asked by Simon Cowell what she would do with the $5 million prize, Crow began to explain how her extended family lived in a modest two-bedroom house and it was getting a bit crowded. Laughter erupted, and even Simon chuckled when she added, "And I'm a girl. I need my own bathroom!"
Each week, she brought the audience to their feet with stunning renditions of songs like "If I Were a Boy" by Beyoncé and "Mercy" by Duffy. Jaws dropped when she belted out Etta James' "I'd Rather Go Blind" and turned the Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way" into a lovely ballad. Crow was a top finalist in the competition and signed a record deal with Columbia Records/Syco.
"I know my dreams would not be possible without my family. I discovered what I love to do: use my creative talents and gifts to bring a smile to other people's faces. My family has been right there with me every step of the way," Crow said. "If it weren't for my mom, dad, sister, grandma, aunts, uncles and entire extended family, I never would have been able to stand in front of Simon Cowell and sing one of Beyoncé's songs. That takes strength that only a family can give you."
Crow has also acted on Nickelodeon's comedy series, FRED: THE SHOW, Big Time Rush and Figure It Out. Nickelodeon is currently creating a new show starring Crow.
"Rachel's passion for making dreams come true inspires all of us, but she offers her brightest light for children in foster care," said Rita Soronen, president and CEO of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and National Adoption Day coalition member. "Her love, optimism and achievements can show children who are often facing their darkest days that hope is possible. She shows them every day that they should never give up on their dreams."
In 2012, more than 4,500 children were adopted by their forever families during National Adoption Day celebrations in almost 400 cities across the United States. Thanks to the efforts of adoption advocates, policymakers, judges and lawyers, approximately 44,500 children have been adopted from foster care on National Adoption Day since it began in 2000.
"I'm here today to tell kids in foster care one thing: Love is going to find you always," Crow said. "There is an amazing family out there just waiting to call you their own. Until you meet, don't lose hope and keep love within your own heart."
The National Adoption Day Coalition created the One Day Project to give hope to children waiting in foster care, and to encourage others to adopt, by sharing their stories of what their "one day" in the adoption process is like. The coalition is asking families, adoptees and adoption advocates to submit a short video about their adoption story, a few words of encouragement or why they support National Adoption Day.
For more information about the events taking place locally and foster care adoption, please visit nationaladoptionday.org.
National Adoption Day Coalition partners: Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Freddie Mac Foundation, Children's Action Network, Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute and the Alliance for Children's Rights.
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