Hit songwriter J.T. Harding was recognized in Washington D.C. earlier this fall as an Angels In Adoption honoree by the 2023 Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute’s Angels in Adoption program.
Harding was nominated for the honor by U.S. Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) for his work with adoption, including his “Write Like a Rockstar” contest, which offered fellow adoptees a chance to co-write their own song with him which he recorded.
“I was honored to nominate J.T. for the Angels in Adoption program,” said Senator Hagerty. “J.T. exemplifies the heart and soul of Tennesseans by caring for and advocating for our most vulnerable. I heartily congratulate J.T. on this outstanding achievement as he continues to make a positive difference in the Volunteer State through his hard work and dedication to bolstering foster care and adoption.”
“As a child, my parents encouraged my love for music. To think I met Senator Hagerty at one of my songwriter shows and then chosen as an Angel In Adoption is truly a full circle moment and I’m very honored,” says Harding about the honor.
The Detroit area native was adopted as a baby and in a twist years later found out his biological father was actor Jay Thomas. He detailed his unique life journey in his 2022 memoir/songwriting how-to book Party Like a Rockstar: The Crazy, Coincidental, Hard-Luck and Harmonious Life of a Songwriter. Harding’s songs have been recorded by Keith Urban, Blake Shelton, Kenny Chesney and many others, and he’s achieved multiple No. 1 hits and over one billion streams on Spotify to date.
“Being adopted has given me an incredibly optimistic view of life. Whenever life throws me a curveball, a disappointment or a roadblock, I remind myself that I was adopted by the Hardings (the greatest parents ever), and that the universe has had my back since day one,” he says in the autobiography.
The Angels in Adoption Program allows Members of Congress and their staff to learn first-hand about adoption and foster care efforts taking place within their state and across the country. The Angel honorees have the opportunity to travel to D.C. to meet with congressional offices and other child welfare advocates to hone their advocacy skills, share their experience and expertise and leave feeling empowered to continue on their good work and inspire others to do so as well. The program also draws national and local media attention to raise public awareness about the positive difference adoption and fostering makes in the life of a child.
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