There's a local family who, despite their efforts to stay low-key, have been called out for their behavior in a major way –– and on a national scale.

There's a local family who, despite their efforts to stay low-key, have been called out for their behavior in a major way –– and on a national scale.

Daniel Matthews, Community Market director and longtime family friend, said Jason and Andrea Stasyszen have been selected to receive a national adoption and foster care award given by Congress for 2016.

Every year each member of Congress gets to select one family to honor as champions of adoption and foster care.

Congressmen Steve Russell heard about their story and selected them, Matthews said.

“The Stasyszen family has long had a heart for those who could have been lost in the system,” Russell said. Through the years they have fostered a number of children, and have adopted three of their four children.

In addition to their own personal experience with fostering and adoption, Andrea now works for the Oklahoma Department of Human Services as a recruiter for foster parents.

Russell said the family is well-deserving of the honor for all that they have done at home and in the community to continue to demonstrate a strong commitment to children in need.

“I congratulate the Stasyszen family on this recognition as true Angels in Adoption,” Russell said. “As the father of three adopted children, I am familiar with both the joys and unique challenges that come from adoption. Because of this, it is a tremendous blessing for me to get to honor others from Oklahoma who are willing to open their homes and their hearts to children in need.”

The couple just found out about the award a couple weeks ago.

“It's our passion and our heart,” Andrea said.

Andrea said she and her husband, Jason, are honored, ecstatic and humbled.

“We've been in foster care since 2003. A lot have come and gone,” she said.

Matthews said the couple has fostered more than 10 children over the years, and they have adopted three. One of them was an international adoption from Japan, he said.

“Andrea has also given her life to the cause, as she is now a DHS employee bringing new programs to encourage fostering and adoption to our county,” Matthews said.

“We have been taking a break –– allowing our kids to adjust from the move,” Andrea said. “We've been here about nine months.”

She said they must be ready because her 12-year-old reminded her that the family had plenty of love and space enough to bring another child into the fold.

The paperwork's been filed and once it's official, the Stasyszen family will be able to do just that.

“We should be up and running soon; we'll be back to being an active foster family sometime next week,” Andrea said.

She said, “We would've never expected it to change us like it has.”

The couple will be traveling to Washington D.C. in September –– with their four children in tow.

“We've done all this together so far, we may as well continue doing it,” Andrea said.

Matthews said it's always great when a local family receives a national award.

“It also brings attention to the great need for foster parents and adoption in our area,” he said.

You can reach Vicky O. Misa at (405) 214-3962.