When he was an NFL head coach, Tony Dungy's success hinged on the decisions he made: Which players to put on the field, which plays to call, how to counter the other team's moves. But he's the first to say that none of those choices compare in importance to the choice he and his wife Lauren made to adopt.
The Dungys have seven adopted children, ranging from ages 3 to 18. They've had such a wonderful experience, they wrote a book to help encourage other parents to make the leap.
"Adoption is important because we want children to know that they're all valued and loved and special," Lauren said. We think it's important to get that message out so they know that they're special and secure and planned for and loved just like other children."
Their book, "We Chose You," tells the story of an adopted boy and his family. The Dungys hoped to undercut some of the hesitations some people have about becoming adoptive parents.
"They might fear that the bonding won't take place or that they have to be a super hero, but they just have to be a parent that can offer that love and security," Lauren said.
The book also includes lessons for adopted children to help them understand that they belong with their family.
"So many adopted children feel like 'Someone didn't want me. What happened? What's wrong with me?'" Tony said. "We wanted to turn that around and let them know you're special, someone did want you. Someone chose you."