Becky Weichhand, executive director of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, passed away at 36 this week after a battle with cancer. There will be a celebration of her life held today at 11am eastern time, and you can stream it live by clicking here.
Following is a collection of comments on Becky and her legacy, either shared directly with The Chronicle of Social Change or posted on social media.
Former Sen. Mary Landrieu, a co-founder of CCAI, on Twitter:
Today we lost a special friend and a wonderful adoption advocate. Becky Weichhand, Executive Director of Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute passed from this world early this morning into the loving arms of God himself. We will continue our good work to honor the life that she lived.
Rita Soronen, CEO of the Dave Thomas Foundation on Adoption, which funds and partners with CCAI, to The Chronicle:
Becky brought passion, joy and grace to her work at CCAI, to everyone she touched and most importantly, the children and youth she served. Her loss is devastating, but we will continue to celebrate Becky and all that she taught us in the months and years to come.
Keri Richmond, a Foster Youth Internship Program alumna, to The Chronicle:
“I could go on for eons about the incredibly special woman Becky Weichhand was. Becky was one of the most generous people I will probably ever meet in my life. She cared deeply for vulnerable children and families and let her actions speak louder than her words.
She fostered family among the FYI’s and didn’t let that feeling stop when we graduated from the program. This woman went out of her way to make sure we knew she was family. Becky went as far as to let me move in with her not one time, but on two separate occasions. She gave a key to her home and her heart without being asked to do so. That was the kind of person she was.
She never thought twice about loving others, but she did think twice about how she loved. She was the most intentional person in each of her relationships. Her impact and legacy are far-reaching because of the way she cared so authentically for others. She is the epitome of what “be the change” looks like. Becky will be so missed, but I promise that her legacy will live on forever. ”
Regent University School of Law (from which Weichhand graduated), on Facebook:
Becky truly embodied Christian leadership that changed the world. Her life radiated Jesus Christ. While she will be sorely missed, we rejoice that just as she showed God’s kindness to children here on earth, she now resides in that lovingkindness forever.
Jane Krienke, an FYI alumna, to The Chronicle of Social Change:
Participating in the CCAI FYI program was transformative, not only for the professional skills I developed, but also for the relationships I formed. Becky always had high expectations for us because she could see our potential, even when we couldn’t see it ourselves. She pushed and encouraged me to be the best version of myself, professionally and personally.
She was a mentor, friend, always offerring advice, introducing us to professionals in our fields of interest, writing letters of recommendations and editing resumes. Most of all, she took an interest in who we were and what we wanted to achieve, then she pushed us toward that goal.
I had the privledge of working with her in the office the year I was the FYI Resident Assistant. I saw how hard she worked, how she poured her heart and soul into everything she did. Working for CCAI was her dream job. And because of that, she dedicated herself to its success and the success of us as FYIs. She loved us all so well.
Kelly Rosati, CEO of KMR Consulting, in a column posted by The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention:
In a climate where the witness of people of faith is sometimes marred by partisan excess, Becky was a consummate diplomat who worked with anyone and everyone who wanted to advance the cause of adoption.
Chelsea Cathcart, former director of programs for CCAI, on Facebook:
It sounds cliché, but anyone who had the pleasure of knowing Becky Weichhand, if even for just an instant, would agree with two statements simultaneously…
- The world was a better place with you here.
- The world is a better place because you were here.
Rest In Peace, dear friend.
Chris Palusky, president of Bethany Christian Services, on Twitter:
Becky Weichhand leaves a legacy of service for us all to emulate. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who knew and revered Becky as we at Bethany have.
Amnoni Myers, an FYI alumna, to The Chronicle:
Becky was someone who was truly special. She was one of the first people I connected to when I was a Foster Youth Intern; she was more than a supervisor and mentor, but she considered me her little sister. I would often sit in Becky’s office and talk with her about life, career goals, and religion.
Becky inspired me to always put my best foot forward; and to push myself forward even if others didn’t believe I could do it. She would often say “Amnoni, trust the process”, and I would roll my eyes at her and laugh, but deep down inside she helped me to believe in myself even more.
Becky radiated so much joy even through some of her darkest times. Becky was a gentle giant, who was fierce, fiery, yet passionate about her work with young people. She believed that every young person deserved to have a forever family and fought for that both domestically and internationally.
Her work ethic was mind blowing; and I admired her grit and determination to do whatever she could to help anyone around her. What I will miss most about Becky was her authenticity to live life to the fullest, and inspired others to do the same.
She gave me a canvas when I introduced Former First Lady Michelle Obama a few years ago which read ” Every once in a while we get a moment when all the world needs us to do is just stand there and sparkle” She indeed left a huge sparkle on this world.
Beth Weichhand Steere, mother of Becky Weichhand, on Facebook:
After a tough battle against cancer SHE HAS WON!… Heaven is a wonderful place! Tears are full… feelings are being felt… Becky has made an impact on her world and fulfilled her purposes in her generation.