The Vikings hosted the annual 'Adoption Family Fun Fest' at Winter Park on Tuesday, Dec. 2.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman and Executive Vice President of Football Operations Rob Brzezinski and their families recently hosted the annual Adoption Family Fun Fest at Winter Park.
More than 500 people in families that have been united by Children's Home Society and Family Services of Minnesota and EVOLE Adoption and Family Services attended the event that celebrates adoptions and raises awareness toward the need that children have to be part of a family.
Spielman and his wife, Michele, have six children through adoptions that have spanned the past 16 years. Brzezinski and his wife, Leah, adopted their five children.
"Adoption has a truly special place in our heart and for the Brzezinski's because we feel very strongly that every kid in this world needs a chance to have a family," Spielman told attendees. "God gave us the direction that we weren't going to have children on our own, but we're very thankful for the kids that we were blessed with."
Added Brzezinski: "Adoption is the greatest gift we've experienced in our life, and our family is a treasure, so thank you to all who are adopted families and parents."
The event included autographs from and photos with Vikings players Joe Berger, Cullen Loeffler, Jabari Price, Josh Robinson, Jarius Wright, Linval Joseph and Captain Munnerlyn, carnival style, football-themed games and activities, face painting and a behind-the-scenes tour that included a visit to the Vikings locker room.
Spielman's children were in state's custody when they were adopted through foster care. Unable to have children biologically, he and his wife learned about children who needed homes and realized "that's the way we were meant to have our family."
"It doesn't matter where you get your kids, but we truly believe every kid deserves to be part of a family," Spielman said. "It was very important for us to have a family. Everybody says, 'That's such a great thing you did,' but we don't look at it that way. We look at it as what a blessing that our kids give us the experience of being parents."
Berger, a parent of three children, also has experienced joy through adoption of his family's middle child, Blake, who will turn 5 in March.
"We can't imagine our family without him," Berger said. "I think it's great to see all these families together, a way to raise awareness, show the need for adoption and the option for adoption that maybe some people forget about."
Loeffler has been involved with the Le Sueur County Sheriff's Youth Project since his rookie season in 2004 and said he's enjoyed the opportunity to help Sheriff Dave Gliszinski, who retired this fall after 32 years, with the community initiatives. Loeffler presented a check for $7,500 from the youth project through the Vikings Children's Fund to go toward adoption efforts.
"It's been very easy to do, to give back and help families wanting to adopt children and make sure those children get in the right homes," Loeffler said. "It's a great thing to be a contributor and we're blessed we can make the contribution and are very humbled by being able to do that."
Loeffler said teammates enjoyed seeing the smiles on the faces of the young people as they enjoyed the activities with their families.