By Maggie Wade
Forty-five contestants are competing for the title of Miss Mississippi 2008. Among them are three contestants who share a common bond.
They were all adopted and now they are working to make sure families understand the importance of providing permanent homes for children in foster care.
Community service is a huge part of the Miss Mississippi Pageant. The contestants must choose an issue and then volunteer to make a difference. The choice was easy for three contestants this year.
Miss Meridian, Danielle Smith made her first appearance at Miss Mississippi last year. She was chosen fourth alternate. Miss Meridian is an advocate for adoption. She was adopted at birth.
Smith says "I was in the third grade, and my little friend Danielle Gwynn, I remember the story
to this day, came to the school and said, do you know your were adopted, and I was like
no way. And she was like yes you were, and she showed me this newspaper article written on
my dad in the Meridian Star and there it read his two wonderful adopted children Drew and
The Mississippi State student says being adopted was never an issue for her.
Smith adds "I don't wake up every day, yawn and say Oh, I'm adopted today. It's something
that is part of my life."
Miss Northeast Mississippi Community College, Katrina Lynn Mays, was also adopted at birth by her grandparents.
Mays says "Adopted children are loved just as much as biological children because my mom was also adopted by the same people. So, we just really had a home that's been surrounded
by adopted kids. And it's just been gread. It's been a good life."
Abby Boykin, Miss William Carey University, is making her third appearance at Miss Mississippi. She and her brother were adopted at birth.
Boykin says "It is truly a blessing to know that I was given the gift of life. My birth mom
could have made another decision, and I would like to thank her for that someday.
Boykin says she is searching for her birth mother and has written her a letter.
She adds " I know she was young and she couldn't afford a child. And I think that was
wonderful that she knew, that she was mature enough to make that decision.
Boykin, Mays, and Smith say by winning the Miss Mississippi crown they can bring more awareness to adoption and the need for more adoptive families.