In December, 2015, my Dad received the Cincinnati USA Chamber’s Women Empowerment Award in recognition of his life long role in mentoring women.
In honor of Mother’s Day, it seems fitting to share an excerpt from the nomination letter submitted to the Chamber’s Women Excel awards committee by Sheryl Linne, the Director of Adoption Professionals, a private adoption agency in Cincinnati.
When I joined Keating, Muething and Klekamp as the only woman attorney in the firm, Bill was quick to offer friendship helping me to feel less isolated. We both are habitual “early birds” and arrived at work around 7 a.m. each day. I remember many early morning conversations when I solicited his counsel on everything from corporate law governance to dealing successfully with the firm’s senior partners.
Although it was not discussed between us, Bill realized that my husband and I wanted children desperately, but were unable to start a family. We were quietly, but unsuccessfully, trying to adopt for several years. The disappointments were crushing.
One day Bill walked into my office, handed me a card and said, “Call this number, NOW!” The number was that of a Middletown lawyer who had successfully placed three children for adoption with one of Bill’s clients. I called the number and eight days later we were blessed with a newborn daughter.
Eleven years after adopting our daughter (and a second), I founded an adoption agency and asked Bill to become the President of our Board of Directors. Although many lawyers would have declined this volunteer position because of the time commitment required and the tremendous liability involved, Bill readily agreed.
For over 13 years, Bill provided legal counsel when the situation warranted, but more importantly, he served as a sounding board and coach as we addressed together the many ethical issues which have arisen in placing over 250 babies for adoption. His support and commitment to this important work has been unwavering. After every single placement we made, Bill sent me a personal note of congratulations and encouragement.
Bill has provided the guidance and mentoring which has enabled over 250 women to realize their own “Mother’s Day” and he has been involved in the support programs and scholarships for the birth mothers who have made the most courageous and selfless decision a mother could ever make. In recognition of Bill’s commitment to all of these mothers, we have renamed our birth mother scholarship the Bill Keating, Jr. Opportunity Scholarship in his honor.
– Sheryl Linne, Director, Adoption Professionals
Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers, especially the birth mothers who made the selfless and loving decision to put their baby up for adoption and gave adoptive mothers the opportunity to be a mom too.