Adopted Celebrities Share Their Stories

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LOS ANGELES — Jamie Foxx, Faith Hill and Keyshia Cole hope to help children find homes for the holidays.

Speaking backstage last month after filming their appearances for the CBS special "A Home for the Holidays," Foxx, Hill and Cole shared how they coped with being adopted and why they performed for the show, which offers a mix of musical entertainment and information about child adoption.

"I was lucky," said the Oscar-winning Foxx ("Ray"). "I was adopted at 7 months, but the lady who adopted me also adopted my mother, so I had a relationship with my biological parents, also."

Country superstar Hill was also adopted as an infant, but after hitting adolescence had to fight off the adoption stigma. "When kids would call one another names, they'd say, 'You act like you're adopted.' And I'd always get 'em good, because I'd say, 'Well, I am adopted. So what do you think about that?' " she said.

The special, which airs Tuesday, was the brainchild of Dave Thomas, the Wendy's restaurant founder. Thomas, who was adopted, created the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption in 1992.

Soul diva Keyshia Cole said, "My personal story was my mother was on drugs all my life and she didn't get a little bit better until I became 'Keyshia Cole the Celebrity.' Maybe it was a good way for her to see herself _ that your daughter has become so much and she's become so big."

The show will feature musical performances by Hill's husband Tim McGraw, as well as Kristin Chenoweth, Gavin Rossdale and Melissa Etheridge.

Etheridge, a mother of four, adopted two children with former partner, director Julie Cypher. It wasn't lost on Etheridge that her involvement in the special came just days after Arkansas voters approved a law banning gays from adopting children.

"Our homes are good homes," Etheridge said, who also has twins with current partner Tammy Lynn Michaels. "We're hard-working people. We love. We live. We can raise people to be members of society. It is a crime to keep children who could be in a loving home away just because those two parents are of the same sex. It's a crime. It's just a shame."

Hill, who hosts and performs on the special, said "I believe it's over 20,000 children have been adopted because of this show. So when this show was viewed in any state, in any area, it just helps get the word out. It encourages people to really look inside their heart, and pick up the phone and ask, 'Where can I adopt a child?' "