published Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Ellen DeGeneres show surprises Hixson family with car, Sam’s gift card

Tim and Kathleen Collins appear with their adopted children, Godfred, Joseph, Philip and Clinton, with Ellen DeGeneres on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," which airs today. 
Photo contributed by Michael Rozmon/Warner Brothers.
Tim and Kathleen Collins appear with their adopted children, Godfred, Joseph, Philip and Clinton, with Ellen DeGeneres on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," which airs today. Photo contributed by Michael Rozmon/Warner Brothers.
Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
  • photo
    Tim and Kathleen Collins pose for a photo with their adopted children, from left, Godfred, Joseph, Philip and Clinton. The family is scheduled to be on the "Ellen" show today.
    enlarge photo


“The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” in which the Collins family from Hixson will appear, will be telecast on WRCB-TV — Comcast cable channel 4 — today at 4 p.m.

Follow us on Twitter for the latest breaking news

Ellen DeGeneres surprised a Hixson couple who had adopted four children from Africa on her talk show Monday by presenting them a $15,000 Sam’s gift card and a new Toyota Camry.

The talk show host had invited Kathleen and Tim Collins and their four sons, Joseph, 8, Philip, 5, Godfred, 9, and Clinton, 13, less than two weeks ago to share their story. During the taping, which airs on WRCB-TV today at 4 p.m., she presented them the gifts.

Mrs. Collins had written the show to share her story, according to a show publicist.

The couple, who also have three grown children in their blended family, initially wanted to adopt a child from Haiti following the country’s 2010 earthquake.

However, because that country’s government halted adoptions, the Collinses learned of another adoption source in the West African country.

When, following a mountain of paperwork, they were approved to adopt, they decided to adopt one child but wound up with three, Godfred, Joseph and Philip, when they adopted the original child and his two brothers,.

“They got over there, saw the boys and fell in love with them,” said Mrs. Collins’ father, Phil McGregor, “and didn’t want to break up the family.”

This past summer, they returned to Teshie, Ghana, to adopt Clinton, who was the brothers’ best friend at the orphanage and who humbly promised to eat just one meal a day if he could join them.

Clinton now attends Hixson Middle School, while the other three are enrolled at McConnell Elementary. All three boys like to play soccer and quickly learned how to swim, ride a bike and speak English.

On Monday, since a limousine already had been ordered, Mrs. Collins was trying to marshal her troops to get dressed and get a bite to eat before being whisked off to the show.

“They’re nervous but excited,” she said. “I have no idea what all is going on.”

The official invitation for the whirlwind trip to Burbank, Calif., for the show was made Friday, and the family is scheduled to return this evening.

“They filmed nine hours [Saturday] at our house,” said Collins.

When DeGeneres originally called to invite her on the show, the Hixson woman saw the call was coming from California, figured it was a wrong number and didn’t bother to answer it, McGregor said.

Then, he said, she got curious, called the number back and learned it was connected to the talk show. Eventually, he said, the host did call her back.

Kathleen Collins is a math teacher at Sequoyah High School, while Tim Collins is a self-employed carpenter.

Sequoyah principal J. Todd Jackson said Mrs. Collins has taught at the school for nearly 20 years.

“She very experienced, very caring, very giving [to] her students,” he said. “She’s very much involved with them personally — with mentoring her students.”

Follow the latest Chattanooga news on Facebook

about Clint Cooper...

Clint Cooper is the faith editor and a staff writer for the Times Free Press Life section. He also has been an assistant sports editor and Metro staff writer for the newspaper. Prior to the merger between the Chattanooga Free Press and Chattanooga Times in 1999, he was sports news editor for the Chattanooga Free Press, where he was in charge of the day-to-day content of the section and the section’s design. Before becoming sports ...

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.

This is a wonderful story!Congrats to the Collins and the young men, I wish the family much happiness.

November 15, 2011 at 7:59 a.m.
fiberopguy said...

Great story and all , but what about the kids in America first?

November 15, 2011 at 1:18 p.m.
Shock said...

Dear Fiberopguy - maybe you could share your personal experiences in adopting American children with us so we can better understand what it was this family did incorrectly for you to question their generosity.

November 15, 2011 at 1:24 p.m.
XGSBoss said...

Wow, a real knuckle dragging, non-educated, beastiality loving troll!! ShayNayNayNot, for the ones that visit here after she is banned and wonder what I am refering to.

November 15, 2011 at 2:38 p.m.

@ ShayNayNayNot - Before you preach about sub-human species you should conduct a spell check. There’s nothing more I can say to you because you don’t seem to comprehend intelligence judging by your post. Also it pleases me to inform that I’m black and my husband is white and we’re going to have beautiful missed race babies! OH THE HUMANITY!!!

PS – If you want to diss a race pick a better username, no one uses “ShayNayNay” anymore, that’s soo 90s

November 15, 2011 at 3:51 p.m.
lightkeeper said...

@ ShayNot- I would like to see you stand your prejudice behind in front of the Lord when you die and tell him that and see what he does..."BLAM" "Twa-la" ROASTED ShayNaNa NOT!

November 15, 2011 at 3:58 p.m.
01centare said...

I'm not agreeing with fiberopguy, but I do wonder about these sudden interests in African and Haitian children. I'm also concern that once the fad wears off where might these children end up. Not to say this couple isn't sincere. However, there are some cases out there where parents who adopted foreign children and abused them.

Seattle Times has a story about such an adoption where the adoptive parents are being charged with murder. Here's a excerpt from the story:

"Hana Grace-Rose Williams came to Washington state from Ethiopia in 2008 with ringworm, cold sores, parasites and hepatitis B. But none of those things killed her.

Instead, Skagit County authorities say, 13-year-old Hana died because her adoptive parents chronically starved her, abused her and left her outside on a cold May night with inadequate clothing.

On Thursday, more than four months after her death from hypothermia, Carri and Larry Williams, of Sedro-Woolley, were arrested and charged with homicide by abuse in connection with the death of their adopted daughter.

A report on her death concluded she'd died from "a culmination of chronic starvation caused by a parent's intentional food restriction, severe neglect, physical and emotional abuse and stunning endangerment."

It just makes one wonder. Especially as America and Europe have come together again to invade and occupy various countries in Africa and this sudden love and rush to adopt little African children.

You can go to Seattle Times dot com for more on the story. As I'm not sure if it's allowed to post the link here.


November 15, 2011 at 4:49 p.m.
SavartiTN said...

Congratulations to the Collins family. Adoption is a great thing.

And to all of those that wonder about American kids that need a home, here is a website to the children just in Tennessee waiting for a permanent home.

There are nearly 100 children listed there. Many of them getting close to being to old to adopt.

November 15, 2011 at 7:12 p.m.
lightkeeper said...

@ShayNayNay-there's two places for evil screwed up in the head people like you, Moccosin Bend and hell! May the Lord be with the Collins family for their love for children no matter what color they are.

November 15, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.
Legend said...

I applaud anyone who is will to adopt a child or children for all the right reasons. That is to provide them with a loving home. That said, however, we see a lot of caucasions adopting children of different races and nationalities, but are other races and nationalities allowed to adopt caucasion children? I can recall only one case where a black family tried to adopt a white child after the mother died that they'd basically raised from an infant. That black family was turned down, although they were the only family the child ever knew. The reason the courts gave was they felt the child needed to be reared in an environment of her own race. As someone implied, it does seem like these adoptions came on suddenly. Hopefully, when the excitement wears down many of these children so far away from their own homes and culture won't end up being tossed into the foster care system or worse.

November 15, 2011 at 7:40 p.m.
Oz said...

Congratulations to the Collins family. The smiles on the faces of the boys in the family photo says it all. God Bless.

November 15, 2011 at 8:14 p.m.
01centare said...
November 15, 2011 at 8:20 p.m.
dao1980 said...

Again, wow.. Shay, I bet you get invited to all the fun parties, and enjoy a multitude of rewarding relationships afforded to you by your wonderful outlook on life.

In all actuality, I find it hard to believe that your not just trying to make us all laugh.

November 16, 2011 at 8:25 a.m.

@ShayNay: First of all, watch your mouth because I’m not promiscuous and not that it’s any of your business but I’ve only EVER been with one man in my life, my husband. Furthermore if you are the representation of your race and my husband is a traitor THANK GOD FOR THAT! Now I see what my husband is talking about when he speaks about how “white” people like you make it hard for white men/white people all over. I put white in quotations because I don’t believe you deserve to be called white or Caucasian. He tells me how when he encounters minorities sometimes they assume he’s racist or has prejudice thoughts or views and expect him to treat them badly, only to be surprised by his color-blindness after getting to know him. YOU sir/madam, are the race traitor because you intentionally go out of your way to portray your race in a disgusting deplorable manor. After all is said and done people like you are nothing but a mixture of anger, self-hatred, and Godlessness dwelling in one body. I know the only way for me to prosper and receive God’s love is for me to forgive you like the good Lord forgives me of my sins. I’ll pray for you.

Now since I actually have a life I'll no longer engage in your pointless and idiotic posts but I just wanted to let you know that no matter what you think or feel, the world will NEVER be the way you wish it was, filled with hate,rage,separation, and degradation so its as if your grasping at the invisible air. I take peace in knowing that.

Good day, God forgive.

November 16, 2011 at 8:55 a.m.
Haiku said...

So many of these foreign adoptions sometimes end in tragedy and disappointment that it would be interesting to know if there's any tracking done to see how the children and families fair at a later date. Does America or these foreign countries that allows these adoption commit themselves to checking on these children at least until they're 18 or older?

November 16, 2011 at 12:33 p.m.
dao1980 said...

I notice there are a few comments missing from this thread that were obviously vulgar and inappropriate enough for deletion..... Here is another one for deletion the next time the comment cops amble out of their cave to save our eyes from the "unreadable".. It's the first one, right up at the top, you can't miss it....

November 21, 2011 at 4:48 p.m.
please login to post a comment

Other National Articles

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.