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Waiting For Adoption
 

There are over 435,000 children in foster care in the United States.
Over 110,000 need adoptive homes right now.
About 20,000 age out of foster care every year, at age 18 without anyone, to live on their own, unprepared and unsupported.

Can you change the life of a waiting child?
Can you adopt? Can you foster? Or maybe you can start a Heart Gallery or volunteer for one?

newsbriefs

Look Below!



What is the Heart Gallery?

The Heart Gallery is a traveling photographic and audio exhibit created to find forever families for children in foster care. The Heart Gallery of America is a collaborative project of over 80 Heart Galleries across the United States designed to increase the number of adoptive families for children needing homes in our community.

Now, in its sixteenth year, the Heart Gallery model is being replicated in many communities across the country. Although many of our children were removed from abusive and neglectful situations, they still have hope. They love to laugh, to learn, and to be with their friends. Most of all, they dream of finding a forever family to be their own.

Photos That Change People's Lives (click below for video)


Heart Gallery of the South Plains Visits Lakeridge UMC in Lubbock

The Heart Gallery is a unique photography exhibit designed to raise awareness of children who are waiting to be adopted. The traveling exhibit features Lubbock and area children who desire nothing more in life than to find a loving family and a "forever home". It is our hope that these inspirational portraits will encourage people to look into the magical eyes of these children and become involved by adopting or fostering.

In Case You Missed It

All this month, stop by Cardi's Furniture Rt. 2, W. Warwick to see Adoption Rhode Island's 13th Annual Heart Gallery. This compelling exhibit features portraits of children who are waiting in state care for "forever families" (families that will adopt them). Through these powerful images, witness the spirit, the strength, the innocence and the challenges of beautiful children waiting for that which is rightfully theirs..

Colorado Heart Gallery on display at SouthGate Church in Fort Collins

The Colorado Heart Gallery, a traveling photography display featuring photographs of children and teens in foster care waiting for an adoptive family, will be on display at SouthGate Church, 6541 S. College Ave. Ft Collins, CO 80525. Tuesday–Friday, 9 am-1:30 pm and Sundays during church services, 10-11:30 am. The Colorado Department of Human Services and county human services agencies need help finding families for 267 children and teens in the foster care system waiting to be adopted, many of whom are featured on the Colorado Heart Gallery. In Larimer County, where SouthGate Church is located, three children and teens are waiting for a family.

Kansas Klicks for Kids Heart Gallery visits Manhattan

Klicks for Kids is a traveling photography exhibit featuring Kansas children in foster care needing adoption.Over half the children in foster care in Kansas are over the age of seven and originally come into foster care through no fault of their own — many times abuse and neglect is involved. Although the goal of foster care is to work with families toward safely returning the children to their home, sometimes that is not possible and that is when the professionals get involved to find families to adopt these children.

Join Us to Learn More About Florida Teen and Sibling Adoption

Heart Gallery of Pinellas & Pasco is hosting an open house in partnership with Family Tyes Counseling and Consulting, LLC, for families that have inquired about or are interested in adopting teenagers and sibling groups. We hope you can join us for an evening of learning and sharing with industry professionals! RSVP to megan@heartgallerykids.org .

Live Near Springfield Illinois? Save the Date!

Learn about the Illinois children in need of foster care and adoption through foster care. This town hall style event features foster care licensing agencies in and around Springfield, Illinois. We also feature a keynote speaker with an amazing foster care to adoption story. Whether you have your foster care license, or not, this is a great way to learn how to start or continue your journey through foster parenting and learn about opportunities regarding adoption through foster care. (Do you know that the majority of the foster care licensing process is now available online? Yes, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) has made the licensing process much more user friendly.) A breakfast of bagels, fruit and coffee will be served. This free event begins at 9:00am and ends at 12:00pm. You are welcome to stay till 1:00pm to talk with individual licensing agencies.

South Carolina Heart Gallery Visits Edwards Road Baptist Church in Greenville

The South Carolina Heart Gallery is a photo exhibit displayed in the main hallway that features adoptable children from the SC foster care system. Local photographers donate their time and services to photograph the waiting children. The Heart Gallery basically puts a face on the need by letting people see these children's faces in the photos. The goal is to raise awareness of the need for adoptive families and to hopefully find homes for these kids by letting their personalities shine through the pictures.

Families are For Everyone

Methodist Children's Home Society is recruiting foster homes within Macomb County so children who reside in that area can continue to reside there and within the school district once they are placed within foster care. Click the link above for more info on becoming a foster parent.

Anna, Age Eight: The data-driven prevention of childhood trauma and maltreatment

Slowly and silently, emotionally and physically abusive experiences can have long-term and life-long consequences depending on the survivor's and family's access to treatment. Everyone is harmed, directly or indirectly, as the trauma is passed from generation to generation. The book suggests a series of shockingly modest yet strategic reforms, changes that can ensure that the future systems of protection in every community are better at identifying their own shortcomings and fixing them.

Central Oregon Sees Shortage of Foster Homes

It’s a nationwide problem that’s uprooting kids in Central Oregon from their schools, friends and communities. A shortage of foster parents is hitting rural areas hard. Cherie Ferguson from the Department of Human Services is responsible for finding and retaining foster parents in the tri-county area. She said Friday that Jefferson County is being hit particularly hard. There are currently only four general applicant homes, which are ones that can take any child, but there are 49 kids in the Jefferson County foster system. Because of this, only 21 of them are currently able to stay within the county. This adds more stress to an already tough situation. "They have to be placed with a family that's new to them," Ferguson said, "and then if they don’t have a family that's in their hometown, then they have to go to a new school. They have to make new friends at school, new teachers, a whole new environment for that kiddo. So their natural support system is really just taken from them."

South Carolina Adoption: A Guide to Adopting

South Carolina isn't just home to the famous Myrtle Beach; it's also home to many families seeking adoption opportunities and resources to begin their journey. Whether you are looking to adopt, looking to place your child for adoption, or searching for information about home studies and where to begin the process, the following information will be useful for adoption in South Carolina. Includes information both about infant adoption and foster care adoption.

Heart Gallery New Mexico Newsletter to Foster and Adoptive Parents

Click here to read, on-line, Heart Gallery New Mexico's Newsletter to Foster and Adoptive Parents: Meet 15-year old Juliana, Support from the Southwest Carpenters Union, 2018 In Person Adoption Matching Events for licensed families, Book Review: An Epidemic of Childhood Trauma, about Welcoming the abused child into your home, and about the January Schedule of the Fiesta Project for couples who have adopted or want to adopt.

More children in the foster care system because of drug abuse

"It went from crack to meth and now we're seeing heroin," said Michelle Bearman-Wolnek, Executive Director of the Heart Gallery, a nonprofit organization that helps place children in foster care with permanent loving parents. Michelle Bearman-Wolneck, director of Heart Gallery Alabama, is seeing more children wind up in foster care systems across the country as a result of drug abuse. From October 1, 2016 through September of 2017, 185 children from Jefferson County and 84 in Shelby County were placed into foster care due to a parent’s drug abuse. "Whether it be a parent's drug abuse and their inability to care for their children because the drug has taken over their body and they have neglected their children and these kids have come into care." The state doesn't track the drug of choice, Bearman-Wolneck said it's clear what's happening, though. Heroin abuse is sending more children to foster care.

Heart Gallery spotlights older kids needing a home

More than 100,000 children are in foster care waiting to be adopted. About 200 of those children can be found across the Hoosier state. This is according to the Indiana Department of Child Services.

Wisconsin's Brown County Needs Foster Parents

In an effort to answer questions and dispel any myths associated with foster parenting, the county is hosting a series of informational sessions throughout the year for anyone interested. "You can be a single person, you can be married or you can have a partner," said Schupp. "What we are looking for is people to provide stability and love to our kids." If you would like to learn more about becoming a foster parent in Brown County, the county is hosting a series of informational sessions. The next one is Thursday, February 15 at 6 p.m. It will be at Brown County Human Services, which is in the Sophie Beaumont Building located at 111 North Jefferson Street in downtown Green Bay.

Michael hopes this is the year he'll get adopted

15-year-old Michael tells CBS Austin he's been in the CPS system since he was 3. He hopes this is the year he'll get adopted. "A nice family. Some good friends. Just a good place for me," said Michael. "He so deserves it. He's been in foster care for a long time and he's somebody a lot of caseworkers have known over the years," said Michael's adoption caseworker Amanda Apperley.

The children of Adopt 8, 2017

KFMB-TV and San Diego County have partnered a number of years to promote adoption in the San Diego area with a Heart Gallery and many other unique ideas. Click on each link above to learn more about children waiting for adoption and to find out more about adoption.

Heart Gallery New York Launches a Shiny New Website

"The new Heart Gallery New York site launched in mid December, and there were a lot of revisions required by OCFS prior to the launch", said Laurie Sherman Graff, Executive Director of the new website. Heart Gallery New York supplements the efforts in New York City and other areas of New York state to find homes for older and special needs children currently in foster care. Check it out!

About Foster Care in North Dakota

Bismarck, N.D. - On average, fifteen hundred children are in North Dakota's foster system every month. Skye Wilkes is a 17-year-old girl in the Stark County Foster Care system. "When I first got put into foster care I thought it was really scary. I was scared because I didn't know any of the people, I was in someone else's house. You don't know anyone, you don't know how these people act, you don't know what they like to eat for dinner, you don't know anything. You don't," said Skye. Since then she is active at her school in the student congress and speech team. She has her own job. She has the independence to drive to both and is able to hang out with her friends. "It provides so much for not only the kids that are coming into care, but our community and our family, too," said Jolene Rod, Skye's foster mother.

Columbia couple shares experiences raising, adopting foster children

"Once a child enters your life, they stay there forever." Kelly Schultz mother of three adopted children. Kelly Schultz, 40, said she knew she wanted fostering and adoption to be a part of her life after a stint at the emergency childcare facility Rainbow House. She became a house parent, staying at the shelter and helping care for kids. Loren Schultz's youngest brother was adopted from Korea, and his family would inspire another in their Nebraska church to adopt a young girl from Korea. "When Loren and I had been dating a while and it was time to have those serious discussions, I was really excited that adoption was a part of his family and that he was OK with that as a plan," Kelly Schultz said.

'This Is Us' Gets Adoption and Foster Care Right

"I'm always happy to discuss 'This Is Us,' " says Jason Weber of the nonprofit Christian Alliance for Orphans. "Just don't ask me if it makes me cry." Mr. Weber, who directs the alliance's efforts to recruit and train foster families, tells me the hit NBC show offers an extremely accurate portrayal of the "real tensions that exist" for anyone involved in adoption or foster care. Now halfway through its second season, "This Is Us" follows three story lines that touch on fostering and adoption. In the first, a couple loses a child at birth and adopts an abandoned baby, Randall. In the second, the adult Randall meets and develops a relationship with his dying biological father. And in the third, Randall and his wife, Beth, bring a foster child to live in their home. (subscription not required)

Heart Gallery NYC Uses Photography To Help Kids In Foster Care Find Their Forever Homes

(includes video) There are over 25,000 children living in foster care in New York State. November is National Adoption Month. In honor of the month, we will be bringing attention to the thousands of people in foster care awaiting forever homes, as well as those who provide and advocate for them. These stories emphasize the idea that families are bound together by the love they share, rather than their biological roots.

Louisiana Completed a Record Number of Adoptions in 2017

LOUISIANA SET A RECORD FOR THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN ADOPTED FOR THE LAST FISCAL YEAR THAT ENDED SEPTEMBER 30TH. 764 CHILDREN WERE ADOPTED, WHICH TOPPED THE PREVIOUS RECORD OF 735 ADOPTIONS SET IN THE PREVIOUS YEAR. THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES CURRENTLY HAS ADOPTION PROFILES FOR MORE THAN ONE HUNDRED CHILDREN THAT ARE IN STATE CUSTODY AND READY TO BE ADOPTED. THOSE PROFILES CAN BE SEEN ONLINE AT ADOPT U-S KIDS-DOT-COM OR AT LOUISIANA HEART GALLERY-DOT-COM.

Chyna, in Central Texas, finds the Forever Family She Hoped For

17-year-old Chyna was featured in The Heart Gallery of Central Texas for years. As she waited for a forever family, Chyna kept getting closer to aging out of the foster care system. Now, just days until a new year, Chyna has the family she always hoped for.

Heart Gallery NYC: The City of Unsheltered Eyes

Heart Gallery NYC worked with New York ACS to provide expressive opportunities for homeless volunteers to give them a way to provide a museum exhibit. Master story telling student Dana Abu Ali gives her artful and honest impressions of the Through the Eyes of the Homeless Exhibit in 2015. Through the Eyes of the Homeless was later moved to New York City’s City Hall Rotunda on November 24, 2015 of the same year. This new home matched the one common theme those photographs had: ownership. Together, they were a collage of a city that we would almost not recognize even though we might call it our own. They were a reminder of how homelessness has marginalized men and women from society, and of all the ways in which they are dehumanized. They emphasized that “homelessness is a condition and it could happen to anyone” as Graff says. But while the photographs conveyed pain and hardship, they also told stories of beauty, hope, and strength.

Essay: Help older children find a ‘forever family’

Children Awaiting Parents, a nonprofit that has advocated on behalf of older foster care children for 45 years, launched the Donald J. Corbett Adoption Agency in October to expedite and support the successful, seamless adoption of older children into loving homes. By helping families prepare for adoption, navigate its complexities and find the best match in an older foster care child, our new agency enhances CAP's critical services to transition older children into a "forever family" before they age out of the foster care system. Children who "age out" of foster care without at least one permanent parent frequently end up homeless, imprisoned or lost. But adoption steers children toward success by fulfilling core emotional needs and providing stable foundations.

Mentoring: Why Foster Care Students In Seattle Are Beating The Odds

Thirty-six percent. That was the high school graduation rate for youth in foster care in Seattle and King County, Washington, in 2010. "We were shocked. I mean, tears flowed," says Janis Avery. For more than two decades, she has led a nonprofit called Treehouse, dedicated to improving the lives of foster youth. In fact, Treehouse had been pushing for the state to break out educational data about kids in foster care. And the data, when it came for the first time, was a wake-up call.

Finding 'forever families' for children is our mission

At the turn of the last century, Florida was faced with a growing population of homeless and abandoned children. The infamous Orphan Trains emptied their cars at their last stop in Jacksonville leaving more than 400 children in the streets with nowhere to go. In 1902, Children’s Home Society of Florida made a promise to the state’s citizens - to provide protection and a family for children who had none.

Heart Gallery: Devontae

Devontae, born in August 2000, is a handsome young man who loves sports, especially basketball. He has played baseball in the past and excelled at the sport. He enjoys going on outings and playing at the park. He likes to laugh, have fun, play with cars, and color. Devontae is a bright child who needs someone to provide him a forever family. He would benefit from a family that has time to give him the one-on-one attention he needs.

Happy Holidays!

A Christmas homecoming: After years in foster care, a Maryland boy finds his place

Aziah is one of the lucky ones. The 11-year-old who spent the last six years in 11 foster homes will share Christmas morning with his new family — his forever family that adopted him last month. He is one of nine siblings placed in foster care to remove them from a neglectful and abusive home. He was adopted Nov. 16, National Adoption Day, along with 11 other children in ceremonies at the county courthouse. There were still 142 children in foster care in the county at the end of November.

Fosters TV Show Cast Teams Up with Kohls to Provide a Special Day for LA Foster Kids

Thanks to Disney, Freeform and Toys for Tots for creating a magical afternoon for these awesome kids! This surprise was made possible by Disney and ABC’s Share the Joy campaign, which inspires kids, families, and communities to share the joy with those who need it most during the holiday season.

Six Brothers and Sisters Want a Forever Home, Together

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - A lot of the children in Arkansas foster care are part of sibling groups, and at times, it can be tough to keep them together. This is why the Department of Human Services puts out a call to action for help. They need help from both foster and adoptive families who are willing to open their hearts and their homes. Six brothers and sisters are praying and hoping a family will adopt them all - together. This group has so much energy and love that it's hard to soak it all in.

Meet Tresean

Tresean is an energetic 9-year-old boy of African American/Caucasian descent who enjoys staying busy. He loves going to Chuckie Cheese where his favorite foods are pizza and hot dogs. He also likes going to the park, taking car rides, playing video games and watching Netflix. He is a fan of superheroes, and if he could meet a famous character, it would be Batman. When he gets older, Tresean wants to become a police officer.

48 South Carolina children find forever homes on Adoption Day

To those considering adoption, the Coopers say it is not a scary process. "It does take a little bit of adjustment but so does bringing home a new baby. So, I would just encourage people to be open-minded about it and consider because there are hundreds of kids waiting for families who are already legally free for adoption in our state and they really deserve a place to call home," Amie says. Zach says don’t be concerned with being the perfect family. "We are not highly trained, specific individuals. We're pretty normal people – maybe a little bit crazy around the edges. So, if you feel like there's crazy in your family then you might be a good candidate," Zach says. There are currently 570 children available for adoption in the state.

DENVER’S ANNUAL ADOPTION DAY GAVE 44 CHILDREN NEW HOMES THIS YEAR, INCLUDING HENRY

Luke and Kayleen Woodcock gave and got back this year. The young couple is one of 31 families who finalized an adoption on Denver’s annual National Adoption Day— an event that raises awareness for the 110,000 children in foster care awaiting adoption across the United States. Their new son Henry is one of 44 children that were adopted on November 16, representing the collective effort of policymakers, practitioners and advocates to remove more children from foster care within the Denver county.

South Carolina family adds eighth child on  Adoption Day

It's five days until Christmas and 570 kids in South Carolina are still looking for a family to celebrate with. But, on Wednesday, one little boy did find his forever home at the Horry County courthouse for Adoption Day. "Happiness, joy, relief," said Jim Walker, who adopted Nathan Walker. His brothers and sisters, well: "They love it. They fight over whose turn it is to get him," said Shannon, Nathan's new mom.

The Gladney Foundation Supports The Heart Gallery of North Texas

In 2011, Gladney's New Beginnings Program brought The Heart Gallery to Gladney's campus. The Heart Gallery is a traveling photographic exhibit created to find loving, forever families for children in foster care. The Heart Gallery of Texas is a collaborative project of over nine Heart Galleries across the state that are created to increase the number of adoptive families for children needing forever adoptive homes.

Retweet: Seth in Massachusetts Makes Faces - all in fun

Seth is an active thirteen-year old boy of Caucasian descent who loves technology, Legos and sports. He particularly likes sports that involve being on a team like football, baseball and basketball. Seth is described as a social child who likes to strike up a conversation. He loves to listen to music and watch his New England sports teams! Seth is very creative and can think up stories. He also has a great recall ability of what he has read or stories he has been told.

Brave Foster Children in Florida Celebrate the Holidays at Winter Wonderland

No one is forgotten at this event. Along with the entertainment and dancing, the children are given complete makeovers by professionals. Those makeovers include makeup, haircuts and styling, and an option to pick out a donated formal outfit. "We want everyone to feel special, and we know that some of our children coming into foster care are coming with a Publix bag of belongings, and so they don't have shoes, they don't have formal gowns, they don't have anything, some of them," Miotto said. This not the first Winter Wonderland dance, but it was the first year to crown a king and queen. Zuccarello and McCloud both took home the titles, and the pair is taking their new royalty seriously. "To be a role model and use myself as an example, to tell the kids not to give up and that there is more out there for them," said McCloud.

COUPLE WITHOUT KIDS DECIDES TO ADOPT A SET OF 7 SIBLINGS — ALL AT ONCE

It was a Facebook story that caught the eye of DaShoan and Sofia Olds and changed their lives forever. Necia, Eric, Erica, Zavian, Dava, Keyon, and Gentry were seven biological siblings living in three separate foster homes when their story was shared on social media. They had been in foster care a total of two years and were legally free for adoption.

Former Adopt 8 child shares his success story

KFMB-TV's Adopt-8 series, which pre-dates the Heart Gallery, has worked extensively with San Diego's Heart Gallery to find adoptive families for children in foster care. Over the past two decades, a former Adopt 8 child lived in seven foster homes and three group homes - and never ended up getting adopted. But now, Larry Banks is using his experience to help other foster youth change their own path and has dedicated his life to helping kids. Watching himself as a little 7-year-old boy on Adopt 8 brought back a few childhood memories for Larry.

Foster families find joy and purpose in a mission to serve

For Rexayn Tribble, the decision to invite foster children into her home boiled down to one question. "Isn't their pain worth mine?" she asked rhetorically, but earnestly. Since Tribble and her husband, Kurt, signed up to become foster parents with The CALL in 2014, they have cared for 67 children. Rexayn regards it as one of the best decisions she has ever made. In Union County, the Tribbles are one of many local families who open their homes to children in need. By the end of June, there were more than 130 children in foster care in the county. The CALL in Union County, a faith-based nonprofit organization, works to serve foster children and foster families within the Christian community, through recruitment, training and support.

Volunteer: Child Recruitment Specialist

Work with the Child and Family Operations Coordinator to engage child welfare professionals nationwide to build relationships with others, maintain and update information so that it is current, offer recruitment services and assist in developing new relationships, programs and services. This is an unpaid internship or volunteer position.

Heart Gallery

Each day, 850 children in Central Texas wait for a family and a place to call home. On average, they will move seven different times before leaving foster care. PFC created the Heart Gallery to change this, to give these children a chance to have a family and a life of stability and love. The Heart Gallery is an outreach initiative to raise awareness for the incredible children in our community who are waiting to be adopted. Many of them are older, are sibling groups, or have special needs. They're often referred to as forgotten children.


We have found this program beneficial in finding families for our children. We ask that as you view the children, consider that they live in our communities. Respect their right to privacy, and be aware that they may attend school or church, or play at the local park with your children and relatives. The availability of their pictures leaves our children recognizable and vulnerable to negative attention. Although we strive to protect them, we need your help. Thank you!

© 2018 Heart Gallery of America, Inc.