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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)


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.

Providence Families Donate Gifts for Foster Children

Christmas revolves around family, so this can be an especially lonely time for boys and girls in foster care. Jasmine, 11, and Jon-Neaya, 17, are making their own ornaments. Christmas revolves around family, so this can be an especially lonely time for boys and girls in foster care. It's just one of the many ways Adoption Rhode Island works to make sure foster children can enjoy the holidays, while they wait for adoption. But what would Christmas be without presents? Children have made their lists, and Adoption Rhode Island is making it easy for you to do a little shopping for them.... click for the story.

The Girl in the Window, 10 years later

he detective who discovered her just wanted her to live. The psychologist thought she would end up in a nursing home. The guardian ad litem wished she would be able to connect. The foster care worker prayed that she would be loved. The speech therapist longed to hear "yes" or "no." It was hard to imagine that Dani would be adopted. By the time she was almost 9, she was still in diapers. She couldn't speak or sleep through the night. She had terrible tantrums. Then she would shut down and fold into herself. To self-soothe, she sucked her fists and twirled Mardi Gras beads. She wasn't interested in peek-a-boo or bubbles. She wouldn't even play with baby toys. She never cried. Or laughed. Who would take a child with so many needs?

7 Heartwarming Foster Care Stories

When you were a child, do you remember what you wrote on your Christmas list? You probably asked for the newest toys, games and books you saw in stores and on television. But for thousands of children, one of the greatest gifts we can give them is a safe, loving home. Today we’re celebrating seven incredible foster care stories that remind us why we have faith in EVERY future!

Sean Kirst: At Heart Gallery of foster children, portraits of lives you can change

Destiny Rogowski was greeted by one of her own photographs Thursday as she walked into the Ellicott Square Building. The downtown landmark had a magnificent tree in the middle of its grand arcade, with 26 photographs of children set in a circle around the base. The faces were somber, joyous, reflective, timid, reserved. They made up the Heart Gallery of Western New York, in which about 10 area photographers, including Rogowski, captured images of 26 of the 373 foster children in the region still awaiting permanent placement. Some will be adopted by foster parents. For the most part, the children in the Heart Gallery are the ones, at the moment, separated from a family or true home. The mission was simply making a connection with prospective parents.

Texas Resident? Find out more...

Thousands of Texas children need families. The schedules for several counties have recently been revised. More than 6,000 Texas children and teens are waiting for adoption. Many ask themselves, "Why not me? Why can't I have a family?" In 2015, the good news is that more Texas children than ever before (5,672) got the answer they were looking for when they were adopted into their own forever family last year. Yet more children enter foster care every day in Texas. Some won't be able to return home and will eventually need adoptive families to start new lives that are free from abuse or neglect. Learn what it takes to foster or adopt, in person, at a TARE sponsored information meeting.

Forever Families: Exzavyor

"Exzavyor deserves a family and he wants one," said Smith. Exzavyor dreams of college and a career in engineering or robotics. His adoption caseworker Erin Smith can't help but get emotional. "He's a great kid. Any family would be lucky to have him in their life. Now I'm going to cry. He's just a great kid and I just can't explain it any other way. He's just a great kid," said Smith.

Arkansas Heart Gallery Brand New Site

An anonymous source once said, "There are no unwanted children, just unfound families." Project Zero agrees! And we are passionate about finding them. Did you know that out of the over 400,000 children and teens in foster care in the United States, over 100,000 of them are waiting to be adopted? 100,000 children and teens whose parental rights have been terminated and who are languishing in foster care waiting, hoping, praying and longing for a forever family. Project Zero believes that every waiting child deserves a place to call home, and we are committed to thinking outside the box in order to make that dream a reality.

The Indiana Heart Gallery Visits Columbia City!

The Indiana Heart Gallery is a traveling photo exhibit featuring compelling portraits of children in need of adoptive families and it is making a stop at Brewha Coffee House in Columbia City. The Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) created the Heart Gallery in 2007 with the goal of sharing the beautiful professional portraits along with stories about children in foster care in Indiana. This initiative helps put a face on a sometimes invisible need and reminds families that adoption changes lives. The goal of the Heart Gallery is to increase awareness of the DCS foster youth available for adoption and encourage the community to learn more about the foster to adoption process. With the help of all of the Indiana adoption programs and partners, including the Heart Gallery, more than 1,000 Hoosier foster kids found permanent homes in state fiscal year 2014.

Traveling Heart Gallery Features Children Waiting for Adoption

A picture paints 1,000 words, and the portraits in the traveling Adoption Rhode Island Heart Gallery speak volumes. The gallery will be traveling all over the state. In December, the portraits will be in the stores at Pawtuxet Village. If you'd like host the gallery, call Adoption Rhode Island at 401-865-6000.

Your camera could help kids find forever families

Your camera can do more than explore the world, it can be an instrument of change. Heart Gallery of America, which is comprised of dozens of chapters — one in almost every state — uses photos and videos to help kids in need of forever homes. Matthew Straeb, co-founder and president of the Sarasota chapter, says oftentimes images of kids waiting to be adopted are so poor that nobody would be “inspired” to get an emotional attachment to the child. That’s where Heart Gallery steps in.

Portraits provide a path to a home

Gay Larson carries a soft spot for kids alone in the world, in need and facing futures that aren't always bright. In 1996, she and her husband adopted two children in state custody. Today, Larson leads the Oklahoma Heart Gallery, an online photo and video gallery and traveling photo exhibit, designed to raise awareness of the dozens of kids in state foster care needing adoptive homes.

Coco

Miguel loves music, but his family forbids it. Four generations ago, Miguel’s great-great-grandfather left, when Miguel’s great-grandmother Coco was only a small child. He left intending to play his music for the world, but never returned. His wife, Miguel’s great-great-grandmother learned how to make shoes, and in the generations since, her family has become famous and successful as shoemakers. Music has been forbidden from the family because of the pain caused when Miguel’s great-great-grandfather left. Miguel secretly loves music and wants to be a musician.

Help older children find a 'forever family'

November is a month of giving thanks for family, a loving home, and a network of support and stability. Just as much as turkey and stuffing, cranberry sauce and pie, many children and parents eagerly await the joyful shout of: "Hi Mom. Hi Dad. I'm home!" This simple phrase is one that hundreds of children awaiting parents yearn to say. And while some older children, sibling groups, and kids with special needs may be successfully adopted, many more will not. We should keep this mind during November, which is National Adoption Month, and throughout the holiday season and beyond.

Taneah thankful for memories, but hopeful for forever family

Chances are, you've finished up your Thanksgiving feast and have spent the day with family, the people you love the most. But there are hundreds of Arkansas children who have no family, they are waiting to be adopted. THV11 is partnered with the Arkansas Department of Human Services to find permanent placement for these children. This Thanksgiving, we share Taneah's desperate hope for a place to call home. "I'm gonna spray your skin ok, isn't that nice?" asked Ava Bella Day Spa owner DeeDee Helbig. From the sprays and the fragrant smells to the massage and the laughter, all this pampering had 12-year old Taneah feeling like quite the princess. Taneah has quite the personality. She is a girly-girl, but there's a tough side, too.

Justine

"She's curious about everything," said Rebecca Salam, Justine's adoption prep specialist. "She just wants to know everything and why. She wants to know why," said Salam. Salam says Justine is doing well in a treatment facility that focuses on her Autism diagnosis but she's ready for the next step. "She can go to a home. She doesn't have to be in a treatment facility. She can be in a home as long as they'll work with her," said Salam. Within the first few minutes of meeting, we noticed Justine just loves to make others laugh. "She's a spark. She's hysterical. She's enthusiastic. She's engaging. She's happy. She just glows," said Salam. "What do you want to be when you grow up?" asked CBS Austin reporter Lindsay Liepman. "A princess," said Justine.

Covington County, Alabama Celebrates 14 adoptions ... maybe more

This year, 14 children in Covington County have received forever homes. Covington County DHR Director Lesa Syler said that there are three more adoptions that are in the works that could come to fruition before year end.Those adoptions are direct effects of the growth of foster the care program in Covington County.

Adoptive Family Recruitment Specialist-Corvallis

Bring the Heart Gallery to Oregon's Midwestern Regions! Boys and Girls Aid is seeking a proactive adoptive family recruitment specialist in Benton County. This position requires a degree relevant to social work and experience. Establish a relationship with the child and the DHS caseworker to ensure that appropriate interventions are provided to prepare the child for adoption. Work in continuous coordination with DHS. In cooperation with Department of Human Services (DHS), access records and conduct a thorough review of the child's DHS case record and initiate contact with individuals who may be a potential foster or adoptive family, or who may know of a potential foster or adoptive family, including reconsideration of previously identified resources. Direct contact with the child or sibling group with the approval of DHS.Click for details.

Colorado needs more foster parents

Coloradans have always come together to support each other when we need it most. It’s part of our heritage as a frontier, can-do state. And, we should support those families who need it most. The Colorado Department of Human Services estimates that the state will need 1,200 new foster families in the next two years to help serve every child and teen in our foster care system. With just 2,070 certified foster homes right now, Colorado is woefully short of foster families who are ready and willing to help. On any given day, 14 kids in our state enter foster care because their parents need time to learn new skills and become the parents on whom their children can depend. The need for foster families has grown steadily during the last three years.

YOUR MISSION: Should You Choose to Accept It

Andria Fontenot Regional Director of the Louisiana Heart Gallery shares how she got involved in the Louisiana Heart Gallery with Christian Challenge! We are so excited to open this message with a presentation by the Louisiana Heart Gallery that brings awareness of children in need of adoption or a foster family. Brother Nathan will be sharing about our mission. If you have ever wondered why you are on this earth then this message is for you. If you hunger for a purpose, then this earth then this message is for you. If you are a Christian, then this earth then this message is for you. We hope and pray that his message has sparked eternal purpose and worth deep within your heart. (about 10 minutes)

Portraits Highlight Stark County Ohio's Adoption Needs

CANTON The well-named Heart Gallery is a project that pairs local youth seeking adoption with local artists who paint their portraits. The resulting artworks give awareness to Stark County’s adoption need while celebrating the kids' personalities, spirit and resilience. "I love getting to know the kids and getting to know their stories and knowing that I might be helping them to find that forever home," said Christine Benner, who has been a Heart Gallery artist for seven years. Artist Tim Carmany has participated in the Heart Gallery for four years....

Lutheran Services Florida Celebrates Adoptions, November 18

As child welfare organizations around the country celebrate National Adoption Day today, November 18, Lutheran Services Florida (LSF) celebrates nearly forty families helped through their case management organizations in Pinellas and Lee Counties with adoption finalization ceremonies. LSF hosts local matching events throughout the year to bring together children who are waiting to be adopted with families interested in adopting. That’s where Tina and Chris Wiginton met charismatic 11 year-old Iyanna who told them at a local pizzeria that she wanted to be the first female President of the United States. The three bonded over the next several months and will officially became a forever family, along with the Wiginton’s other two children, yesterday, November 17th in a public ceremony at the Pinellas County Courthouse.

Boy is surprised with adoption in the most magical way

He thought he was there to meet his favorite Disney characters. But they were all there to deliver the most magical surprise. Be the parent who tells the judge: "Make it so!"

The 2017-2018 Rhode Island Heart Gallery Has Arrived!

The Rhode Island Heart Gallery is a traveling exhibit of professional portraits of children currently in state care waiting and hoping for forever families. The children featured in this Heart Gallery are only a small number of the children in foster care in Rhode Island who are in need of permanent families. Our NEW 13th Annual 2017-2018 Heart Gallery has arrived!! To view the 13th Annual Heart Gallery booklet click the image to the right. You can view this powerful exhibit at the State House until November 27th!

In South Bend Indiana Heart Gallery Visits the Healthworks Museum

Thursday, there was a free event that featured some of those children who are looking for a home. The Indiana Heart Gallery is a traveling photo exhibit. It was at the "Memorial HealthWorks! Kids' Museum" on Jefferson Boulevard in South Bend from 5-7 p.m. Thursday evening. There were raffles, a photo booth, hands-on activities and information available about foster care and adoption.

Our 11th annual Adoption Day: 10 kids adopted by 7 families

Every November for the past 11 years, HCJFS has held a special ceremony for National Adoption Month where we finalize a lot of adoptions in one morning. We hope it – and all the media attention to it – help remind people that we do always have more than 300 kids still waiting for families. Indonesia is 16 – the oldest of the kids adopted today. We always celebrate when a teenager finds her forever family. There are so many teens in foster care who really want a real home. Our youngest today was Liam Sheldon, 15 months. He was adopted by James and Kelly Sheldon, who have been his foster parents since he was six months old.

Even if You Can't Foster or Adopt, There Are Many Ways To Help

Statistics show there is an estimated 427,910 children in foster care in the U.S. These kids are living in various settings, but whatever the situation, these children and their foster families could use our help. The Code of Federal Regulations defines "foster care" as the "24-hour substitute care for children outside their own homes." Some common foster care environments include relative foster homes, non-relative foster care homes, pre-adoptive homes, and group homes. No matter the setting, foster children, families and organization needs all the help they can get as resources are often limited. Help comes in all forms — monetary donations, item donations, volunteering, and more.

After years of abuse and neglect, siblings hopeful for loving family

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) — Adopting a child is not always easy, and when there are special needs involved, it often takes an extra dose of patience and a whole lot of love. The two children we meet this week not only deserve that love, they desperately need a place to call home. It was a tough task keeping 13-year-old Amie and 12-year-old Calvin from playing with their microphones we were using for our interview. Thankfully, there are easy distractions at Little Rock's Third Realm. From jumping to swinging, it is a child's paradise here. Amie and Calvin may not look their age, and their adoption specialist Margaret Miller explained why. "They have very special needs that are being addressed in their counseling,” Miller said. “And they are doing well in their counseling. They're making progress, especially Calvin. He has made an enormous amount of progress."

In Tampa Bay Florida, One Church One Child Asks To Seriously Consider Adoption

TAMPA BAY – One Church One Child of Florida challenges communities to seriously consider adopting or mentoring children in need of a forever home. Do you have room in your heart for a child or siblings in need of a family? This is an urgent and important question that must be raised time and time again, but each time there is a different child or children. One Church One Child of Florida is reaching out to families and individuals in local communities across the state in efforts to help share the truth that the child pictured here and others like him are. Daily, over 700 children are in need of a family to call their own, many of them are minorities. Can you provide a loving, permanent home for these children or other children like them or consider becoming their mentors?

Heart Gallery photographers hopeful portraits help foster kids find ‘forever homes’

A group of area photographers say they're filled with encouragement when their portraits of foster children help land those kids a "forever home." The portraits they shoot of children who are wards of the state are put on display around Lubbock and surrounding communities in hopes someone will see the picture, read the story and inquire about the child.

Virginia's Kids Belong

You're probably wondering if a problem so large is really SOLVABLE. We've been there, too. But we're happy to tell you that with two proven models and a first-of-its-kind solution, the answer is YES. Regardless of your occupation, skillset, and life stage, you have the unique ability and opportunity to impact the lives of children in foster care. Our state has well over 5,200 children who are in the foster care system through no fault of their own. Of these children, on any given day over 850 are legally free for adoption and are waiting for their forever family. The rest of the children need a loving, safe, and supportive foster family to care for them while they wait to go home to their biological families.

Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange Reaches Out During National Adoption Month

The Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE) is working hard during National Adoption Month to match children and youth up with forever families. MARE is doing outreach projects like the Heart Gallery traveling exhibit, and meet and greets. To learn about youth available for adoption, or to learn how you can start the adoption process, click here.

EXPRESSING SUPPORT FOR THE GOALS OF NATIONAL ADOPTION DAY AND NATIONAL ADOPTION MONTH

A resolution expressing support for the goals of National Adoption Day and National Adoption Month by promoting national awareness of adoption and the children awaiting families, celebrating children and families involved in adoption, and encouraging the people of the United States to secure safety, permanency, and well-being for all children.

ADOPTIVE AND FOSTER PARENTS RECRUITED IN JOLIET, ILLINOIS – A RIVETED AUDIENCE

Let It Be Us held an adoptive and foster parent recruitment event on Saturday, November 11 in Joliet, Illinois. The audience focused their attention on a panel of 4 agencies, each presenting their programs and parenting opportunities. The panel was joined by keynote speaker and adoptive mother, Konnie Ford, who is in the process of adopting her 3rd child from foster care. The program was moderated by Bob Noonan, Let It Be Us board member and adoptive father. Noonan shared his personal journey through foster care and adoption and stressed that the large and energetic crowd "posed a lot of great questions that led to some incredible open dialogue about foster care and adoption through foster care."

Alabamans: Do you have a heart of adoption?

Most people are surprised to hear that there are more than 300 children in the state of Alabama who are ready and waiting to be matched with families for adoption with very little monetary cost involved. These children may sometimes fear they will be forgotten. After years in the foster care system, they may wonder if they will ever have a forever family. They are not being forgotten, thanks to organizations like Heart Gallery Alabama and Children's Aid Society of Alabama. It is their goal to promote possible placements through photography exhibits that feature the children and by providing support for existing placements. Heart Gallery Alabama’s motto is "There are no unwanted children, only unfound families."

Open your heart. Open your home in Fresno, California

For additional information on becoming a resource family, please give us a call at 1-877-533-KIDS (5437). We want to help you determine if becoming a resource parent is right for you and your family; therefore, you will be invited to attend a Resource Family Approval Program Information Orientation. Applicants are to bring their completed application packet and verification of completed RFA Orientation to the Crocker Building, 2135 Fresno Street, Suite #101, (559) 600-2396, in the reception area.


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!

© 2017 Heart Gallery of America, Inc.