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Adoption - I'll Be Home For Christmas

Updated on November 27, 2011
Brothers:  Dallas and John
Brothers: Dallas and John | Source

A Forever Home

This is the day! No longer yearning for a home to come home to on holidays. No more switching schools. No more bouncing from one home to another. It is the dream of every child in foster care to have a stable loving enviornment of a family.

Once a year the courts open up to the media to raise public awareness of adoption and foster care. This November was National Adoption Day in Pinellas County, Florida. Media was invited to raise awareness.

Four brothers

Heart Gallery
Heart Gallery | Source

Keeping siblings together

Eckerd Community Alternatives of Pinellas County

is an organization working diligently to match siblings

with the right parents, and have a record breaking number

of adoptions. Last year there were 3,000 adoptions

and a 4 year total of 14,000.

The Heart Gallery

The Heart Gallery, launched in June of 2006, is part of a national movement that helps children in foster care find permanent families. A group of professional photographers take portraits of the foster children, and display them on the Heart Gallery website in groups, and special needs children. Prospective families see the portraits and are moved to make an inquiry.

Adoption day

Special needs
Special needs | Source

Nervous and excited

17 year old Stephanie was nervous at first, but said she was just excited and happy. Stephanie lost her mother last December and her teacher, Mrs. Westbrook adopted her. She wrapped her arms around Stephanie's waist and kissed her. Westbrook glowed and was proud of her soon-to-be daughter.

A bailiff handed out teddy bears to the children after their adoptions were finalized.

"My mom loves me," Stephanie said as she waited for her turn. "Always."

Orphans Of God

National Adoption Day

27 children were adopted this day by families in Pasco County, Florida. They ranged in age from toddlers to 17 year olds. These children won't have to spend one more Christmas without a family.

Parents who adopt through the state also likely qualify for a monthly subsidy to help offset ongoing costs, and all children who receive a monthly subsidy also are eligible to receive health care benefits through the Medicaid program until age 18. Adopted foster kids also are eligible for free tuition to any state university, community college or vocational school in Florida.

For information on the Pinellas and Pasco county adoption and foster care system, go to or call 1-866-233-0790

Information for this hub gathered from St. Pete Times, Heart Gallery.


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