Adoption - I'll Be Home For Christmas
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.
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.
- Welcome to the Heart Gallery
Photos and information on children, groups and special needs children
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.
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 eckerd.org or call 1-866-233-0790
Information for this hub gathered from St. Pete Times, Heart Gallery.