Four hundred ninety-nine children across the state of Georgia who don’t know each other have one thing in common: they want a forever home. Those children are currently in the foster system awaiting adoption in the state of Georgia, and many of their precious faces can be viewed in Heart Gallery of Georgia’s exhibit this weekend at Compassion Church.
Heart Gallery of Georgia hosts traveling photo exhibits of children in need of adoption, and the Heart Gallery of Georgia website includes videos of the children and sibling groups seeking families. Sponsored by Love One, Fostering Bulloch, Heart Gallery of Georgia and Compassion Church on Cawana Road, the event takes place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is a family event with food, games, fun and the gallery exhibit.
Anyone interested in adoption, foster care, respite care, mentoring or volunteering is encouraged to attend.
Emmy and Derek Howard, of Stockbridge, entertained the idea of adoption about three years ago. With no children of their own, the couple began the foster application and course procedures and eventually found out about Heart Gallery while researching online.
The Howards particularly wanted to adopt a sibling group and watched many of the online videos on the site. “A picture, it’s so flat,” said Emmy. “You really get to know the kids better with the videos; you find out about their personalities.”
Back in February of this year, the Howards began traveling to Savannah to meet and get to know a 10-year-old and 14-year-old sister and brother. First for short visits, then extended periods of time, the foursome began to resemble a family.
Considered guardians or foster parents until the adoption procedure is completed sometime in November, Emmy and Derek welcomed the duo into their home permanently in time to begin school this year.
“We’ve never been parents before, so it was a learning experience,” Derek said. “They may test your nerves sometimes, but we really can’t imagine them not being part of our family.”
Emmy added, “They’ve brought a lot of life into this house. They’re little personalities are opening up now.”
Children just like the Howard’s new addition to their family await a place to call home. Joseph, 15, as seen on the Heart Gallery of Georgia website, in addition to that forever home said he just wants to “get my clothes and shoes up to date.”
A’Kasha, 14, said on her video on the gallery’s page, “If I could change the world, I would get rid of all the violence and cruelty and the abandon of children.”
Eighth-grader Anastasia said, when asked what ‘love means,’ “When you fight for the person that you love.”
The children whose precious faces will be on display this Saturday need someone to fight for them, someone to love them and a home that will last forever. If you’ve noticed the rolling billboard throughout town recently of Heart Gallery photos and want to see more, visit Compassion Church for the Heart Gallery of Georgia event on Saturday.