Celebrate National Adoption Month with Children Awaiting Parents
In 1984, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first National Adoption Week, calling attention to the thousands of children in the United States waiting for permanent families. Eleven years later, President Bill Clinton expanded the awareness week to the entire month of November.
One of the goals of National Adoption Month is to promote action. There are over 100,000 children in the United States who are legally free for adoption, and each year over 25,000 youth “age-out” of the system, going out into the world without the benefit and stabilization of having a family. The odds of ending up in jail, homeless, and/or unemployed are very high, and the futures of many of those who age-out are bleak.
Activities for National Adoption Month
CAP’s Heart Gallery and Luncheon a Success!
Children Awaiting Parents (CAP)’s Annual Heart Gallery Opening on November 7th, grew in numbers of child and family participation and succeeded in bringing awareness to older children in the foster care system waiting for adoption. New this year, The Heart Gallery allowed CAP to celebrate families that have adopted children in the past year. Twelve family portraits were featured, along with the waiting children, to celebrate the success that Heart Galleries can bring. The Strong – National Museum of Play featured the opening of the Heart Gallery and kicked off the adoption month activities for Monroe County, New York.
Families, waiting children, adoption professionals, political personalities and others were invited to hear the Heart Gallery guest speaker, Regina Calcaterra. Ms. Calcaterra is an accomplished New York State attorney, New York Times best celling author and a foster care survivor. She shared her story of her struggles in the system with her four siblings and her survival provided by the determination to not let the system predestine the outcome for her life. She offered a message of promise and hope to the children that participated in the Heart Gallery and a message of gratitude to the families that want to adopt them. She also stirred the audience with a challenge of ways to help build awareness and offer support for those that provide services every day to families and children. Her message that “you may not see the result of your assistance to foster youth today, but your help will make a permanent impact on their future and ours” hit home for many.
CAP held its first Heart Gallery in 2005 with the support of photojournalist students from Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and professional photographers from the central western New York area. Each year, during November, National Adoption Month we celebrate and build awareness of the need for family.
Many new relationships are made through the Heart Gallery. Photographers are excited to participate, families are happy that they are being recognized and the children are introduced to a new opportunity of hope for their futures. National Adoption Month and the Heart Gallery opening make November a very special time of year for all involved.
You can tour our gallery of waiting children in person at The Strong, National Museum of Play (Rochester, NY) or view Heart Gallery photos of waiting children here.
Thank you to our 2014 Heart Gallery photographers who volunteered their time and talents to take beautiful photos of our waiting youth!
|Charlene Mann Photography
||Inga Mucha Photography
||Rikki VanCamp Photography
||Jeff Palm Photography
||Sue Zeccola Photography
||Julia Antoinetta Photography
||Suzanne Elrayess Photography
||Laura Brophy Photography
|Heather Ainsworth Photography
||Michelle Neumayer Photography
||EIEIO Photography/Glow Weddings
|Hilary Argentieri Photography
||Phil Watkins Photography
||Rachel Gracie Photography
Special thanks to Michael Montag and MGM Insurance for their sponsorship of the 2014 Heart Gallery display.
On-going Heart Galleries in Rochester at:
- Dynamic Elite Athletics: 5 Marway Circle, Suite 2
- Greater Rochester International Airport
- The Strong Museum: 1 Manhattan Square Dr.
- Brighton Library
- Parma Library
Last Year's Featured Family: Meet Laurie and Daniel
Laurie Robinson is a single adoptive parent who grew up and lives in Greece, New York. She graduated from Syracuse University and is a police officer with the Rochester Police Department. She found her son, Daniel, on an internet site similar to that of Children Awaiting Parents. Daniel was adopted in 2010 and is now 14.Daniel and Laurie are very much a family, along with two dogs and a cat. Laurie and Daniel are also featured in our Newsletter
What Can You Do?
• Host a Heart Gallery exhibit at your place of employment
• Sponsor an information meeting at your faith organization
• Spread the word about Children Awaiting Parents through your social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
• Sponsor a child to build resources to find him/her a loving, adoptive family!