May is Foster Care Month!

More than 4,500 children in Louisiana are currently in the state foster care system. Approximately 350 of these children are available for adoption and need permanent loving families to call their own.The Louisiana Heart Gallery is a volunteer faith-based
program targeting the faith community to raise awareness for foster care and adoption for Louisiana children.  If these children age out of the system without permanent families they could end up homeless, on the streets, and/or sexually trafficked. Through a partnership with Louisiana DCFS, we are able to capture the children’s outside and inner beauty by using volunteer professional photographers. We display these pictures on a traveling exhibit in local churches and various state events where we advocate for permanent loving homes for each child.  We have witnessed firsthand how adoption positively impacts these children. You can help these children directly in two ways. You could be a volunteer Safe Family to help moms in crisis situations, or you could foster and/or adopt. Consider these two stories…
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The first story began a little over 4 years ago…
“My husband and I received an email in late September that there was a mom who was planning to attend Teen Challenge, a substance abuse program, but needed someone to volunteer to keep her two very young boys while she was away for ONE YEAR!! After some discussion and prayer, we found ourselves in the church office meeting this young mom and her 2 precious boys, ages 11 months and 1 1/2 years. Within a few weeks we were officially a “Safe Family” and were trading in our two-door convertible for an SUV that would hold two carseats. Through the courts, we were given temporary guardianship while she was away so that the children did not have to enter the foster care system. Our lives were changed forever from this experience! When the mom graduated, we gave the boys back to her. She had them for a year, but unfortunately, she didn’t stay clean. After a year, we took them back for another 6 months, and then an awesome Godly family out of state adopted them. Their father is a pastor and their new mom homeschools them, giving them the one-on-one attention they need so much. The future of the young boys have been forever changed. We encourage everyone to consider being a Safe Family so that fewer children have to go into the foster care system.”
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The second story began with a husband and wife couple taking the foster parent classes.
“We realized how big a problem there is in finding temporary homes for children in foster care. We decided to give it a try hoping that maybe there would come a time when there was a child that we could keep. Sure enough, almost 9 months later, we received a call from home development asking if we would take a newborn baby girl in. She was premature and had been exposed to drugs, but she was ok. A little, dark- haired princess waited for us. She came home with us at 2 days old only for me to rush her back to the hospital with severe withdrawals. She suffered with withdrawals until she was 6 months old. Our adoption was finally complete when she was 22 months old. It seemed like forever, but well worth the wait! God has kept every promise He has ever made to us, including that we would have children. Children…we have had!!!! We continue to foster even though we have adopted.We are Mom and Dad to many foster children, and we keep them all in our hearts forever! Please tell others how important it is to take these precious children in…even if it is just for a while.”
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Are you wondering how you can get involved? Well, their are a couple options for you…
  1. If you would like to talk with someone about being a Safe Family, please email safefamilies@healingplacechurch.org
  2. If you would like to speak to someone about fostering or adoption, please email Aimeé at louisianaheartgallery@hpserve.org
  3. Many Safe Family volunteers and foster families do not have the funds to provide all that those children need. If you would like to donate to our foster care/adoption fund click the donate button above.