Heart Gallery gives foster teens chance at adoption

- Every child deserves a loving home, but many kids don't have the chance because they move from foster home to foster home.  

It's even more difficult for older children and teens in the foster care system to find a forever home.

The people behind a new website are working to change the perception of older adoptable children by showing off their unique personalities. 

The Heart Gallery gives adoptable children a space to display professional photos, biographies, videos and more to people interested in adoption. 

Alexis Gallagher, 12, and her 16-year-old sister, Alexis finally learned there's no place like home, with the help of Heart Gallery. 

They were adopted by Scott and Dawn Gallagher last year. The family's journey began with the Pinella-Pasco Heart Gallery.

"It feels like where we should be belonging," Alexis said.

The girls spent more than half their young lives growing up in foster care.

"It's good to have a family that you can call your own," Jessica added.

This is not the first time the Gallagher's have adopted children. They have three girls from another adoption, along with three adult biological children.

"Whether I gave birth to them or we adopted them, they are our kids," Dawn Gallager explained of her ever-growing family.

"It's just natural... Its been our calling." Dawn said. "It's just worked out on what it was meant to be."

Scott Gallagher has a personal connection to adopting teens. He grew up in a foster care group home until he aged-out at 18. He said he understands how important it is for teenagers to have parents.

"By doing what we are doing here, [it] allowed me to get the opportunity to do something that I always wanted to accomplish as an adult, provide a kid a home." Scott said. 

The Gallager's don't think what they are doing is anything special.

"We don't feel like heroes or superstars or nothing like that. It's just the natural thing to do," Dawn said.

For Jessica and Alexis, they are just happy to have a home with parents who love them.

"You don't have to keep moving from house to house. You can actually call the place that you live in your house," Jessica said.

Hana Cowart helps connect families to foster children at the Heart Gallery.

"Every single time we do it, it's a miracle," Cowart said. "Because of something someone in our community did, a child has a home... I don't know what's better than that."

The heart gallery is celebrating its 298 adoption. For more information, visit heartgallerykids.org.
 

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