First Lady Abbott Celebrates Launch Of The Heart Gallery Of El Paso
First Lady Cecilia Abbott last night delivered remarks at the launch event for the Heart Gallery of El Paso, a celebration hosted by the Paso del Norte Community Foundation. Believing one photo can change a life, the foster and adoption outreach Heart Gallery program displays professional portraits of children and sibling groups in the region who are awaiting adoption.
“Our lives were forever blessed the day Greg and I became adoptive parents," said First Lady Abbott. "We know firsthand the immeasurable joy of being a forever family—that is why we believe so strongly in promoting fostering and adoption. I am so pleased to be here in El Paso to celebrate the launch of Heart Galleries across Texas, especially as we celebrate November as National Adoption Month. Heart Galleries are more than just photographs. They remind us all that when hearts come together, we can change lives forever. I am proud to be joined by the Governor’s Commission for Women in supporting the Heart Gallery program in offering greater dignity and stability for children in the foster care system.”
The Governor’s Commission for Women and the Office of the First Lady partnered with The University of Texas and the Texas Center for Child and Family Studies to advocate for the establishment of Heart Gallery programs throughout Texas. During the 88th Legislative Session, Texas lawmakers provided $12 million to The University of Texas Steve Hicks School of Social Work to launch Heart Gallery programs across the state.
The Heart Gallery portrait displays connect families interested in adoption with children in the care of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services and Child Protective Services. At the core of the foster and adoption outreach is a simple but powerful portrait of each child that says, "I am here. I am special."