Expanding the Circle of the Network of Nurture
During Foster Care Month, recognized during the month of May, I am always reminded of how near and dear fostering and adoption are to me and our family. As adoptive parents, Greg and I know firsthand the immeasurable joy of being a forever family, and that is why we believe so strongly in promoting fostering and adoption. This month, I was especially pleased to partner with attorney and child advocate Kim Phelan and with the Governor's Commission for Women to welcome to the Governor's Mansion members of the Texas Legislative Ladies and Texas Senate Ladies clubs to showcase the Heart Gallery. Together, we viewed portraits of children seeking permanence, learned more about the work of the Heart Gallery program and how to get involved, and assembled gift bags with summer supplies for Rainbow Rooms across the state.
Believing that one photo can change a life, the foster and adoption outreach Heart Gallery program displays professional portraits in communities, hosted by local groups, organizations, and businesses, of children and sibling groups who dream of finding a forever family. Meeting the needs of foster children in Texas requires a Network of Nurture - a community of individuals, families, local leaders, nonprofits organizations, businesses, faith community members, and anyone willing to open their hands, their hearts, and their homes to children and families in need of permanence. The Heart Gallery is an important part of this Network of Nurture; at the core of their outreach is a simple but powerful portrait of each child that says, "I am here. I am special." I truly believe that when we work together, we can expand the circle of the Network of Nurture and make a difference in the lives of children in Texas.