Forever Family Friday – Alexandrea

I had the privilege to celebrate yet another birthday this week. It was my 63rd. Goodness that is a big number but I am grateful to the good Lord for allowing me to continue to celebrate each one! Birthdays are such special days to enjoy cake, gifts and whatever fun activities that make you happy. Did you see my new bubble blaster? OMG! It made me so happy! And for me my birthday is always a time of reflection and pondering how I want to finish this journey. I then started thinking about the kids that are in foster care and how their birthdays may not be celebrated. I’ve crossed paths with so many kids that have never had a cake. Didn’t even know their correct birth date. No parties. No balloons. No blowing out of candles. No celebration of them being born. That breaks my heart. We have an opportunity to change that for many. We have an opportunity to bring love, joy and laughter to kids that are so deserving.

Please meet Alexandrea, who goes by the name Ally. She deserves it all. She is 13 years old and lives in Alabama. Ally likes doing hair. She is outgoing and easily makes friends. She enjoys social media, especially TikTok. She loves to make others laugh. I can’t imagine Ally becoming a teenager at age 13 and not having a big deal made about her. She may have, and I hope that is the case for Ally and all the hundreds of thousands of kids in foster care, but more often than not these special days are overlooked or just very ordinary. Typically everyone is trying to keep their head above water and just get the basics done! We need you on our team sharing, praying and posting the kids. Do you have room in your heart and home for Ally? Do you know a family that does? ❤️

For more information on Ally please contact [email protected]

Forever Family Friday – Jamari

Happy Forever Family Friday everyone. I’m going to start this post out with this statement…”In my opinion” …In my opinion there are a lot of misconceptions and stereotyping of kids in the foster care system. Again, this is strictly my opinion so don’t get all bent out of shape if you don’t agree. We’re all allowed an opinion… at least on my social media. People have so many preconceived notions about these kids in foster care…they are this or that or they have done this or that wrong or have not done what they should have and on and on. It’s time to change the conversation because so much of that is inaccurate. Sure there are situations where there are problems but not the entire landscape of foster care and the kids in the system can be labeled the same. We have to start working through these stereotypes. We have to infuse hope and love into their situations. We need to offer permanency and protection. We must all come together as a community and mentor and open our hearts and hands to help. Here’s a young man that needs us. He needs a family.

Please allow me to introduce you to Jamari! He is 13 years old and lives in Georgia. Jamari’s favorite holiday is Christmas and he likes pizza. Football and basketball are the sports he likes the best, and he enjoys playing video games. When he grows up Jamari would like to be a coder! (Hello @BaseCampCodingAcademy!) Math is his favorite subject in school, as well as science. The one thing he is proud of is being smart. If he had one super power it would be to stop time.

Jamari needs a loving adoptive family who will give him the attention, support, encouragement, structure and a nurturing environment. Don’t we all?! For more information on Jamari please contact Rebecca at [email protected]. Thank you!❤️

Forever Family Friday – Peyton

Happy #ForeverFamilyFriday Y’all! While it has been an extremely busy week for Team Tuohy prepping and preparing for our clear the lists for our teachers I do not want to ever miss an opportunity to talk about a kid in foster care that needs our help. So let’s shift gears for just a minute and talk about helping in another way. Did you know that helping others can actually help you? I’m serious. It makes you feel useful and brings you a sense that you’ve made a real difference. It brings you true joy and happiness. It’s like giving and helping others changes your brain chemistry for the better. This “InstaVillage” of ours that we are a part of may not be able to change this crazy world but we might be able to change the world for a few amazing humans. Let me introduce you to one of those humans!

Please meet Peyton! She is 14 years old and lives in Florida. You may remember her sister Haley we shared in December. We just learned they BOTH need forever families! How sweet it would be if these 2 girls could be adopted together! Peyton is extremely outgoing, loves to talk and meet new people and is quite entertaining (I have heard that description before!) She loves math and science and says her friends would describe her as friendly.

Peyton will continue to blossom and thrive in a family who can provide the perfect balance of love, nurture, structure, discipline and consistency. She has been in foster care for 9 ½ years. That’s CRAZY! The hardest part Peyton says is getting to know people and going house to house. To her family means love, support and caring about children. Let’s see if we can’t change the world for Peyton and bring her some consistence and stability.

For more information on Peyton please contact Heart Gallery of Tampa at 813-390-5345 or DM us! Thank you!❤️

Photographer: Alicia Johnson Photography

Forever Family Friday – Russell

Happy #ForeverFamilyFriday y’all. So here’s a question for you…How many of you have googled foster care, adoption from foster care, or any related subject? Have you read as much as you could find about it…wherever you could find information about it? I guess if the answer to that is yes then I’m talking to you. I was in that same spot years ago. I read everything I could find over and over again. I bought books and asked questions but I have learned on this journey that experience teaches you more than anything. Nothing you read or hear about really prepares you for our flawed system. I found out so much by doing. I found that the village you create around you for help and assistance is critical. I also think that family fit matters. How much additional load and responsibility can your family take on? Looking at all these factors and others can determine if you and your family are ready for the next step or are you the family that might could assist and be part of the village for a new foster family? We all can play a role…it’s just a matter of finding your spot. And I’d like to say one more thing…shocker…Don’t get so caught up in “the difficult and the challenge” that you lose sight of the fun and warm fuzzy moments. Remember, every cloud has a silver lining! Let me introduce you to a young man, that you definitely want to be a part of his village!

Please meet Russell! He is 13, lives in Arizona, and is a joy to be around.  He enjoys meeting and being around people by just spending time, whether it be a good show, playing games, eating a meal or exploring outside. Russell is open to new experiences, has a great smile and can make you laugh. He loves going to school to not only learn but to be around his friends. In the future he wants to become a SWAT leader.

Russell’s ideal family is one that would shower him with love and is adventurous but also laid back. I KNOW this describes many of you! And many people you know! Please share. Please talk about and pray for Russell. And all the kids we post and those in need of their forever family. They need us. Thank you! ❤️

For more information please contact [email protected].

Forever Family Friday – Nelson

Happy Forever Family Friday. As I sat looking at the young man that I am sharing today I thought about the first time Sean and I talked about posting kids each week that needed a forever family. I was hopeful that we could find just one child a forever family. Just one. I would then consider this ministry successful. And…Here we are, several years later and while there is still much work to do numerous kids have been placed with families. We have planted seeds of awareness as well as uplifted and provided for many others. I hope and pray that some of this awareness leads to action. We all need to take action for those in the foster care system that feel alone, forgotten and uncared for. This young man deserves a forever family. Please allow me to introduce you to Nelson.

Nelson is 17 and lives in Tennessee. He is an extremely energetic young man that is a great critical thinker and problem solver with great potential. He enjoys swimming, video games and sports, especially basketball. Music is important to him, as is his faith. He once wrote a rap song called “I Love the Lord” that says “Get on your knees and pray. You’ve got to love the Lord, love the Lord, love the Lord. ” Nelson says he looks to the Lord to help him with his troubles. God bless Nelson and every person but especially those that are searching and seeking for the things that many of us take for granted.

Nelson’s friends say he is funny, creative and intelligent. And that he likes doing things that helps other people out. Nelson said if he had 3 wishes the number one thing would be for a family. When asked what family means to him he said “Family means someone who loves me, cares about me, that respects me and I respect them.” Yes…I’m crying. Can you help us find Nelson a family? Do you know someone who can? Your help would be greatly appreciated! ❤️For more info: [email protected] or DM us!

Click here for Nelson’s video!

Forever Family Friday – Tray

The journey of being a foster parent or the forever family of a child coming from the system is a mixed bag of emotions and experiences. It ranges from beautiful and sweet to heartbreaking and hard. But guess what…God heals those that have been hurt and transforms lives and hearts every second of everyday! He changed lives that you would have thought could never have been transformed. What we need are people to step up and open their homes and their hearts to these kids. I am hoping that more and more awareness comes from our Forever Family Friday posts and that awareness will lead folks to action. Action that will help us transform lives and bring awareness to these amazing kids longing for a family.

Please allow me to introduce you to Tray (short for D’Atrayhemia). Let’s help him find his forever family. He is 13 years old and lives in Alabama. His personality is loving and kind and his favorite colors are red and black. He enjoys playing video games, basketball, and drawing. In school, he enjoys both reading and math yet social studies is his favorite. He loves to go is church, where he can sing his favorite songs. Me too! Mexican is his favorite food. Mine too! Three words Tray uses to describe himself are funny, friendly and nice. I love that!

Can you be the forever family for Tray? Do you know someone who could? For more information please contact [email protected]

Thank You ❤️