Category: Forever Family Friday

Forever Family Friday week 39 – Mistee

Today are the opening ceremonies for the Olympics. Go team USA! If you hear someone screaming for team USA…that probably will be me. I love watching the athletes compete. I know they have put a tremendous amount of time in the gym. The effort and dedication these athletes put into each of these sports is crazy. To make an Olympic team is an amazing accomplishment. Yes…these athletes work extremely hard, but we also know that there’s a group of people behind every athlete that have helped them achieve their dreams. There are parents, grandparents, siblings, other relatives and friends, and coaches, trainers, and teachers, and physicians, nutritionists, and on and on and on. These folks are cheering them on, driving them to practices, spending their weekends at competitions, preparing meals, helping them study etc. These folks are constantly building them up and encouraging them. BUT…. here comes the but…for the child in foster care, the opportunities are slim. Their support folks are typically focused on the basics…food, clothing and shelter. Then hopefully education is on the list as a priority. But to add on to that list with extracurricular activities like sports or ballet or music lessons is often unthinkable. I often ask myself who gets left behind? What great athlete, doctor, teacher? They just needed a chance. They need a forever family who can help them find their talents and passions. It is up to us to reach out a hand and help! It’s up to us to open our hearts and our homes. These kids are our responsibility. Can you us find a forever family for Mistee? 

Mistee is 14 and from Idaho. She is energetic, spunky, outgoing, and creative. She appreciates the finer arts of dancing, singing and acting. Though Mistee isn’t currently on a dance team, she would really like to join one. She is very proud to be a part of her school’s drama club and debate team. If Mistee could travel anywhere in the world she would go to Paris and Hollywood. Mistee shared that she really appreciates her current foster mom teaching her how to become a young lady and helping her calm down when things can upset her. She’s a resilient girl yet wants a family that will be understanding of her trauma and extend patience to her every day, and preferably a family that enjoys cake just as much as she does. Do you have a current home study and think that you could provide her with the Forever Home she deserves? For more info please contact Melissa at [email protected] 

#FamiliesDontHaveToMatch

#ForeverFamily

#Adoption

#FosterCare

#NoUnwantedKids

#JustUnfoundFamilies

#Olympics

#USA

Forever Family Friday week 38 – Evan

Here is a not so fun fact for a Friday. Did you know that the number of children in the foster care system is higher than the number of foster parents? Every single kid in the foster care system did absolutely nothing to get there. It is no fault of theirs and their shoulders were not built to bear the weight of their parent’s choices. However, day in and day out they face consequences due to someone else’s bad decisions. If you feel you have more to give as a parent, if you want to make a positive impact in someone else’s life, if you are someone who has room in your heart and your home to drastically improve the quality of a child’s life… you are what I would call a person that would make an amazing foster parent! These kids need positive, inspiring and uplifting people surrounding them. People who will help them to understand it’s not their fault and that they are worthy and valuable. Is this you? If you think it could be PLEASE call the number on this post. PLEASE go to the resources section on my website. We want you! We need you! The kids need you. Please meet Evan. He needs you!

Evan is 15 years old and lives in Georgia. He is respectful and sweet with a smile that will light up a room. During his photo shoot he worked really hard to keep his button-down wrinkle-free and clean, despite making pizza and painting. Blessie. I love that. He enjoys spending time with others, swimming, playing basketball, listening to music, and playing and watching football. At school his favorite subject is science. Evan enjoys spending time with his friends. He needs a loving adoptive family who will give him the acceptance, attention, support, encouragement, structure and nurturing environment he needs to continue to thrive. Are YOU the perfect family for Evan?

Please contact Rebecca at [email protected] for more info. To see Evan’s video click here

#FamiliesDontHaveToMatch

#ForeverFamily

#Adoption

#FosterCare

#Georgia

#Summertime

#NoUnwantedKids

#JustUnfoundFamilies

Forever Family Friday week 37 – Latori

Happy Forever Family Friday Everyone. Hope you all had a good Fourth. Let’s roll up our sleeves and put our thinking caps on and really see if we can make a difference in the life of this 16 year old. She needs us. We need you. Did you know that the foster care system contributes less than 50% of what it costs for the average American family to raise a child from 0 – 17 years of age. So, as a result, kids in the foster system are not prepared, 25% will not complete high school, 70% will be on government assistance within 4 years of aging out. I could go on and on. Bottom line is this is a huge loss of potential as the next great teacher, firefighter, doctor, or lawmaker might be left behind since they have little resources to get them there. They need us! Our economy suffers with loss of great people doing what they were called to do, as well as the cost of the social services. We need to stop the madness. We need kids in forever families. This is not about statistics… it’s about people. 

Let’s help Latori with resources, with investment, with a forever family! She is 16 and lives in Alabama. Latori is described as shy at first but becomes very talkative once she is comfortable. Latori loves animals, sports and being outside. She’s a nature girl and can clear her head when she is outdoors. I agree – walking and being outside is so good for our mind! Some of her favorite sports are volleyball and soccer. She says she enjoys mud riding, hunting, decorating and likes to get dressed up to go somewhere. I love it!  Me too!

For more information on Latori please contact Catherine Teal  [email protected].  Photo by Heart Galley Alabama

#FamiliesDontHaveToMatch

#ForeverFamily

#Adoption

#FosterCare

#Alabama

#Summertime

#NoUnwantedKids

#JustUnfoundFamilies

Forever Family Friday week 36 – Bernard

Independence. Freedom. Red, White and Blue. Land of the free because of the Brave. This weekend we celebrate July 4th. In our house we also celebrate SJ’s birthday and he thinks each year fireworks are just for him! (We’ll let him continue to believe that 🤫) But, I want to go deep for a second. Read these words….

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Whoa. That is from The Declaration of Independence. I had to look up “unalienable rights”. It means something that is impossible to take away or give up. What makes me stop and pause is thinking about children without love or security. Without a forever family. A family should not be something that can be taken away or given up, yet here we are championing for hundreds of thousands of children in need of one. Where is their life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness within the foster care system?

Please meet Bernard. He is 15 years old and lives in Alabama. He is in need of his forever family. Take one look at his smile and you can see kindness and gentleness. He loves music and being outside. He is mostly non verbal but can be very affectionate! He loves smiling and dancing. Can you be that special family for Bernard, or do you know someone who can. He deserves love and security. For more information please contact Tina Lewis at [email protected] Photo: heart Gallery of Alabama

#FamiliesDontHaveToMatch

#ForeverFamily

#Adoption

#FosterCare

#Love

#JulyFourth

#NoUnwantedKids

#JustUnfoundFamilies

Forever Family Friday week 35 – Jhael

Hey everyone! Listen before I jump into my post today I just want to make sure I say thank you to you guys. Thank you for asking great questions. Thank you for all the inquires on our kids the past couple of weeks. Thank you for caring and thank you for journeying along with me each Friday. Please know that if we keep making the effort that so many good things are going to happen. We are seeing results and we are inspired and encouraged by so many of you. And you know what… I really think summer is such a great time to start or check out foster care…whether it’s parenting or to volunteer. When a child goes to a new home, he/she has to adjust to a new family and so much more. And usually that means a new school too. If school is out for summer that eliminates a major adjustment and the focus can be more about family and making connections. This time of year is a little more relaxed and we tend to do more family things from vacations to back yard activities to playing games together. Summer is the perfect time to make many sweet memories with foster kids and really break down barriers. So what a perfect time for you to consider getting involved and being a difference maker!

PLEASE DM me, email [email protected] or contact Rebecca at the email below for help or questions. We hopefully can point you in the right direction. The first step is to get your home study done locally. Check out the resources page on my website for even more info. https://www.leighannetuohy.com/forever-family-friday/. Remember…Summertime is an IDEAL time to add to your family!

Please meet Jhael who would love to be adopted this summer! He is 10 and lives in Georgia. He is fun, loving and sometimes quiet. He enjoys riding his bike and scooter, and playing soccer. He is good at football too and says he wants to be a basketball player when he grows up. Jhael enjoys school and learning new things, especially about math! He would love to be a part of an outgoing and adventurous family who is nice, kind and generous. He describes himself as nice, gentle, kind and giving. For more information on Jhael please email Rebecca at [email protected]

Please click here for Jhael’s video ❤️

#FamiliesDontHaveToMatch

#ForeverFamily

#Adoption

#FosterCare

#Love

#Summertime

#NoUnwantedKids

#JustUnfoundFamilies

Forever Family Friday week 34 – Neveah

Happy Father’s Day weekend everyone. As we gear up to honor those that have played such important roles in the lives of so many…I’d like to say thank you. The Bible speaks of God as a defender of the defenseless and a father to the fatherless. Thank you to those that put the heart of God on display everyday as you stand up for those that are without and fatherless and unloved. Thank you for showing so many a picture of what real love looks like. I then have to stop and ask myself how many kids in foster care never experience that love. I’m guessing that most of them would give anything for a forever father to celebrate with this weekend? 420,000 plus children. That’s a big number of kids that are not out today searching for or making the perfect gift for dad right now. They won’t be grilling with their dad or playing catch. It will just be another day instead a day of reflection and adoration. It is my hope they do have a special man in their life that they can be grateful for: a foster dad, a teacher, a coach. Someone that has impacted and influenced their life. And listen…Thank you to all of you guys that have been a loving example of our Heavenly Father. If you know someone that you think would be a wonderful foster father please share this information about our #ForeverFamilyFriday post with them. You never know what someone is thinking until you ask! Here’s the perfect reason to ask the question and her name is Neveah.

Neveah is 12 years old and she is from Idaho. She is spunky, fun, helpful and caring and is always open to learning and trying new things. She has a silly, goofy personality and is so much fun to spend time with! She loves swings, playing in the leaves, riding her bike and going on picnics. Neveah is looking forward to playing soccer, basketball and volleyball someday. When indoors, she can be found doing crafts, reading, watching Frozen or playing a game of Monopoly or checkers. If she could visit anyplace on Earth, she would choose Hawaii to explore the beach and swim with the dolphins. Neveah really enjoys going to church.

In her own beautiful words, Neveah shared with us what she hopes to find in her Forever Family, “A loving family with both a mom and a dad, with or without siblings is ok. I hope they have a yard, and a farm would be even better! I want parents who are nice and who will help me do my homework and learn to cook. I would like to ride bikes or horses together, go camping and fishing and go swinging together at the park. Oh…and I’d love to have a bunkbed.” We are confident that there is a family meant for Neveah out there who can meet every single one of her wishes. If you think that you are the right family for this sweet and resilient girl, please contact Melissa asap at [email protected] Continue to be on board with us and help Neveah to have a parent to celebrate!

#FamiliesDontHaveToMatch

#ForeverFamily

#Adoption

#FosterCare

#Love

#FathersDay

#NoUnwantedKids

#JustUnfoundFamilies

Forever Family Friday week 33 – Roneisha and Ariana

Have you ever considered foster care or even Looked into it? If you have the heart for foster care or have any interest at all in it please don’t let fear stand in the way. The fact that you’re still here reading my #ForeverFamilyFriday posts tells me you have a heart to make a difference and I’m so grateful for that and for you! Many of you may be nervous about embarking on the foster care journey because there are so many unknowns. Listen…if you have biological kids that journey has many unknowns as well! Shoot Collins our first born did not come with an instruction manual and we definitely could have used one! Foster parents have many resources available to them. There are support groups and training classes and amazing people that are qualified to help if needed! People say there are hoops to jump through and lots of red tape when fostering but I had to do all of that with biological kids as well. Heck the forms at the doctors visits and the school forms are endless. Without a forever family one in five of these kids in foster care will become homeless after the age of 18! Please help us prevent these beautiful sisters from becoming homeless. They are certainly worth the effort and the hoops and the red tape, and a Forever Family!

Please meet Roneisha and Ariana from South Carolina. They are 15 and 16. Such a special age in the lives of girls. I am so happy they have each other, but how wonderful could it be if they had parents too. A forever family. They both have creative styling skills and are interested in becoming cosmetologists. However, Roneisha is also considering a career in pediatrics. She says she likes to explore new things and enjoys math. Ariana describes herself as helpful, smart and nice. She enjoys walking and spending time outdoors. Ariana’s favorite subject is science and her favorite singer is Beyoncé. The siblings hope to find a loving forever home. Can that home be yours? For more information please contact the South Carolina Heart Gallery at 803-734-2595 or [email protected] Photographer Liz Odom

#FamiliesDontHaveToMatch

#ForeverFamily

#Adoption

#FosterCare

#Love

#Siblings

#NoUnwantedKids

#JustUnfoundFamilies

Forever Family Friday week 32 – Dylan

The first week of June! School is out and people are shifting mindsets of routine and structure, to fun and relaxation. Family vacations. Days spent maybe at the beach, lake, park. Trips to the grandparents house and maybe even the library for summer reading. Popsicles from the ice-cream man. Picnics in the backyard. Sleepovers at friends’ homes. These are things of summer. If you are a foster child, I’m wondering how much you have to look forward to during this season? Is it really any different? Hopefully the foster parents are trying to make summer memories, but mostly my guess would be they are doing their best to handle one day at a time with basics of food, clothing and shelter. These next few weeks, look around you, do you have space for one more kid making a s’more around the bonfire? Do you have one more pair of goggles for a kid to use in the pool? Summer is a time to refuel and recharge, it’s also a great time time to plug in and help give someone a chance.

Please meet Dylan. He is 8 years old and from Oklahoma. He has a knockout smile and a fun personality! He likes to be known as Silly Dilly and he lives up to that name. He is a funny typical 8-year-old boy who loves to play. He enjoys making up jokes and he shares them with anyone he comes in contact with. His favorite subject in school is gym class because he gets to play and do races. He likes running and jumping. His next best subject is Art because he likes to draw. One day he would like to be a painter in Paris! He wants to paint the Eiffel tower! But what he would really like is to have his very own family. What a blessing he would be. For more information please contact [email protected] or 405-650-8947. Photo courtesy of Don Kreutzweiser

Click here to learn more about Dylan!

#FamiliesDontHaveToMatch

#ForeverFamily

#Adoption

#FosterCare

#Love

#Oklahoma

#NoUnwantedKids

#JustUnfoundFamilies

#Summertime

Forever Family Friday week 31 – Amiliyona

Are you ready for this stat…There are more children in foster care than the amount of people that live in the entire city of Tampa. Or Cleveland. Or Orlando. What?!! That’s hard for me to process. When theses kids are spread out all over the US the number may not seem as great, but when I envision an entire city with all the communities and neighborhoods, schools and gyms, sports arenas and shopping centers and picture it all filled with children without a mom or dad, that gives me chills. If you are reading this right now…thank you. My prayer is that you will continue to stick with us as we journey through #ForeverFamilyFriday. I pray each week that we will decrease this number by one but we need your help. You know the drill. Please share, pray, post, discuss and like the child each Friday. It will take ALL of us to solve this problem!

Amiliyona is 15 years old and lives in Florida. She is full of happy energy and is fun to be around with her extremely outgoing personality. As you look at her pictures wouldn’t you agree she exudes sunshine?! She could dance, sing and do gymnastics all day long. Amiliyona loves working with animals and talks about being a veterinarian when she grows up. She dreams of traveling to the Bahamas to see and pet dolphins, however she would be happy going to Sea World too!

Despite the difficult times Amiliyona has experienced, she has an optimistic attitude and is hopeful she will find a family who will show her the unconditional love she desires. And deserves! Join us in sharing Amiliyona and help find her forever family! Have a wonderful Memorial Day and enjoy your friends and family. You are blessed to have them. For more information on Amiliyona please contact Heart Gallery Tampa 813-314-2021.
Jessica Bellinger Photography

#FamiliesDontHaveToMatch

#ForeverFamily

#Adoption

#FosterCare

#Love

Forever Family Friday week 30 – Steve and Angel

Over 700 kids enter the foster care system every day. 700! That’s heartbreaking. They linger for several years and go from home to home to home. If you’re a sibling group at some point in time if you have not been adopted they look to start separating you. This week I’m just diving right in because these sweet brothers are at risk of being separated. We need to do everything in our power to prevent this. Please meet Steve and Angel. These brothers are as close as any brothers could be and eager to be a part of a forever family. However, we have learned that their team is beginning to discuss splitting them up. The statistics show that more than half of the children in foster care have at least one sibling in the system. And that as many as 75% are placed apart from one another. So sad. PLEASE, help us keep this from happening and help us find a home for the brothers to STAY TOGETHER! They live in Arizona but can be adopted elsewhere. Be a part of this solution. Share them with others. Talk about them and please pray for them. For information contact [email protected] Or DM me! Or my asst [email protected]

Angel was born in 2005, loves to cook and bake, and is always excited to try out new foods and recipes. He likes to play Minecraft and watch sports. His favorite teams are the Denver Broncos and the LA Clippers. He also likes to play with his friends and never misses the opportunity to play with the neighborhood dogs! Angel would like to be a part of a family that help him and his brother to maintain their relationships with their other siblings.

Steve, born in 2006, especially values the importance of family and friends. He likes to play video games and he plays a lot of sports, but soccer is his favorite. His favorite teams to cheer on are the Portland Trailblazers and Real Madrid. Steve is motivated to take care of his things and his space by going above and beyond in his responsibilities. How great would it be to have a new addition to your home that enjoys responsibilities! It is important for Steve to be a part of a family that will encourage him to learn more about his Hispanic culture and his relationships with his other siblings.

#Brothers

#ForeverFamilyFriday

#FamiliesDontHaveToMatch

#Arizona

#Bond

#Siblings