There are over 100,000 kids in the U.S. foster care system awaiting adoption. That’s why organizations like Together We Rise work to promote foster care adoption and support families in the midst of the process.
“Raising awareness about adoption from foster care is so important because of the many myths the majority of people believe to be true,” Together We Rise executive director, Gianna Dahlia, told The Huffington Post.
“People believe that these may be ‘bad’ kids with many problems or that they can’t afford it,” she added. “The truth is an adoption from foster care costs close to nothing, but more importantly, these children are just children who want and deserve loving homes.”
“The road to adoption can be hard, but these families prove that in the end, when a child gets to be a part of a forever family, how special that moment is,” Dahlia said. “Seeing the joy on a child’s face that they get to be loved and supported for the rest of their life is priceless. We can’t really think of a better feeling than knowing you belong and are loved.”
Sharing adoption day photos are just one of many uplifting initiatives for Together We Rise, which aims to improve the lives of foster kids by offering resources like school supplies, bicycles, educational programs and even college scholarships. The nonprofit also educates volunteers about the issues surrounding the foster care system and provides information to foster parents about the adoption process.
“It is important not only to raise awareness for adoption from foster care but that we celebrate the families who are working hard every day to complete their forever families,” said Dahlia, adding that National Adoption Month in November is a great opportunity to do so.
“We need to show these families that their community supports them and that the journey is worth it,” she added. “National Adoption Month is about tackling negative stereotypes and empowering more families in hopes for a better future for children still waiting for their forever family. “
Keep scrolling to see more heartwarming photos of kids adopted from foster care.
"It was the day before my due date with my baby girl that we took the leap to foster this sweet baby girl. She was 8 months old and having 2 infants seemed a little crazy. We didn't intend to adopt through foster care, although we knew if we committed to this one, we would never be able to let her go. She has the kindest heart and when you are with her, she treats you like you are the only person in the room. This girl loves to play! She is the light of our lives and we can't wait to watch her grow up and thrive. Making her adoption official changed nothing in our home but put a forever stamp on our hearts. My advice for foster parents is to be patient, don't hold any walls up because you won't regret loving hard if they leave because it is our job to teach these babies how to love and bond. And if you're really lucky, it can turn into F O R E E V E R. And both your lives will be changed ❤️" -Hailey togetherwerise.org/helplocally #fostercare #fosterlove #adoption #togetherwerise
"Justin came to us in 2014, he was 3 1/2. We tried to have a child for 14 years and had multiple failed pregnancies. We went into foster care after meeting a recruiter for the agency at the Farmers Market. It was always our intent to adopt, but we never dreamed it would be our very first placement. Justin is a whole world and we are the happiest we have ever been in our whole lives. Justin is happy 5 year old boy now with a big heart and big dreams. He's already planning to be a foster parent when he gets older! Fostering to adopt is a long hard road, but it's worth every single tear we shed. " – Lundy Family togetherwerise.org #fosterlove #fostercare #adoption #togetherwerise
"Marianna was born at 22 weeks and 1 day gestation in a not ideal situation. She was 1.5lbs at birth. From the beginning she was a fighter. The odds of her even surviving were so small. She stayed in the NICU for almost 5 months. She came home to us as soon as she was discharged from the hospital on July 15, 2013. We were really unprepared for all of the medical issues that would soon arise, partly from her being so premature. We learned to care for her as we went along. We had the best doctors and therapists anyone could ask for! July 13, 2016 she became a permanent member of our family. We are so blessed to have her in our lives. She truly is a miracle and we thank God for allowing us to be her parents! We want to encourage others who choose to foster or adopt children who are medically fragile or have development issues. Every child needs a parent who will advocate for the child's health and development needs." -Killion Family <3 togetherwerise.org #fosterlove #fostercare #togetherwerise
"The day we received our foster/adoption approval some friends contacted us asking us to come over. When we got there they introduced us to these two sweet girls they had been fostering and they asked us to consider adopting them. Without a doubt, we knew they would one day be ours. Six months later (and jumping lots of hoops) they came to live with us and one year later they were adopted! We have one biological son (8 years) and now these precious girls (4 & 6 yrs). They fit so perfectly into our family and we couldn't imagine our lives without them! My advice for others on this journey is to keep fighting for what's best for the kids, sometimes you're the only ones fighting on their behalf." -Ciccone Family <3 togetherwerise.org #fosterlove #fostercare #togetherwerise
In 2011, we provided this young man with a bicycle on our tour across the country. Susannah Steele was one of the volunteers that was at the the event that day. Little did they know that one day they would meet again and both of their lives would be changed forever. Today, Susannah and Ben Steele, officially adopted him and their last name could not be any more perfect. Thanks BigHouse Foundation for everything you do for children in foster care <3 #fosterlove #familyofsteele #fostercare (WHY SUPERMAN? SUPERMAN WAS ADOPTED)
"We took him home from the hospital at 2 days old and fought for 2 years to keep him in our home. Adoption or foster care is not for the faint of heart. It's the hardest, most heartbreaking and rewarding, beautiful thing that will change your life. Our journey has been long but he's worth every tear, every sleepless night, every court hearing, every caseworker visit, every hour of prayer, every dollar spent, & every paper cut because every child deserves family… And he's now part of ours… Family is more than blood" In honor of National Adoption month, every morning we will highlight an adoption from the foster care system in November. #adoption #fosterlove #fostercare
"We knew when we started our foster journey that we wanted to adopt but knew that Jin's goal was reunification. We had a few other foster children come and go as well as the birth of our first biological daughter. After months, turning to years of an up and down rollercoaster ride we were finally told we could adopt him. This little boy changed us forever. Our advice for future foster parents would be to love these children harder than you have ever loved before, because you may have taught them something they may not have felt before; how to love." #fosterlove #fostercare #fostertoadopt #togetherwerise