November is Adoption Awareness Month



Associate Judge Melissa DeGerolami recently proclaimed the month of November as Adoption Awareness Month for the 81st Judicial District. Pictured are CASA of South Texas, the Atascosa County Child Welfare Board, Department of Family and Protective Services, Associate Judge Melissa DeGerolami and Child Protection Court sta. They are displaying portraits from the The Heart Gallery, of children waiting for their forever home. JESSICA TOM | COURTESY PHOTO

Associate Judge Melissa DeGerolami recently proclaimed the month of November as Adoption Awareness Month for the 81st Judicial District. Pictured are CASA of South Texas, the Atascosa County Child Welfare Board, Department of Family and Protective Services, Associate Judge Melissa DeGerolami and Child Protection Court sta. They are displaying portraits from the The Heart Gallery, of children waiting for their forever home. JESSICA TOM | COURTESY PHOTO

The month of November marks National Adoption Awareness Month.

On Nov. 1, Associate Judge Melissa DeGerolami of the Child Protection Court of South Central Texas signed the proclamation recognizing Adoption Awareness Month for the 81st Judicial District. This includes Atascosa, Karnes, Wilson, LaSalle and Frio counties.

Recently, you may have noticed large portraits of children displayed in the county. The portraits are part of The Heart Gallery, a nationwide database of children who are under the guardianship of the state and ready to adopt.

“Their photo features a story and ID number that people can read about,” said Jessica Tom, president of the Atascosa County Child Welfare Board. “The Heart Gallery also creates 18×22 framed professional photos of these children to display and promote awareness. We have seven photos coming to our county and we will be displaying them throughout businesses in the county in an effort to raise awareness.”

She said they hope to hit 28 businesses across the month by putting one photo in seven businesses each week. Some of the locations The Heart Gallery will be on display at include

Pleasanton City Hall, Jourdanton City Hall, the Atascosa County Courthouse, Pleasanton Public Library, Jourdanton Community Library, Chili’s, Plestex Theatre and locations in Lytle.

The Heart Gallery will also be on display at the Atascosa County Child Welfare Board Christmas Craft Show this Saturday, Nov. 10 at Cowboy Fellowship, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Another event held in conjunction with National Adoption Awareness Month is the mass Adoption Day scheduled for Nov. 29. It is estimated that this year 12 children representing three counties will take part in the Adoption Day. The annual celebration is a touching, emotional ceremony for not just the participants, but for those observing it as well.

Also, for those interested in adoption or becoming a foster parent, a Foster Care and Adoption Information Meeting is set for Monday, Dec. 3, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Trinity Baptist Church. The church is located at 1219 N. Bryant St. in Pleasanton. For more details on the meeting or adoption, please contact CPS Foster/ Adopt Specialist David Pate at 830-393-5418.

The Atascosa County Child Welfare Board is also planning to host an upcoming free Night at the Movies for anyone interested in learning more about fostering and seeing the movie “Instant Family” at Plestex Theatre. Those interested are asked to please contact David Pate at 830-393-5418.

For those interested in becoming a part of the Atascosa County Child Welfare Board, please contact Jessica Tom at 210- 382-3358.

Adoption Awareness Month is an opportunity to celebrate all families built through adoption, and to commend the many professionals and advocates that further adoption efforts in our community and our great state.

WHAT IS THE HEART GALLERY?

THE HEART GALLERY IS A TRAVELING PHOTOGRAPHIC AND AUDIO EXHIBIT CREATED TO FIND FOREVER FAMILIES FOR CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE.

CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES AND COMMUNITY PARTNERS HAVE COME TOGETHER TO CREATE HEART GALLERY PORTRAIT EXHIBITS TO FEATURE CHILDREN FROM THEIR AREAS WHO DREAM OF FINDING A “FOREVER FAMILY.”

HEART GALLERY PLANNERS ADD THEIR OWN CREATIVITY AND WITH THE GENEROSITY OF THEIR COMMUNITIES; THEY HELP THESE SPECIAL CHILDREN FIND THEIR FOREVER ADOPTIVE FAMILY.

STATS AS OF SEPTEMBER 2018

CHILDREN WAITING FOR ADOPTION:
(STATEWIDE) 7,264
(REGION 8, BEXAR & 27 SURROUNDING COUNTIES) 1,434
(ATASCOSA COUNTY) 30

HOMES IN ATASCOSA COUNTY:
(FOSTER) 0
(FOSTER/ADOPTIVE) 16

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