By Leslie Castillo
Like a magnet, the photos capturing the wide grins, smiling faces, and warm embraces of the children will draw you in.
This year's 2008 Heart Gallery features 34 children, ages 4 to 16, who are currently in the state's foster care system and have been waiting to find their forever families for at least a year.
Lisa Funaro, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange, Inc. (MARE), hopes a visit to this display will serve as one of the inspirational first steps in the journey for many families planning to adopt.
"People can stop by, take a card with the child's photo and information, place it on their refrigerators, and call us when they are ready," said Funaro.
Thanks to the Heart Gallery, in conjunction with other MARE resources, two children found permanent placement in 2005; last year the number grew to 10, and this year an additional 30 children will be featured as the display travels to various locations throughout Massachusetts, with the hope of matching as many children as possible with loving, permanent families.
If you are interesting in one of the children highlighted in the Heart gallery or to read more of Leslie's article in the May issue visit Bay State Parent magazine's web site at: http://www.baystateparent.com/news/2008/0501/articles/026.html