Unconditional Love

“I’m not asking for much…I just want a family that will take care of me and love me.”

 

MoniqueWe hear this over and over again from children in foster care who are available to be adopted. When asked what they are looking for in a family, you’ll never hear them say “lots of money”, or “a big house and awesome car.” You’ll probably never even hear them request a family or a certain race or parents of a certain age.

 

All these children want is to be loved…unconditionally.

 

And are they really asking too much? We don’t think so. Unconditional love something we all seek—both in our family and romantic relationships. Everyone deserves to be loved for who they are, not what they do or don’t do.

 

National-Adoption-MonthNovember is National Adoption Awareness Month, and we believe the perfect time to talk about what love means to children in foster care.

 

Imagine going through life wondering when you’re going to make the mistake that causes your family to kick you out. For many children in foster care, this has been their reality over and over again, as they’ve moved from one temporary home and family to another. These children deserve permanency and stability; they deserve unconditional love.

 

Spend a moment with our videos of children in foster care who are waiting to be adopted, and pay special attention to what they are looking for in a family. More often than not, they’re not looking for much: just to be loved and cared for.

 

The South Carolina Heart Gallery Foundation supports the work of the South Carolina Heart Gallery, which is a collaborative program administered and supported by the Foster Care Review Board, Office of the Governor and the South Carolina Department of Social Services.

 

Adoption isn’t scary…well, maybe a little

Happy-Halloween

This week may be the only time of year when it’s acceptable to scare people; it may even be encouraged. Child-sized ghosts, goblins and witches will likely roam your streets this coming Friday in attempt—albeit imaginary—to instill fear in their neighbors in exchange for a sweet treat.

 

So, in the spirit of this “fear-filled” holiday, let’s embrace the emotion when it comes to adoption. Because, if you’re considering adopting a child from foster care, you’re probably already a little nervous…and rightfully so! Navigating the child welfare system, birth parents and the sometimes challenging behaviors of adopted children can be overwhelming. Here are some common adoption-related fears:

 

You may be scared of your home-study appointment. One prospective mother posted this on an online adoption forum:

 

“I have spent countless hours scrubbing down the house, setting up ournursery, and prepping our dogs for the children we hope to someday help. But no matter how many books I read, articles I highlight or calls to our agency, I can’t get the stress to stop. What if I forgot something from the inspection checklist? What if our dogs are too hyper for our inspector? What if the apartment is too small?” 

 

Or, you may have fears about how to tell your friends and family, such this adoptive mother:

 

“I can’t seem to imagine calling my mom on the phone and telling her ‘Hey mom, how’s the weather?  Really, that’s great.  By the way, we just started the process to become adoptive parents.  And we’re adopting an older child, not a baby.  So, how’s work?’” 

 

Our—and this may be the toughest fear to admit—you may even be scared of your own feelings toward your adoptive child. But, you wouldn’t be the first, as expressed by this prospective parent:

“My biggest concern is…looking at my child and thinking “That’s not really my child.” I’m scared I’m going to compare my adoptive child to biological nieces and nephews and think that he/she is really not part of the family. I am scared of watching my child do something and thinking “He/she gets that from me…but not really because he/she isn’t mine.”

 

Regardless of what you’re afraid about adopting, know that your feelings and emotions are normal. Countless of other prospective adoptive parents before you have had the same concerns. After all, you’re bringing a new person into your family—someone with their own feelings, beliefs and personality. It’s a scary thing! But, it’s also a pretty awesome and beautiful thing at the same time.

 

The South Carolina Heart Gallery Foundation supports the work of the South Carolina Heart Gallery, which is a collaborative program administered and supported by the Foster Care Review Board, Office of the Governor and the South Carolina Department of Social Services.

 

Source: http://www.adoptivefamiliescircle.com/forums/viewforum/10/

 

The Power of Video

If you’ve been following our blog or Facebook page for a while now, you’ve probably already seen some of the individual child profile videos that we’re creating. Yes, they’re fun. They are also heartwarming and powerful—mainly because the children in foster care in our state are so awesome.

 

But our decision to move into videos was strategic for other reasons as well. Here’s some of the research behind why the SC Heart Gallery Foundation videos have been so successful:

 

In a Forbes article last year, Brent Weinstein, Head of Digital Media at United Talent Agency, explained the increasing influence of digital video creators in spaces such as YouTube.

 

“The leverage they have with audiences is something we’ve never seen before. It’s a medium we’ve never seen before, in terms of quality, how it extracts response from its audience, and the power that the individual creator wields,” Weinstein said.

 

The article notes that on 2012, one hour of YouTube video was uploaded every second. In 2013, 72 hours of online video was uploaded to YouTube every minute. People are making and consuming videos en masse, making YouTube a media powerhouse.

 

Another article by Richard Tiland, CEO of New Evolution Video, in Forbes in June 2014 reinforced that video is “The Premier Communications Tool Of Today.”

 

“The use of video is so ubiquitous in our everyday lives, it has become part of our subconscious.  We don’t even realize how much we know and learn from vide,” Tiland wrote.

 

“Since video appeals to both sight and sound in a quick burst of stimulation, it captures the attention of the viewer immediately and makes a lasting impression.  The messaging is concise and easy to understand, reaching people of all demographics.”

 

The South Carolina Heart Gallery Foundation supports the work of the South Carolina Heart Gallery, which is a collaborative program administered and supported by the Foster Care Review Board, Office of the Governor and the South Carolina Department of Social Services.

 

Sources:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/womensmedia/2014/06/22/the-power-of-video-the-premier-communications-tool-of-today/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/lorikozlowski/2013/07/31/future-of-content-the-power-of-video/