Finding Family: What is the Heart Gallery?

Updated: Nov. 13, 2022 at 10:00 PM CST
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(KOSA) -

Right now, there are over 100 children waiting for adoption in West Texas.

CBS7 and One Accord for Kids’ Heart Gallery program have teamed up to feature those children and help them find a forever home.

Each Sunday on CBS7 First Alert News at 10, Matthew Alvarez will bring us the bright and shining faces who make up what’s called the Heart Gallery.

In the gallery, you’ll find photos.

Those photos show the face of a child who is thoughtful, caring, and kind.

Behind each smile is a story.

“I want my pictures to show the personality of these children,” said Ronda Ireton, a mother, Grandma, and Volunteer Photographer.

A story told by a volunteer photographer, giving her time for a greater cause.

“With the smile in their eyes, the attitude of the way they pose. I just want their personality to shine through in the pictures that I take,” said Ireton.

Ireton is one of the local photographers who have donated their time and efforts to take photos of young men and women for the heart gallery.

“I just think that God opened this door for me to take my love for photography and portraits of children to use for something better,” Ireton explains.

The Heart Gallery has become a unique tool in the mission to find foster kids forever families.

“So, the Heart Gallery is a display of local children eligible for adoption,” said Jamie Poe, West Texas Program Director for Addie’s Hope Adoption Agency – Midland.

For partner organizations like Addie’s Hope Adoption Agency in Midland, the Heart Gallery is promising for kids in their care available for adoption.

“I Would like the Heart Gallery to display our Teens. Because they deserve a forever home as well,” Poe explains.

Each child has a unique story, but all have that same goal - to find their forever family.

That common goal is what drives One Accord for Kids in West Texas to use Heart Gallery to show the need in our area.

“It gives them a face; it gives them a name. Instead of talking about a foster kid in general we can talk about Peyton, we can talk about John, we can talk about Bobby. We can tell a little bit of their story, explains Matt Waller, Associate Director for One Accord for Kids West Texas.

Even with this November being National Adoption Month, the number of children who are awaiting adoption cannot be overstated.

“The situation in West Texas in foster care is dire,” says Brandon Logan, Executive Director of One Accord for Kids West Texas.

A dire situation, especially for those in the foster system who are now older teens and may move into adulthood alone.

“They’ve been in the foster care systems for a while and haven’t found a forever family. They’re on the cusp of aging out,” Logan explains.

Those in that situation can be found in the Heart Gallery.

There you’ll find profiles of children currently available for adoption and also resources for those interested in learning more about the adoption process.

“We want to see different ways the community can step up and step into the need within our foster system here,” Waller says.

To learn more, click on any of the links below:

One Accord for Kids Texas

Heart Gallery