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‘Heart Gallery’ brings new hope to teens in foster care, waiting for adoption

HARTFORD -- Jamiah is a 13-year-old girl who loves animals and wants to be a veterinarian. Her friend Sincere is 14, and he likes basketball, football, writing raps and poetry and playing the piano. Both teens have been in foster care for about six years, and are hoping to find a new, permanent home and family through adoption.

“I wanna have a family that I know I can trust and it doesn't matter what race the family is, or if there's a dad and a dad or a mom and a mom. I want to know I can trust the family,” explained Jamiah.

Both Jamiah and Sincere have had to deal with some tough situations in their short lives. But, they recently were treated to a special day at a farm in Hamden. A fitting location because they both love animals. It was a chance for a photographer to capture their smile, laugh and personality, to help highlight them on the Department of Children and Families website.

"The Heart Gallery makes a huge impact on these children’s lives,” explained DCF's Jacqueline Ford. "It really gives them an opportunity to shine and to show who they really are and what dynamic wonderful kids they are.”

Foster care is meant to be temporary. DCF places children in a home on a temporary basis while their birth families are working on issues that put their children in danger. The goal is always for the children to be reunited with that birth family, but when unification can't happen, DCF looks for a new forever home.

"They're just really normal kids that need the stability and love of a family that is willing to be patient with them and understand the trauma that they have experienced, and be in it for the long haul," said Ford.

The greatest need for foster homes is for teens and for siblings, to keep them together. The teenage years are difficult for any child, but for a child that has endured the abuse or neglect that some of these kids have, they need a family who is willing to be extra patient and loving.

Both Jamiah and Sincere remain positive and hopeful that the right family for them is out there and they can't wait to meet them.

“I hope there's someone out there who can see how unique we are and they say ‘we should take them in,” said Sincere. "I can't let anything take me from being positive. I just keep that happiness vibe going instead of getting mad and upset about all the things I’ve been through."

To learn more about adoption in Connecticut click here or call 1-888-KID-HERO.