Gulf Coast JFCS exists to uplift lives for all people, regardless age, religious beliefs, race or gender.  Last year nearly 37,000 people, received assistance from one or more of Gulf Coast JFCS nearly 50 programs spanning a full spectrum of basic safety net support such as food and housing assistance to  child welfare and adoption, refugee resettlement, behavioral health and job training and placement.  The following is one of hundreds of happy child adoption stories through Gulf Coast JFCS Heart Gallery program.

I’m Home…

Kim and Kirk Hendrick talked about becoming foster parents early in their marriage as a way to grow their family. Inspired by another family in their community who had adopted a child, Kim asked her family, “Can we step up too?” The entire family rallied to the idea of adoption from foster care and began the process by searching for foster children available for adoption via the Heart Gallery program.

Kim and Kirk first met Isabella, nicknamed “Bella”, when she moved into a foster home down the street.  Over time, the family bonded with their future daughter through a shared love of cheerleading, and began the steps toward adoption of Bella. More than one year later, Bella and the Hendrick’s have cemented their bond as a family. Bella is now in a place where she is happy to say “I’m home” – a place where she’s able to explore her musical talents and her passion for life. This vivacious teenager has found her “forever home!”

The Heart Gallery of Pinellas and Pasco is a program of Gulf Coast JFCS that connects children in foster care with their forever families through adoption. In addition to featuring children awaiting adoption through photo galleries throughout the community, the program identifies families interested in adoption and supports their journey through the adoption process.