Child exhibit tugs on heartstrings

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – It’s a traveling photographic exhibit that will tug on your heartstrings.

Indiana’s Heart Gallery helps find families for children in foster care, and now it’s here in Terre Haute at the Hulman Center.

These children in the exhibit want a forever home.

“Give that child a chance. That’s all these children need, is a chance,” said Cathy Drake, foster parent.

Kristi Cundiff knows all too well how these older children can easily be swept under the rug. She’s adopted eight children over the age of six.

“Those are the children that seem to be unadoptable. The children that are older are harder to find homes for,” said Kristi Cundiff, adoption champion.

20,000 children leave foster care without life-long families, many at the young age of 18, left to fend for themselves. The Indiana Department of Child Services uses this Heart Gallery to bring attention to foster children who just want a family.

“Every child deserves a family that loves them, and every child deserves a secure, loving home that they don’t have to worry about being picked up and moved on a regular basis,” said Cundiff.

And that security breeds love.

“They need a forever family, just like the babies do. The babies are easily adopted, but these children need to grow up and have a family, that once they go off to college or whatever it is they do, that they have a family to go back to,” said Drake.

And to a child, that support can mean all the difference.

“The importance of having that love, the support that comes with having a loving family,” said Robert Willis, Heart Gallery photographer.

But it can also mean all the difference to ones who take them in.

“The fulfillment you get is much more than you can ever dream you could get,” said Drake.

The Indiana Heart Gallery will display a dozen portraits February 14 through 16 at Indiana State University’s Hulman Center.

It’s open from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. each day. There is no charge to see the Heart Gallery exhibit.

This weekend on WTHI, we’ll explain more about how important this gallery is to foster children, even saving their lives.

For more information about Indiana adoption, check their web

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