I like the sound of that….Finding Forever. I’ve been rolling it around in my head and off my tongue to see if it is the right name choice for the November show I am championing in honor of thousands of kids in the foster care system throughout our state and our nation. (I am in pursuit of what the actual number is.)

The vernacular in the adoption/foster care system is an interesting one.  Finding a child’s Forever Family is how the quest for home is defined. Finding the best fit for the child.  It is not about blood, race, gender….it is about forever.

For my daughter there were several different homes, one of them twice. I share her story to shed light and context on just how important finding a forever home is. Her first foster home said they would adopt her. Then mom got cancer and they gave her back. I still can’t fathom that. So life gets hard and you return a human like a couch that doesn’t fit in your living room? On to the next foster home for her – a Spanish speaking family we know nothing about. This was a short term placement as foster mom #1 goes into remission and decides, sure, we’ll take her back. Why the system (i.e. social worker, attorney, etc.) didn’t question the viability of this is beyond me. Guess what, cancer returns, as does my girl to the foster care system again.

I am infuriated just remembering this detail. I actually talked to this foster parent at one point and did all I could to gather information and not show my disgust. I understand difficulty. I understand lots of things. But these decisions were dramatically affecting a LIFE. A child’s fragile, trust-violated, life.

There was one more foster home where her brother was in placement that agreed to take her under detailed conditions. It was there we met. And fell in love. We were in love with them the first moment we saw their picture. (Those details are for another post).

So perhaps Finding Forever is the right title for the exhibition. It is the most important experience of these children’s lives. Right now they float in an anxious place of not knowing, wanting, missing out on trusting love. Wondering what they’ve done wrong, wondering what they could do to get someone, anyone, to take them home and love them forever.

I will show your beautiful faces, say your names, show all I can that you are indeed so worthy, so lovable, and that there are arms and hearts waiting to take you home if only just to find you.

Click below to see some of the kids searching for their forever homes