LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It can be a difficult and expensive process for families trying to reach out to adopt children. But there are many children right here in southwest Louisiana that need families and homes.
Trinity Baptist Church paired up with the Department of Children and Family Services to place a group of local children with permanent families.
Eight children were selected and have now become part of the Heart Gallery.
Most children in the foster system or adoption process want nothing more than a permanent home and family, and that's the goal of the new local program.
"Our agency is very excited, again to partner Trinity Baptist Church to try to find placements for our children, permanent places for them to be adopted," said Rose Greene, an area director for the Department of Children and Family Services.
The children participated in a professional photo shoot in order to display their portraits.
"It's just a fun day to make them feel like a princess or a little prince and just too really capture these kids personalities," said Kelly Berryhill, the team leader for the Foster and Adoption Ministry at Trinity. "Because sometimes when you see them on just a blank piece of paper, or you just hear the word adoption, it's just not real."
Berryhill knows firsthand the adoption process. She's an adoptee and has an adopted child in her family.
"They're all precious and they just want a home," said Berryhill. "They want love and security that a family can provide. That's what we hope this gallery does, is encourage people just to step out and give these children a home, which is what we all want. A family."
While the gallery is currently on display at Trinity, it will travel all over southwest Louisiana.
"Not only is Trinity hosting the gallery, but we've partnered with 11 other churches throughout the community to bring the gallery to their churches of all different denominations over the next year," said Berryhill.
Everyone involved hopes this project will make the community more aware of the dire need for families.
"We just pray for an outpouring of love from the community, that they would just wrap their arms around these children in prayer and then hopefully wrap them in their arms and bring them home," said Berryhill.
For any questions regarding these children or others adoption ready contact the Department of Children and Family Services at 337-475-3030.
Heart Gallery exhibit schedule:
April – Trinity Baptist Church
May - Glad Tidings Church
June - Living Word Christian Center
August - University United Methodist Church
September – First Baptist Church of Westlake
October - Our Lady of Prompt Succor
January 2013 - St. Luke-Simpson United Methodist Church
February 2013 – Boulevard Church of Christ
March 2013 - Greater St. Mary Baptist Church