Tom and I went to the unveil of the Heart Gallery, a project of the Adoption Coalition of Texas, last night. This exact time last year, my mom called me up and told me about this thing she heard about on the radio. She mentioned the Heart Gallery and told me to go online because she wanted to buy me tickets. I had never heard about it before. I looked it up and immediately fell in love with what they’re doing. Bailey Lane didn’t exist at this point, but I was thinking about photography a lot and hoping that maybe someday if I’m lucky I would be able to have my own photography business and be a contributor to the Heart Gallery.
Going the Heart Gallery gave me the push I needed to go this whole Bailey Lane thing. I don’t know, there was just something about that night that was very prophetic. I just knew that this was what I was suppose to do. About two weeks later, I was let go from my job, which was an overall horrible time in my life, but suddenly I was freed up to pursue what I really really wanted to do.
Last night was bittersweet. Sweet because I was able to be a contributing photographer for the Gallery this year. And bitter because there are all of these kids waiting and waiting for a forever home. I recognized a lot of the same kids from last year…which means they never got adopted. The Heart Gallery showcases portraits of kids that are legally available for adoption. All they need is a family to step up and say I want you. They showed a video titled “Still Waiting” about several kids that have been waiting for 4, 7, and 10 years to be adopted. Oh my goodness I bawled my eyes out and I’m tearing up as I write it even now. They interviewed a 17 year old boy and asked him if he could go anywhere in the world, where would he go. He said Sea World. Sea World, y’all. I lost it. I was about to march my ass over to his house and take him to Sea World. I mean that’s just not okay!! Just imagine for a moment what it would feel like to not feel wanted. I’m sure it’s not hard to imagine. We’ve all felt at some moment in our life that no one cares about me. I’m so alone. No one understands. I still have those thoughts, but for me I know that those thoughts are not true. People do care about me (I just forget about them or never tell them when something is wrong). But for these kids, who is that person in their life that they run to when life gets really hard and they need a place to belong?
The only two things that give me comfort is that God says to them I will never leave you nor forsake you. And secondly, it’s really awesome when some of them do get adopted..when someone looks at them and says Yes, I want you. You are mine. I will never leave you. I love you.
I don’t want to paint this rosy picture of adoption or make you feel like you’re a horrible person. Adoption isn’t for everyone and people say it’s really hard and that it requires so much of you. But to think that you can make ALL of the difference in someones life is just amazing. Adoptive parents, all I have to say to you is this: great is your reward in heaven.
You can see the picture I took of for these four siblings here on the heart gallery website. Stick around and browse through the other photos. Pray for these babies, tell people about them, buy tickets to one of the Heart Gallery events in your hometown, and I dare say it, adopt one of them.