Right now, there are a little more than 100,000 foster children waiting to be adopted across the United States. But every day, 1,200 children are adopted from foster care.
Organizations such as Together We Rise try to make those adoptions as positive as possible. Together We Rise is a nonprofit organization "dedicated to improving the lives of foster children in the most compassionate and influential ways possible," Gianna Dahlia, COO at Together We Rise, told A Plus.
One of Dahlia's recent favorite stories involves two families who live next to each other, the Houstons and the Washingtons. The Washingtons adopted three children, but were not able to adopt one of their brothers still in need of a family. 389 days after the Washingtons' adoption, the Houstons adopted him so that he could grow up alongside his brothers.
Each family has a mix of biological and adopted children, which makes for some pretty beautiful family photos.
Photo courtesy of Together We Rise
There are some big misconceptions about foster care, according to Dahlia. The most common one, he says, is that children are placed into foster care because they have behavioral problems or are bad kids.
"The main reason children enter foster care is they are neglected," Dahlia told A Plus. "These children were placed into foster care at no fault of their own and are instantly stigmatized. The majority of these children are healthy and just want, need, and deserve a supportive and loving family. "
She also notes foster care is rather inexpensive, contrary to the myth that adoption will break the bank. Of course, raising children isn't free, but often times we don't see the costs of letting foster children age out of the system. Less than 3 percent of those that leave foster care without a home graduate college, 51 percent are unemployed and emancipated females are four times as likely to require public assistance than the general population, Dahlia explained.
Together We Rise plucks at our heartstrings by uploading photos of adoptees on Instagram and Facebook. In the photos, the children pose with a sign detailing their experiences in foster care: specifically, how long they were there and the day they got adopted.
It's a beautiful reminder about the love of family, and the way new beginnings are changing children's lives every day.