Art exhibit fosters hope

Photos of local foster and adoptive youths are displayed in five sites throughout San Mateo County to draw attention to the 10,000 Bay Area children waiting for homes.

The Bay Area Heart Gallery is a traveling exhibit but this installation features a series of photographs focusing on San Mateo County families created through adoption and foster care, according to the county Health And Human Services Agency.

“Their faces are full of the promise of youth and their enduring hope for a loving family to call their own,” said Beverly Beasley Johnson, director of the county’s Human Services Agency.”

The Bay Area Heart Gallery also serves the Alameda County Social Services Agency, the Human Services Agency of city and county of San Francisco and Family Builders with the goal to “capture the individual spirits of foster children through gallery photographs and to inspire families of all kinds to become adoptive and foster families,” according to the gallery’s Web site.

In one picture, two sisters, Annie and Deniece, smile shyly for the camera. Their foster mother, Margie Chop, is a registered nurse who also has two adopted daughters. The family lives in the county.

“You shouldn’t hold back from bringing an older child into your home,” Chop said. “They’re just like all kids, they need to be loved in order to do well in the world.”

San Mateo’s gallery can be viewed through Nov. 30 at the San Carlos Library, Millbrae Library, Kaiser Permanente medical offices in Daly City, South San Francisco and Redwood City.

akoskey@sfexaminer.com

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