Connecticut Heart Gallery
For information about any of these children, e-mail Jackie @ email@example.com, or call1-888-KID-HERO
Meet Wilfredo, an amazingly resilient young man of 15 years who is an insightful and curious person with a kind heart and a strong work ethic. His technical mind leads him to a desire to attend a Technical School and become an IT Specialist in his adult life.
When describing a family, some things of interest to Wilfredo would be for him to be a part of a sibling set. Having older and younger brothers would be great fun for him. Wilfredo has a great sense of humor and would love for his family to share this trait with him. He longs to feel safe in his community and does not wish to be placed in an inner-city environment. This affirming and accepting young man is open to families of all ethnicities, sexual orientation or religious affiliation. He does not want to be forced to have to go to church, but is respectful of this desire for others. He is willing to live in any state, and of course would love a home where there is “a man cave!”
As when parenting any adolescent on the brink of young adulthood, Wilfredo needs a family who will provide consistency and structure while also allowing him the general freedom he requires to become a successful young man. He needs fair and honest consequences, as well as appropriate adult role modeling, to help him overcome challenging behaviors or moments of frustration. He is innovative and resourceful and has the ability to understand that rules and boundaries are in place to keep him safe.
Maintaining contact with his biological sister is crucially important to Wilfredo and will need to be supported by his family. He has lost connections with many of his other family members and he sometimes prefers solitude, rather than talking, to deal with his feelings. Once he has received some space, he is able to talk and can glean insight into his emotions and feelings.
Of utmost importance to Wilfredo is showing the world the amazing young adult he is truly capable of becoming.
For information about Wilfredo contact: Alexandria Ingleton firstname.lastname@example.org
This amazingly resilient and friendly young lady states her ideal family is “one who loves the Lord and cares about all people.” 16 year old Margie loves gospel music and attends church weekly as a devout Christian. She has strong ties to her Church family, as well as some biological relatives, and maintaining these relationships after adoption will be vitally important for her. She loves to be the center of attention and would thrive with older siblings who will provide her with love and affection.
A teen with endless energy; who is sociable, talkative and engaging, are just a few ways to describe Margie. Despite the emotional losses she has experienced, as well as the many significant medical challenges she currently endures, Margie’s resiliency shines through her personality.
Developmentally, Margie presents at a nine year old’s level as she is diagnosed with multiple disabilities including Diplegic Cerebral Palsy. She requires the use of a wheelchair, however, she can walk using a walker with supports and takes pride in being independent when making her bed, doing her laundry and practicing self-care. While many of her medical issues are manageable, Margie still requires a caring and patient family willing to attend her frequent doctor follow-up visits. She will only continue to thrive with a supportive family by her side to cheer her on and help her continue to grow her independence.
When frustrated, Margie continues to need help learning ways to express her emotions in a healthy and safe manner. She is content to be around people, has a love for stuffed animals and engaging in visual activities.
Margie longs to share her infectious smile with a family able to provide her with the love and affection she so deserves.
For information about Margie contact: Stephanie Frascadore Stephanie.Frascadore@klingberg.com
This amazingly resilient and caring young person just turned 16 years of age last summer and would love to find a family who will enjoy sharing the “fun times” of being an adolescent. Dasani has a great sense of humor and is quick with the “one liners.” He is engaging and social and loves to be a help around the house.
Both Dasani and his support team believe he would be most successful in a family where there is structure, consistency, and some fun in the home. An open and affirming home where Dasani can be himself as a gender-fluid youth is keenly important. He would love to have a family by his side as he begins to navigate the life of a young adult; such as getting a job and learning how to drive.
Like most teens, school is a struggle for Dasani; however, he works hard on his schoolwork so he can play sports. He is a junior in high school where supports are in place to help him succeed. He enjoys attending J.R.O.T.C. where they work on Army drills and techniques. Attending UCONN, joining the Army or becoming a Math teacher are just a few thoughts Dasani has about a successful future.
Being very athletic, Dasani loves to compete in softball, basketball and volleyball games. An active family who would enjoy sharing time; either playing or watching sports, would be ideal. He is an avid Patriots fan and loves to see the Yardgoats play. A vast sneaker collection is an indicator of his passion for sports and he likes to keep his hair cut short by going to the barber shop every other month.
In his own words, Dasani describes himself as a person who can be friendly and bubbly, after given time to warm up and get to know someone. He understands when he needs to take some space apart from others and he would like to be respected when he expresses these feelings. Writing in his journal, or going for a walk are ways in which Dasani takes time to decompress. He has a burgeoning ability to advocate for himself and he will continue to need the support and encouragement from the family.
Being a part of the Hispanic culture is important to Dasani and a family who shares this background would be most welcomed. He enjoys the food of the culture such as rice and beans, but his palate also expands to Scooby snacks and mangos!!
Any family willing to bring laughter into their lives will enjoy watching Dasani grow into the successful adult he is destined to be.
For information about Dasani contact William Larson: email@example.com
This precious little girl will steal your heart! Jaycee is a very special two year old toddler who is in need of an exceptional family. Having been born with a severe form of muscular dystrophy (DM1) and mild cerebral palsy, Jaycee requires 24 hour care. She is a “little toughie” who never gives up and is making slow and steady progress in her abilities. She has a very sweet smile and is a joy to be around.
Jaycee is described as a delightful little girl who waves hello and goodbye, turns the pages of a book and follows simple instructions. It appears she understands cause and effect and points to familiar objects on a tablet when asked to do so. Using a tablet or other communication device will most likely become her formal mode of communication as she grows. She has strong social skills and imitates movements she sees. She loves to look in the mirror and play with anything that rolls and makes sounds.
Despite her medical challenges, Jaycee does not let anything slow her down! At this time, she gets about by scooting on her bottom or cruising along the sofa and chairs. When wearing her braces for support, she can free stand for a few seconds and stand with support for much longer. She can sit unsupported for long periods and she just started climbing independently up and down on a chair. She moves about easily using a medical gait trainer; which is similar to a baby walker. It is too soon to predict her future walking abilities.
This little angel will keep her family very busy with her need to attend numerous medical appointments which include neurology, orthopedics, pulmonology and cardiology. Birth to 3 will be an on-going support within the home until it is replaced by a special needs pre-school program after 3 years of age.
Jaycee is a special little love bug who will thrive within a family who has the time and patience to devote to her, while rejoicing in all her accomplishments.
For information about Jaycee contact: Denise Lopez firstname.lastname@example.org
This 10 year old young man could potentially be a great architect someday! Eddy loves to do puzzles; build creations out of Legos and folding paper airplanes. As with most young boys, he loves to be outside riding his bike and being physically active. He can be sociable; enjoying one to one time with others, or go off on his own and play independently. He often wants to share with others and shows compassion, however due to his history of adverse life experiences, at times his behaviors get the best of him and they can pose a challenge to those with whom he resides.
Because of some life circumstances which have had a negative impact on Eddy, we are seeking an adoptive family who has had some experience working with children who have endured trauma. Eddy is a sweet and engaging child who struggles with managing all of the big emotions surrounding his young life, and he craves and deserves a secure and loving family where he can believe in his future.
Caring for animals; especially dogs, is a true gift for Eddy. He does very well with them; and both offers and accepts, the unconditional love an animal can provide. This comfort was especially useful to him when he was deeply impacted by the death of his mother; and he continues to grieve her loss.
Eddy will enter the 4th grade soon where he will continue to receive special education supports. He continually works on reducing his negative behaviors in school and has been able to ask to take some space, fix his mistakes and identify his emotions leading up to behaviors. On-going clinical supports for both Eddy and his family will help blend the family unit.
This smart, affectionate and deserving little boy needs a family by his side to help him stabilize and grow. He eagerly awaits the opportunity to build a relationship with a family with whom he can develop security and belonging; and where he can grow into a healthy and happy young adult.
For information about Eddy contact: Jane Pertillar email@example.com
This very special nine year old little boy is in need of a family who will love him unconditionally while attending to his special needs. A one or two parent family versed in the needs of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, will be rewarded by Teagan’s sweet smile and happy disposition. Although he has some very specific and unique challenges, with the right family, he can thrive and blossom.
Described as a daytime “rabbit,” Teagan is an energetic little guy who has a hard time sitting still. He likes to be active and can be impulsive, so holding his hands and keeping him close allow him to engage with the world around him in a safe manner. Even though he is non-verbal, Teagan can communicate with sign language and can make his needs known by using some sound vocalizations. Engaging in face-to-face communication enables him, and his caregivers, to have successful interaction. Teagan understands what is being said to him and he enjoys watching TV and smiling and moving to the sound of music.
In time, Teagan may have the opportunity to engage in activities such as riding a bike, playing with age appropriate toys and independently playing outside. However, for the time being, Teagan’s inability to assess safety requires constant supervision and attention. He responds well to consistency and nurturance and his behaviors are not an intentional means to disobey, rather, a consequence of his cognitive limitations.
While receiving educational and clinical supports, Teagan will be transitioning to a therapeutic school where his education will be enriched and his social development enhanced. He tends to struggle with paying attention and understanding certain concepts, but he enjoys the interactions with his teachers and friends. Teagan has special transportation accommodations to keep him safe while riding on the bus.
Therapeutic connections will remain in place to help Teagan and his family with a successful transition; and working collaboratively with helping professionals will be crucial to a family’s success. Although parenting him may present with some challenges, the rewards of seeing Teagan progress and thrive into the special young man he will become, are many.
For information about Teagan contact Nickisha Newell: firstname.lastname@example.org
This bright and beautiful 12 year old little girl has big plans for her future! Cecilia; or Cece as she prefers to be called, aspires to become an attorney who will specialize in assisting women and children. She specifically stresses her overarching goal is to help children in the foster care system, and assure each and every one of them grows up in a strong and loving family.
Due to some of the trauma she has faced in her short life; in tandem with being disappointed by the some of the adults in her life, at times Cece’s feelings “get the best of her” and she exhibits some challenging behaviors. Despite these moments, she is always working hard to strengthen her emotional balance. She utilizes reading and writing in her journal to relax her mind, and as she loves both of these activities, she is finding success.
Being able to recite the Declaration of Independence is a small example of Cece’s love of learning! She is an extremely bright 7th grader and she longs for a family with whom she can share her passion for education. She states she is not “into sports,” however, she likes to run and track and field and wants to pursue that interest. She is not a picky eater, and although pickles are her FAVORITE food item; there is nothing sour about this precious little girl!
Unlike many young girls her age, Cece is not overly interested in material things and she rejoices in “just being a kid.” Her requests for her future family are very basic in that she wants to feel safe and be loved; and she is open to a family of any composition or background. She longs for her own family where she is the only child; or youngest by many years and any family who meets her will be instantly drawn to her compassionate and loving spirit. Cece has some biological family members with whom she remains connected and these relationships will need to be sustained.
This amazing and resilient young lady will bring so much love and joy to a family.
For information about Cece contact: Adam Liebowitz email@example.com
A very patient and nurturing family is being sought for 14 y.o. Christian; a young boy who has faced many traumatic events in his short life. He is eager to join a family who will love him unconditionally and one whom will accept a higher level of training to help him continue on his path to becoming a successful young man.
Like most boys his age, Christian loves to play video games, ride his bike and play outside. He has a creative mind and enjoys the results of building things or working in the garden. He is curious by nature and has a friendly disposition.
Due to events in his life, which have been beyond his control, Christian needs a family with dual parents and no other children; or significantly older siblings who could be positive role models for him. At times, Christian struggles with understanding his past, which prevents him from having insight into how best to manage his negative behaviors. Therapeutic supports will remain in place to help him and his family with a successful transition.
With educational and clinical supports in place in school, Christian has now entered the 7th grade. He attends an alternative educational setting where he is an average student. He tends to struggle with completing homework and staying on task, but he works hard when he feels supported; and has also enjoyed attending a therapeutic after school & summer camp.
although Christian has faced many challenges, there is much hope for his future. He needs a family who can walk beside him and help him maintain that hope through his lifetime journey. Working collaboratively with helping professionals will be crucial to a family’s success, and will entail much time on the part of caregivers. Christian asks an adoptive family be found for him, and he yearns for the unconditional love only a family can provide.
For information about Christian contact: Adam Liebowitz firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch a video of Luis
As with most young men his age, Luis enjoys playing sports, riding bicycles, playing video games, fishing, drawing and playing with Legos. He especially enjoys building forts and playing on the adventure course in the woods. He has quite the green thumb and loves to be outside working in the garden. If he had his way, he would be out exploring nature all day long!
Because Luis has many strong biological family connections, which are crucially important to him, he needs a family who will respect and honor these relationships. Due to experiences from his past, Luis is a cautious young man who is slow to allow himself to trust others. A family will need to allow him the space he requires to feel comfortable and secure; and must assuredly need to be straightforward and honest with him.
Being actively engaged with clinical supports has helped Luis make tremendous progress in understanding his life situation and increasing efforts to improve himself. He is highly motivated to continue on his path of better controlling his impulses, following directions and creating safe and meaningful relationships. Although at times he may have a verbal outburst of frustration or anger, he has been diligently trying to learn ways to process a conflict, or seek a positive resolution, rather than shutting down or overacting.
Academics are an occasional struggle for Luis, but supports within his school and from his family will help him achieve his goals. When focused, he is a hard worker who is well organized and completes his work.
This young man wants to belong to a family through adoption. He is open to any parent who will support him and make him feel safe in the knowledge they are committed to him unconditionally. He has much to offer a family in return!
For information about Luis contact: Alexandria Ingleton email@example.com
This resilient young lady is looking for a family to help her navigate the adolescent world into adulthood. Breanna is 16 years of age and has faced many significant losses in her life. She could easily surrender to her past; however she continues to look forward and work toward finding a permanent family who will not give up on her.
Because of the many rejections she has faced by former caretakers, Breanna struggles with her feelings of frustration and rejection and yet she continues to works hard learning ways to face her complex trauma issues. Breanna is able to express her long term goals, however, she needs a patient and understating family who will guide her along the way. She has great potential to flourish if her family is able to understand the grief below the surface and stick by her side as she achieves her goals.
As part of her clinical help, Breanna is working on her ability to trust and form healthy relationships. To aide her in these endeavors, she has begun to volunteer at a local food pantry. Her kind heart has begun to shine through with this experience and she enjoys the feeling of “giving” to others. She has also joined a “girls group” which helps her with socialization and building friendships.
Recently Breanna has expressed an interest in boxing. She is an athletic girl who enjoys basketball, dance, swimming and kick boxing. Standing at six feet, two inches, she has a height advantage in most sports. She is completing her freshman year of high school where she received special education supports. She struggles with some of her classes but she is working hard and was recently awarded a “student of the month” certificate.
Parenting Breanna will bring both challenges and joy. She has great potential if given the opportunity to feel accepted and loved. Breanna and her family will continue to receive supports in and out of the home to help make her transition into a family successful and Breanna is clear in her desire to be adopted by a family who will stick by her side through both the good and challenging times.
For information about Breanna contact: Denise Lopez firstname.lastname@example.org
This 15 year old young lady has aspirations to grow up to be a defense attorney and she would love to have a family by her side while she grows and matures into young adulthood. Misaelyz, or Missy as she is affectionately known, can understand some Spanish but English is her primary language. She will turn 16 in the fall.
Because she has been disappointed by some adults in her life, Missy has experienced intense feelings of sadness and abandonment. She works very hard in her clinical setting to face some of her past trauma and she deserves a patient and understanding family who will support her has she overcomes her emotional challenges. Missy longs for a family to stick with her while she works on understanding her life and learns positive ways to think and react to her surroundings. Although she can appear reluctant at first, Missy quickly warms up when she can trust the other person will be non-judgmental and kind. Receiving social supports in school have helped Missy succeed in her sophomore year of high school.
When thinking about the family she’d like to join, Missy expresses she would love to be the oldest child parented by two loving and caring parents. She loves pets and would be happy living in the suburbs; away from the city. Missy enjoys writing poetry and journaling and like many girls her age, she is interested in fashion and shopping.
This sweet young lady deserves a very specific family who will allow her the time she needs to heal from her past emotional pain while helping her become a vital member within the family unit. She deserves to be loved and she has much love to give in return.
For information about Missy contact: Alexandria Ingleton email@example.com
Taking long walks, running, playing with toys which have sound or music and staying physically active are some of the things 13 year old Christopher; or Ghabil as he is known, would like to share with a family. Patient parents with a willingness to learn about autism will be the best match for him.Although he is non-verbal, Ghabil’s strengths lie in his ability to use sign language to communicate. In addition to sign language, he also understands Spanish and English. He has some language skills to include words such as “hi, ball, water” and “blue” and he continues to work with his providers to increase his ability to mimic words and express his needs. He loves to have books read to him where he can follow along and point to pictures in the story. A clinical, year-round educational setting helps Ghabil make progress in his school work as well as socialization. His teachers and support staff all truly love him and reflect he has great potential if he joins ‘just the right’ family.
Going out in the community to visit places such as the park or shopping malls; as well as going to the movies, are other activities Ghabil enjoys. His specialized needs require 100% supervision at all times. His family will learn ways to help him with transition to reduce his anxiety while also educating them in regard to how to respond to possible behavioral outbursts. With assistance, Ghabil has been learning how to accomplish daily self-care skills such as washing his hands and eating independently.
Careful consideration needs to be made when sharing new experiences with Ghabil. Due to a significant sensory sensitivity, at times it may be difficult to predict how he will react to his surroundings. New or unknown opportunities may find him curious to explore, or they could increase his anxiety, rendering him likely to become stressed and engage in negative behaviors. Proactive techniques such as a structured daily schedule with built-in breaks, as well as positive reinforcement when he completes an activity, allow Ghabil to be successful and feel a sense of accomplishment.
Parenting Ghabil will bring both challenges and joys and ongoing contact with his biological grandmother will bring him happiness. His family will receive extra training and in-home supports to make family life successful, but having innate characteristics such as being calm, patient and organized will be key to a successful match for him.
For information about Ghabil contact: William Larson William.firstname.lastname@example.org
Photographed by: Patty Swanson - Certified Professional Photographer ( 2017 CTPPA Award of Excellence; 2014-15 March of Dimes' Mission Triangle Award; 2012-2013 2x Connecticut Photographer of the Year, Creative and Art/Electronic Imaging.) www.pattyswanson.com and www.facebook.com/pattyswansonphotography
Meet 13 year old Charlise, a beautiful young lady who is seeking a very specific family to claim as her own. While most girls of this age have only had to worry about things such as school, friends and clothing, Charlise has experienced much loss and trauma in her life and she needs a patient and loving family to help her get back to “typical” childhood experiences.
Having a sister close in age to her and a family of non-Caucasian decent is extremely important to Charlise. Additionally she would love to have a large home and a dog. When discussing qualities a family should have in order to effectively parent her, a former caregiver recommends a great sense of humor!
Charlise presents as much older than her years and she has a strong minded personality. She uses negative verbalizations as a defense mechanism when she feels challenged and she would benefit residing in a family with experienced parents who are willing to see past her gruff exterior. Therapeutic supports and enhanced training will be a part of the transition plan for Charlise and her family.
Academically Charlise is bright and intelligent. She is creative and has excellent writing skills; but tends to not like math. She struggles with social skills and her behaviors will interfere with her ability to learn however, supports are in place to aid her in school.
Charlise is a typical child who enjoys bike riding, reading and playing video games. She will bring both challenges and joy to parenting and with patience and perseverance she will be a loving addition to the right family.
For information about Charlise: Stephanie Frascadore: email@example.com
Words such as “intelligent, thoughtful, funny, energetic, and talkative” are just a few that come to mind when thinking about 15 year old Sincere. This resilient young man longs for a sense of permanency and a family where he can belong. Sincere is a charming and handsome young man of African American decent who has one older and five younger siblings. Although they cannot all reside together, a family willing to maintain a relationship with some of his siblings will be important to Sincere.
Being active is important to Sincere and he enjoys playing football, basketball, soccer, baseball and running. At the same time, he is also very artistic and enjoys structured art classes. He likes to build things, read poetry and listen to music. He has recently taken an interest in the piano and is learning to play on his own. He is a 10th grade student who is well-liked by others due to his artistic abilities and creativeness.
Despite the many positives about Sincere, at times his negative behaviors overshadow his strengths. He struggles emotionally and experiences a sense of loss as he is the only sibling not placed with a permanent family. Because of his specific needs, his perfect family should be compromised of two patient and organized parents with no other children or adults with disabilities in the home. Sincere is currently placed in a facility where he is diligently working on overcoming his past trauma. He and his prospective family will benefit from joint clinical support and a lengthy transition plan prior to placement.
This young man has a lot to offer this world and many years ahead of him to rise to his fullest potential. He needs a family by his side to help him navigate the world around him.
For information about Sincere: Stephanie Frascadore: firstname.lastname@example.org
Playing in water, swinging at the park, listening to music and watching TV are just some of the fun activities 11 year old Tahari would love to share with a family. This lovable and happy little guy needs a very specific family who can meet his developmental needs which are compromised due to autism. Tahari requires constant supervision due to his limitations, however, he responds so well when provided love a consistent routine and affectionate attention.
Although Tahari is non-verbal, he is able to use some sign language to communicate. In his 3rd grade classroom setting he uses a picture chart to express his needs or wants; and he is also working on learning new software which will help him to communicate by using a tablet. Due to a lack of verbalization skills, Tahari will at time display negative behaviors when frustrated or upset. With patience and a calm caretaker he is able to be redirected and comforted.
Tahari is currently in the 4th grade and receives special education services with a focus on Autism. He receives 1:1 services while at school which allows him to help focus and accomplish goals and his dedicated educational team has been a strong support for Tahari. In addition to attending school, Tahari likes to go to church, the mall and the grocery store where he picks out some food on his own. Fostering and encouraging his independence is a key strategy for Tahari’s future success.
For information about Tahari contact: Stephanie Frascadore: email@example.com
Being a “country boy” at heart, 16 year old David loves to listen to country music; especially any song by Blake Shelton! Other favorites he equally loves to hear are ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’ and ‘Old McDonald had a Farm.’ Music relaxes David and his happy disposition is evident when he is most often found smiling and laughing with people around him.
After being born premature and experiencing a lack of oxygen to his brain, David has some significant medical challenges for which he receives numerous supportive services. An ideal family for David will have two organized parents with a flexible schedule to accommodate his in-home providers.
He thoroughly enjoys music and water therapy and although he is non-verbal, he is able to make some sounds to make his needs known. Specialized care for David includes helping him make improvements everyday in his overall functioning. He uses a modified spoon and bowl to become more independent in his feeding and, with supervision, he is able to learn adaptive ways to be successful.
A single story home would be a good fit for David as using the stairs continues to be a struggle for him due to some visual limitations. Once he is comfortable in his surroundings he can move with ease.
David has a sweet and inquisitive disposition and he easily forms loving relationships with his caregivers. He loves to hold hands and take walks and some of his favorite school field trips include going to the zoo, bowling or spending the day at the beach. Visiting with his grandmother is a special time for David and he beams with happiness when he sees her or hears her voice. His family will need to continue to support this relationship.
Although his group home caregivers will be sad to see this special young man leave, David is ready to join a family!
For information about David contact: Denise Lopez firstname.lastname@example.org
This amazingly resilient and personable 16 year old young lady would love to find a sports-loving family who shares her African American and Puerto Rican heritage. She is fluent in Spanish and would love to speak her language at home while also enjoying the food and rich history of her culture. She is a self-described “chatter-box” who likes to talk!
Having an amazing musical talent, Yennessie creates her own music through rapping, and enjoys listening to every type of music; from Spanish and R&B, to Hip-Hop and Country. Other than sharing her culture, Yennessie mentioned she would love to have a sibling. She does not have any thoughts as to having a sister or brother, but she would enjoy the special relationship siblings share.
Due to prior adults in her life letting her down, Yennessie has difficulty trusting people right away, and she needs a family who will go “at her pace” when forming relationships. She is motivated to be part of a family; and although parenting a teen who has experienced a turbulent beginning can bring its challenges, the joy and love Yennessie has to share with a family are abundant.
Although like most teens Yennessie does not particularly like going to school, she has aspirations for her future which include possibly working with people in the health or human services sector. Currently, her favorite thing to do is play sports; with soccer, basketball, and football as her top three favorites. When not playing, she also enjoys watching sports, stating she likes the Patriots and learning about old school basketball teams, such as the “Fab Five.”
Transitions and change are hard for Yennessie, so a family would need to be patient and supportive. She and her family will be provided clinical supports to assure a smooth and successful match. This young lady with a great sense of humor deserves to be in a family where she is accepted and loved as a new and welcome member!
For information about Yennessie contact: Bryan Lerch email@example.com