STARK COUNTY, Ohio — More than 120,000 children in the U.S. are waiting to be adopted from the foster care system, including more than 400 in Stark County.
Cory, a 15-year-old teen, is one of them.
“I used to think that it's throwing away your old family,” said Cory. “If you really want somebody or somebody to love and hold on to and somebody to love you, then adoption is a good thing.”
Longing for a family of his own, Cory agreed to be a part the Stark County Job and Family Services’ 2021 Traveling Heart Art Gallery Exhibition, which showcases some of the nearly 400 children in Stark County living in foster care. We’re told 70 of them already living under permanent custody of the county. Many of them, like Cory, are over the age of six.
“My foster home that I was in at the time had asked me if I wanted to do it, and I said, Sure, why not,” Cory explained. “They asked me about like my interests and stuff.”
After Cory submitted a picture of himself and completed a personal questionnaire, local artist Aaron Hill transformed created an art piece depicting Cory and his story for the exhibition.
“I just kind of got a bio from him and just learned some things about him,” Hill said.
Hill believes the exhibition “gives kids hope” and brings awareness to the kids in need.
“Every kid deserves a family. Somebody they love, something to hold on to, because I know I want that," he said.
The heart gallery exhibit will be on display Nov. 22 through Dec. 12 at the North Canton Public Library. Eventually, the exhibit will travel to the Arts-in-Stark Cultural Center followed by the Massillon Museum. Once a child is adopted, they will be able to take their piece displayed within the exhibit with them.
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