MIAMI, FL — They primped and gussied and spiffed, moving from the makeup station to the hair station and over to several racks of new clothes. They struck poses for professional photographers with the hope that all of this might change their young fortunes. These Miami kids simply wanted to find forever homes.

“We do the photo shoots once, sometimes twice a year. It depends on how many children there are in the foster care system who are available for adoption,” explained Emily Cardenas of The Children’s Trust Miami Heart Gallery during a recent photo shoot at HistoryMiami Museum on Flagler Street.

Photos and bios of the latest group of 16 to 18 children will be posted on MiamiHeartGallery.Org over the next month or so where they will hopefully be spotted by prospective parents looking to expand their families.

“You have a way to look at these children, read about them, listen to their stories because we have videos with them. They are interviewed on camera,” Cardenas told Patch. “You have a way to sort of immerse yourself and look at these children before you even have to pick up the phone. And so, what happens is parents who are seeking adoption are looking at the Heart Gallery. They find a child or two who interest them, either because of their age or because of their personality, or whatever — gender — and they fill out a little form online.”

The program is a loving collaboration among The Children’s Trust, Our Kids of Miami-Dade and Monroe as well as professional photographers, beauticians and local makeup artists from the Miami area who donate their services. Neat Stuff ( gave the children new clothes to wear in their photo shoots. Pollo Tropical served up complimentary lunches for the children and volunteers. more..