“More than 60% of children in foster care spend two to five years in the system before being adopted. Almost 20% spend five or more years in foster care before being adopted. Some never get adopted.”– Fact Retriever. 
Taking an orphaned or abandoned child into your home to be loved, cared for, and given a family is one of the greatest acts of humanity and kindness. In the United States, there are over 400,000 children in foster care and about 114,000 of them cannot be returned to their biological families. 
For all of these children, the news of adoption is usually received with mixed feelings. While they usually spend a lot of time wishing and hoping for a family to love and belong to, when the time comes, they worry that they may not be accepted in their new homes. Will they be loved and treated kindly? Will they be fed and given their own beds?
In the end, it all boils down to the fact that family is not defined by our genes or blood. It is built and maintained through love.
Together We Rise
Founded in 2008, Together We Rise is a non-profit organization that aims to improve the lives of children in foster care, working tirelessly “so that children do not have to travel from home to home with their belongings in a trash bag.” The founder, Danny Mendoza was inspired to set up the foundation when someone he loved was in a bad condition and he couldn’t help. Mendoza’s 9-year-old cousin, Roger, had lost his parents and was living out of a car in the street all by himself. There was no one to take care of him.
Mendoza has only been 21 at the time and was unable to take custody of his cousin. He was motivated to come up with a solid plan to help his cousin and other children who were like the poor kid.
“After telling others about his vision, he was inspired by encouragement from friends and colleagues to use his ambition to help others and start a new organization. Danny’s vision became a reality as Together We Rise grew, now a nation-wide organization changing the way youth experience foster care,” their website states.
Touching their hearts
Together We Rise works to change the way children experience foster care and creates awareness on adoption. They organize fundraisers, workshop events, fashion shows, contests, and lots more to bring happiness into the children’s lives and help them find loving homes.
Mendoza and his team began by uploading photos of children who were just adopted on their social media platforms. Thousands of people began to reach out to the organization to make inquiries about adoption processes. People were eager to give out love and bring joy into their homes while the children were grateful to find their forever families.
Together We Rise works with thousands of volunteers, partners, CASA advocates, and professional photographers (who capture the precious moments) to transform the lives of children in foster care all over the country.
You can visit their website to find out more about their programs or make a donation.
Below are 20+ photos of newly adopted children that would surely bring tears to your eyes. Photo credit: Together We Rise via Facebook.