Find out more about adoption and why this heartwarming adoption photo went viral.
Just this week the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption (DTFA) posted this photo on their Facebook page, sent in by Gina's new mom, Amanda Self in Louisiana, to celebrate her adoption from foster care into a forever home. Little Gina spent 751 days in foster care before her new family adopted her. Within 17 hours of posting, the photo had been seen by 6 million people, shared 19,000 times and received 712,000 'likes' and 8,000 comments. Between the comments from people looking for more information about adopting from foster care and the boom in traffic driven to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption website, the DTFA's site crashed on Feb. 5, 2014.
While many of the 101,719 (as of September 2013) kids in foster care across the U.S. wait even longer than Gina to find the right family to adopt them, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption helps connect parents with the resources to adopt so they can create happy endings for foster children just like Gina.
"Since day one, I know that God had Gina picked out for us," shares Self. "I was born to be her mother and she was always meant to be my daughter. I know that we lost pregnancy after pregnancy because Gina was waiting on me. We honestly cannot imagine our life without her. She fills our life with so much fun and laughter. Everyone loves her. I know we all tend to procrastinate our dreams, but this is something I am so very glad I did not put off. We did it in our 20s and we hope to always care for foster children. We hope to start building a bigger house next year to house a few more."
As of Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014, the DTFA's Facebook post of the heartwarming adoption photo that went viral has received 31,495 shares, 923,870 'likes' and a slew of media attention. "We are always humbled by families who are willing to publicly share their personal stories of foster care adoption, so we are grateful to the Self family for sharing the amazing photo of Gina on her adoption day," says Rita Soronen, president and CEO of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. "This one post of one child into one family has not only captured the essence of what the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption works toward each and every day — moving more than 100,000 children out of foster care and into adoptive homes — but has endeared Americans to the Self family, and driven tens of thousands of individuals to communicate about it through social media platforms. Raising awareness about these children is so very important and Gina has done just that!"
For more information on foster care and adoption, check out these tips and resources for making a child's dream of adoption come true.
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