Children in foster care fill dugout at Marlins Park

Children in foster care fill dugout at Marlins Park

Young girl meets Miami Marlins mascot Billy.

The Miami Marlins ballpark in downtown Miami hosted The Children’s Trust Miami Heart Gallery photo shoot on Wednesday, Nov. 11, where children in foster care were on deck for their chance at finding a forever family.

With a surprise visit by team mascot Billy the Marlin and free gifts courtesy of the Marlins Foundation, only the promise of a permanent home and loving parents could have made the day even more perfect.

The Heart Gallery is a Web-based exhibit featuring children available for adoption from Miami-Dade’s foster care system. A team of award-winning professional photographers volunteered to take pictures of nearly 40 children in and around the Miami Marlins ballpark. Many of the kids even had the opportunity to pose on the field with official Marlins gear, such as bats and gloves, after volunteer makeup artists and hairstylists from Toppcuttaz made them look their best for the camera.

Production crews also interviewed children on camera with spectacular views of the field behind them. Photos, videos, and written bios of each child will be posted in the coming weeks at

“Topping the Marlins ballpark will be a significant challenge, not only because the venue is so spectacular but because the Marlins Foundation was so generous and accommodating,” said Emily Cardenas, director of communications at The Children’s Trust. “Nonetheless, we’ve been very fortunate to work with so many wonderful partners in the past who genuinely want to help these children, so I’m sure we’ll find a great new location for our April shoot.”

Previous photo shoots were hosted by Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, Biltmore Hotel, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens, Wynwood Walls and Goldman Properties, Pinecrest Gardens, Adrienne Arsht Center, Art Deco Visitor’s Center and surrounding businesses, and Coconut Grove Arts Festival and surrounding businesses.

The Children’s Trust Miami Heart Gallery is a partnership between The Children’s Trust and Our Kids of Miami-Dade/Monroe Inc., the local lead agency for child welfare in Miami and the Keys.

According to the State of Florida, more than 1,500 foster children are eligible for adoption in Florida and approximately 150 of them live in Miami-Dade. These children have been removed from their biological parents for reasons of neglect or abuse with no possibility of family reunification. Approximately half of the children who have been featured in The Children’s Trust Miami Heart Gallery since 2009 have either been adopted or are in the process of being adopted. The Children’s Trust Miami Heart Gallery is modeled after the inaugural Heart Gallery, which was launched in 2001 in New Mexico at the suggestion of a Santa Fe photographer/ adoptive mother.

The Children’s Trust Miami Heart Gallery can be seen at New portraits will be uploaded in early January. Anyone interested in learning more about adopting a foster child should call Our Kids at 305-455- 2563 or send email

The Children’s Trust is a dedicated source of revenue established by voter referendum to improve the lives of children and families in Miami-Dade County.

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