Morean Arts Center partners with Heart Gallery for special adoption day

23 Jun 2016, Posted by Morean Administrator in Community, Events, News, Press Releases

heart gallery 3MAC LOGO

Morean Arts Center helps local family celebrate adoptions with glassblowing experience

Pinellas-Pasco Heart Gallery and Pinellas County Justice Center

surpass 300th adoption milestone over 10 years

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – After an official adoption ceremony at the Pinellas County Justice Center this morning (June 22, 2016), Rebecca and Rafael Burgess enjoyed a unique bonding experience with their two boys at the Morean Glass Studio & Hot Shop in downtown St. Petersburg.

Today, the Heart Gallery of Pinellas & Pasco celebrated their 300th and 301st adoption of children available for adoption from foster care. After coming to a decision to build their family through adoption, new parents Rebecca and Rafael were drawn to a photo featuring their amazing sons’ smiles on the Heart Gallery website. After meeting their sons at an adoption recruitment event in 2015, the family grew together while learning about each other. Over shared interests in sports and super heroes, the family’s joy for life and senses of humor drew them together. “We love their love of life and how they blend right in with us,” said Rebecca when asked about her sons. Adoptive parents Rebecca and Rafael saw their family grow from seven to now nine children in front of family and friends and the Pinellas County Justice Center this morning.

“We are pleased to be celebrating ten years and our three hundredth adoption of children in foster care today,” says Heart Gallery of Pinellas & Pasco’s Executive Director Jennifer Nance. “The Heart Gallery is delighted to be celebrating today’s adoption and look forward to seeing what these amazing young men will be able to achieve with the support of a loving forever adoptive family. Every child deserves a home, we thank this family and so many more for opening their hearts and homes to children in foster care.”

“Directions for Living is proud to be finalizing the adoption of these young men today with the Burgess family” said Directions for Living President and CEO April Lott. “Having our agency’s children be the Heart Gallery of Pinellas & Pasco’s 300th adoption is a wonderful way to celebrate our long standing partnership.”

After the adoption, the newly finalized family celebrated at the Morean Glass Studio & Hot Shop, where they enjoyed a “Personal Experience” from professional glass artist David Spurgeon, who taught the boys the finer points of glassblowing while helping the family create unique and colorful art to commemorate the special day.

“This is a great day for this family,” says Brian Bostick, executive director of Eckerd Community Alternatives Pasco and Pinellas. “The Heart Gallery of Pinellas & Pasco is instrumental in connecting Tampa Bay’s foster children to their forever families. The work they do by photographing our children in the best light captures the essences of our kids and breaks down the stereotypes surrounding foster children. Eckerd Community Alternatives congratulates the Heart Gallery of Pinellas & Pasco for finalizing their three hundredth adoption.”

Morean Arts Center’s Interim Executive Director Roger Ross says his organization is proud to partner with such great local entities for a great cause. “We are proud to partner with the Heart Gallery and help this family celebrate such an amazing moment. We look forward to partnering with more organizations that impact our community in such a positive way, as we near our 100th year of existence right here in St. Petersburg.”

At any given point, there are approximately 35 children waiting for a forever family through the Heart Gallery of Pinellas & Pasco and more than 3,000 children in the foster care system in Tampa Bay. For more information, please visit the Heart Gallery of Pinellas & Pasco at

Media: For more information on today’s milestone adoption, please contact Jennifer Nance at 727-258-4806.


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