‘I’m adopted too’: Two groups come together to raise adoption awareness

Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 9:33 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A local dance group is trying to help children up for adoption and shed light on the adoption process.

The Tallahassee-based troupe, Studio B, is partnering with the Heart Gallery of the Big Bend, a local advocacy group for foster children, to highlight the roughly three-dozen children in the Big Bend without a permanent home right now. Many of the kids are hoping to find a family before they age out of the system and have to face the world alone.

These two organizations are hoping to shed a light on the issue through art.

“The dance is home,” said lead dancer Madeline Gregory.

The dancer can personally relate to the cause. She was adopted.

“This dance just means a lot. It spreads adoption awareness because many people don’t know about adoption. Like in class, people wouldn’t know what to say because they wouldn’t know what it was,” Gregory said.

The dance takes its viewers on a journey through the adoption process. The performance starts with parents holding photos of children in the Big Bend that are up for adoption right now.

“You see them cover their heads and things, and then they like to play with each other but then there are times where it’s scary,” Hancock said.

The story is based on the life of the siblings of choreographer Bella Hancock.

“I have three adopted siblings and my dad was adopted, and when we were going through the process of specifically adopting my brother and sister it was a very long and hard process,” Hancock said.

The routine even pointed out the red tape, all that paperwork needed in the process.

Cassie Branch, president of the Heart Gallery, said many of the kids the organization features are teenagers in jeopardy of aging out of the foster system without a family to turn to.

Serita is one of the children in danger of aging out without finding a family. She has also been battling health issues without a support system.

“Currently we have a kid on the heart gallery who has medical needs, and she’s actually fixing to age out and she’s been on there for years,” Branch said.

Hancock said she is proud of the dancers and their routine.

“You can just feel how important it is and how the audience can feel how the story is being told. It just really does affect people, which is exactly what I wanted. I just wanted everyone to know what adoption is like,” the choreographer said.

The group’s next performance is in Orlando this Sunday, April 2. They’ll return to Tallahassee for a recital May 19 at 7 p.m. at Lincoln High School.

Those interested in learning more about the children up for adoption and the process can click here.

Anyone interested in signing their children up to dance with the group can click here.