NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- At a minimum, 15-year-old Yasheema Strider Moore had a great time and an opportunity to collaborate on song writing when recently she taped a segment on WNBC’s “Wednesday Child.” With luck, she may get something more – a permanent family to love her and care for her.
Yasheema, who lives in a foster home in Orange County, is one of seven children in the Westchester County Department of Social Service’s “Heart Gallery,” a traveling showcase of portraits of children in need of adoptive homes. She is a girl with dreams and aspirations. She hopes to attend college and become a psychiatric nurse in order to help children. But more immediately, she desires an adoptive forever family.
“Wednesday's Child” is a part of a national campaign to increase adoptions of children in foster care. Each Wednesday (and again on Sunday mornings), a child in foster care who is waiting for a loving, adoptive home is profiled during the evening news on WNBC 4.
The segment with Yasheema was filmed last week with meteorologist Janice Huff and will air this Wednesday between 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. and again on Sunday, Dec. 23, between 7 and 8 a.m. The goal is to find her an adoptive family.
As of the end of November there were 160 children in Westchester County who were eligible to be adopted, including Yasheema.
In preparation for the TV segment, Yasheema, an honor roll student at her school who likes to perform, was asked to participate in an activity as a means to get to know her. She chose song writing, as she has written songs in the past. In the interview, Yasheema, who sings in her school chorus, was asked questions not only about song writing but about why adoption is important to her.
“I think it’s cool that they do this (Wednesday’s Child) to help kids find homes,” she said after the taping. “Janice Huff was really nice, down to earth and easy to talk to.”
In 2005, Yasheema entered foster care for the second time with her four siblings. The oldest, she was always the protector of her siblings. Now they have been adopted, and Yasheema is hoping she is the next family member to find nurturing adults to love and care for her.
Anyone interested in learning more about becoming a foster parent or an adoptive parent should call United Way’s 2-1-1 help line. Profiles of the children in the Westchester Heart Gallery can be found at www.westchestergov.com/heartgallery .