By Paul Drewes
HONOLULU (KHNL) - They are the faces of Hawaii's foster children.
But a new program not only puts them in a favorable light. It also gives them a reason to smile!
Getting Hans and his brother Hansen to pose for a picture can be a challenge. They and their sisters don't get to spend a lot of time together. So they're excited for this photoshoot.
And that's exactly what photographer Heidi Anderson hopes to capture. "The goal for me is to draw out their personality and get the real kid."
If a picture tells a thousand words, the words behind the smiling, laughing and kidzy shots all say the same thing.
"They need stability, they need love and they need a home."
You see, Hans and his sister Moki are in one foster home right now, younger brother and sister Hansen and Kristen in another. But they would all like to be together as a family.
"So we don't have to keep on visiting each other every week or every other month." says eleven year old Hans.
This photo shoot is part of the Heart Gallery, a year old effort that shows the faces of adoptable children, and also gives us a peak into their hearts.
"The public needs to see they are normal children, just like the ones who do have families, they're just missing that loving aspect of a home, a permanent home." says former foster child and current director of Heart Gallery, David Louis.
In addition to showing potential parents the personality of kids like Hansen , beautiful pictures of these beautiful children help recruit more foster parents and even bring in much needed donations to these kids.
Time spent in front of the camera, with the lights and attention also does something wonderful for these children. Making them feel special, one shot at a time.
There are an estimated 200-300 children in foster care statewide waiting to be adopted.