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The Daily Nightly began on May 31, 2005. As Brian wrote in his first post it aims to provide a narrative of the broadcast day and a window into the editorial process at NBC Nightly News. Brian weighs in every weekday and NBC News correspondents and producers post regularly.

Brian Williams became the seventh anchor and managing editor in the history of NBC Nightly News on December 2, 2004. Read his full biography.

How 'The Heart Gallery' was born

Editor's note: Tonight's "Making a Difference" segment tells the story of "The Heart Gallery." We asked founder Diane Granito, who you'll meet in the report by NBC's John Larson, to join us as a guest blogger and tell you more about the idea she helped launch in 2001.

Five years ago, as a foster and adoptive parent recruiter for the New Mexico Children, Youth & Families Department (CYFD), I had the honor of developing an idea from photographer (and adoptive mother) Cathy Maier Callanan: having talented photographers create inspiring portraits of older children and sibling groups who were freed for adoption. At the time, social services agencies like CYFD had to use whatever images of the children they could get, and most were as inspiring as a driver’s license photo. With the support of CYFD, I approached Lisa Bronowicz at the Gerald Peters Gallery in Santa Fe about hosting an exhibit of these art-quality portraits.

That's how "The Heart Gallery," as I dubbed it, was born. More than 1,200 people attended that first opening, Randy Travis serenaded the crowd, and connections were made that night leading to the adoption of six Heart Gallery children. We all knew we were on to something special, though what was to come has exceeded our wildest dreams.

The vast majority of states now have Heart Galleries, and many have more than one. Every day I receive an inspirational e-mail from a Heart Gallery group, or see the results of the outreach here in New Mexico. A few examples: Five older children found a home after years of waiting, a girl who had just "aged out" (turned 18) was adopted after she had given up hope, an aunt spotted her long-lost niece being photographed and ended up adopting her. Four photographers have even adopted their charming subjects.

What does finding a family mean to a child? A judge asked young New Mexican brothers Isaiah and Elijah, known as "The Growley Rowley Boys" to their adoptive parents Elle and Gene Rowley, whether they had anything to say at their adoption finalization. Isaiah piped up loudly: "We are Growley Rowley Boys forever now, right?" (Elijah just grinned and said, "I like Blue's Clues!")

While Heart Gallery exhibits have helped raise awareness about adoption through foster care and have found homes for hundreds of children, there are many more who need our help. 118,000 American children are waiting for adoption as you read this. They need any and all support you can provide.

To find out more about The Heart Gallery, including possible exhibits in your area, and to learn about adopting a child through foster care, please visit adoptuskids.org. And please make sure to check out New Mexico’s very own Heart Gallery Web site.

My thanks to NBC correspondent John Larson and producer Gene Choo for taking the time to tell "The Heart Gallery" story on Nightly News tonight. In doing so, they are helping more of these very special children step from the shadows into the light, where they might be seen and embraced by loving families.

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COMMENTS

Please let me know if Arron, the 16 yr. old, has been adopted. He looks like a great kid and has an uncanny resemblance of my 19 yr. old son. Hope he's found a deserving adoptive family and if he hasn't please e-mail me about which state gallery he can located.

This was a great piece of journalism. Bravo!

I also would like to know about Aaron. Has he been adopted?

We are interested in the sixteen year old male (Aaron)who was wearing the "I'm available" tee shirt. Please email additional information.

Diane:

Has Aaron, the 16 year old, found a family? What state gallery is he in?

Dianne, This story brought tears to my eyes and I had to follow up by visiting your web site. I was especially moved by 16-yr old Arron, who seemed like such a sweet young man. I did not see him on the web site so I am hoping that he has found his forever home. Thank you, NBC, for sharing this story with us and bless you Dianne for all that you have done!

Thank you Diane Granito, this is a wonderful idea. My wife and I adopted a six year old boy through the Foster adopt program and were included in the SF Bay area Heart Gallery. It was always heart breaking to see all of the older kids at the adoption picknicks and thinking how I would have felt at that age if I had to "look for parents". Thanks for your wonderful work.
For those of you who are considering adoption,if you do not, are you willing to take the risk that you will never know the wonderful child who can fill your house with love and complete your family? There are lots of wonderful kids out there.

What a great story! How do we find out more about Aaron, 16. Please e-mail additional information.

Thank you.

Editor's note: Please visit our blog post from earlier today to find links on information about adopting these children. Go to: http://dailynightly.msnbc.com/2006/11/how_the_heart_g.html

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