UPPER EAST SIDE, Manhattan — Hundreds of foster children are celebrating the season with their birth parents.
For many, it’s time together that isn’t mandated or structured by the foster care system. The holiday celebration Friday at Temple Emanu-El on the Upper East Side, lasted for several hours.
The Harris siblings took part in the festivities with both their foster mom and birth mom, Danielle Harris. Harris, of Queens, gave birth to her kids then she needed more time to get back on her feet. The kids were placed in foster care.
They’ve been living with their paternal grandparents on and off for five years. An experience that’s created friction between Danielle and the Medleys. Over time, their relationship healed.
“I’m happy, overwhelmed with joy because the kids are happy and we’re all on the same page,” said the grandma, Verna Mack-Medley.
Nearly 200 foster children in this room share a similar story.
The Children’s Village is the organization hosting this celebration, helping families flourish together under one roof.
“We always to emphasize that they’re working together for the best interests of the children, so they don’t feel divided,” said Gina Singh, Adoption Foster Care Program Manager for The Children’s Village.
The opportunity gives youngsters a chance to love their birth and foster parents, without feeling like they have to choose between the two.
As a new year begins, the Harris kids could move back with her birth mom, while their special bond as an extended family remains strong.