tampabay.com

Just add a family

Hoping for adoption, kids wear their hearts on their sleeves.

By BEN MONTGOMERY, Times Staff Writer
Published September 30, 2007


TAMPA - She can spell cat.

C-A-T.

And flower.

F-L-O-W-E-R.

And teeth.

T-E-E-T-H.

And she is missing a few of those.

She has blue eyes and shoulder-length hair the color of Florida sand. She tucks it behind her ears.

She likes it when people paint her toenails pink.

She can hopscotch with ease, and jump two jump-ropes at the same time while chanting a rhyme called "Ice Cream."

She is 7, almost 8, and in the second grade.

She is quiet. She crosses her legs when she sits.

She loves spaghetti and hates seafood. She doesn't mind eating broccoli.

She has a baby doll. She named it Tianna, because it sounds pretty.

She rides a pink and purple bicycle, likes dogs and cats.

She paints with watercolors.

She is a cheerleader at the city park, but she can't do the splits yet. She shakes pompoms and shouts, "Pump it up!"

She's not great at basketball or baseball, but she would play.

She wants to be a doctor for babies when she grows up, "because it helps people."

Her favorite colors are purple and pink, in that order. Purple because it was her mother's favorite color.

When she is asked what the perfect mother would be like, she says, "My mom, Heather."

She wore a black dress with pink hearts on Saturday to the Botanical Gardens at the University of South Florida.

She wanted to look pretty when they took her picture for the Heart Gallery, a moving display of professionally done photographs of children who want to be adopted. She has been in foster care for more than two years, bouncing from home to home, none of them hers.

Her name is Alexis. She would like a family.

Ben Montgomery can be reached at bmontgomery@sptimes.com or 813 661-2443.

FAST FACTS

Learn more

To learn more about Alexis or other children who want a family, visit the Heart Gallery of Tampa Bay at heartgallerytampabay.org or call (813) 204-1792.