Thriving Adoptees - Healing, Inspiration & Empowerment For Adoptees

Self Awareness

Episode Summary

Adoption stretches us and this episode stretched me with 4 fantastic guests! What stretches us help us grow and learn about themselves. We explore how what the guests have learned about themselves has helped them be better parents. Insightful and profound this episode is all about self awareness. I'm sure that the guests insights will catalyse insights in you.

Episode Notes


Gina Rogers is a dynamic, passionate individual who is eager to serve at-risk children and families. Currently, Gina works at Boys Town North Florida on the Development Team; her title is the site’s Donor Relations Specialist. Gina has earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Social Work and has been certified in Child Welfare Practice as well as Leadership in Executive and Administrative Development. Gina is determined to serve children and families in need and believes in maximizing every child’s opportunity to succeed.


Donna Whittle is a native of Tallahassee, FL. Donna professionally holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management and has worked for the State of Florida since September 2008. She is a certified traditional foster parent for the State of Florida Department of Children and Families, which began November 2017. Donna and her husband have welcomed nine children into their home, ranging in age from an infant to teenagers, over the past four years. Donna stated, “All the children that we have fostered will always have a piece of my heart. Each child that has left my home are forevermore my godchildren.” Donna’s passion is advocating and caring for children. In November 2019, Donna and her husband adopted three sibling brothers that were their past foster children. Donna stated, “Our boys are a true blessing. I am so grateful that I get to be their mother.” Donna began volunteering for the Heart Gallery Big Bend in June 2021. She has taken on the role of social media coordinator, became a board member in October 2021, and January 2022 became the Vice President. Donna studied website design for three years and participated in yearbook design all four years of high school. She enjoys updating and designing for the Heart Gallery Big Bend website and social media platforms. She is confident that expanding our platform to promote and advocate for children, will increase their chances of getting adopted. She believes every child should have a loving, caring, supportive family. By volunteering, she hopes that she can make a difference by helping children find their forever homes.


Belinda Heys is a former foster mom and now adoptive mom. Her passion is advocating for kids to find their forever families. She has been volunteering for the Heart Gallery Big Bend for the last 3 years.


Cassie Branch professionally holds a Master’s  Degree in Education with a concentration in Early Childhood Educational Leadership and is the owner of a local childcare facility.  Cassie and her husband have invited 12 children in her home ranging from infant to teenagers in the last 3 years. She is a mom to 7 children.  Cassie and her husband adopted 3 children in 2020.  The Heart Gallery holds a special place in Cassie’s heart.  She hopes to help increase awareness of what the Heart Gallery is and increase the number of people involved in volunteering in this organization.  She also believes that advocating for children through legislation brings awareness and funding to allow these children to find a forever family.

The Heart Gallery Big Bend is dedicated to increasing awareness of children in our community who are available for adoption and in need of loving, permanent homes. The individuality and spirit of each child has been captured by local photographers who have generously donated their time and talent.