Get ready to shed a couple of tears when CBS’ “A Home for the Holidays” airs this holiday season.

This year, Jennifer Hudson and Train will appear along with Earth, Wind & Fire, Katharine McPhee, Ashley Monroe, Dan & Shay and Jillian Michaels to help share heartwarming stories of foster care and adoption.

The 16th Annual “A Home for the Holidays” special features uplifting stories about children from foster care and the inspiring families that adopted them, each of which is enhanced with performances by some of today’s most popular artists.

Four families will be spotlighted, including the Valenza-Gee, Hunt, Nolin, and Williams families.  Learn a little more about these truly amazing families and be sure to tune in to CBS’ “A Home for the Holidays” Friday, Dec. 19 at 9:00 PM, ET/PT.

 

The Valenza-Gee Family:

One parent of the Valenza-Gee family in Los Angeles became certified to adopt and received a call about 5-year-old Zack and his 4-year-old sister, Emmary.  The siblings were homeless and malnourished when they entered foster care. “They just stole my heart,” says father Rich. “After I adopted my children, I met Jared,” says Rich. “Rich and I became life partners and I fell in love with our kids the moment I met them,” says Jared Gee.

 

The Hunt Family:

Jennifer Hunt, of Los Angeles, had been a children’s book editor for 17 years when she decided to adopt.  “I was adopted as an infant, so I grew up with the sense that family are the people who open their arms to you.” Jennifer was matched with 17-year-old Josiah, who had been in foster care since age 2. “He had goals and dreams and really needed a parent to care and be there for him,” says Jennifer. Today, Josiah is a freshman in college studying 3D animation. “Without my mom, I wouldn’t be where I am now. She has shown me more love than anyone in my entire life,” he says. 

 

The Nolin Family:

The Nolin Family, of Birmingham, Alabama, originally considered international adoption, but things changed quickly for them. Just weeks before Christmas, the Nolins received a call about an emergency placement for a 12-year-old child who had been in foster care since age 3. “We fell in love with Heather the moment we saw her,” says Susan. “When I met my family, it felt like I was dreaming. I’d never had a real Christmas before,” says Heather. Today, Heather is a freshman in college studying early childhood education.

 

The Williams Family:

Kelly and Jared Williams, of Anaheim, had two biological sons before adopting their daughter, Mara, in 2006. “Being a parent was so rewarding, and our sons Drew and Jordan were very supportive of our decision to adopt,” says Jared. “We fell in love with Mara. Her situation was heartbreaking. She didn’t know how to speak because no one had talked to her,” says Kelly. Mara thrived in the care of the Williams family, and today is a talkative 12-year-old excelling in school.

 

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