In 1902, Children’s Home Society of Florida opened our doors as an orphanage in Jacksonville Florida. Throughout our 118-legacy we have grown to reach every county in Florida, help families through each stage of growth and carried out our vision to help more children realize their full potential.
One of our greatest joys comes from hearing stories from our kids and families about the impact CHS had on their life.
Stories like Anna’s
Anna arrived at CHS’ Jacksonville receiving home in 1959 — she was 2 years-old. Born with a calcium deficiency, Anna wore leg braces and corrective shoes. For three years Anna waited, hoped and prayed eagerly to join her forever family. Sadly, she also worried that a loving family wouldn’t want a child with medical needs.
“I have memories of standing at the chain link fence around CHS crying and hoping for a family,” said Anna.
What Anna didn’t know was that her forever family was looking for her too – her mom, dad and little sister couldn’t wait to welcome her home.
On November 17, 1962 – CHS’ 60th anniversary — Anna went home.
“I remember what I wore. Most importantly, I remember the overwhelming feeling of being wanted and my father picking me up. Wow,” said Anna. “Nothing can replace the knowing you are wanted, cared for and loved by parents.”
Anna grew up to become a proud and loving mother to four. She is a piano teacher and performer – a passion encouraged by her parents.
“Throughout young life I always wanted to find my [birth mother]. It is not that I didn’t love my adoptive parents with all of my heart, but there was always that sense of missing her,” said Anna.
As an adult, Anna decided to search for her birth mother. Their first phone conversation lasted two hours and grew to include a visit with Anna’s children. Today, the two maintains a 34-year friendly relationship. Anna has learned about the extreme circumstances that brought her into foster care all those years ago and the hopes her birth mother had for her lifelong happiness and success.
The adoption process saved me — Anna
Last year, 2,300 children and teens found stability and safely exited foster care into permanent homes – a 118-year legacy we proudly continue.