(CBS) – CBS presents the 23rd Annual A Home For The Holidays At The Grove , featuring uplifting stories of adoption from foster care and raising awareness of this important social issue, to be broadcast Sunday, December 5th at 9:30-10:30 PM, ET/9:00-10:00 PM, PT on CBS, and available to stream live and on demand with Paramount+.
The special, which was filmed at famed retail, dining and entertainment destination the Grove in Los Angeles, will enhance the inspirational stories of several American families with performances by extraordinary artists, including Justin Bieber, Kane Brown, Alessia Cara and Darren Criss. In addition, Kane Brown will introduce the Rodriguez family for a special live adoption.READ MORE: 'It Just Makes Your Heart Melt': Folsom Marine Injured In Kabul Bombing Gets Hero's Welcome Home
For the last two decades, the award-winning special has shined a light on the thousands of American children in foster care and has inspired tens of thousands of adoptions, moving these children into loving “forever families.”
Currently, there are more than 400,000 children in foster care in the U.S. who are hoping for a “forever home.” Foster children lead a difficult life. Only half graduate from high school; five percent graduate college; and within four years of aging out, 50 percent end up homeless. As this special illustrates, given a home and a chance, these children can thrive and go on to lead exemplary, even extraordinary, lives.
The stories featured on this year’s special will include:
The Healy Family
From the time Celia was 9 months old until she was 12, she lived in nine different homes, so many that she can’t remember the faces and places. She was subject to constant abuse and often told that she would end up exactly like her mom, an addicted dropout who was pregnant at 15. Trish and Andy Healy are Australian natives and had always wanted to adopt an older child. When Celia joined their family, they were shocked at how much she had endured, but inspired by her resilience. Celia felt safe for the first time in her life, knowing she was part of a loving family. Her grades and her confidence soared. Now a freshman at UCLA, she is bright, strong, and on track for an amazing life.
The Polk FamilyREAD MORE: Yolo County Program Trades Safe Fireworks For Illegal Ones
When Christopher was born, he was left at the hospital by his mother, who struggled with substance abuse. He was adopted and raised by his grandmother. He met his husband, Jacari, in 2006 and they married in 2011. When it came time for the couple to adopt, they were matched with Knox, a 1-year-old boy who was born while his mother was in jail and had been subjected to neglect. With the similarities to Christopher’s story, the couple knew that this was meant to be. The Polks are now a happy trio. Knox is a thriving 3-year-old who loves bike riding and soccer. Christopher and Jacari both say that the day the adoption was finalized was the best day of their lives.
The Ambrose Family
Brian and Heather always wanted a large family. They had three daughters biologically, but pregnancy complications with their third led them to adoption. With the addition of a baby boy, Carter, they felt their family was complete. When Carter was 4, they learned that Carter had a biological sister, Linden, 11 months old. The Ambroses were unprepared for another baby, but they opened their home and their hearts to this little girl, and two years later, they can’t imagine life without her.
The Rodriguez Family
Marjorie was placed in foster care as a toddler. By the time she was 5 years old, she had lived in six different homes, where she had been subjected to neglect and abuse. Celine and Jerry Rodriguez were told about Marjorie, and their hearts went out to her. They decided that this little girl would complete their family. At first, Marjorie was reserved, but they showered her with love and attention, and she blossomed into a beautiful and well-adjusted girl. They all can’t wait for the adoption to be finalized and for Marjorie to be a part of their forever family.
The special is presented in association with the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and the Children’s Action Network. Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas, who was adopted, established the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, which is dedicated to dramatically increasing the adoptions of children in North America’s foster care system. The Children’s Action Network was founded in 1990 by leaders in the entertainment industry to harness the power of the entertainment media on behalf of children.MORE NEWS: Experts: California Lacked Safeguards For Gun Owner Info
Check your local listings for more information.