The 13th Annual A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS WITH MARTINA McBRIDE, an entertainment special to be broadcast Wednesday, Dec. 21 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, will be hosted by country superstar entertainer Martina McBride. It will also include moving performances by country superstar entertainer McBride, pop/R&B superstar Justin Bieber, Grammy Award-winning singer Mary J. Blige, platinum recording artist Gavin DeGraw, rock group OneRepublic and singer/songwriter Christina Perri. Katherine Heigl, who adopted a child, her sister Meg Heigl-Beltran, who was adopted, and Denise Richards, who adopted a child, will be among the talent set to present.
Following the success of the past 12 annual shows, the special continues to tell touching stories about adoption from foster care to raise awareness for this important social issue. The inspirational stories of these American families are enhanced with performances by some of today's most popular artists.
Some of the musical performances accompany story segments which are introduced by celebrities who have their own adoption experiences or are involved with children's issues. The stories highlight exceptional American children and families involved in this rewarding process.
Henderson Family (Helena, Ala.) Richard and Melanie Henderson had been married 10 years when they were inspired to adopt after watching A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS. “We loved raising our son Reed and wanted to have another child, but it just wasn’t happening,” says Melanie. “We called the show’s 800-number and received information from the Dave Thomas Foundation and Children's Action Network," says Richard. That fall, the Hendersons met 5-year-old Brittney, who had been placed in foster care due to neglect. Today Brittney is an outgoing 9-year-old and thriving in school. “I'm a Henderson now, and that means everything to me," says Brittney.
Kerin Family (Castle Rock, Colo.) When you meet the three Kerin brothers, you would never know that their early childhood was filled with abuse and sadness. “I don't think Brandon and I would have made it if it wasn't for our brother Joseph,” says 10-year-old Cody. “I was worried that foster care would eventually separate us and I would have been devastated. My brothers are everything to me,” says 18-year-old Joseph. In 2009, Brandon, Cody and Joseph were adopted by Janet Kerin, a successful chiropractor who decided to become a mother through adoption. “To see them become who they really are is my greatest joy,” says Janet. “I am very proud to call them my sons.” Today the Kerin brothers are excelling in academics and sports.
Shanie Evans (Los Angeles) “I would not be where I am today if it weren't for the people who nurtured the foundation of who I could become,” says Shanie Evans. Placed in foster care at age 12, she moved through more than a dozen placements and schools until she aged-out at 18 without a family. Desperate for a job, she applied at a theater company in hopes of finding work as a janitor. Fate had other plans when Evans was asked to sing and booked the lead role in the musical “The Wiz.” “Suddenly I had people who believed in me and it changed my life forever,” says Evans. “There are so many foster children waiting for a loving family, and it's not too late for them. You just need to have the heart to say yes, and that's where it all starts.”
Greenhow Family (Los Angeles) Gayle Greenhow had a full life and successful career, but she felt that something was missing. "I always knew that I wanted to be a mom and decided to adopt," says Gayle. In 2008, she received a call about an 8-year-old foster child named Haylee, who had been left behind and alone when her two younger siblings were adopted without her. “When I met my mom it was the first time that I truly felt like someone cared about me,” says Haylee. “She is the center of my life, and I always want her to know how much she is loved,” says Gayle. Today Haylee is a happy 11-year-old, active in Girl Scouts and cheerleading.
Children Waiting There are more than half a million children currently in foster care in the United States. This segment gives voice to these children by creating an intimate portrait of youth who need permanent loving homes.
The special is presented in association with the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and the Children's Action Network. Wendy's International founder Dave Thomas, who was adopted, established the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption in 1992. It is dedicated to dramatically increasing the adoptions of children in the United States foster care system. Wendy's is a program sponsor.
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. The special is a part of CAN's National Adoption Campaign to raise awareness of the joys of adopting and to find homes for the children who are waiting.
The 13th Annual A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS WITH MARTINA McBRIDE is produced by Triage Entertainment and Goldsmith Entertainment, in association with the Children's Action Network and the Dave Thomas Foundation. Karen Mack, Stu Schreiberg, Stephen Kroopnick and Marilyn Seabury are the executive producers. Kelly Brock is the producer, Kimberly Steer is the supervising producer and Mary Donaldson is the coordinating producer. Michael Simon is directing the special.