THE 12TH ANNUAL A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, a new entertainment special to be broadcast Wednesday, Dec. 22 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, will include moving performances by Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter Melissa Etheridge, Grammy Award-winning group Maroon 5, Grammy Award-winning superstar Ricky Martin and Grammy Award-winning hip hop artist Nelly. The show will open with a performance by pop sensation Katy Perry. The hosts of “The Talk,” Julie Chen, Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne, Holly Robinson Peete, Leah Remini and Marissa Jaret Winokur, as well as Academy Award and Golden Globe Award winning actress Mira Sorvino (“Mighty Aphrodite”) will be among the talent set to present.
Following the success of the past 11 annual shows, the special continues to tell touching stories about foster care adoption to raise awareness for this important social issue. The inspirational stories of these American families are enhanced by performances by some of today’s most popular artists.
The musical performances frame several pre-taped story segments which are presented by celebrities who either have their own adoption experiences or are involved with children’s issues. The stories highlight many exceptional American children and families involved in this rewarding process.
Jimmy Wayne (Nashville, TN)
Country music artist Jimmy Wayne knows first hand about living in foster care. Wayne was abandoned at a bus station when he was 13 years old and shuffled through 12 schools and more than eight foster placements before he met Russell and Bea Costner, a couple in their 70s who opened their home and hearts to him. “I was 16 years old and that family changed my whole life, every cell in my body. I wouldn’t be who I am today if it weren’t for them.” Wayne graduated from college and soon signed his first recording contract.
Today, giving back is a key part of Wayne’s life. Earlier this year, he launched his MEET ME HALFWAY project with his seven-month walk halfway across America to raise awareness.
Anderson Family (Los Angeles)
Marsha and Corey Anderson were married 11 years and had three children when they began talking about adding to their family through adoption. Initially, Corey was hesitant, but had a change of heart after watching “A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS.” “The show took away my fears, and I was fully committed from that moment forward,” says Corey. Featured on the show last December were foster children 6-year-old Ashley and her 4-year-old brother Jacob, who were waiting to be adopted. “We thought we would adopt one child, but when we saw Ashley and Jacob, we knew they would fit perfectly into our family,” says Marsha.
Cates Family (Los Angeles)
In 2001, Arthur and Mary Cates met 7-year-old Darnell at an adoption fair. In foster care since birth, Darnell had less than a 30 percent chance of ever being adopted. “When I saw Darnell in the play area all by himself, I saw in his eyes a sad little boy that needed to be loved,” says Mary. Now 16, Darnell is a confident young man who is gifted in the arts. “I’ve experienced a new world full of hope and have overcome that sadness. It feels like I’ve been with my parents my whole life,” says Darnell. The Cates decided to adopt again in 2007 when they met foster children Sierra and Phillip at an adoption event.
Carter Family (Missouri)
SWAT team paramedic Kasha Carter knew the plight of children living with neglect and abuse. “After we made entry into a home I often watched the children until Social Services came to place them in foster care. It really tugged on my heartstrings and I wanted to raise one of those children as my own,” says Kasha. In 2001, single at the time, Kasha adopted a young foster child named Austin. “When I was first taken from my home I was just devastated. But then I met my mom and I was so happy because I knew I really mattered to her,” says Austin. Five years later, Kasha met fellow paramedic Aaron Carter and they soon married. “I knew right away that Kasha was special. She had a big enough heart to take in a child,” says Aaron. Today, Austin has made the honor roll and is the proud big brother to their 4-year-old son, Hunter.
There are over one half million children currently in foster care in the United States, 114,000 waiting to be adopted. 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 the more than 114,000 waiting 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 12TH ANNUAL A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS 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.