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Photo Flash: Get a First Look at A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS WITH IDINA MENZEL

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The 21st annual A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS WITH IDINA MENZEL will be broadcast Sunday, December 22 at 9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT on the CBS Television Network. Tony Award winner Idina Menzel performs songs from her new album, Christmas: A Season of Love, and introduces uplifting stories about adoption from foster care. Award-winning artists Adam Lambert, NE-YO and Kelly Rowland also perform.

See the first-look photos from the special below!

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 kids into loving "forever families."

The heart of the special is a series of documentary stories that profile some of the resilient children who have been shuttled from foster home to foster home and were ultimately adopted. These powerful stories highlight the good and the bad, from the grim realities of foster care to the life-changing effects of a loving family. Rounding out these stories are musical performances by top recording artists there to show their support for an audience made up of adoptive parents, social workers and former foster children.

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, three percent graduate college and 25 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. Many have started happy families of their own.

The stories featured on this year's special include:

DeRitis Family - Orange County, Calif.

Jesse was 4 when he was placed in foster care with his 2-year-old sister, Cynthia, due to extreme neglect. The children spent years moving from home to home. Jesse remembers thinking, "Does anyone really want us? Is there something we're doing wrong?" Four years later, aerospace engineer Richard DeRitis and his wife, Joanne, who had married later in life, adopted the siblings. Today, their lives transformed, both children are in college and love to fly with their dad.

Hohl Family - Inland Empire, Calif.

Louis and Lakiesha Hohl had always wanted a big family, and with four sons, they already had one. The couple chose to expand their family by adopting sisters Anayah, 5, and Sammie, 3, both ballerinas. The girls had been neglected and separated in foster care and are now thriving in their large, loving family.

Adams Family - Orange County, Calif.

After learning at church that single parents can adopt from foster care, psychologist David Adams adopted seven-year-old Makayla and her nine-year-old brother, Andrew. The siblings had been in foster care for more than half their lives. They adore visiting their new grandparents - Adam's parents - in Oklahoma and hope their dad finds a wife who "loves him as much as we do," says Andrew.

A Special Adoption

This year, the television audience will witness the creation of a family through an adoption on-stage. The story leading up to the adoption and the adoption itself will be a moving and memorable television moment.

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 in order to harness the power of the entertainment media on behalf of children.

The 21st annual A HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS WITH IDINA MENZEL is produced by Triage Entertainment and Goldsmith Entertainment. Karen Mack, Stu Schreiberg, Stephen Kroopnick and Marilyn Seabury are the executive producers. Kelly Brock is the producer, and Kimberly Steer is the supervising producer. Michael Simon is directing the special.

Photo Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS




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