Hello! My name is Jacqueline. My journey with Safe Families started nearly six years ago alone and afraid with five children and one on the way in a maternity home in St. Charles. I couldn’t believe that my life has gotten to this point, I couldn’t comprehend that I literally had no where but the shelter to go with my babies. The next year was a daily struggle, struggling to love on these precious gifts so hard during this time, struggling to know who would care for my youngest when I’m in the hospital with my many health issues…. Just plain struggling. It didn’t seem like there was even room enough to come up for air, and then one day it was as if an angel appeared and introduced Safe Families into my life.
I was so scared and apprehensive at first, I wasn’t ready to part with my babies but I needed to prepare for the just in case so that I could ensure the state would not intervene. My Safe Families Host Family were nothing short of wonderful! We met a few times before my need ever presented itself so I would feel comfortable. To this day my boys still love and cherish the Arnold’s! We all do! With their help and the help of another Safe Families volunteer who took me under her wing, we learned about God and the wonderful things He could do in our lives! And things began to improve.
I secured housing and was blessed with everything to furnish my new home! We have remained in contact but have since moved and God placed the most perfect family in our path. My mom passed away years ago and my real father was never around, nor was my children’s father. They longed for this bond. Their hearts broke without it. Upon moving, I injured my back and was in the hospital for awhile and in a wheelchair. It was time for the boys to go to the new Host Family down here. I was nervous. My anxiety mounted. I’m not sure why, God knows what he is doing and we just have to trust that. This new Host Family are now the grandparents my boys never had. They have their own room at their house. They go to visit even when there is no need…just the want and desire to see their loving grandparents and to these two boys you couldn’t tell them that they aren’t! I love this program in its entirety! From the staff who arrange the meetings and placement to the Host parents who open their homes and hearts, none of them meet you with judgment! I have never felt more valued!
– Jacqueline, Mama Bear
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