Read the story below from one of our foster moms, Michele, and her experience working alongside Deanna, the birth mom, to help her reunify with her daughter.

“I got a call at the end of January that there was a newborn at the hospital and immediately said yes. A few days later I had a room prepared for this sweet baby and headed to the hospital. I met with the nurses and finally got to hold her, feed her a bottle, change her diaper, and discuss her health needs with her pediatrician. We were discharged from the hospital and immediately we were a family of six!

Two weeks later she had her first visitation with her mom, Deanna, at a halfway house she was living at for her recover program. After the visitation, I had this overwhelming feeling of God telling me to pray with the birth mom. It was a supervised visit by DCS, so I asked her if it was okay if I could pray for her and Havynn. She replied ‘absolutely’ and I held her hand and we both wept as I prayed for all of us.

In the months that followed, I saw Deanna grow and work so hard to do everything in her power to be her mother. What worked for both of us was that I would send Deanna a daily picture every morning and an update of what Havynn was doing. I am so proud she was able to meet all of the requirements given to her and on May 31, Deanna was granted a trial home visit. One problem was that she had to have daycare in place in order to start the trial home visit. I was able to step in and provide childcare for Havynn Monday through Friday, from 5:00 am until 3:30 pm as this enabled Deanna to start her trial home visit for 60 days, while maintaining her work schedule.

Deanna overcame so many challenges to be where she is today! Before, she was a drug user for over a decade and living in a tent. As of today, I am extremely proud to say that she leads a group of women at a halfway house and encourages other mothers to stay clean and focus on their health and their children. It was an absolute pleasure to walk with her and Havynn. I have received multiple text messages and phone calls from her saying how grateful she is and just that it was true divine intervention that we were able to walk together with her on this journey.

I do think some people look at foster care just for children but ultimately it can be very impactful for reunification and mentoring birthparents! The Judge said in court this is exactly how the system is supposed to work! What an honor it is to be a foster parent for Monroe Harding and be able to serve those in our community!

Deanna and Havynn are doing great. Havynn is sitting up, babbling, trying to crawl, rolling over, loves baby food, and smiles constantly. Our families still get together and we will be forever connected!”