Finding my lasting family

When parents like Lisa face situations beyond their control, their children can become vulnerable to neglect or abuse. Lisa wanted her boys to have a healthier and happier childhood than what she experienced.

Lisa shares her experience with Safe Families for Children

March 31, 2020

“I’d just left a negative relationship when I learned I was pregnant. I was bouncing between friends’ houses, trying to find a place to live. I felt scared and alone. I didn’t want to bring a child into the world without a safe place for him to live.

An old friend introduced me to Safe Families for Children, a Bethany ministry that connects families in crisis—like me—with loving, volunteer host families.

I nervously approached Marjorie and John’s front door, preparing to meet the host family that had offered me a place to live during my pregnancy. Over dinner, my anxieties began to fade, and I felt grateful that I had reached out for help.

My son, Asher, was born prematurely at 26 weeks. I was terrified to go into labor so early. Thankfully, Marjorie was right next to me, wiping my forehead with a cloth and speaking in soothing, motherly tones.

Once Asher was born, I discovered Marjorie’s daughter was also born prematurely—at 26 weeks! Throughout those exhausting, frightening weeks with Asher in the NICU, Marjorie was a steady presence in my life, offering me rides to the hospital to visit my baby and reassuring me that Asher was going to be OK. And she was right, as he’s now a healthy 3-year-old!

When I became pregnant with my second son, Alexander, the doctors considered my pregnancy high risk. Marjorie and John graciously stepped right up to care for Asher, giving me the opportunity to rest and deliver a healthy baby boy.

I’d never experienced unconditional love like that before. My biological family abused me when I was a child, so I hardly knew what a family was.

But Marjorie and John, who I now call Mom and Dad, love me and my boys like their own.

Typically, a Safe Families hosting lasts just a few weeks. I consider myself lucky to have found a true, lasting family through this ministry. I’m proud of myself for being courageous enough to seek help. I couldn’t have done this alone—and no parent should have to.

Because of the love Marjorie and John showed me, I now know exactly how I want to raise my boys. I want them to know family isn’t always blood. Rather, it’s the people who accept you for who you are and the people who love you unconditionally. Family is the people who are always there for you when you need them most.”

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