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EP116: Foster Care Awareness with Hallmark Star Jen Lilley

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Mother's Day to everyone out there. I into your mom's I mean they brought you into this world so I feel lake being pregnant. On Mother's Day is weird. I don't know if anybody else feels that way or felt that way. Because it's like I don't really feel like I'm a mom yet so when people tell me happy mother's Day I'm like thanks. I just like have this alien inside my body. That kicks me a lot and you know makes me crave weird things. But that's basically yet so I would like to know if you guys felt weird. I'm Mother's Day and any stories that you have with that if you guys celebrated it and what you did for me just like the are being pregnant. I feel like it's only a haven't earned it yet so but that's all right next year. I'm sure I'll feel like a mom but so this week so may is also. We have pre ECLAMPSIA awareness. We have foster care awareness which we're going to talk about today and it's also maternal mental health awareness so next week. We Dr Ream coming on. She's a psychologist and she does with perinatal mental health and she is just so awesome. She's so much fun to talk to her. I got so much out of the episode. Became Council me a little bit on some things that I've been a thinking and feeling and going through and I know a lot of people can relate but she's an awesome resource and she's GonNa be on next week so definitely look out for that this week. We HAVE JEN. Lilley on and I'm going to introduce her have her tell you a little bit about herself. But she's an awesome awesome woman and she's so passionate about foster care and and I don't know it's very contagious. Listening to her because she's so passionate about it but also brings the knowledge and the education in bust myths. Right all of the. What if this happens? And what if that happens? We'll what about this since she answers a lot of those questions but she also shared dives into her faith. And which is something that I could definitely relate with growing up in the church and what it would take four foster for the kids in foster care to actually get the help that they need and where faith comes into play with it. So she's just she's very strong. You can just tell. She's such a strong woman and she has such amazing energy. And I really hope that you enjoy this interview. I'M GONNA go ahead and bring her on. Hey everybody I have Jen Lilley here. And I'M SO EXCITED TO BE INTERVIEWING. Her May as foster care awareness month so we're definitely going to dive into that. She has such a huge heart for spreading. The message. Of why foster care is so important but she's also an actress singer. A Children's book author. I was doing some research on her and she has. She's one of those women that just does it. All and on top of that has kids and adopts them and fosters. She's she's going to be talking to him about all of that stuff today. So thank you so much for taking the time to come on itself awesome to connect with other awesome MOMS. I mean you know that's how we survived right right for sure. I'd love for you to just kind of tell us a little bit about yourself in your own words. Oh Gosh so yeah I mean you you touched on it. And I'm an actress and singer mainly There's two main fields but the whole reason I got involved in not as because I love the art of storytelling and I love your storytelling. Because you're you're able to the impact people you would never otherwise meet in their own living room. You know in their own personal heart in their mind. People that maybe have walls up can be touched so deeply by a television program or a movie without having to see like for having confronting conversation. So that's on acting and singing but also because you know our culture in my opinion is so backwards in the fact that we give celebrities this voice in our lives and Mrs already in our lives and I don't agree with that but I am somebody who will use that truth in order to have a platform to inspire change and to shine a light on issues that so actually matter you know like foster care and like adoption and child abuse and things that are going on in our country that that are confronting in that people. Don't WanNa talk about but they absolutely deserve light. So that's who I am. That's why I am and that's awesome. I'm glad you brought up the the celebrity thing though because I find myself also just kind of having an issue with this whole influence or movement and people calling themselves influencers. But it's like you're really not influencing people to do anything except for like club Ryan themselves exactly to compare themselves in their lives. It's like if you have a platform use it like be passionate about something. I don't care if you're so passionate about about feeding hummingbirds and you want to spread that pige like do it be passionate about something you know so I love that you are using that so I mean you said it to you so when you think about foster care. A lot of people don't know that that there's so much correlated with it when it comes to like sex trafficking and child abuse and different things that are going on and and so in those are the things that I guess people. Some people don't WanNa hear right but it's really important to talk about the importance of why these kids need homes and why I mean people aren't really aware that there is a crisis in the United States when it comes to finding homes for displaced children. So I'd love for you to just kind of touch on that a little bit. Definitely okay so you know first of all. There's so many misconceptions in foster care I children in foster care are not juvenile delinquent. That's what everybody's making their children. Their youth. A lot of them are infants. You ended up in a broken system no fault of their own but because they sustained often unimaginable levels of abuse and neglect and they deserve all the love and the stability and the support that we could possibly give them and down. You know raising awareness about it is just so important to me and so important to you because there's if we don't intervene institute are bleak so we can break the cycle of abuse. But if we don't if we don't step in and do something will in here are the statistics that will happen Of the two million that are incarcerated here in the United States seventy five percent of them spent time in the foster care system and of the five hundred thousand homeless. We have fifty percent spent time in foster system and other victims that we are still recovering from sex trafficking raids in the United States. Over sixty percent came from the foster care system so Oscar system is ground zero and big the encouraging statistic because I always loved again in encouraging statistic. Any I gets the most encouraging statistic I've ever heard is that if one person out of every three churches in the United States and we're just talking about Christian churches of I think that's even Protestant and like adding the Catholics. Like were all under the same umbrella at and people from synagogues and other great people but the statistic that so encouraging that if one person out of every three churches in the United States to rise up and become a foster parent than there would be no more children in the foster system waiting for a home they would they would be POWs. And then what's more you would have thousands and thousands of homes who are already licensed and willing to take on the next call because there will be another call but what you see is you would see the gap starting to close so if good foster families stepped in and the goal of foster care is always reunification which earning listening who doesn't know what that means. It means that when you when it is possible you want to be able to come alongside the birth family children and put them back in that family. You know it is so important to have family It matters it matters to your identity you WanNa be put with. Your family is possible but when that's not possible and sometimes it's not unfortunately you know these parents or the birth family does not fit together and it's not a healthy option for that child and the number one priority should be not always but should be for the well-being mental health of that trial so when reunification is not possible. If you could get good people fostering than the next call is adoption when necessary and adoption is our joy and it needs to be our joy. And when you do that you will see the gap closing of children that are leaving the foster system and you're going to shrink that statistic and you can break the cycle of abuse and then by doing so. You're having positive ramifications. On the judge digital system the legal system there won't be overcrowding in our jails because people will know that they are loved their value that they are created on purpose in with a purpose and they're empowered equipped to do caused positive change in positive impact. I mean I can't speak to someone who has lived the crime life. They're not gonNA listen to me. I'm squeaky clean and I'm on the hallmark channel. I'm obnoxious to someone like but if you get somebody who has lived that life who was saying you know what I got out of it. You can get out of it. You know. We're GONNA see that statistic shrink pregnacy girls who know their value. Who Know that. Styling your body. It's not actually empowering it's enslaving and that statistic is going to shrink drug use shrinking. You'll see homelessness shrinking. Because then you have families taking care of you so it's really encouraging one person out of every three churches you know that's something that's easy to digest that statistic Empowering and then you add in ought the people who want to change and we have a crisis. It's not such a crisis anymore. It's something that's attainable. I really do believe that. Our generation will see the end of Voster system. If we rise up. Yeah I love that you brought up the church because I recently just Was doing a study through James and one thing that continued to speak out to me was taking care of your windows in your orphans like if you are a Christian if you're listening to this podcast and you are Christian And you believe that we're supposed to write. It is like we are literally like that is our duty is to take care of the orphans of the world to take care of the people who are without the Widows and orphans and and that did that verse really was convicting to me. Because I was sitting at a table with twelve other women. And we're reading through James and I felt like that I just kind of getting skipped over like. Oh Yeah. We're supposed to do all these things. And I'm like how many people here are actually like considering fostering or adopting because like we're commanded to do that so it like you take three churches and if one person follows like what you're community to do you could ARATU. Kate says you which is just mind blowing..

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