Listen to Veronica as she shares about her life caring for her six younger siblings at the age of thirteen… until her life drastically changed on her 14th birthday. Her mother went on the run with Veronica and her siblings, living in a tent and barely surviving, until the Department of Social Services removed them from their mother’s care. For the next few years she experienced kinship care, various foster families, potential adoptive families, and other placements that had a profound impact on her.
Veronica had various people who supported her and gave her a voice. From her foster mother to her Guardian Ad Litem. But Veronica’s life was still filled with uncertainty and struggles, often her only comfort found by sleeping in the same room as her younger brother. She fought hard for her and her brother to be adopted together, but they continued to face challenges that threatened Veronica’s hopes.
Join us in listening to Veronica share openly and honestly about the struggles found within foster care, the significance of giving children in foster care a voice, and ultimately the unconditional love of a forever family.
Then, listen as Jailynn Smiley shares some practical tips about the process and paperwork that comes with foster care and adoption. She answers some of the biggest questions and concerns, such as how clean your house actually needs to be before a home visit, and how to survive the sometimes overwhelming paperwork. Jailynn brings over 20 years of experience to the conversation and her words will equip anyone with the tools they need to more efficiently and peacefully navigate the logistics of engaging in foster care.
Download the free companion PDF to this series—“Seven Insights about Foster Care from Those Who’ve Been There”–and share these types of insights with others in your community!
“I just wanted someone who loved me unconditionally, but more than everybody else was. Um, someone who is going to stay there and be there.”
Here are the resources and/or organizations mentioned in this episode:
The Foster Journey: Often a Winding Road. Always a Trip
Free Download: Seven Insights about Foster Care from Those Who’ve Been There
Meet Our Guests
Veronica is 23 years old, loves to be outdoors, read, hunt, and even ride horses. Her desire is to be the support for a child that she needed growing up and to educate people about the needs within foster care and the negative connotations that foster care can have for some people. She uses her voice that once fought for her brother to fight for children who are still in foster care or for young adults who have aged out of foster care. Her hope is to use her story and her life to make a difference in the lives of children in foster care.
Jailynn Smiley is no stranger to Foster Care & Adoption having spent 26 years as a Foster/Adopt Family Recruiter in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Jailynn has worked for several Child Placing Agencies and currently serves as the Director of Family Recruitment for CK Family Services. Jailynn attended the University of North Texas , where she majored in Radio & TV Broadcasting. Jailynn interned at KKDA (K104FM) Radio in Dallas and was later hired as a News Anchor/Reporter. After working in broadcasting for a number of years, Jailynn was recruited to work for Child Protective Services in the area of Recruitment. Jailynn’s skills were put to good use in finding homes for children in need, and she found a passion for working with foster and adoptive families. Jailynn has worked in the area of foster and adoptive parent recruitment over the past 20 years and joined the Covenant Kids team as a Family Recruitment Specialist in 2010. Jailynn enjoys meeting and spending time with families who have a desire to serve children in foster care and getting the families started on the journey.
Meet Our Hosts
Jason and his wife, Trisha, have been caring for children from U.S. foster care since 2001 and have had the privilege of adopting their five children from foster care. Jason has helped to produce and write several books, bible studies, and other tools all created to serve churches as they care for hurting kids including the newly released children’s book, Farmer Herman and the Flooding Barn (BroadStreet Publishing). Jason writes a regular column for Fostering Families Today magazine and is the host of the Foster Movement Podcast, which highlights the stories of former foster youth and national foster care advocates. Jason serves as the National Director of More Than Enough for the Christian Alliance for Orphans and currently lives in Plano, Texas.
Most teenagers remember the day they got their license, or their sweet 16, or even prom night. For Diego the most prominent day he remembers is In 2002, when he showed up on Bishop Aaron Blake’s steps. Blake stopped Diego at the door and told him to lose any foster care mentality that he has. “You are not a foster child; you are ‘Engrafted’ into my family.” Diego, now a national recording artist, released his second studio album titled “ENGRAFTED” in 2014! Diego is the founder & president of B.I.G Records & Foundation. He and his “Pops,” Bishop Aaron Blake have joined forces and travel the country empowering the local church to create a culture of families prepared to accept the calling of orphan care. Diego lives with his family in the Dallas area.