A Child with No Name
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A child was born addicted to three substances and abandoned by his biological mother without even being given a name. When Travis and Jenni O’Neal heard there was no room for this boy, not even at the shelter, they knew they had to foster him. The O’Neal family fostered him despite having four biological children of their own, one of which was still a baby. Jenni said, “What we were so worried about in adding another child, wound up being such a joy and delight to just have him around.”
When the boy became eligible for adoption, Travis and Jenni welcomed him into their family forever as their son and gave him a name of his own, Malachi.
“This is a team effort,” said Jenni. “Somebody gets to hold the babies in their arms, somebody gets to give financially, somebody gets to donate services, somebody has to train the staff. There’s just something for everyone to do.”
A Change of Plans
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Last year Travis and Michelle adopted a child who they had been fostering. Travis felt they should take a few months “off” from taking in any more foster placements. The holidays were quickly approaching and his work load was increasing. A few weeks later, Michelle received a notification that there was a newborn needing a safe home. Michelle went to Travis assuming he would remind her of their “plan;” instead he said “Yes!” Several months later they were back in the courtroom, saying “yes” to another forever family member.
Michelle said, “Being a foster parent disrupted any plans we had, but it made way for God’s plan. Saying yes to a child may ignite fear, doubt and worry – but it is always opening the way to something bigger than you.”
A Place to Call "Home"
At the age of 18, Ryan became homeless. Forced to leave their home, he and his father had no place to go. Ryan spent his last semester of high school bouncing from one friend’s home to another and eventually ran out of places to go. Ryan found out about Villages of Hope and was soon accepted into the program. He couldn’t believe he would have a room all to himself.
He said, “I remember walking into my room and thinking, ‘This is actually mine.’ It was so nice to have a room to myself. I had a bed I could sleep in and that to me was so comforting.”