Something Positive for Cody
Read how Cody’s life changed once he walked through our gates.
Read how Cody’s life changed once he walked through our gates.
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I’m 16 years old and I’ve been in and out of facilities and juvenile detention centers since I was five-years-old. I grew up in really bad areas and me and my family really don’t get along. I’ve been stabbed, shot at and abused. After awhile, I just started feeling resentment toward the state and toward my family.
I felt like nobody was really there for me. I felt like I was left out in the world by myself.
A good friend of mine told me about Methodist Children’s Homes. He saw me going down the wrong path and he said the staff here would help me get my life together. When I first got to MCH, I thought it was amazing. It was different from every other place I have been to. Of course, every place has pros and cons but I get to experience so much.
I have a roof over my head now. I have food and water. I’ve already made a ton of friends. I have people who care about my future. I don’t have to worry about looking over my shoulder anymore.
I was going down a long and dark path that I couldn’t see the end of, but now things are a lot better. I’m about to celebrate my 17th birthday… something I thought I’d never live to see. I am working toward getting my GED and my faith is getting stronger and stronger each day. I like to live by the quote, “Life is all about what you make it, not what you see it to be. If you see something negative, there’s always something positive hidden inside.”
Most people may look at my situation as negative, but MCH is my “something positive”.
Your ongoing support made it possible for our youth to create joyful memories during summer camp at Lake Forest Ranch. Read more about how your support encouraged DeAndrea, a youth at MCH, to conquer a list of fears.
DeAndrea, a youth at MCH, conquered her fear of water and learned how to swim during her first time at camp. She was even confident enough to go tubing with a group of new faces. This is something DeAndrea never would’ve thought of doing months ago.
She also overcame her fear of public speaking. With encouragement from her MCH friends and other youth at summer camp, DeAndrea stood up in front of a large crowd and shared pieces of her foster care journey.
“Once I had the encouragement I needed, I knew I just needed to get up there and do it. Now it’s not so scary. I just had to take a leap of faith.”
Without you, DeAndrea would have never had this opportunity. You made this possible! Your support leads to so many special moments. Thank you for all the ways you love the children of MCH!
Commitment to Christ
Seventeen-year-old David arrived to summer camp with low expectations. He was skeptical about the Lake Forest Ranch faith-based itinerary but as the days went by, a transformation began.
Seventeen-year-old David arrived to summer camp with low expectations. He was skeptical about the Lake Forest Ranch faith-based itinerary but as the days went by, a transformation began. David felt his faith growing stronger day-by-day. After an in-depth conversation with his camp counselor, he decided to make a commitment to Christ. He accepted Him as his saviour in front of a trusted group of friends and staff members.
David said, “I felt good after that. I felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders.”
Often times, our children come to MCH feeling broken and alone. Because of you, they have opportunities to connect with Christ. Your love for our children leads to hope and healing. Please be in prayer for David and the two other MCH teenagers who got saved during summer camp.
A Forever Home for Penny
Jay and Jessica Grisham always knew they wanted to have a big family. The couple decided early in their marriage that adoption would be a part of their parenting journey. It was a cause near and dear to both of their hearts. However, the process wasn’t as easy as they thought it would be.
After months of waiting and constant disappointment, the couple made a choice to put the adoption process on hold and start having biological children. Jessica gave birth to four children; two boys and two girls. A few years after their fourth child was born, they decided to pursue their dream of adoption.
As they pursued adoption once more, they began to realize the need for foster parents. Jessica says, “We just started realizing that these kids need someone who will love them unconditionally and be like parents to them. They need someone who can be understanding, and we knew we could extend that.”
In the summer of 2017, The couple received a call about fostering a baby girl in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Baby Penny was born prematurely (at 29 weeks) and needed a place to call home.
“We were excited to meet this new little person but it was sad to know that a mother was not going home from the hospital with her baby. We did get to meet Penny’s mother, and I was very thankful for that. We fell in love with her immediately, but there was still a certain level of sadness in the situation,” says Jessica.
Nervous but excited, the couple accepted the offer and brought Penny home. They were only supposed to foster Penny for a few months, but a few months quickly turned into two years. Jay and Jessica say the last two years have been filled with bliss, but Penny still faces a number of physical challenges.
She was recently diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition which causes fluid to build up in cavities deep within the brain. Jay and Jessica say the recovery process is full of ups and downs but they’re thankful to have a great support system through their church and through MCH.
Jessica says, “If you’re going to do this thing, make sure you have a good support system around you. Methodist Children’s Homes really does have an advantage. We have a whole organization that has our backs and they are in our corner with us, helping. We don’t feel alone.”
By simply looking at Penny, you would not be able to tell just how much she has gone through. She is constantly laughing, singing, running and learning the world around her. She has become the silly yet sassy, seventh member of the Grisham household.
Jay and Jessica have maintained a relationship with Penny’s mother throughout the years. They speak with her frequently and have pictures of her alongside Penny’s crib. For them, reunification was always a priority for Penny. But in foster care, there are plenty of twists and turns. The NICU baby who was supposed to return to her biological mother by Christmas of 2017, is now on the path to being adopted by Christmas of 2019.
Jay says about Penny, “I want to be gracious to her. I want to extend the same grace that was given to me through Christ. I want her to experience love that she may never understand.”
Every child is different and every foster family has a different story. When giving advice to anyone that may be interested in fostering a child, Jessica says, “If your goal is to build your family with people, then don’t do foster care. But if your goal is to build up people and to raise people who know what it’s like to be in a healthy family and a healthy environment, then foster care is your game.”
Because of your support, the Grishams were able to give Penny the stable and loving home she needed. Your love, prayers, generosity and financial support is the key to Penny’s story. Without you, Penny wouldn’t have found her forever family. Only because of your support, were the Grishams able to fulfill their calling of caring for the orphan.
Thank you for supporting the ministry of foster care! If you are interested in becoming a foster family, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our CEO, Devon Loggins, shares his excitement about MCH becoming nationally accredited by the Council on Accreditation.
Since 2014, when I first arrived on the Methodist Children’s Homes of MS campus, we have grown, adjusted and changed to meet the current needs of children and families in our State. From the first day I pulled onto campus to today, I can’t help but marvel at what has been accomplished by the board, committee members, volunteers, donors and staff in five years.
Today, we continue to pursue excellence through becoming nationally accredited by the Council on Accreditation. This is not only necessary due to the Families First Prevention Services Act passed last year, but also upholds the MCH vision to “become a national leader in providing innovative therapeutic services”. The accreditation process began in January of 2019 with the plan of being complete by 2021. I believe this accreditation process is absolutely essential in order to continue providing quality care for therapeutic foster children.
The accountability supplied by this process will allow us to serve more children and families through providing the very best evidence based services. Becoming accredited means streamlining all of our policies, identifying gaps in our services, and increasing the overall effectiveness of the services we provide to children and families. The process will also ensure we are following all the best practices and standards for therapeutic group homes and foster homes.
For each child who enters our gates, I pray for their success, for them to know the love of Christ and for them to understand they have a choice in how their futures will unfold. Realizing that not every child will be a success story, I often worry for the children who have been discharged while contemplating how we could have possibly served them better. My hope is that after the accreditation process, we will have even higher success rates, and that children and families are far better off because we have met one another.
This project is a big undertaking and it means we still need you! All of the stories in the newsletter wouldn’t be possible without your support. When you donate, pray and volunteer, you are providing hope, and without hope there can’t be healing. Please be in prayer as to how you can help support MCH achieving accreditation. Your faithfulness to the Lord and to the children of MCH astounds me! Thank you!
Only By Grace,