We were made for relationship. We were made for family. We were made to thrive within the security of community. We were never meant to journey through this life alone. Yet, so many people find themselves in exactly that position, and nothing can be more terrifying than being alone as a new parent. Especially when the birth of your child comes in the midst of your own bad decisions.
Today’s story comes from Coos Bay, Oregon by Tyler Richardson from The World. This story does not begin on a positive note as the first sentence is as follows, “A day before giving birth to her son, Linn Thomas took her last hit of methamphetamine” (Richardson). Upon the birth of her child, Linn Thomas discovered that she would not be able to take her baby home from the hospital. This was due to her erratic lifestyle and probable inability to raise a child safely.
Linn was devastated but motivated. She said, “I’m going to make the changes to get my son back. Whatever it takes” (qtd. in Richardson). And that is what she did.
Ron and Leslie Barntses took the boy into their home for foster care. During the year he was in their care, the boy grew and learned while his mother did the same. Leslie has helped Linn into motherhood, teaching her everything from proper nutrition to bedtime routines.
The Barntses have gone out of their way to help this developing family. Even after the foster time was over, Thomas’ son still spends time with the Barntses, about four days a week. This also gives Linn some time to learn from The Barntses hands on.
There are many different forms of mentoring. Adult to youth, youth to you, adult to adult. In this care, the Barntses voluntarily taught Linn about being a mother, both by example and hands on. Mentors provide a strong, positive support for those in need, working to develop a strong sense of self-confidence and knowledge.
Linn Thomas has remained sober for over three years, completing several treatment programs to prove she is capable of raising her son. With the ongoing help from the Barntses, Linn feels confident in her abilities to raise a loving family. “Thomas lives for the little pleasures in life now and said her goal is to become the best mother she can be” (Richardson).
On this most recent Mother’s Day, Linn’s little boy looked at her during a bath and said, “Happy Mother’s Day. I love you.” Linn couldn’t believe it, so she asked the boy again and he repeated the same sentence without hesitation.
These are the stories that motivated us and make our day brighter here at A Family For Every Child. We do our best every day to try to find loving, permanent families for every child and stories like this fuel our work and keep hope alive and well.