Two weeks ago, Days of our Lives star Jen Lilley was all set to meet with Georgia Congressman and Civil Rights icon John Lewis as she traveled to D.C. as an essential worker to lobby for changes in the foster care system.
Jen Lilley: Fighting For Families
Sadly, Lewis passed away on July 17 at the age of 80 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. His body was flown from his native Alabama to D.C. on Monday where he now lies in state at the Capitol Rotunda, an honor given to very few in American history. It’s currently changed the feel of D.C. this week as so many gather outside the Capitol to pay their respects.
Lilly is also in D.C. ready to meet with other members of Congress and can feel the vibe in the nation’s capital.
“It’s surreal to be in DC while they’re honoring Rep. John Lewis. What an incredible way maker. Two short weeks ago, we were scheduled to meet with him on this trip. We’ve lost a legend. I honor you Representative,” Lilley tweeted, along with black and white photos of Lewis during his fight for civil rights in the 1960s.
Despite not being able to meet with Lewis, Lilley is not giving up her fight and is still advocating for foster care reform. The actress says the most important thing that needs to be changed is reunification, as foster care is not meant to be a permanent solution unless absolutely necessary. In her case, adopted son Kayden could not be reunited with his birth mother and neither can his brother, whom she is in the process of adopting now.
Jen Lilley is calling for a unified national plan for foster care and adoption that puts less trauma on kids. Her message to Congress is this: “You guys need to adopt a national system.”
During her podcast called Fostering Hope, she learned children can be taken from one state to another, from a good foster home to a relative not equipped to handle them. She was surprised to learn that is legal, but because of different laws in different states, these things can happen.
Lilley admitted before her trip that she worried she might not be able to hold her tongue with lawmakers, but that she also finds the right words they need to hear.
Let her tell you herself in the Instagram video below, as well as her tribute to John Lewis. Days of our Lives (DOOL) airs weekdays on NBC. Check your local listings for airtimes.
It’s surreal to be in DC while they’re honoring Rep. John Lewis. What an incredible way maker. Two short weeks ago, we were scheduled to meet with him on this trip. We’ve lost a legend. I honor you Representative. pic.twitter.com/Q4Q47T6pxS
— Jen Lilley (@jen_lilley) July 28, 2020