Days of Our Lives star Jen Lilley has dedicated her time off screen to children for years. As an ambassador of sorts for Child Help, an organization that helps abused children across the country, Lilley has made children in need her top priority.
This coming weekend, Lilley is about to embark on her most important journey of all, giving an infant a home as she welcomes her first foster child.
On Sunday, Lilley will bring home a four-month-old little boy, something she never expected after just getting her foster license this week.
“We got an email saying we were certified, our license was attached, and can we take this baby now? It was absolutely shocking,” Lilley told Soap Hub.
However, she does want people to know taking in a child so soon is not something you have to do. “If you’re reading this and considering to just take a fostering orientation, know that it’s okay to say no and defer placement for a while. Just get the info and go with your gut!”
While Lilley has thought about fostering for years, her husband, Jason, wasn’t always so sure. However, a little girl they had mentored for the past two years inspired him, and the couple sought their license.
“We have mentored a little 8-year-old girl for almost two years, and when we found out she was eligible to foster, Jason was so distressed. He got in the car after our visit with her, and said, ‘We’re enrolling for those foster classes the minute we get home,'” she said. “I love Jason. What a heart of gold. So, we were actually prepping our home this entire time for a little 8-year-old girl we’ve known, but it didn’t work out that way for reasons I can’t discuss. I am happy to say, however, that she and I are still in touch, she’s in a wonderful home, and we took her out to dinner last night.”
That said, the pair want to keep their home open in case this little girl ever needs them, so they chose to foster a baby for now and see where it leads.
“While I have no idea how long I’ll have this little man, we’re open to help any child, of any race, boy or girl, 0-10. I will help teens later, but I’m so little and I look so young that I thought I’d get my toes wet first. Plus, at least here in LA, there’s actually more babies in need than teens. It’s heartbreaking.”
Despite the surprise news that she’ll start taking care of a baby any day, Lilley feels she’s ready for this new challenge in her life.
“I’m going out of town to a women’s conference where I’ll be praying my heart out, and trying to rest while I can,” she said. “I have girlfriends who are letting me have or borrow a lot of their gently used items, I’ve ordered a car seat, and I’ve cleaned the house. I have a LOT of experience with babies and kids, so I know not to go overboard with all the frou frou baby stuff. We have the essentials, a support team in place, and hearts full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and goodness, and a God in control.”