Our hearts go out to DAYS OF OUR LIVES’ Jen Lilley (ex-Theresa) as she and her family are facing a custody battle over her young foster son. Lilley, who is pregnant with her first child, began her journey as a foster parent back in 2016. When her son’s biological mother fell pregnant at the same time as Lilley’s first pregnancy, Lilley and her husband Jason discussed the possibility of fostering again. “We went on a bittersweet discussion of how we’d just have ‘twins,’” Lilly said at the time.
Unfortunately, Lilley suffered a miscarriage, but when the call came asking if she and her family would foster her son’s younger brother they said yes, and took in the baby boy. The family had been working towards legally welcoming his brother into the family when trouble appeared on the horizon. “I cried tears of love the moment I met this little one,” Lilley gushed on Instagram. Having my son’s younger brother in our house has been one of the most beautiful blessings of my life,” she wrote. “Seeing the boys interact, growing as a family, and celebrating all of this little one’s milestones to date, is more than I could ever ask for or imagine.
“We had an update in his case today,” Lilley continued, “A random great aunt he’s met once for less than an hour, and only after he was already 12 months old and deeply bonded with us, and more importantly, his biological brother, is fighting for custody. I’m not going to lie y’all, foster care is hard. It’s emotional, it’s unpredictable, but my goodness, it’s still worth it. I am so grateful to know he has extended family who is also concerned about him, but I cannot fathom what it would do to both of these boys if they were separated. A sibling relationship is one of the strongest bonds on earth. And these two tots are inseparable.”
The entire ordeal has been an emotional one and it has only just begun. ”Driving to the meeting today, trying not to cry (totally cried twice), I had a lot of time to pray,” she confessed. “Here’s what I know; no matter how much I love this little boy, and I want the very best for him and will do my best every day he’s in my care to assure that he is loved, nurtured, and thriving, God loves him more, and created him for a life full of hope and goodness (Jeremiah 29:11). God goes before him, watches over him, and while I think Jason, my dad, and my father-in-law are just about the greatest dads on earth, I have peace knowing that God is the best dad there ever was, is, or will be. And He’s also my Heavenly Father. My concerns are not lost on Him, and He can take care of this little one, my son, my heart and Jason’s, and our entire family and friends who’ve fallen head over heels for this munchkin.”
Lilley went on to state, “Please pray God’s will for this little one. We’re thrilled that as of now, he’s staying with us and his big brother, who love him beyond words,” and then she ended her message,”But PSA, If you’re like so many people I talk to who say they would foster, but just can’t because they’d get too attached, can I lovingly say that that makes you the perfect foster parent! These kids desperately need your love and attachment more than you need your heart protected. Trust me. It’s worth it.”
The DAYS star is a strong foster care and adoption advocate and while celebrating her son’s birthday earlier this year, she opened up about what her kids mean to her. “But family is so much more than blood to me,” she declared. “The children we foster are our children while they are in our house, and they’re in our hearts forever…”
For more on your favorite DAYS stars — past and present — keep reading Soaps In Depth magazine.