Jen Lilley Reveals How Fostering, Adoption, and Her Miscarriage Have Changed Her Life
On October 16, actress and singer Jen Lilley (ex-Theresa, DAYS OF OUR LIVES; ex-Maxie, GENERAL HOSPITAL) shared some wonderful as well as some heartbreaking news. “Oct. 16, 2018, marks the first day my son is truly legally untethered from his biological family,” she revealed on Instagram. “While bio paternal rights were terminated months ago, today is the first day he’s no longer at risk of being taken from the only parents he’s really ever known because the appeals period has officially passed!”
Back in October of 2016, Lilley welcomed her foster child into the family she shares with husband Jason Wayne, and that was when everything changed forever. “Being mommy to this little boy for the past two years and some odd weeks has been the most wonderful and transformational experience of my life,” she declared. “He’s made me cry harder than I’ve ever cried, pray more fervently than I’ve ever prayed, opened up an impossible depth of empathy for his biological momma, crafted me into a real momma bear, made me laugh harder than anyone’s ever made me laugh, and made me appreciate my husband more than I ever have.
“This little tot is truly a gift from God and experiencing every unpredictable up and down that comes with foster parenting and the crazy system has been worth it,” Lilley continued. “We’ve still got a little ways to go, but legally we’re cleared to start the official adoption paper signing!”
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Missing my little boy so much while I film on location in Vancouver, but I have so much peace in my heart knowing that this time, when I come back, he won’t be my foster son, he’ll be my soon to be adopted son. Yes. We are officially on the road to adoption. I have loved every single moment over the last two years with this little man. I’ve taught him to roll over and crawl, how to walk and run. How to sleep in a big boy bed. How to talk and always say please and thank you. We’ve had fun exploring parks and looking at real life choo choo trains. He has given me more laughter in two long and tearful years than I have had in my lifetime. And when I come home, I’m taking this kiddo to Disneyland. One more week munchkin. Momma loves you. . . #fostercare #fostertoadopt #fosterlove #fostermom
But that same day also marked a very bittersweet occasion for the daytime star. “Yesterday was my due date,” Lilly admitted. “Yes, like one out of every four women, I’ve miscarried. When it happened, I was devastated and felt so alone. I was 12 weeks along, just a week from telling my family, and beyond excited. It hit me like a ton of bricks.
“I remember retaliating,” she continued. “I’m a foster parent mom. My life is hard and I cry every day for these sweet innocent children I love with every drop of me but have zero say over their legal fate until adoption presents itself.”
Lilley struggled with telling her family at the time, and now that the date has arrived when she was meant to be welcoming that child into the world, she has decided it’s important to share her story with the world. “One in four women experience miscarriage,” she explained, “and maybe if we talked about it, we’d realize we’re not alone. I share this news so you — yes you, reading this — know you are not alone. Miscarriage is sad, but it’s not something we need to cover up or feel shame about.
“I think there needs to be a coming out of the closet movement for foster care, adoption, and miscarriage,” Lilley concluded. “Let’s destigmatize our ‘dirty little secrets.’ Because they’re not secrets, they’re connections. If you’re a foster parent, if you grew up in foster care, or if you’re adopted, say it loud and proud. If you’ve miscarried, it’s time to learn you’re not alone. You are loved. You are empowered. You are a joy to me!”
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