Jojo had been in foster care for most of her sixteen years, moving from home to home, foster parents unable to cope with her behavior. Early on, she tried hard to fit in, but years of uncertainty had built an anger inside her. Jojo had suffered so much rejection that even in good placements she argued, stayed out past curfew, and remained aloof from the family, almost daring them to throw her out. If she rejected them first, the pain when they rejected her was a little easier to bear.Every broken placement chipped away at Jojo’s confidence and the walls she built around her heart grew higher and stronger. Eventually, Jojo’s case manager told her that her last and only option was to live in a girls’ group home as there were few families able to cope with her. So she moved into the home, living with an ever changing group of teenage girls, and finally found some stability and a trained and caring staff to care for her. It was true that the regime was strict but now Jojo was able to relax a little. She was encouraged to focus on her schoolwork and quickly demonstrated a ready mind and the possibility of college became a reality.
During her final years of high school, a group of women from Living 1:27 Foster Care Ministry started visiting the girls once a month. The women were faithful and brought enrichment to the routine lives of the girls. They taught Jojo and her friends practical skills like how to apply for jobs and prepare resumes, they provided professional self defense training, they held summer book club, and they shared the Gospel through Easter teaching and through their selfless love. There were Christmas shows, nail painting parties, and the knowledge that someone cared and would faithfully visit.
Jojo did well at school and applied to college. She worked hard and despite years of disrupted schooling, Jojo was offered a place at university!
Everyone was overjoyed for her and so proud of what she had achieved, overcoming so much to have this wonderful new opportunity. There was so much to get ready, so much to buy to furnish a dorm room, books to get, and an exciting adventure to begin.
But Jojo didn’t have someone to go shopping for bedding with, no one to choose towels with, she had no one to help her make this great step into adulthood. The staff helped out and there was some money for supplies but then the Living 1:27 ladies had a genius plan! They told Jojo to create a wish list, stuff she would like if there was no limit, and they would find a way to make it happen. Jojo made her modest online list and it was sent out to the Living 1:27 community and gifts started flowing in. People could see how hard Jojo had worked, how she had succeeded despite the odds, and they wanted her to know that she was not alone.
Jojo is now a freshman at college and still needs our love and support. College is hard and learning how to study and live independently is challenging for all new students. For Jojo, leaving foster care means there is none of the family support that most young people take for granted. We can continue to love and support Jojo by letting her know that she has people who care for her. If you would like to send a loving and encouraging message to Jojo please send your letter or care package to Jojo, ℅ Fellowship Bible Church, 480 W Crossville Road, Roswell GA 30075
(Note: This a fictionalized story about a real girl, details have been changed but Jojo is real and would truly appreciate your love.)