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Angels doing the hardest job you'll ever love
JAY, Fla. (WEAR) —
Their numbers are few, far too few. They open their hearts and homes to the thousands of children in our communities who have been abused, neglected or abandoned.
There's a critical need for more foster parents; more incredible Angels like the Hollands.
You'll always find a flurry of activity at the Holland house in Jay. There are the three biological children and always one or several more foster children.
Medical foster mother Jennifer Holland said, "It was just in both of our hearts."
Jennifer and Eric Holland have been medical foster parents for 11 years. The children who come into their home require special care.
Jennifer said they arrive with any number of medical issues; broken bones from abuse, genetic abnormalities, tummy troubles, and there are the emotional scars.
"Normal life to them has not been anywhere close to what normal should be. There's been a lot of violence and drugs and alcohol," Jennifer said. "They're not coming in from a, you know, good...they're not coming in from church."
One little one had been born at 25 weeks and they knew his prognosis was dire. Before he passed away, there was one thing they made sure of.
"He knew that he was loved and my goal was to make sure that he was loved enough. And that he knew that he had a mommy who loved him and I did, I loved him every day," Jennifer said.
With the medically complex children, there are endless doctor and therapy appointments. Eric said they're a team and they just make it happen.
"We're very blessed. I really feel bad for a lot of them that they're put in the circumstances that they're put in. We're fortunate enough that we're able to do it so we love to do it," Eric explained.
Love and much prayer are what sustains them in their mission. In just the last 12 months, they've fostered 15 children.
Everyone of them has been cherished and cared for until they could be safely reunited with their families or placed into adoptive homes.
Jennifer said it's never easy letting go but they do it, knowing this: "I wanted to make a difference in this world and whenever I leave, I hope I have some kind of a mark that I'm making."
Angels In Our Midst is brought to you by Nemours Children's Specialty Care.