"Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life."
- Mark Twain
Mollie Jelks loves having a house filled with children. She has two biological children who live out of town (Vaughn, age 32 and Khalia, age 28) and four adopted children: Kendra, age 12; Amy, age 10; Tyler, age 9 and Sean, age 6. Her journey as a foster, adoptive and mentor parent began in 1994 when she was hired as a temporary worker at Children's Bureau.
Mollie asked about the foster care program and got an application. Several children were placed in Mollie's care, one of them being Amy. Amy was three months old when Mollie took her into her home. Amy was withdrawn, malnourished and suffering from drug exposure. With help from Children's Bureau, Mollie worked with Amy giving her the love, attention and nurturing that she needed. While Amy's progress was slow, Mollie's persistence and patience helped the fragile child develop into a thriving girl with lots of personality. Mollie adopted Amy on August 2, 2000 and the other children soon followed.
Once her adoptive family was complete, Mollie continued to attend training and support groups. However, she still wanted to find ways to help more children. Mollie's experience as a successful foster and adoptive parent could help others in the process so her social worker recommended that she join the Children's Bureau mentor program.
"My heart jumped for joy when I heard about the mentorship opportunity. I still wanted so much to be a part of Children's Bureau and the children who needed help even though I could not bring them home to stay," said Mollie. "Now I get to share my experiences with new and potential foster and adoptive families, giving them the hope, courage, resources and support they need to get through the oftentimes long and challenging process of adoption. I wish there was a program like this when I became a foster and adoptive parent." Mollie says that for 13 years she's loved working with Children's Bureau and that everyone supports each other like a family. She also is grateful to Children's Bureau for giving her four loving, beautiful children that give her pure happiness.
For more information about the Children's Bureau, please visit www.all4kids.org.