I was born on the Eastern Shore of Virginia as the second child to a teenage mother. I had three siblings, and our life was not the greatest at that time. My father was an alcoholic who abused my mom, it led us into an environment filled with domestic violence, mental health issues, alcoholism, neglect, abuse, and dependency. We had to learn to take care of ourselves while my mom went to work.
In the early 70s, when I was around 7 years old, our mother left our father and moved to Felton, Delaware. About 9 months later, my siblings and I ended up in foster care. We were truly blessed to have been in the care of a loving foster mother. She was a much older lady who didn’t have to take in three children, but she genuinely cared for us. More importantly, she taught us how to value bravery and prayer while taking care of each other despite the challenges we faced.
We didn’t remain in foster care for long, but I do know that we missed our mother very much. A few weeks after returning home, we began attending a small church in Camden DE. We didn’t know the significance of going to church at that time because we had never really attended often. However, I enjoyed going. I knew that regardless of what I had to face, God loved me. And now I am a member of that same church.
At the time, there was no understanding of trauma or adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Despite this, I have grown up with empathy and care instead of bitterness. I have three biological children, but I have helped my Sister with her children due to the challenges she constantly faced. Later on, my adoptive sister passed at 38 years old and left seven children behind. One of them came to live with our family but I've been supportive of them all.
For most of my life, I have been a single mother. I’m currently married and we have seven children and 13 Grandchildren (more to come) and I'm still a foster parent with a multitude of young people who call me “Mom,” “Mom Mom,” or “Aunt Linda.” I couldn’t be any prouder! I value FAMILY!!
Back in 2008, a friend called me after becoming a foster parent. He asked if I would be interested in partnering with him and another person to develop plans for a long-term foster home. Well, the project didn’t go so well the first time. However, over time I would revisit the idea but didn’t have the courage to move on. Well, this time is so different, because God is taking the lead and guiding me toward favorable results. I am confident that Visions of Hope HM, Inc. will make a meaningful change in the lives of children in the foster care system.
After years of working in the fields picking vegetables to the chicken factory. Becoming a foster parent was one of my most rewarding careers, alongside becoming a certified nursing assistant and social worker. After all of this and finally going back to college at the age of 40 for an Associates Degree in Human services. Well, I ended up with 3 Masters and currently a Licensed Bachelor Social Worker, I own and operate a Janitorial Service along side of my family. I had to overcome many trials in this life, which includes teenage pregnancy, homelessness, high school drop out, and low self-esteem. But I found myself through the love of Jesus Christ. I have become a confident woman, and I know that I have overcome many struggles. I know that I have been fearfully and wonderfully made by the Creators Hands and is made to carry out the purpose of creating a safe and caring environment for youth in need.
My caring nature and passion for what I do, can also be seen within each individual in my team. Together, we work to make Visions of Hope HM, Inc. the key to a brighter future for the youth of Delaware.