CHRISTY AND JAYLYNN:
TWO LIVES TRANSFORMED
MARCH 2023 NEWSLETTER
Over the last few months we have experienced the same financial and economic pressures faced by many in our community and our nation. While our shelters and services are thriving and we see God working continually, we too have challenges to overcome. Rising prices of food, fuel and basic costs combined with the rising numbers of people seeking our services have impacted us, but despite what can sometimes feel like setbacks we are still committed to transforming the lives of everyone we are called to serve.
TRM has witnessed many stories of transformation throughout the years, but one recent story is that of Christy, a grandmother who worked hard over the past year to become the caregiver to her newborn granddaughter Jaylynn. When Jaylynn came into the world she was already addicted to heroin, meth, and fentanyl. Her entire life, from conception to birth, her mother had been addicted to multiple drugs and her father died six weeks before her birth of complications from drug usage.
Christy was at the hospital and cut the cord when Jaylynn was born. At first Jaylynn seemed fine, but her little body was so addicted to drugs she spent the next month in the NICU for severe withdrawal, one of the worst cases they had ever seen at that hospital. She could not sleep at all, but stayed awake constantly screaming and crying because of the addictions and withdrawal.
The NICU made an exception and allowed Christy and some of her family members to watch over Jaylynn. For the next month they took shifts to make sure Jaylynn would never be alone, sitting with her around the clock to let her know she had a family who loved her.
After once struggling with an addiction herself, Christy is celebrating 5 years of sobriety this August. She knew she needed to become Jaylynn’s caregiver, but she had no idea how she could make it work financially or physically. Christy was born with a birth defect in her spine and after a severe car wreck has been on disability for many years. She knew there was no way she could live on her disability payments and take care of Jaylynn, and without anyone to help pay child support what was she supposed to do?
Christy had known about TRM for several years but had only utilized their services for food boxes through the drive-through at the Distribution Center. While there, she met several TRM staff members and Susan, a volunteer at the DC who would become instrumental in helping her create a new life for Jaylynn.
When Susan heard that Christy was going to become Jaylynn’s caregiver she immediately asked what they needed and worked with TRM staff to deliver the items to their home. Soon afterward several TRM staff and volunteers began making regular deliveries to their house of diapers, food, toys and clothing for Jaylynn. TRM staff and volunteers even showed up with a baby bed and installed it for her, and made sure to bring Christmas dinner and gifts for Christy and Jaylynn.
Over the next few months as she adjusted to becoming the caregiver for her granddaughter and faced Jaylynn’s ongoing health issues, Christy broke down crying several times, but Susan reassured her that it does take a village to raise a child. For the first time Christy began feeling that everything was going to be okay and she wasn’t going to have to do this alone. With the help of her own mother, her family members and TRM, Christy has been able to succeed as a caregiver for Jaylynn and give her a brand new life.
To this day, Christy lets TRM know when she needs something for Jaylynn and they work to find it for her, surrounding them both with love, support and care - and when Jaylynn outgrows her clothing Christy donates it back to TRM so it can be used to help someone else.
While her daughter was pregnant with Jaylynn, Christy and her family laid hands on her daughter’s stomach and prayed that this baby would be God’s child and that God would protect her from all harm, even in the womb. God has faithfully rewarded their prayers and continues to reward them to this day. Jaylynn, by the grace of God, is absolutely perfect today. She is 9 months old and thriving, having recovered from the addictions that plagued her birth and the first part of her life. She has truly experienced the rebirth of God’s love and compassion demonstrated through His servants!
TRM staff and volunteers continue to ask how Jaylynn is doing and Christy enjoys sending them photos as Jaylynn grows. Christy often brings Jaylynn to TRM to socialize and says about her experiences with TRM: “We have a special relationship. The best way I can describe it is, we’re a village. Susan told me it takes a village, and you guys have been my people.”
She adds, “Please keep helping TRM because of people like Jaylynn and like me. It took a time of despair - I wasn’t sure what I was going to do - and turned it into a more joyful and hopeful life for us both. Please keep donating, because it’s worthwhile…even if it saves one child’s life and can keep children together in the home with their family, even if it changes or touches one person’s heart and helps them see the need for financial support for agencies like TRM…there are people who are totally dependent on it. I feel like TRM really is a Godsend and that God has brought them into my life.”