HELP, HOPE & HEALING FOR
OF CHILDREN IN
We are a Christian non-profit that supports mothers whose children have been removed from their custody and placed in foster care. Many wonderful organizations focus on supporting foster parents and foster children, but few support the biological mothers who are often overlooked and left feeling marginalized. We believe that they are seen, known and loved by God and for this reason they matter to us
We offer support, friendship, groups, case management and more...
Every mom of the 400,000+ children in foster care
has a story
HOW IT BEGAN
Patty grew up in and out of foster care and experienced childhood trauma. She became pregnant prior to aging out of care but quickly lost custody of her child, who was later adopted by another family. She went on to birth three more children, all of whom eventually ended up in foster care or with other people. Her ability to make good decisions and get ahead based on her past was almost impossible; she struggled her way forward stuffing down the trauma of her childhood and the pain and loss of losing her children.
She became pregnant again, and in July of 2012, Patty gave birth to her fifth child, a baby girl.
With the birth of her fifth child came the hope that she was getting another chance to be the mom she always wanted to be. But at two days old, her baby girl was removed straight from the hospital by Social Services due to Patty's history and placed in foster care...with Pete and Leila Gunning
PETE AND LEILA'S STORY
After struggling with infertility, the Gunnings began researching the possibility of adoption. Through that process, they learned of the need for foster parents and pursued becoming an open foster home.
In July of 2012, Pete and Leila took in their very first placement, Patty’s little girl. They were overjoyed to finally be parents (even if only for a little while). At this stage the Gunnings could not understand how anyone could have their baby removed and it was hard not to judge the biological mothers. But as the weeks went by, God truly softened their hearts for Patty and women in similar situations.
Seven weeks later, the courts returned the baby to Patty. Pete and Leila felt a deep calling to offer Patty help and support. So, that is what they did. In the process they began to ask questions and hear the story behind Patty's life.
For the next 8 months Pete and Leila spent time investing in Patty, moving her to safe housing, connecting her to healthy, caring people, listening, loving, offering grace, support and friendship she had simply never had. Days before Patty was scheduled to start a new job, she came down with the flu, and 24 hours later she passed away. Pete and Leila were devastated, but God knew that was not the end of Patty’s Story.
THE STORY OF PATTY'S HOPE
Patty left Pete and Leila with a deep commitment to hear the stories behind each birth mother and to walk with these mothers through their journey. Patty was just the first of several women that Pete and Leila have had the opportunity to work with. Each mother has been a learning experience in which they have had their eyes opened to the needs of women in similar situations as Patty. Through these experiences and with the help of friends, family, and area professionals, Patty's Hope was born.
Patty's Hope is a 501(c)(3) non-profit based in Richmond Virginia. All board members and staff profess to be Bible-believing, Gospel-centered Christians who trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
To read the testimonies of the mothers we have served, click here