Simone Thomas: The unconventional journey to motherhood

“GOD answers prayers according to His perfect will, in His perfect timing.” This quote aptly sums up the unconventional journey to motherhood taken by Simone Thomas, Productivity and Strategy Execution Manager at JMMB Group. Thomas admits that her faith, while shaken, was never shaken after being denied the opportunity to “be a mother” for more than a decade.

In what she describes as “God’s perfect will and timing,” she celebrated her first Mother’s Day this year as a mother of three foster children.

She described her little toddlers as “nothing short of a miracle.”

“Imagine having three children in one year… I have them ready-made, beautifully designed and well packaged,” she says. “They are more than I could ever ask of God, they are just a blessing.”

Thomas grew up in a large family, where her home was always open to children, whether they were her mother’s biological children or children from the wider community. This was further honed through her involvement in children’s and youth ministries at her church. Therefore, when she met and married her husband Lancelot, who shared her love of children, it seemed the natural progression that they would fill their homes with small footprints.

But Thomas’ hopes of becoming a birth mother were instead met with the harsh reality of battling polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). It not only caused weight gain, acne, irregular periods and other health problems, but also affected her fertility. Although she felt betrayed by her body, Thomas was determined to explore her options and eventually turned to a fertility specialist who recommended a three-year course of lifestyle changes leading to intrauterine insemination. This caused Thomas to lose more than 50 pounds to increase her chances of becoming pregnant and to offset the likely weight gain that is a symptom of PCOS.

Now of maternal age and having so far been unsuccessful with assisted fertility treatments, Thomas tearfully sought the face of God for an answer to her prayers.

“Although I always thought I would be fine whether I became a mother or not, part of me wanted to experience motherhood, especially for my husband’s sake,” she said.

But regardless of whether or not he was a biological father, Lancelot was open to the idea of ​​adoption. But Simone hesitated, desperately clinging to the hope that her fate would change through a miracle in the form of twins. It was the chance conversation with a friend who had raised a child through the support of the For the Child (FTC) foster care program that became the sign that Simone needed to take a leap of faith. The FTC program is a private program under Family Life Ministries in partnership with the Child Protection and Family Services Agency and Nairn Family Homes in Canada.

The decision to take the unconventional route to motherhood was one full of uncertainty and many tearful moments, but now with her “bundles of joy on board” Thomas has no regrets. “Indeed, God answered my prayer, as my foster children also have twins, and I always wanted twins,” Thomas laughed.

Thomas entered motherhood after spending time researching the process of temporary custody or guardianship arrangements for children whose parents are currently unable to provide them with the necessary care.

She described the transition to motherhood as seamless, as she took the time to prepare psychologically and financially and made adjustments to her home to welcome the new additions to her family. By having her village support her on the journey, especially her mother, friends, and professionals like the social worker and psychologist assigned to her and Lancelot through the FTC, she was fully prepared.

“I also took advantage of the JMMB Employee Assistant Program to get the necessary guidance to ensure I was fully mentally ready, and a member of my team even gave me books to help,” she said.

“I realize that when you open your heart, you can easily care for children, whether they are biologically yours or not, and that is why it has been so easy for us to love our foster children and share our lives with them. They have brought so much joy to my life.”

Thomas embraced her role as a foster mother and outlined that as much as she loves her children, she understands that this arrangement is meant to be temporary and that children can be reunited with their biological families.

“I’m okay with children interacting with members of their biological families, provided it is approved by the FTC, because I like children to know their roots because they have experienced firsthand the value of having a loving family,” she said. “That’s why I want them to get that, if circumstances allow it. I see interacting with the birth family while in my care as an opportunity to have more parents and more people who love and support the children.”

With more than 4,000 children in institutional care in Jamaica, the evidence suggests that their life chances can be maximized if they are given the opportunity to live with a family where they have a sense of belonging, acceptance and unconditional love. Against this backdrop, Thomas urges other women, especially those who may be experiencing fertility issues, to consider foster parenting and adoption as another route to motherhood, as her only regret in the process is not making the decision sooner .

Thomas’s journey to motherhood, though fraught with disappointments and setbacks along the way, is a testament to God’s perfect timing and that He does not withhold good gifts from His children. For her, foster motherhood is God’s answer to her prayers.