Leap of faith lands community

Danielle Jaxton

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With jail behind her and a baby girl on the way, Danielle worked hard to be the mom she wanted to be. She found a program that would support her in that journey. But one obstacle threatened to unravel her plans.

The single mom had no one she could trust to care for her then-20-month-old son while she gave birth to her daughter—and time was running out.


While in jail, Danielle had met Jessica Braemer of Better Together. Maybe they could help. She researched the organization and decided to take a leap of faith. Jessica reassured her and connected her with a host family who would care for Jaxton like one of their own. They spoke with mom about Jaxton’s likes and dislikes, what scares him, and what soothes him—music and a calm voice.

No one expected complications.

The hospital wanted Brylee to stay longer due to health issues after her birth, so the hosting went a week longer. For a short time, mom and the kids got to be together, but the health issues persisted and Brylee was readmitted. A second host family helped with Jaxton while mom tended to baby Brylee at the hospital.

“I felt comfortable and safe, knowing that my child was going to be safe,” Danielle says.

The alternative was unacceptable to her.

“He could have been put in the system if I didn’t have anybody to take care of him,” Danielle says. “You know, I didn’t have anybody. And they were my saving grace.”

Brylee is doing well now, and the support of both families remains.

“They are both still in our lives every day. Every week, we see each other. We do things. We go to the park. They made a huge Christmas for both of my kids, not just Jaxton. Both of the families that took him in were wonderful,” Danielle says.

The two families are now a part of Danielle’s growing support system, like extended family.

But it’s not just child care. Danielle says she’s excelling in other areas of her life because of it. She has more patience. There’s a sense of security knowing that she has someone in her life she can call when she needs advice or a sounding board. The families don’t judge, yet they push her and encourage her to be a good mom.

“They’ve helped boost my confidence in motherhood overall,” Danielle says.

Life is good. She just got a car and is starting a new job. Both kids are in day care. And she has two families always offering to help. She has someone to call in an emergency now, or just to share her day-to-day trials and tribulations—and successes.

And now she’s supporting and encouraging other parents. Just recently, before starting her new job, she watched a friend’s children.

“My support system has grown tremendously, because of having both of these families in my life,” Danielle says. “And they are not judging people at all. They really pushed me and encouraged me to be a good mom and always tell me what a great mom I am. And it makes me feel great.”


Posted March 18, 2024 | Pamela Hayford

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