Surprised by Love

October 9, 2020

When Crystal’s daughter was placed in Holly’s home through the foster care system, Holly was determined to form a relationship with her birth mother. Having the ultimate goal of family reunification in mind, Holly wanted to do everything that she could to help Crystal succeed and to love her unconditionally through the entire process. With this encouragement and support, Crystal was able to overcome addiction and bring her daughter back into her home. Crystal and Holly’s story is a beautiful example of the power of supporting and ministering to birth parents.

To Learn More:

  • Here are the resources and/or organizations mentioned in this episode:

  • Be The Village

Key Quotes:

"When we agree to foster, we are agreeing to love the parents that these children came from." - Holly Ballantine, Foster Parent

"“ . . . We’re a family, and we wanted to make sure that their family unit stayed together, and ours just got bigger." - Holly Ballantine, Foster Parent

Meet Our Guests

Crystal Story
After overcoming addiction, having a life changing encounter with Jesus, and being reunified with her daughter, Crystal’s experience with foster care has made her passionate about seeing the same become possible for other birth parents. Her desire is to help advocate for other mothers who are experiencing addiction and inspire foster parents to mentor birth parents. Over the past few years, Crystal has been rebuilding strong relationships with her children, started working and attending college, and has also spent time volunteering with the non-profit organization, Be the Village.

Holly Ballantine
Holly is a mother of 3 from Atlanta, Georgia, who has always loved advocating for children. Since her and her husband became foster parents in 2014, they have cared for dozens of foster children through both foster and respite care. In 2017 Holly started a non-profit called Be the Village to assist foster parents and birth parents as they cared for their children. Her ministry is focused on working with birth parents and helping them as they navigate the steps towards reunification.