Jennifer was born and raised in Odessa, Texas attended Texas Tech University for undergrad and University of Texas Health Science Center for her Master’s of Physical Therapy and has called San Antonio and Boerne home for 19 years. She and her husband have been married for 19 years and have four children, two biological and two adopted from foster care.
Back in 2005, Jennifer thought she had her life planned. Amazing husband, two beautiful daughters and career as a Physical Therapist. An article in the paper about a young girl whose life was wrecked by abuse and neglect and subsequent moves through multiple homes in foster care lit a fire in her heart to “Do something!” After 2 months of prayer discussion with foster families, she and Kyle accepted the call to serve as foster parents in 2006 for children in crisis right here in their community. The foster parent journey was incredible isolating and overwhelming and subsequently a small group started meeting together to not only support each other but brainstorm how to get the church involved. During the next 8 years, while serving as a foster mom to children in the San Antonio area, Jennifer established and co-lead the Grace Point Foster and Adopt ministry for 5 years. Under her leadership for 5 years, Grace Point families fostered over 75 kids, adopted 27 and raised up 40 new foster families.
During this time, Jennifer shared the model pioneered at Grace Point with 8 area churches with continued success and opportunity to refine the model. She also helped create and launch a faith based foster agency focused on serving families in the church. Her heart continued to burn to see all churches made aware of the crisis, equipped to start foster/adopt ministries, collaborating with complementary organizations and activating all Christians to do their part. The South Texas Alliance for Orphans grew organically over those years with interest slowly but continually growing. In 2016, God connected Jennifer with First Presbyterian Church leaders, who, seeing the great opportunity to serve children in crisis by activating the church, seeded the Alliance funds to launch as a true functioning nonprofit organization. Since 2016, the growth of the Alliance has exceeded even the most ambitious goals.
Through the Alliance, the church is now growing in awareness, being enable to activate with a proven ministry model and collaborating to serve along the full continuum of care for children and families.
The Smith’s also provide ongoing support to a kinship family of a previous foster placement. Her crew loves Mexican food, hill country scenery and spending summer days at the lake swimming, tubing, skiing and relaxing.