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Hallmark Star Jen Lilley is a Dedicated Mom Working to Fix the U.S. Foster Care System


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Hallmark star Jen Lilley is one of our recent favorites to see circulating the network's beloved holiday films. She's been one of the newer familiar faces we've seen over the past few years and like Hallmark's other leading ladies, Danica McKellar and Lacey Chabert, Lilley is a treat to watch. She brings her own special something to all of her films that will surely warm your heart. 

Here are some things you probably didn't know about actress Jen Lilley.

1. She grew up in Roanoke, Virginia

The Virginia native attended the University of Virginia before she packed her bags for Los Angeles to try to make it in Hollywood. She is the second oldest of four, two brothers Ryan and Michael, and sister Katherine. 

2. She got her big break on soap operas

First, Lilley landed the gig of temporarily replacing Kirsten Storms as Maxie Jones on General Hospital from 2011-2012. The following year, she booked the role of Theresa Donovan on Days of our Lives which she played for three years. Though she did return to the show for a brief stint as Theresa in 2018. Following her exit from the soap world, Lilley has primarily appeared in Hallmark films!

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3. She's been happily married for over a decade

The actress has been with her husband Jason Wayne since 2007. She told Parade that despite having some hunky co-stars on Hallmark, her husband doesn't get jealous and doesn't need to.

"No, my husband Jason is the sweetest, kindest, most secure man I know. Jason knows he's had my heart for over 14 years, and it's his forever."

Read More: This Hallmark-Themed Monopoly Game Is Just As Magical As Their Holiday Films

4. She's a foster parent

Lilley is a passionate advocate for foster care and has been very open on social media with her fostering journey. She and her husband adopted son Kayden after two years of fostering which was an incredibly special moment for the family. They even threw him a party with a puzzle theme -- "we found our missing piece." So cute!

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"During the hearing, when the judge said Kayden was declared to be our legal 'child, and is further said to be a member of the Wayne family with all the rights and responsibilities attached thereto,' I almost lost it," Lilley told People. "All I could manage was a little half giggle/half sob, saying, 'Thank you.' "

The couple also welcomed a biological child, daughter Julie Evangeline last year, and recently finalized adoption for their second foster son, Jeffrey, after over 800 days in foster care. Not only that, but the actress recently announced the couple was expecting another child next year, 2022, expanding their family to 6! 

The couple is now on a mission to help change the foster care system so children can reunite with their birth families."A lot of lives in foster care would be saved if it came down to common sense, but it doesn't always come down to common sense," Lilley stated on Good Morning America She continued,  "You end up having reentry into foster care, unsuccessful reunification and a lot of times death because sometimes they're just looking at the law and they're not really looking at what's in the best interest of the child." Last year the actress went to Washington DC to lobby lawmakers to adopt the California reunification model in their very own states. The decision will be made at more local levels.

 

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5. She's a talented singer

In 2015, Lilley released her debut album, a Christmas album, titled Tinsel Time. She also released the single "King of Hearts" in 2018 which was included on her album Hindsight, released earlier this year in September. 

6. She's been a regular on the Hallmark Channel since 2017

Lilley has appeared in a ton of Hallmark movies including A Dash of Love, Eat, Play, Love, Harvest Love, Mingle All The Way, Winter Love Story, and Angel Falls: A Novel Holiday. She's also appeared in Lifetime Christmas movies like The Spirit of Christmas. Her latest work includes Snowkissed and A Little Daytime Drama

7. She has her own YouTube channel

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The actress has shared everything on her channel from the birth of her daughter to behind-the-scenes videos from her Hallmark films.