On Monday night's episode of Counting On, viewers watched Jeremy and Jinger Vuolo pay a visit to Jeremy's parents to share some special news — they're expecting their first child! The parents-to-be also stopped in to take part in Jeremy's mom's non-profit organization, SWAN4Kids. It stands for Scaling Walls A Note at a Time, and it's a nonprofit mentoring program for children of parents who have been incarcerated. Ahead of Monday's episode, Jinger took to social media to share a special message — alongside her husband an baby girl, Felicity — to put a spotlight on the organization. And it looks like Felicity Vuolo is helping Jinger and Jeremy raise awareness for kids of incarcerated parents in this new video.
As People reported, Jinger and Jeremy welcomed their first child — a baby girl they named Felicity — on July 19, People reported. "God is so kind! Jinger gave birth to Felicity Nicole Vuolo this morning at 4:37 am," the Voulos wrote on their website. "Felicity weighs 8lbs. and 3oz. and is 19.5 inches long. Both mom and baby are healthy, doing great, and resting well. We are very thankful for her safe arrival and look forward to life as parents!"
Although the Instagram post itself is only a screenshot from the actual video, if you head on over to the Vuolos' website, you can watch it in its entirety there. "The past two weeks have been amazing with little Felicity, and we could not imagine being separated from her," Jinger said to the camera, to begin the video.
"But sadly, every day in our country, over 2-and-a-half million children are separated from their parents due to parental incarceration." Jeremy added. "That's one in 28 children. It's a problem in our country, and it's a problem that my mother, Diana Vuolo, has sought to address, giving hope to these vulnerable children for a bright future with a music mentoring program called SWAN4Kids."
Meanwhile, baby Felicity — clad in an adorable, bowed hat — vigorously munched her sleeves during the video as her mama held her in her arms.
According to SWAN4Kids.org, students "learn to be disciplined, to work as a team, and to develop confidence. Through ensemble training, children experience the power and joy of creating music together. They develop positive group identities and skills which help them excel in school and beyond." The website goes onto explain that donations go toward providing instruments and qualified music teachers who can "offer life-changing intervention for at-risk children, thus improving their lives, our communities, economy, and culture." And of course, there is a religious aspect to the mission — which isn't surprising, considering Jinger's background and Jeremy's role as a pastor in Laredo, Texas. SWAN students are exposed to "Biblical mentoring and Gospel truths" in addition to their musical mentoring, according to the organization's website. Furthermore, "character qualities such as discipline, patience, faithfulness, self-control, and perseverance are taught in an encouraging and loving environment".
While the Vuolos' message certainly seems noble (in theory, at least), it appears a fair amount of the Vuolos' followers were like me — and mainly focused on how adorable baby Felicity was in the video. One Instagram follower wrote, "I just want to snuggle little Felicity! She’s sooo adorable."
Another person commented, "You look fabulous! Motherhood agrees with you, and baby girl is beautiful."
Yet another follower chimed in with, "Omgosh!! Felicity is the cutest!"
Others sung their praises for SWAN4Kids. One person wrote, "I work with families who are affected by incarceration and love SWAN! Such a great organization! Glad to see them getting some great recognition and glad to see the impact of incarceration on kids finally being seen by a broader audience who usually don’t see these all to common stories!"
However, one person pointed out the elephant in the room — and exactly what I was thinking toward the beginning of the video. "Talking about family separation.. and I kept waiting for them to address the immigrant children who have been ripped from their families..and a lot of them near Laredo, too," the Instagram user wrote. "Or Jesus only cares about American babies being separated?? Asking for a few friends." Ouch.
As In Touch Weekly reported Jinger and Jeremy have been supporting SWAN4Kids since before baby Felicity's birth. So I guess it only makes sense that they would include their daughter in their mission now that she's here. Whether or not you personally support this organization, you have to admit: Having an adorably squishy baby in the promo videos is a brilliant marketing tactic. Keep those Felicity updates coming, guys!