It was one year ago this week that Heidi and I accepted the offer to become family teachers at Thornwell. We never could’ve guessed how this place and this job would impact our lives. We feel exceedingly blessed to have found such a wonderful place full of wonderful people. We love every day we work with these kids. Ok, maybe not every day, but most days. This job is a lot of things. This job has taught us a lot of things. It’s been incredible and terrifying. It’s been fun and sad. Often in the same day. I love doing this job. I’m doing what God wants me to do. I’m not much of a list person, but here’s some more things about this job.

This job is:

Stressful. Heartbreaking. Frustrating. Emotional. Difficult. Exhausting. Exciting. Fun. Inspiring. Important. Rewarding. A calling. Needed.

This job has taught me:

Most “bad” kids are good kids who are struggling with something big. But there is such a thing a truly bad kid.

Even the bad kids can be sweet.

I’m not as patient as I thought I was.

I’m more emotional than I thought I was.

I’m selfish.

Some parents just don’t care about their kids. Some parents work really hard for their kids.

Regardless of what they say or do, all kids are still just kids.

Kids need choices.

Kids are smart, funny, clever, and have good memories.

Kids are unbelievably resilient.

No matter how bad parents are, kids still miss their mommy and daddy.

Age is just a number. Kids who are the same age can be very different developmentally, behaviorally, and socially.

I understand kids better than I thought I did. I still love working with kids.

I am overwhelmingly blessed to be married to and working with such an amazing woman.

     It’s coming to the end of National Foster Care month. This job has opened my eyes to a world I knew very little about. Foster care is a world that I am now passionate about, that I feel called to. It’s a world that changes lives, and makes things better for a kid who has never known what good can be.  This job has been a blessing to me, and I hope and pray that I have been able to bless these kids as much as I have been blessed.

     Just because National Foster Care month is ending, and soon we’ll stop posting daily pictures and articles about foster care and helping kids, the importance of this job doesn’t diminish on June 1. I know residential foster care is different that fostering in your own home, but the principles are the same. You use what you have been given to help kids who need it. Blessed people bless people. So what are you doing to bless? How have you been blessed? You don’t need to do what we did; we know it’s not for everyone. You need to be kind of crazy to work in residential care, and a whole different kind of crazy to work in assessment. If it’s not helping kids by opening your home, help out those who have been called to foster care. Collect clothes, toiletries, toys, and other things that these families will need. God calls us all to action. Here are some more things you can do.

This job is incredible. I’m so happy that Heidi and I answered God’s call to do this job.

-Mr. Jon

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