As 2016 began, my husband, Seth, and I knew it would be a year of change for the Joy house. Up to this point, it had been us and our seven kids since October 2013. During that time, we were a family. We said bedtime prayers. We did good morning kisses. We wiped away tears. We laughed together. We played together. We learned together. We were a family.

But as 2016 approached, we knew it would be time for some of our kids to move on, to go to their forever families and gain the permanence we could never give them in our home.

This is what we were here for. This is what we had prayed for. As our first one approached in March, we had no idea what to expect.

At this point, no other child had been adopted since this new model of care had been implemented at COTP. Would all that we had worked for see fruition? We were also nervous because we had no idea how this goodbye, or “see you later”, would wreck our hearts…and it did.

As each child went home, one in March, June, August, and the last one in October, the goodbyes got harder. There haven’t been too many times in my life when I have cried harder than when I watched those vehicles pull away with the child we have loved so much and their new family.

But, and this is a big one, we also have never felt so much confirmation from God in what we are doing when we said each of those goodbyes. Each time we came to that moment, we once again realized how perfect each of these families were for these children. We once again would realize that they will have so much more than what we could have given them as foster parents.

It has been amazing, overwhelming, and sometimes down right hard, but we have been honored to have been a part of these kids’ lives for this short time. We pray that their time in our house has been a blessing not only to them, but to their families as well.

Melissa Johnson
Joy House Parent

—>Back to 2016 Annual Report