Officer Jody Thompson was off duty when a case of physical child abuse was called in. He had handled many cases of abuse, so even though he was off duty, he responded to the call. What Officer Thompson found was horrifying and beyond anything he had experienced. He found an 8-year-old named John who weighed only 61 pounds, was bound with belts, had bruises all over his body, and was in a trash can of water. Officer Jody stated, “He did not have a spot on his body that didn’t have a bruise or abrasion. It was the worst thing I have ever seen.”

John was taken to the hospital and Officer Thompson stayed the night with him. Officer Jody then contacted Child Protective Services wanting to become a foster parent for John; he felt a need to personally care for John. Officer Jody stated, “At the time, I had a 15-year-old son and an 8-year-old son. When I brought John home I didn’t tell them or my wife. They trusted I was doing the right thing before they even knew what happened and heard the story.”

Shortly thereafter, Officer Thompson’s wife found out she was pregnant with their third biological child. Several months later, they got a call that John’s mother had given birth to a daughter, and they were asked if they would foster her. They were at the hospital the next day to take her to their home. John’s biological parents relinquished their parental rights with John, but the Thompson family had to go to trial and appeal to get the rights terminated for John’s biological sister.

John was adopted in August and his biological sister was adopted in February. Officer Thompson stated, “John is the toughest guy I’ve met. We went through something bad, but we’re not going to let it define who we are. We’re not going to let this hold us back. Always have compassion, you never know what you are going to walk into.”

The Thompson family did not realize that they were meant to have this large, wonderful family.

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