When Trust is Spelled UP!
One of Jon’s favorite things about being a foster dad is when siblings Ju-Ju, 2 and Mouse, 1 first wake up in the morning and come to him, smiling, with arms raised high, saying, “Up, up!”
Ju-Ju and Mouse haven’t always trusted Jon, or any adult, enough to ask this question. It took several months of patience and play time on the floor before either child was comfortable enough to talk or receive touch. Both children entered foster care because of significant trauma before Jon and his wife Aydrian welcomed the young siblings into their home.
Jon and Aydrian, both first responders, have a blended family with five children, ages 8 to 30 years. They are looking forward to welcoming their first grandchild in August. For the couple’s upcoming eleventh anniversary, they are planning to hike the Manitou Incline and enjoy breakfast together. With eight-year-old daughter, Care Bear, Ju-Ju and Mouse wanting his attention after work, Jon gets up early each morning to train for a Half Iron Man in September.
Why become a foster dad? Jon shares, “Foster care and adoption are part of our faith, part of God’s sovereign plan for our family. We are physically capable of caring for more children, so it was important that we considered this option.” Jon and Aydrian wanted to respect birth order. Their youngest child, Care Bear, was eight so the couple planned to adopt a legally free child between five and eight years old. Then they met Ju-Ju, 2 and Mouse, 1.
Ju-Ju and Mouse were living with another foster family who needed respite care for the siblings. A few months later, Jon and Aydrian were asked to foster the siblings, with a possible outcome of adoption. Although infants and toddlers weren’t what they’d planned for, the couple welcomed the children back into their home in early 2021. Their support team rallied to equip the family with more than enough baby equipment, diapers and toys for the kids.
Since then, Ju-Ju and Mouse’s biological father has been making progress on providing a safe home for the kids. Reunification is a possibility. For Jon and Aydrian, there are mixed emotions. Jon shares, I’m happy because reunification is God’s ideal plan for the kids and I’m choked up because Aydrian and I have invested so much love and patience into Ju-Ju and Mouse. The other day, I was in Sam’s with the kids and Ju-Ju kept asking if he could kiss the owie on my hand. He trusts and loves me. It’s a roller coaster so I cry out to God to help me come to grips with the situation. I know His purpose is for us to be the kids’ foster parents for now and if needed, adopt them. I trust God has a good plan.”
Jon shares this advice for other foster dads. “It’s ok to have mixed emotions. The child, placed by God into your family, needs your attention. You can put other things aside, things that don’t last. Be physical, hug, tickle, enjoy the outdoors together. The kids may not remember, but God knows. Give it all you have. You won’t regret it.”
How can you pray for Jon, his family and other foster dads?
For Jon and other foster dads- Pray that each dad will be tender-hearted and have the heart of God when nurturing, discipling and caring for kids.
For Jon’s family – Pray for positive blended family dynamics during the upcoming shower and birth of their first grandchild.
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