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Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
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November 18, 2021 1:00 am

Chosen Twice

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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November 18, 2021 1:00 am

Do you have a heart for foster care or adoption? Judge Joseph Wood tells his story of how he was found as a baby in a box, brought to an orphanage, and what God did to change his life.

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Okay so if you think back over the pandemic, which was hard which was a long hard journey.

Was there a moment they remember is a beautiful moment good moment. There were several that I think one of the most beautiful moments for us was when we went to Colorado to be with our son and daughter-in-law on their court case when their third child was being adopted that was really amazed I get. I remember Austin gone insane.

Can you get out here would like to leave really need to be there or were not a good deal going to court room is going to you will just do it from home but we booked a flight and sitting in their little room in their house with Holden on their lab and the other three kids around us, looking into that screen and herein that judge say Holden is now a Wilson and he has all the rights of you know it will sigh me is like it's this part of our legacy welcome to family life today where we want to help you pursue relationships that matter most and Wilson Dave Wilson and you can find this if they would like or on our family life is family life today were all crying hard because of the beauty of not only him being adopted but it reminded us as children of God we are all adopted into God's yes so we got a judge in our studio. I don't know if that's ever happened for us not for us and I'm excited we have judge Joseph Wood with us today and I think you can love today because working to talk about story in the story of adoption which really ensuring about you is the story of how you ended up where you are. Your author of a book called saving Joey and the SQL adopting Joey and a father and three daughters how my grandkids 33 grandkids. We had three sons. I don't know what really like best three daughters you still got your hair.

I lost my family. They were so glad to have so I'll be here in part of the family by family and your audience really please Joseph tell us what you do now.

I am washing County judge here in Arkansas first black County judge in Arkansas's history.

In my second term now responsible for one of the largest counties in the state of Arkansas. One of fastest growing in some part one of fastest growing in the country and for number four and the one of best places to live.

So we got a lot going on up there. Home will Walmart headquarters and Tyson headquarters and JB Hunt headquarters in University Park so we have a lot in that area so not arose. London Bridge is not responsible for emergency management and care, public safety and public security of 250,000 people up there. Just a small to do this is a mighty one is that I heard over lunch you love them all. The art I saw Marcus almost grants his finger in my life and I think Marymount will have all the boys and I had three daughters and I did not push hard and my youngest who is now 21 I think she went out one day the grass.

I think she may want a long trip. I came back all this so hard. Now it was prior little longer by little Wayton but that was the turnaround yet, but she did more than another to the other two men went out and still cut grass, you know, if I had known your past meeting you. I would not know the origins of how your life began. So take us back to the beginning so there's a young girl sees in her bedroom crying and I just believe it is young teen who just had a kid probably hated.

I have no idea, but sees no she can't take it is cute that she just a little boy and she takes banks offer bit files box in her closet and put some in there. She walks through the streets of Chicago is my time snowing ice 8° and she sees apartment complex is a freeze on the face. She leaves this box on the stairs of apartment complex. He hides behind a tree. She's hoping and praying that someone will come out a save a little boy as she's getting ready to go and get the boxes mobilize, the light comes on apartment complex. She gets behind the tree again. She sees somebody walking out of the complex.

And they knows the box picks up the box, sees it as a kid in the box in the snow flurries blowing picks up the box carefully but quickly goes back into the apartment complex that guys name Caesar Johnson. He's now just thought about what he just discovered he's waking his wife up. He wakes his neighbors up there spending time in the neighborhood trying to figure out what is kicking from being the call in the Chicago Police Department. A few hours later there asking questions there walking the neighborhood can try to figure out what is kicking from and he told Mr. Johnson to save his kid is a grease colonized with them taken to the office downtown Chicago and that was the beginning of my story and I only found this out about 10 years ago so you're the boy. The boy was in that box that Mr. Caesar Johnson frowned and never knew any of that. Always knew I was adopted grew up being known I was adopted was close adoption.

There was no information always grew up with a curiosity wanting to know what happened what happened. I struggled a lot as a team because I wanted to know what what did I do wrong why would I give it was a product of incest was our product of a man may be interracial relation that wasn't acceptable bagging what was I given up for adoption well. 10 years ago to find out not only was I given up I was abandoned streets really just just blew my mind stop there for a second sees always knowing you're right, not just to find out that your mom or someone left you behind this porch is rocks is right you hello a time when you found morning 45 years old and the laws of change in Illinois and that we had done a yard of eHarmony where you on will those who are adopted into a registry and put the information in and those who gave up that Kia can also fill that out and if there's a match.

They can share the most. A lot of doctors especially bagman the 5060 lotto will close you can have that information laws, sealed and sought to fill that out in my 20s, 30s never heard anything. One day I got a response that I'm your dad you been matched so I'm trying to call my wife. She just hung up the phone's on the phone also. Anyway, come to find out the guy thought it was me knowing I was his kid.

He had been searched for 40 some years Eve Mary had a key is not in us. It will this do a blood DNA did the DNA and it wasn't a matched and he was just devastated. I was devastated because he knew for sure well but in the process found out that the law changed Illinois began 10 years ago. To say that if you ever adopted in the state of Illinois. You have your original birth certificate if I give my original birth certificate. I can confirm with this God that maybe the woman was right. He may not have been the dad but maybe she is right, so he and I still became Franzen waited and waited and waited on this original certificate. The company Illinois but they were overwhelmed by the number of people in Illinois looking for the original birth certificate. Months later I finally got it. I just cut grass assists waiting on business and will I say hey you got some of Illinois. The Bible student records number and they were like dairy up when I'm opening up in the city's girls are all the girls my wife and my mouth just about froze because I got three daughter in order birth certificate looks like this you foundling certificate and like your audience and what was is that look it up. You didn't even know I had no were down foundling what is that you were found. You were abandoned and that right there just sucked all the land you are found on this day, unless they celebrate my birthday know this just a day you a file. I'm 45 years old, I mean now married and my mom is gone and also the certificate went on to say that you are found on this day at this address by this man Caesar Johnson and you receive in the orphanage St. Vincent office by this Dr. Little League for about three weeks. I just can get that in my head that I was abandoned.

So what what what is handling the story. What could have been so bad that was left out in the streets. That's all I knew I was this town will end up saying I want can I find the doctor took me into the orphanage is research I found them you died in 1999 – that one cannot find the guy who found me went to all this resource from a lot of Caesar Johnson's in the state Illinois knew the name because it was almost as if you Caesar Johnson Caesar L. Johnson found Bonta Caesar Johnson's but they were all like 90% more younger than me only three names left.

I said okay.

All right. 10 o'clock in the morning I called my house in Little Rock observed that the Secretary of State, wife, and say how do I get someone to take my number down and she said why some of the collies names and if I say some shock sums approximately says my number if they want to call back in my life.

Will you just call you I was analyzing you. That was not the response I wanted and it worked a lot, and I've learned over the years 29 years may just do it they say is life a little simpler so I went ahead and call the very first number and it was old woman who answered the phone and I say hey my name is Joseph here in Arkansas look for God abandoning the Caesar Johnson. He spells his name little different to say someone and she's out on say someone and I can see her, but her voice and saves my husband say someone will yes ma'am she said what he does. Those nine different honey spelling I start on she said yes correct. She said say someone is a yes match if it was your phone number now crawl fishing them, pulling back like what what why do you need my phone number is eight years old.

He started hearing a maps which follows and now back in my here and think about peace 80 and 44 to be about right.

The time I'm working all in the hello was your phone number hello SR going to my numb. She said you say say someone I say yes ma'am. She said it was the baby he say yes ma'am are you the baby say yes ma'am she will know Holy Ghost meltdown. I just are balding and arming the whole nuts knotting Jesus to Caesar baby Jesus. She's kept going and I could not control them off in the office people I was going on with Allison comes to the phone this season is very different in this is only there is room for you – let Ms. Ruth a little different. He comes to the phone.

Hello Ms. Joseph hello again here anything as you have going a mile a minute.

He comes back, a member like that was yesterday you alive home the head be like 50 years ago, 45, knew all about but he's at home. Wow I remember like it was yesterday when the coldest days of Chicago's night supervisor at the soup manufacturing Campbell Soup menu bar complaint which I remember he said I was going to work. I just, wife and kids being in the lawn downstairs. This apartment complex I get outside and snow ice is going to see this boxing sums moving in it and I know what it was. So I took my foot to move the blanket like a movie that's always a kid in there.

No, looking up and down the street and then didn't see anybody in the stalls block so I go back into the place and wake my wife up and wake the neighbors I will walk around the neighborhood eventually got the police over there and then ask questions that walk the neighborhood. They say CZ save his kid and you did a good thing and I would undertaking to the office downtown and and that was it. That's the last time you alive. I see you ever get to Chicago. Love to meet you and that we did get Chicago we always go to scout around Thanksgiving and this is October so I shall be there in a month and we got to spend a lot of time with him over the years. He passed away a few years ago.

Pfc., a Korean veteran. So I tell her but José Bob that I love veterans never knew why. My grandparents and couples were, but I literally was saved by veteran and meant a lot to him didn't know all of this. One year he asked will we go to his family reunion every year in January to have a big family reunion Mississippi Greenwood to suggest that your family likes it will go.

I said we only know them if they like what I will my family ever take for granted what you been searching for will have 300+ people at this thing will do a masquerade ball Friday night will do a picnic on Saturday and this Sunday.

The church services all dedicated us.

My mother had 17 key is the glue of the community to gluing the church and the glory, family, and so when she passed away this way so 39 years okay will go well. Two weeks before his Christmas we get a phone call from Ms. Ruthie Caesars in the hospital. His kidneys will collapse. The lady at that time maybe 45 and it can travel and then I will you please still gossip will mobilize that we got to go and we went knocking on the manor house. We're driving right where we get there and they love dullness just like sees the tightness of that family will here is Sunday was a service dog around their family and the news is luncheon all these people there and then introduced deputy secretary of Arkansas is here and he's going be our keynote and his name is Joseph Wood and he's going to talk and share with us about family and how you got tied entire family and I started just sharing the story and at the end of it already and crying and that they are older than required and now on the stand want to cry.

Well come to find out they said we suspect. We cannot wait every summer was to go is been a welcome season Chicago. He always told us about this kid. Now, you stand in front of us will with a also gives REITs and notes to Ruthie back there and say you will scream and shout him on the phone and she's like you all the while squeamish I should call me.

Why was I still there.

You told them you don't know how squeamish unless you got Bill would always make a fight you for. I was crying because he always wanted to have happen today. And when you state adjudicated he found on the Lord. It answers prayers and so that's while squeamish on the say so anyway that we had this great relation effect when he passed away we went to Chicago for his funeral and the only thing he wanted on his so when he passed away was Arkansas flag panted. I gave him no as he said even being in the war and all this was one of the things that he did in his life could say people in Korea and that was the forgotten more than people, forget about bag Elmore gave him a citation, the state legislator gave him a citation saying thank you for your service to our country.

But thank you also for saving his kid is not Arkansas benefits and they get their first happy Secretary of State. At that point I was a judge and so they think, so for him all his life he heard he knew about what he did in his family. Nobody began in Illinois recognize him. And so, anyway, is that's just our story and his wife passed away two years ago and so it was hard because Al is my first connection of anything of how I got started his bag still know how we got to the apartment complex and in the book saving joy.

I write that I believe it was a teenage girl but growing up. I have no idea. I don't know I have nothing. All I know is he found me in the box on the stairs.

I think about your story and think about Joseph in the back. I think about how God used everything in his beginning years and even the pain and suffering he went through to lead a nation well and I think about you and the response of Caesar and his wife thinking will hurt your faithfulness in allowing this young woman to drop you specifically on this doorstep because Knew they would be faithful in getting you to the right place and the orphanage and I think that's true for all of us but I think we can struggle with our background story to see you know those of us that know our mom and dad and have a birth certificate with their names on it still struggle to find identity sure you know and yet you didn't know when you're on the same journey in a different way. But we know it's interesting identity comes from our name where while Caesar name you know and also one particular year.

I was the key speaker for the homecomings at this that the orphanage thing the same fence is now Catholic charities and as I'm sharing my story and thereby is crying and all that this is the orphanage that the police took it to Zachariah is now Catholic charity, but at the time of St. Vincent's infinite asylum. Beautiful place anyway so they had a homecoming and I'm looking and I'm talking up sharing and at the hand of P. Clapping and know what they also have some the non-sewer come back as well because they remember some of the stuff they have items that they collected.

This is a call to call their ministry. One of the non-stood up, said I named you my wife, my dad was there and we go on what you talk about and her name was Mary Josephine tells mom she was in the on and at the time how they name key. It's was the most senior non-name. The next kid to came in both her turn.

She was up in the rotation. Everybody knew it was a girl coming and it will be Josephine. It was a boy coming in.

His name was Joseph and I came in. Now how do we all this come up two years before I was speaking at the homecoming. I was at the homecoming we had done the article season.

The newspaper publisher prize writer in Chicago wrote an article about Arkansas state official finds the guy who finds him as he is on his search the family and they do this big article in the force on the newspaper system well she's assisting him so she was sister Mary Jo. She is now married and she's in the kitchen making the coffee for husband and she's reading a newspaper. She stopped. He said this is my baby. I named this kid knows that she shares well. The husband had no clue about any of this stuff. Two years later she that does homecoming and she's like, so she tells a story and this is less than probably seven years ago I one of the homecomings that found a home and thinking you know which which truly may. I mean every aspect the more I hear about your story just layer upon layer of remarkable is God's grace is that totally amend in earlier when you are talking. I was like looking across the studio here looking at Randall from this is like, you know, these are the same as their CSR ends up in in government, you know he's a leader in sex right back right. It's so similar. And then there is a and said there's Joseph that's right I see Moses who is left and God had a plan for his lights off, but the truth is, as I listen to it and you know this better than any of us God's hand in God's providence even when you're on this front porch in the snow was on your life in in the thing is, we can often think he doesn't see yes that's right.

And he does. I know there's a listener right now that doesn't have the remarkable story you have, but may be struggling with is God notice and care. Does God see me even in a struggling marriage, or maybe there's a son or daughter in your story reminds us he really is. Even in the dark of the night think he's far off. He's right there. Absolutely got a plan for your life. It's going to look different than yours or mine, but he can be trusted because he has adopted us right now. The folks we say we, special workplace about yeah. Oh, you're right is right so I chose us and then there will become a notable man twice with Atlas all.

And when you get together with a bunch of.the folks you gonna start picking it up and hearing to know how he placed us in the place where we can be loved and have a second chance this living thing began to know that the eternal life with him and his father. Yes, special there there ago I read this as as we close from Ephesians 1. I'm it's just such a beautiful statement over your story's is praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ, for he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. He predestined us for adoption as sons ship, through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will and is true obviously about you. We just heard of Susan and that's the beauty of the Abina lay your head on a pillow tonight and go. I know that there's a guy loves what he sees me and has adopted me and my life is in his hands, and I can rest in that. The Bible tells us that our times are in his hands and as we've heard today from Joseph Wood. There's a first-hand illustration of how God is the one who cares for and superintendents.

The details of our lives Joseph Wood story is told in a series of two books for children.

One is called saving Joey a true life story and the others called adopting Joey. It's a sequel to his first book, both of these written for children books that we have available in our family like today resource Center. You can find out how you can order them go to our website. Family life or call one 800 FL today for more information. Again the books are called saving Joey true life story and then adopting Joey a sequel to saving Joey. Both of them are available in the family like today resource Center order from us or call 1-800-358-6329 that's one 800 F as in family L as in life and in the word today to order your copy of these books, you know, I think all of us know deep down how important the family is help fundamental and foundational ideas to our development, either for good or for ill. Here at family life. Our mission, our goal is to effectively develop godly marriages and families. We believe that the world can be changed one home at the time is marriages and families come into alignment with God's purposes and God's will that submission you make possible. Whenever you support the ministry of family life to your donations help extend the reach and the impact of this ministry in the lives of so many couples so many families every day. You make all of this possible.

When you donate right now if you're able to help with the donation. We'd love to send you a copy of Crystal Payne's new book love centered parenting is our way of saying thank you for your ongoing support of the ministry of family life to you can donate or you can call to donate at one 800 FL today when you do, be sure to ask for your copy of the book club centered parenting and thank you in advance for reaching out and helping to make the ministry of family like today possible for you, for your neighbors and for people all around the world and we hope you can join us again tomorrow when working to pick up Joseph Woods story here about how we got to the orphanage's time in the orphanage being adopted and how he got to where he is today will hear the rest of that story tomorrow.

Hope you can be with us for that on behalf of our hosts Dave and Ann Wilson on Bob Lapine will see you next time for another edition of family life to family life today is a production of family life accrue ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most

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