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November 19, 2021 1:00 am
Like most adopted children, Judge Joseph Wood longed to know his birth parents as a child. He shares the story of his struggles and God's hand of providence in his life.
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Lots of this. One of things I never foresaw happening in the Wilson legacy was adoption and foster care yeah and I think it been one of the greatest things that we've experienced as a family to so what am I talking about when talking about our middle son Austin and his wife Kendall have adopted two boys and 12 second ones in process, just as their foster their biological brothers and that's fine, but a cool thing was for them is even in high school when they were dating. They talked about this. They always had this felt call that they would adopt someday. Welcome to family life today where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most and Wilson and Dave Wilson.
Then you can find us if it we live today.com or on our family life is family life today. They've been married over a decade in its such a beautiful picture of this little blonde haired blue-eyed sort of family adopting these two little boys from really from Mexican descent and it's just such a beautiful picture of the kingdom of God. It really is when you see them walking and jumping in their SUV yeah and again I never really thought of that for the Wilson's and we've got a guess with us today.
Who's already told us a story little bit about adoption.
We got Judge Joseph would with us and I love said Judge because I don't think we've ever had a judge on her before, thank you for being back with something left for excellence. Will Greg be with you in your blackberry audience is looking over you. You just exude joy, don't you guys just and his wife. He's been married how many years Joseph 29 years. She's got me you had all three of three daughters three daughter three grandchildren three daughters like her so are they keep me on point all the time and then three grandchildren and I wish you all could meet Joseph because when he looks at you. He has your total attention.
Joseph, like when we are having lunch you really see people you want to hear their story passionate about that and that's been fun, but you have a pretty weighty title to that. What is the title exactly. I know it's not as good as arm washing County judge here in Arkansas and explain exactly a county judge does not think of judges in different ways as where we understand exactly what side of Arkansas and probably a dozen states there. The chief executive of the county where the one who presides over the county and we've already heard a little bigger story. Would you know your book a children's book called Joey's journey, saving Joey a true life story and you know SQL called adopting Joey and that the neat thing about your book is when you start reading the book and I know a lot of children of red and teachers of rented to children. They don't know which years which is amazing. Again, we don't need you to tell whole story again, but the fact that your mother, who you've never met left you in a box in the snow on a front porch in Chicago and waited and watched to see if anybody would pick you up in the winter you were saved to scrub by a man who found that box we've Artie heard that story you got to meet him this just 10 years ago by finding who he was.
What I'm in one incredible story, but you really grew up in an orphanage for 10 years and years before I was adopted and some take us back from their social letter finds you, they decide to put you in an orphanage.
How long were you there and how did you end up so we did not know how old I was when they got me but I thought somewhere within a couple weeks. No one biblical court or anything like that.
No record so that's all we know, you really don't know your birthdate.Donald birthday but you celebrate the 20th which is the day the people came and got me to start foster the residence about so they were married.
She rolled her high school yearbook gorilla. I want you to try one houseful kids MR there was construction worker and build a large part of city Chicago.
What the stories is grandma my best sales rose all my gosh your father had come home from work, as your mother put him back to work.
She went out to grab my school will become a teacher in five years and has no kids and so one day she's like with us because it often is with you little girl you be a great dad with the prosecutor is like you have noticed this one as well. All the women in my family, you will realize a very focused and driven what they get. There is a focus on something you can hang it up the good and so this article to the office downtown and she sees all these kids and then got a mom was used to. She loved children that she saw these children.
She wanted a girl she wanted to grow before she got this always gives you want all of that story how she wanted all them and she said no.
One faucet is lowboy right here and so they start fostering me and within the couple must bring me home. She's relaxed because she's got a kid that is like gifts.
She's got a kid and she just bring your later she has my brother is pregnant again. She has my sister, she gets pregnant again as you have a brassiere. Three kids back to back out the start, foster care, me so call the Lucas are with the office people because they were like okay now she they got their own kids with a no turn askew backing and so they continue fostering that 10 years old. They said no go. It could have been moving ahead, keep moving to different places and must be more real. Was that 10 years old and going through a divorce and at that age in the 70s you didn't have a single mom with a bunch of kids adopting a kid.
But again, my mother is a force of nature, and she know this market. I watched and what had him and I did everything Barthelme and so she end up getting that I never knew any of that until 10 years ago.
I do remember, though, being in the courtroom and listen to the judge and who said hey you love you mom you names logo from Thompson. The wood is that okay yeah I might humbly remember all that. If I was adopted when I was a baby.
Why wasn't adopted as a baby or was up to 10 years old.
#Remember all that. I always knew I was adopted by know and understand any of that meant yeah even a 10 years old in the courtroom in this and your name is Andre I really understand what that really meant is really around 11. 12. When I started group process. They really don't look like me they like like me moms try help me understand what you know you were given up for adoption. We came and we love you and so we got you so hot and I was always loved these guys always wanted my list going fine.
What happened was, Pearson mom was. I went to turn 18 will help will get a private investigator will help you do all that well. I cannot wait to turn 18, slowest years of my high school because they could not go fast knocks on one area so 17 years old, 11 months 29 days got the money would get in my mother's like we talked about targeting the law farmer transit traffic and she just broke it just broke her because she you think I will tomorrow, but they had nothing there.
Again, this identity thing I saw and I never always very gracious to him about a very pray for you to thank all the time and that she would stop thanking me. But again, I knew I could be still in this place and so I had started going around her because it was still in me. I want to know who and what I think I files in Springfield, Illinois. This seal filed I'm go down and I'm old enough articles at the Draffin may sign up to be eligible. What I didn't student loans. I can drive a car get a guy not want to know. Woo hoo my information is on one Springfield and humbly amended my mom though because she was just so I start going around. I will call and talk my grandmother.
Next, you know, she was called because they wanted to protect me on that file.
I got in my head I'll come home for spring break, my buddies were going to Springfield go stay down there to give us our records.
7 o'clock tomorrow when he said I'll be there at 7 o'clock in the morning will before then I get a phone call. The house is neighbor across street hey Joy, can you take me downtown to work on my car is not working in the safe. Am I going that well going down to Springfield she said was Loretta Bessette will yeah mom is given a phone and watch as Julie and Tahir.all I knows she's telling I will he say going to Springfield. Some Springfield. I hear my mother's site and by this point the doors lock in this my buddy we can wriggle Springfield and she gets on fall. She's a lot take it she gets off the phone she start Kevin, she calls me Kevin when she didn't to appoint Kevin Kevin Masella said you going down to Springfield was in Springfield, hospital will not my part is in the house is like ready. I'm Mike Lamont one down Springfield my original birth date is whatever it is I got a get grayscale to follow and she just broke and cried and that so I'm not going to so he's upset because we're not going lack of estate admitted seven more. Anyway, long journey on what is it in kids. Probably all of this that wants to know the beginning and wants to know who their biological parents are met some folks who don't want to know. They know that they've been given up for adoption mail care because they in their minded thinking what they love me.
They were kept me in that and I do think it's a fašade I think is they don't want to because it is taught it is hard yeah we start really grappling and wrestling with that growing up, especially my teenage years were you going to all changes anyway.
Puberty and identity. The hair on your failures traffic out of this you trying to absolutely as you go through some struggle BECAUSE you feel like it was connected go through regular stuff anyway is writing major. You say that piece on because at least if you know who your mom and dad grew up with that and you start your CF hair, longer phrases, or whatever you can look a man say that's got good neck and granddaddy on that part is getting from when you adopt you all have had no sense of that and sold on top of that you and your voices change and you friends, which I gone to school so you have it all in Chicago a lot of draws a lot of violence and so trying to do things is keep family to going through divorce stuff that you normally go to when in life.
His add-on the fact that Yama who your wares. Other people on the mom and dad's get around Thanksgiving. He said are you today turkey leg like uncle Bill, when you say that to someone adopted you just saying that or not. And you know again the people my mom did adopt me they love me. I can you can have a bigger cheerleader than them. And sometime I think I over did it because they want me feel like I was less than are not a part of internal you still warning one would have to wonder why.
Again, this whole Octavia struggled the biggest was trying to come to a place where SLK was a product of rape or incest or interracial relation that was unacceptable and I only got to place where I could say I guess didn't matter. She had me in and after two months of meditating on marinating I want to come up with another dog and I get to the place I just didn't know she had me well when I meet Mr. Caesar, the guy who found me and start sharing their home all life, had it in my head. He said no. She did morning. Had you should put your place where you can be facets must love because she couldn't lift you in a black plastic bag and left in the alley after the never found you would've froze out there and it just took it as a whole another level about this woman again.
It wasn't you wanted to be loved or thought, but it's good it's good aboard me and ends on them such a pro-life person, partly because I am here because then regardless of the circumstance.
I'm here that they got forward, but now even more so that there is a God, Caesar, and the people who came and got me orphanage committed to take care key is to abandon the classic and take care the kids and so that's going our August rainbow. I have a God. And so it sounds like your adopted parents were pretty remarkable they were. They are dead. Here's what I would ask what would you say to the adoptive parents listening to have a child and maybe their child soon the same thing you generally want to know yes and your mom was sort of hurt by that only to say the adoptive parent, how should they respond like you respond to anything that your kids go to work through a work on. You got a level long you gotta give him a little bandwidth so they can spread their wings because again you can restrict so much. They may not be able to fly you want open up the butterfly cocoon and then let the butterfly get out with.
It is most troubling, some of that and they won't be strong enough to fly. But you also that protection preside and understand protection of the kid until I started it all. Now I is the way she was. I think if you're if you got a kid who's in that search, you set the parameters as best you can and allow them the space that you want to help again is not about you, per se, is about you both is about what is that relation looks like both you guys mom and I got together and became even tighter and I start having kids because I got it will. She was trying to do is protect me with this.
She guided it wasn't about me leaving her of me wanted him 18, try to find another pair to tell me what she can get that at the time, so talking to those who may think about foreskin, and in particular adopting it to get to that space.
How do you love your kid enough to let them go, which is meltingly what we end up doing anyway know at one point it will iron the spouse and move on and all, but hopefully you get in them and therefore they want to stay tethered come back and call back from time to time. I was thinking when your answer to that question is really the same advice you give any parent living with their own biological child is there is a stage where they have to become an adult to become an adult.
It's a little scary as this is the mom or dad because you like a father pulled away after making decisions and you got a little fly at the same time you have enough boundary so they don't they know they can come back or call us. I love the fact that mean you are in a government office to very successful in your using all the gifts that God is giving you and yet you take the time to write these two books saving Joey and adopting Kelly and you take these books into schools yes and even around the world and you Regency kids talk about that of the response of the kids while I saw do that because that's who I am. Since I was growing up and mom said you needed watch her brother's this is I got a get a second job so I was told to be involved in the community in which I lived.
In March, your brother, sisters, was not anything I put my hand up as I want to do this stuff is told to do a cloud's oldest why started a youth organization, and I thought that would be a good place to keep my brother and sisters. What grew fast because so many other parents were looking for a safe place.
So you started this right visiting group in Chicago for you, probably, 14, 15 effective got so big and so fast that the adults would have their town hall meetings and I was there liaison for the young people so I will come and speak to them about what we see with the young people are saying with the gangs and drugs now going to school. I thought enjoy just being on talk, but is also my way of giving back, which was given to me. There was this community and law enforcement in orphanage and people came and sat, going get a kid as opposed that we have our own biological care. There is no choice and that before somebody going Sam give my time, my love to so and so if I can share that in the kicking may be a false God going out read that that may be good with third-graders. A second prekindergarten is, what have you.
And I'm reading that into the store and the same little kid this in that basket that was me and there's a sinister teacher like this, you have yes ma'am and then you see the kids though the kids and also the handles up on the foster care mom been adopted and on the long after I'm gone.
They still have their organic conversation about what is that even mean that every kid doesn't have a mom and dad to just with them that you take almost granite some. Some have struggles, or some so I just know that that's happening and they go home they can talk and maybe it's happening more and visit churches old man's group and we talk about that and how do we take some of that as part of a community to say I may not be able to die back and foster a parking foster care, I can at least volunteer take somebody to a ballgame. It changes lives changed my life and it's obvious that your faith and your wife call you and say thank that's who you are. SSO I am wiser important like you wanted from the very beginning I was told I had a minister who used to work for me and I was struggling with a lot of this have read long shortly after I found out that I was abandoned and said I make some calls again to find out who this guy is and he said you struggle with because you're gonna reverse plan assembly. Tomei said as a minister you see people struggle with trying to figure our identity and he said most of the supports are mom and dad we see dad is like God.
He's big and strong and thereby looks up talk as we get older we realize that they have a lot of flaws.
Mom calls him out almost laws and then they started a journey to find Christ in God. And he said you want to reverse God had his hand on the beer beginning in your life and you just on his journey trying to figure out who your earthly father is.
And again I know God's had his hand in all of this and so I think the faith walk is been on the very beginning is, help give me got me through my teenage years in writing to God about why me, why, why did I get to this body and again just doesn't matter.
You come here and you been watching over and you kept me, and I got my Masters in Christian leadership and again we smell out of the got number man's group Bible studies in the morning with folks in different states. This just what keeps me moving and if I can continue to share the part that to someone that they can see Christ in me the next half hour call right thing. She said keep relied on be the salt and that's where our call is so, what's truly interesting there so many facets of your story that you know you can step back. I know you done this your whole life and go wow look at God's hand and one of them.
That's very interesting is the people that saw you and I want the passages I love in Scripture and I preached on it many times over 30 years as a as a pastor is the end of the first chapter of James where he says this is what real religion well while you know any time.
Keep in a tight rein on our tongue, which is interesting because writer but they say is caring for orphans and widows in distress and you were an orphan somebody care for you. We know God was above the whole thing that there was a person and a name and a mom and then the adoptive parents and I just think we as followers of Christ. You just said turn on the light and the so we are called as regular. The church is called to see orphans and care for them and you're sitting here today, a judge in Arkansas because somebody did that are all that is if you're a follower Christ. You can't walk by know. That's why you know, we believe in life from conception to the grave. It doesn't start you know and that's why we come alongside and say God put me beside this person and I have eyes to see am I going to act and when we act life change happens like years in Washington County, Arkansas which is where I'm the judge. There court got together and they put a resolution together that we want to be known as a pro-life County is only the first pro-life county and state of Arkansas and Gamma longtime advocate for life and provide marches in DC in this always so below zero. The see the women and young people there and he just says it is life will go and he will have his way, and you talk about Scripture this year as their stand on the Esther 414 for such a time that's good well what Esther was often and just look to see again. She didn't think a whole lot. I never dreamed that this will be the work that I began as a deputy secretary Lord judge, but she didn't think she would ever be clean either. But God orchestrate some of this and at that time it was for her and so most people in that area, but she did not know that work would end up impacting generation, and thereafter he's going to have his way uses people and stay on your journey and open up and be used by him he will and I just again I'm grateful I've been blessed, and if he takes me again.
Right now I not been blessed well and got to really using you and I'm thinking when this be a great thing to do with your kids to buy saving Joey and adopting chili read it to your kids and talk about how I think this begins in our homes, talking about our responsibility as believers to see or thing to see the band and to see the widow NSA kids. How can we impact how can we live in evening. This is a hard one to be openhanded if asking thank God when you have for me in this area well Joseph your story is so inspiring. Thank you for sharing all think that is tying your life in the book of James chapter 1, we read that pure and undefiled religion is taking care of the orphan and the widow in their need and I think Ann Wilson's charge to all of us to be asking what's our role with Matt as a family. That's a great conversation for us to be having with our kids and to be thinking creatively about how we can help the orphans and widows in our world and reading books together as a family.
The books the man was talking about saving Joey and adopting Joey. These books tell Joseph Woods story.
That's a great starting place.
These are books we have available in our family like today resource Center. You can go online to order your copy of these books. The website is family life today.com or you can call to order her number is one 800 FL today I can. The website is family life today.com, the number to call to order the books saving Joey and adopting Joey 1-800-358-6329 that's one 800 F as in family L as in life and in the word today that this is a big weekend for us here at family life.
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