Fostering Love

Cy-Fair family opens their arms and hearts to help children in need

Written by Lana Timbs | Photography by Candace Cook

Cypress, TX News (December 3, 2014) – Most every family says they love children, but one family has stepped up to welcome needy children into their home. Lisa and Rodney Johnson currently have six children at home, including biological, adopted, and fostered. They have had an additional six who were foster care scenarios and reunited with family members.

Through the fostering and adoption processes, the Johnson family has grown a family of five to a family of eight. They have three biological children: Anna, 14, Grace, 10, and Joshua, 9. They also have one adopted child, Tori, 5, and two foster children, Miss M*, 3, and Little Miss K*, 1. Lisa Johnson says they follow a spiritual calling from God to embrace children needing a better environment and extra love.

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Rodney and Lisa with their children, Little Miss K, Anna, Miss M, Tori, Joshua, and Grace

Baby Love
In the sixth year of fostering children, the Johnson family has become accustomed to having new babies in the home. “When Little Miss K came to us, we all took turns holding, feeding, and loving her. We gave her lots of physical contact, as she was neglected and never washed or cleaned for the first two weeks of her life,” says Lisa. The family learned that accepting the new baby into their lives meant meeting the infant’s immediate needs. They had to give Little Miss K the comfort and security she severely needed to try to remedy her two crucial weeks of neglect. Now a happy, healthy 1-year-old, Little Miss K is learning to walk, and the Johnsons are in the process of trying to adopt her.

It Takes a Village
The Johnson family has found love and support from their church, Bayou City Fellowship. They also have supportive family, friends, and neighbors. Lisa started to homeschool all of the children last year, a feat that she never thought possible until now. “It’s not about what we want,” says Lisa. “It’s ultimately about what God wants and has planned for us.” Lisa says that fostering children has been on her heart since she was in school. “Whenever you are obedient to God and follow his calling, he blesses you. God prepared our family.”

A Heart for Children
Anna, Lisa, and Rodney have all attended several mission trips through Compassion International and sponsored five “Compassion kids” in three different countries. These
trips have allowed them to meet some of the children they sponsor. Mission trips and reaching out to orphans are two of daughter Anna’s passions. As the eldest Johnson child, she sets the example for her younger siblings. Living Water International and Here I am Orphan Ministries are two other groups that Anna has traveled and served with.

Saying Goodbye
Their biological children are very attached to their adopted and foster siblings. The Johnsons have had Miss M two different times. Once, Miss M’s biological family was ableto receive her back into their home. Nine-year-old Joshua took it the hardest. Lisa remembers at that point, they had to re-evaluate the impact this was having on the family, and questioned if they should stop fostering children, or even just take a break. Teary-eyed Joshua then asked his mother, “Why would we do that?” The entire Johnson family is committed to this compassionate mission, no matter how hard it can be sometimes.

More Families Needed
According to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, there are an estimated 28,883 children in foster care in Texas, and of those, 10,768 are children waiting for adoptive families. Those children range from infancy through 18 years of age, and some are part of a sibling group who need to be placed together. Currently in Houston, children of all ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds are waiting for foster or adoptive families. Sadly, many have physical and emotional challenges from past abuse or neglect.

A Safe Haven
At home, the Johnson’s create a safe haven for their children – a sense of normalcy. Rodney loves to hunt and take Joshua along. But he schedules time for his daddy-daughter dates as well. On any given day you will find Grace designing dresses or Tori practicing her gymnastics moves. The Johnsons’ commitment to serve outside of their immediate family shows their deep love and dedication in a mission to lessen the number of children waiting for their opportunity to be welcomed into a loving family. CFM

LANA TIMBS is an Aggie who enjoys time with her family, and has a passion for writing and meeting new people.
* Names of the Johnson’s foster children have been changed in accordance with state regulations.