Triumph over tragedy: Josie’s story (religion)

Published 1:19 pm Thursday, June 2, 2016

By Chanel Bingham

Although the month of May is celebrated as National Foster Care Awareness Month, Josie Jones is passionate about raising awareness all year long. Last week, we heard the story of Josie’s adoptive parents, Mark and Laura Jones.

Today, Josie shares her story.



Josie Jones was first introduced to the foster care system at the tender age of 5. “My mom and dad fought a lot. They would drink and get very violent,” Jones said. “My mom and I would leave the house and go sit in the Winn-Dixie parking lot. One time, she had been drinking and when we left the parking lot, she got pulled over. That’s when I was first sent to foster care.”

Josie was initially placed with a family member, but the placement didn’t last long. From there, Josie was in and out of the foster care program, bouncing between her biological parents and foster parents.

Each time Josie was removed from her parents’ home, she questioned herself and wondered if there was something wrong with her. Full of deep hurt and shame, Josie found solace in her visits to Refuge Baptist Church. “My Aunt Neesey would take me to Refuge Baptist Church, and everybody there loved on me,” explained Jones. “I didn’t get that anywhere else. I wanted to stay there.”

Throughout her years in foster care, Jones was placed in nearly a dozen different homes. Because of the instability in the lives of foster care children, among other things, outbursts of anger and pain are a common behavioral response. “People don’t understand that we [foster children] have been through so much. We are not going to act like a kid who has been loved and had structure all their lives, because we haven’t.”

“I’ll admit, I was a troubled child,” said Jones. “I would move into a new [foster] home believing that they were going to send me away, so I was going to test them to their limit to see how far I could push them before they sent me away. And I think that’s how a lot of these kids are. They just want to know if these people are really in it.”



After five years of being of being bounced in and out of the foster care system, Josie met her “all in” family.

“My social worker picked me up from school and said she had a surprise for me,” explains Jones. “She told me we were going to meet a couple who wanted to adopt me. We went to the tag office and I met Laura, and as soon as I hugged her, it felt right.”

After several visits and upon completing the required legal process, Josie officially joined the Jones family as their daughter.

“I was happy, but I was nervous,” shares Jones. “I was afraid to get attached in case they ended up not wanting me like everybody else. I was really closed off and had my walls up. I was scared.”

But Mark and Laura Jones would not change their minds. Josie was the answer to their prayers, and eventually, through a lot of love, persistence, patience and faith, Josie’s walls began to come down.

This year, Josie will begin her senior year in high school and is currently serving as an ambassador in the Upward Bound program, an academic program which provides high school students with support for successful college preparation.

Josie shares that her faith helped carry her through some of her darkest times and wants others to know that no matter what they may have been through, they can overcome it. “When I felt like I was all alone, I would open my Bible and read it and a peace would come over me,” she said. “I knew that no matter how alone I felt, God was always there. He never left my side.”

“God does have good plans for you. Even though there are a lot of ups and downs you may have to go through to get there, it is always worth it.”

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” Jeremiah 29:11

Chanel Bingham is a freelance writer, blogger and public speaker. She resides in Thorsby with her husband and four children. You can visit Chanel at or on Facebook at “The Polished Canvas.” Her column publishes each week.