Jody Thompson responded to a call in 2015 where he discovered a terrible situation of child abuse. When Thompson arrived at the scene, he was stunned to see a severely underweight boy, his wrists bound by belts, with bruises along his back and a huge knot on his head. The 8 year old boy had been submerged in a trash can full of cold water. He weighed just 61 pounds at the time. “He did not have a spot on his body that didn’t have a bruise or abrasion,” Thompson said. “It was the worst thing I’ve ever seen.”
After covering the boy, who was named John, with a blanket, Thompson took him to an Oklahoma Children’s Advocacy Center so detectives and investigators could take photographs. When they were done, Thompson drove him to the emergency room. “I sat with him,” Thompson said. “And when he was admitted into the intensive care unit, I sat all night until the next day.”
Thompson refused to let John out of his sight. He knew from the first moment he saw him he wanted to take care of him for the rest of his life. “When I’d seen him in that house shivering and his hands tied, just soaking wet and confused. I knew at that moment the only time I would be satisfied and sure that he was safe is if he was with me,” Thompson said.
The next day, Jody applied to be a foster parent to John. He was already a father to two boys, then ages 15 and 8, and he and his wife, Jeannie, would find out within a few days that she was pregnant with another boy. But, this big family wasn’t done growing. About seven months later, John’s biological mother delivered a baby girl in jail and Jody and Jeannie became foster parents to her, as well.
Jody and Jeannie later officially adopted both John and his sister Paizley. Today, they are a family of seven. Jody never planned to be the father of such a large family, but sometimes, the best things are those that we never even considered. He said, “John’s the toughest guy I’ve ever met”, explaining that his son had to testify on his own behalf during the trial. Though it’s difficult, Thompson said his family is ready to put the past behind them. “John is amazing. He’s a straight-A student, on the honor roll, in the gifted and talented program, involved in the local drama club,” Thompson said of his now 10-year-old son. “That kid’s very resilient. He bounced back from this.”