officdrAbuse and neglect are long-time problems that continue to be upsetting every time we hear about them. Needless to say, many people think that too little action tries to protect kids who live with maltreatment and abuse.
A key reason is because lots of kids who are at risk at home keep quiet. Even when they’re in danger of sexual abuse and violence, they are afraid to say anything, staying silent from terror that they’ll find themselves in worse danger.
Jody Thompson is an Officer with a long experience in policing, and in dealing with problems such as child abuse. He’s been living in Oklahoma and has his own family of three kids with his wife.
Officer Thompson has seen many terrible things throughout his career, but one specific case would alter his home life in a big way.
One day, Officer Thompson got an important radio call about a kid being maltreated. Reacting quickly, he soon found himself entering the door of that home.
On entering, Jody encountered something he will remember forever.
Ex-soldier and officer Thompson realized just how terrible things were as soon as he got that call in 2015.
As a seasoned officer of sixteen years, Thompson knew some urgent-sounding calls weren’t necessarily as bad as they sounded. However, his gut feeling said this was different.
Thompson could tell this specific caller was desperate, as they reported that they thought they could hear some parents murdering their kid.
Jody has been involved with government work to prevent child abuse and was on patrol when he got the call. In seconds, he’d turned around his vehicle and started heading straight to the house.
Even with all his experience, though, Jody was completely unprepared for the terrible situation in store.
On breaking his way inside the home, Officer Thompson found a terrified, confused young boy of 8 years.
His ankles and wrists had been tied using rope, and the child was near death from lack of food.
He was almost entirely covered with horrible bruises, and his mother and father had gone so far as to force him inside a trash can full of freezing, iced water.
Even at first sight, Jody could tell clearly that this child had endured serious torture. The boy was trembling so much all over with cold and shock, he couldn’t speak.
At that second, Thompson felt overcome with his protective instinct. The officer knew straight out that he couldn’t abandon the child.
Despite being close to death, racked with shivers, and completely helpless, Jody could still see something in the child that brought to mind his own kids.
The child, John, had to be rushed straight to emergency care, while Thompson stayed with him.
“I promised him ‘Nobody’s gonna hurt you anymore, you’re with me,’” the officer said.
“And he kept saying, ‘They’re gonna kill me. They’re gonna kill me. They’re gonna kill me.’”
The pair rapidly became close. John saw Thompson as his savior, while Jody kept watch as John recovered.
On examination, medics said John’s spine and ribs could be clearly seen, he had a wan, shrunken face, and protruding scapulas. In total, John was barely sixty pounds.
The professionals who examined John went on to give testimony in court, telling of their inability to find even one space on the kid’s body which hadn’t been bruised.
At last, nonetheless, John started healing. Even better, the moment he was healthy enough to be discharged, Mr. and Mrs. Thompson and offered something amazing: to adopt the boy as their own.
At least 700k kids annually are in care—and that’s just in the US. Most will move between foster arrangements throughout their youth, not able to find a permanent home.
Officer Thompson already knew these figures and knew John would require a permanent family. He also knew he’d need to take action right away for this to become a reality.
He first thought about adopting the child as a son while John was struggling in emergency care. Less than a day after meeting John, his wife, and Thompson and decided that adoption was the right move.
Four years later, life is so different.
John has come a long way in rising above the terrible things that happened to him.
Now, he gets the care and love that a kid deserves, as well as great marks at school. He’s even seen as a top student by his classmates!
Even though Officer Thompson lives in a small community, his family somehow succeeded in keeping John’s adoption on the down-low.
They believed this was important to keep John’s story away from the media while the child began a new journey, and didn’t want any recognition simply for doing the right thing. For John’s sake, he hoped the boy could keep his identity safe.
As a family, Jody, his wife, and his sons have supported John as he recovers from the damage wrought by his biological parents.
There’s more though. While Officer Thompson was adopting John, he learned John’s mother (biological) had just had a baby girl in custody.
In a heartbeat, the Thompsons headed started the process for adopting John’s sister. When the baby was only one day old, they’d already added their signatures on the papers.
Now, John can be with his sister while she grows!
When this tale first broke, the KSFM journalist asked Officer Thompson to share what happened when he discovered John in that horrible state. Precisely, he wanted to know whether Thompson was aware in that moment that John would become part of his family.
Struggling with emotion, Jody replied: “When I saw him … when I saw him in that house, I knew.”
It’s apparent that Jody and John have a unique bond. John is so grateful that the two have so much respect and love.
“He’s the reason I’m alive now,” John shared.
Adoption is revealed
While he’d hoped not for the story to become news, Officer Thompson soon received an award that made the adoption public news.
“We didn’t want the story out there. We didn’t put the story out there. But now that it’s out there and we’ve embraced it, we want the world to know that it’s not all doom and gloom. Especially in law enforcement, we’ve got such a black eye right now for whatever reason, but we’re not all out there just to put handcuffs on people. We really do care about the communities that we live in, and this just shows it,” Jody said.
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