Calli Crowder entered foster care at the age of thirteen along with her three sisters. Calli shares why she was placed in care, her relationship with her mother and with her foster parents, and the events that shaped her time in the system. Having experienced injustice, Calli now uses her voice and her story to advocate for justice for kids in foster care. We hear what Calli does now and how she has experienced God throughout her life.
Then, to kick-off our Foster Journey series, Jason Johnson, foster and adoptive dad and the Director of the National Church Ministry Initiative for CAFO and More Than Enough, joins us to discuss where the Foster Journey begins. He addresses our hearts, our relationships, and the first steps in the foster care journey. Jason provides both great theology and practical advice for anyone just beginning to consider foster care for the first time.
Download the free companion PDF to this series—“Seven Insights about Foster Care from Those Who’ve Been There”–and share these types of insights with others in your community!
“It would start with listening. Not assuming it’s one of those things where if we would have had people at the beginning who listened and realized, Hey, there’s a difficult situation here that we could actually make a difference to where, hey, possibly we could still have kept in unified these, this family.”
Here are the resources and/or organizations mentioned in this episode:
Meet Our Guests
When Calli was thirteen, she and her three sisters unjustly entered foster care on the grounds of ‘educational neglect’. They remained in foster care for the next six years while their mother fought to regain custody of them.
Calli grew up in Ohio and graduated from Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA. She studied International Studies and Psychology. After graduating, she worked in a Foreclosure Defense Law Firm for two years until she was accepted into the Congressional Coalition for Adoptions Institute’s (CCAI) Foster Youth Intern Program.
As a result of her time in care, she desires to give back to foster parents, encourage children both in and out of the system and give a voice to those who do not have one here in America and around the world. Calli now also works for CAFO as the African American Leadership Council Coordinator.
Calli enjoys researching and analyzing Russian and will soon be married this March!
Jason Johnson is a husband to Emily, foster and adoptive dad, pastor, writer and speaker.After growing up in a ministry home Jason began working at a church in college and spent nearly 14 years in pastoral ministry. In 2008 Jason planted a church in North Houston through which he helped co-found The Orphan Care Network, a non-profit committed to serving, supporting and equipping foster and adoptive families.
In 2013, with the combined church ministry and foster and adoptive experience, Jason began working for an organization helping church leaders implement structure, strategy and sustainable mechanisms of OVC ministry within their churches. This ultimately led him to his current role as the Director of the National Church Ministry Initiative with Christian Alliance for Orphans, where he spends most of his time consulting with church and organizational leaders on best practices and strategies for sustainable ministries. Jason also spends a lot of time traveling and speaking at conferences to current and potential foster and adoptive families.
While serving on staff at CAFO, Jason is also the author of the newly released books, ReFraming Foster Care and Everyone Can Do Something as well as ALL IN Orphan Care and you can find him blogging regularly at www.jasonjohnsonblog.com. Jason has a passion to equip churches and encourage families no matter where they are in their foster care and adoption journey.
Jason and his wife, Emily, live in Texas with their four daughters and enjoy whatever it is they’re doing, as long as it’s together.
Meet Our Hosts
Jason and his wife, Trisha, have been caring for children from U.S. foster care since 2001 and have had the privilege of adopting their five children from foster care. Jason has helped to produce and write several books, bible studies, and other tools all created to serve churches as they care for hurting kids including the newly released children’s book, Farmer Herman and the Flooding Barn (BroadStreet Publishing). Jason writes a regular column for Fostering Families Today magazine and is the host of the Foster Movement Podcast, which highlights the stories of former foster youth and national foster care advocates. Jason serves as the National Director of More Than Enough for the Christian Alliance for Orphans and currently lives in Plano, Texas.
Most teenagers remember the day they got their license, or their sweet 16, or even prom night. For Diego the most prominent day he remembers is In 2002, when he showed up on Bishop Aaron Blake’s steps. Blake stopped Diego at the door and told him to lose any foster care mentality that he has. “You are not a foster child; you are ‘Engrafted’ into my family.” Diego, now a national recording artist, released his second studio album titled “ENGRAFTED” in 2014! Diego is the founder & president of B.I.G Records & Foundation. He and his “Pops,” Bishop Aaron Blake have joined forces and travel the country empowering the local church to create a culture of families prepared to accept the calling of orphan care. Diego lives with his family in the Dallas area.