It all started with a question; why am I here? What is my Purpose? In June of 2012, as I drove to work one morning on Hwy 169 (Tulsa, Ok) it came to mind that I would be 35 years old this year and what have I done with my life? If my life were to end today, what have I left my wife, kids, and society? Sadly, the answer was nothing, zero; I had left nothing and had done nothing.
I immediately began to weep like a baby, because I knew that was not the Purpose for my life. I did not know what my Purpose was, however I knew enough to know Nothing was not the answer.
I began to cry out; I knew that in 34 years of Joey doing what Joey wanted to do had gotten me nowhere. I said, "Lord I'm done with me, and from this day forward my life is yours. Use me, mold me, form me, because I am ready. I am ready to be the instrument that you have designed me to be. What is my Purpose? Why am I here?" Since that day, we have formed a 501c3 Non Profit Organization (James Mission), we have helped thousands of people; foster children, foster families, adopted families, single parents, teens who have aged out of foster care, and displaced families.
We (me & the wife) have personally also fostered over 30 children and I have adopted 6 kids. This has not been an easy journey, but it has definitely been a rewarding one. However, this has come with much hurt, pain, and struggle, but somehow along the way we have learned to adapt, we have learned to adjust, and we have learned to grow.
James Mission exists to provide resources to the children in foster care and to families in need. We do this by partnering with other non-profit organizations and volunteering our time and resources to aid in many capacities.
In 2012 our lives were flipped upside down when I was unexpectedly laid off. Our family was stripped of everything both financially and emotionally. I spent 6 months arguing with God about what we were supposed to be doing and how we were going to provide for our children, so I got down on my knees and prayed to God for direction. I dusted off my Bible, opened it up and it landed on the book of James. After reading James 27 times, I felt as if God was telling me to be the change. We felt the call to foster and adopt and immediately started the foster care process. It moved very quickly and within a month and a half we received our first placement. He was a 17-year-old boy who was about to age out of the system. When he walked into our home he was limping. We looked down at his feet and noticed his shoes were too small. When asked if he was okay, he ducked his head in embarrassment and said, “I borrowed a pair of shoes from my roommate at the shelter. They are two sizes too small but the only pair of shoes I own have holes in them and my toes stick out. I was embarrassed and thought you wouldn’t want me if I wore my shoes.”
At that point we realized that kids in foster care come with very little. Since our first placement, we have personally taken over 38 children into our home (adopted 3 daughters), ages 0-18, and every single one of them have come with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. Those clothes are normally too small, stained and torn.
This realization led us to begin brainstorming James Mission. We knew these kids came with nothing and needed everything. We knew these kids were torn from their families and had to leave their belongings behind. We also knew we had to be the ones to help.