skip to Main Content

A Full Circle Story of Love

When Jon and Heidi Sampson became Thornwell’s second family to join its on-campus Foster Care Village in 2023, it was a full-circle moment dating back ten years. They moved to South Carolina in July 2014 to work as Thornwell Teaching Parents in Bryan Miller Mac Cottage. After adopting brothers living at Thornwell, they moved off-campus. Eventually, they became licensed foster parents devoted to providing loving care to little ones, and in early 2023, they joyfully adopted again.

For the Sampsons, foster care and adoption are Gospel work. Despite their larger family, they still felt called to serve as foster parents. They just didn’t think it was feasible in their smaller home.

Because Thornwell’s community believes all children deserve a safe, loving, stable home where they can heal, the Sampsons moved back to Thornwell and into their on-campus home with room to care for FIVE additional children.

The idea of the village was born out of necessity and a desire to be good stewards of available resources. Federal legislation passed in 2018 restricts the length of stay for kids in residential care programs, desiring for youth to be placed in private foster homes. Still, there aren’t enough foster homes in South Carolina willing or able to serve the youth needing them, especially teens and sibling groups.

Thanks to the loving support of our community, Thornwell could answer the call through the Foster Care Village cottages to foster families like the Sampsons willing to love and serve! You made sure teens felt wanted, and sibling groups could stay together!

“My capacity for love and chaos is bigger. My definitions of family and church are more expansive,” explains Heidi.

Now living in the spacious Anita-Nancy cottage, the Sampson family is holding steadfast to their calling and passion to keep siblings together. Their home and the hearts of everyone living inside are full thanks to YOU! Being a family of ten certainly isn’t easy! Jon and Heidi work tirelessly to meet the children’s needs. Luckily, they have the support of their Thornwell Family Specialist and access programs within our Continuum of Care, including the Child Development Center and Read Right. Some of their children attend Thornwell Charter School. For Heidi, fostering has taught her about focusing on a child’s humanity and capacity to love and be loved, not solely about their circumstances.

“Foster care is so much more than providing food, clothes, and a bed for a child,” says Heidi. “Foster care is about working on yourself to expand the ways you give love for that child to truly feel seen.”

Thank YOU to our community for stepping in and making Thornwell’s Foster Care Village possible! Because you care, you are expanding the LOVE that we share with children, youth, and families impacted by Foster Care every day.

Back To Top