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Friday, April 6, 2018

FAIRFIELD, Ohio -- Robert Johnson’s story starts with blank pages.

He knows nothing about himself from the time he was born until he was 3 years old. That’s when a woman adopted him and his older sister. But Johnson’s new mom began to abuse him soon after, he said.

As a boy, Johnson figured that’s just how it was. It didn’t occur to him to tell any grown-ups.“I don’t remember being afraid to tell anybody,” he said. “I just remember being depressed and scared every time the bell rang to get on the bus to go home.”

Teachers and administrators at Johnson’s elementary school finally figured out what was happening, he said, and county child welfare workers removed him and his sister from their adoptive mother’s home when he was 8. 

From that point on, Johnson spent time in a group home before living in five or six different foster homes until he graduated from high school and left the child welfare system.It’s a story that could have been worse in so many ways.

Researchers in Chicago have found that kids who grow up in foster care are more likely to be unemployed or homeless or end up behind bars.

But not Johnson.Now 35, he is married with a 6-year-old son named Robert Johnson Jr., or R.J. for short. Johnson works as a supervisor at the Children’s Home of Cincinnati and a worship leader and musician at New Life Covenant Cincinnati. He is happy, healthy and fulfilled.

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