By Cindy Adams


John and Joyce Edmunds have been Foster Parents to 23 boys over the course of 15 years. Dakota was one of the first boys they fostered, and when he became an adult, they knew he would continue to need services. This prompted them to become Family Care Providers with enCircle. They now provide a home to 25-year-old, Dakota and 52-year-old, Irvin. The four of them have been a family for several years.

Like many families, they are active, recently visiting Natural Bridge Safari Park’s drive-through zoo for a bit of summer fun.

"The guys had an amazing time. I was hollering when the animals came to my window, but they just loved it," Joyce said. "After a while, Irvin rolled up his window and took a break, but Dakota adores animals and petted every single one that came to the car." Dakota especially loved the reindeer and Irvin especially loved the zebras. Joyce? Well, she just loves doing what the two of them love to do!

For Dakota, one of those activities is Taekwondo! He recently received his third belt (orange) from Master Kevin Miller with Olympus Taekwondo in Danville.

"Taekwondo is helping Dakota in so many ways," Joyce said. "It is helping him understand give-and-take situations and teaching him to be more patient. Earning the belts has really increased his confidence, too." Dakota participates in Taekwondo twice a week and will likely earn his green belt in a few months.

"On Taekwondo days, he puts on that uniform at 7 a.m. even though we don’t have to be there until 9:30 a.m.," Joyce said. "AND he wants me to drive fast to get there!"

Joyce loves every minute of it.