Way back in 2003, I decided to record an album of all my Florida songs. I auditioned several children and selected 6 to sing on my CD, Florida Family Folksongs. One of those children was Jayde Rhoden, age 7, the youngest member of my team.
Jayde rose to the occasion, attended all the practices and learned the songs like a little pro. The songs she remembers best are Hot Boiled Peanuts and Livin' in Okefenokee. She still sings them to her kids.
Jayde remembers, "singing amazing songs with Mrs. Kate and the other children in the studio. I loved recording! It made me feel like a superstar. We had so much fun and made memories that will last forever. "
Jayde grew up in Callahan, FL and attended Nassau County Schools. She married the love of her life, Dylan Crawford, who works as a sales consultant for Bug Out. In June they will celebrate their 7th anniversary. Jayde (26) is a student at UNF and will soon earn her BS in child psychology, and hopes to go on to get her doctorate.
Jayde and Dylan have two biological children, Kynzlee (5) and Rhoden (3). Jayde's pregnancies were high risk. The couple decided to become foster parents. "We wanted to help every child we could and hopefully add to our family." Jayde and Dylan officially became foster parents in 2022. Their first placement was a 6 week old baby. "We instantly fell in love with the helpless, tiny, little infant." The Crawfords have fostered 9 children so far!
I asked Jayde to share their faith journey. "It's been like no other," writes Jayde. "I grew up in church, every Sunday and Wednesday we were there. My husband and I both have a relationship with the Lord and try to instill that faith into our kids, as well as every child and person that comes to our home and that we pass everyday."
The Crawfords put their faith in Jesus Christ into action: "Recently we received a call, telling us of 3 siblings that were in desperate need of a family to take them in so they would not be split up. My husband and I didn’t even bat an eye. We could not let these children be ripped apart, so we said yes. We now have 6 kids under 5 years old!" (Note from Mrs. Kate: Pray for Jayde and Dylan!)
Jayde writes, "This journey is HARD! The foster care system is so broken. At times I feel like God is silent. But we continue to pray and give God glory through it all. We want to minister to these children and their families to show them they are not alone, they are loved, and they have support. They can overcome in the battles they are facing, know that God loves them!"
Is Jayde too busy as a mom to sing? Nope! "I still love to sing, every chance I get. I'm constantly singing around the house and to my kids! My children love to sing, too. It’s hard as a mom to find opportunities to use my talent. I would love to make a career out of it, but for now, I sing to glorify my God on Sundays and Wednesdays at church, and throughout every day!"
Hobbies? "Just singing and running all these kids around to activities like dance, soccer, and church. I love being a wife and mom it is the greatest blessing God has ever allowed me to do."
Jayde encourages us: "If you are thinking of becoming a foster parent or adopting. I say don’t hesitate! It is the greatest and most rewarding blessing to help children and families. Yes, it is hard, but so so worth it!"