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Josh Groban and Kelly Clarkson pay tribute to kids who have suffered traumatizing experiences

Kylie Mar
Host & Producer, Yahoo Entertainment

Josh Groban hosted CBS‘s annual A Home for the Holidays this year, and the show had us feeling a wave of emotions as we were introduced to children who have suffered unimaginably traumatic experiences.

The Thompson family from Poteau, Okla., was just one of the four families honored. “I want to share my story because I’m hoping that it can help other kids that are living in the same situation. ‘Cause it can save a life,” the child shared. Officer Jody Thompson responded to a child abuse call while he was off duty. As fate would have it, Thompson arrived on the scene and discovered John, who had been starved by his biological father. “Immediately, me and John locked eyes. He was cold, he was wet, he was grossly underweight. Had an abrasion on his head,” said Thompson. John was bound by what appeared to be belts. Thompson also shared, “These monsters would submerge him into ice water, and then place the lid on it, and that was one night out of hundreds that he had to endure that.” Thompson explained that he immediately knew, in his heart, that he would adopt John, as that would be the only way to ensure his safety. Soon afterward, the Thompson family received a call saying that John’s mother had given birth to a girl in prison and, with no hesitation, the family immediately adopted her as well. “Well, early on, Jeannie and I planned on two kids, and that was it. Uh, God had other plans for us. Just seeing all my kids, they’re — they’re really amazing. We wouldn’t change it for the world,” Thompson said.

As horrendous as the children’s previous situations were, all their stories had happy endings because the kids’ lives were changed through adoption.

The night also featured amazing performances by Groban, Kelly Clarkson, Kacey Musgraves, and Kane Brown. However, the best performance of the night was Groban and Clarkson’s “All I Ask of You” duet from Phantom of the Opera. No, really — it was phantom-enal. 

There are more than 420,000 children in foster care in the U.S. Groban ended the show by encouraging viewers to open their arms to children who need a home not only for the holidays, but forever.

A Home for the Holidays With Josh Groban aired Tuesday, Dec. 19, at 8 p.m. on CBS.

Check out Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton performing during this star-studded Christmas special:

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