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Our Adoption Story

An interview with Dylan and Grace Childrey

You don’t have to be around Waypoint for long to realize we are

A church community that has a heart for foster care, adoption, and

families in need of support. November is Adoption Awareness month so

I thought it would be a great time to hear from one of our adoptive

families, the Childreys. Dylan and Grace have been at Waypoint since

2015 (they were engaged at the time) and it has been a joy to watch them

grow to a family of four!

1. When did you first become interested in fostering and

adoption? What sparked that interest and what steps did you

take to get involved?

At some point during our dating relationship, we had a generic

conversation about how “we’d both like to adopt someday”.

Although neither of us really knew what that would look like.

Through our experience in intentionally living communities and

Grace teaching in Durham Public School she saw the needs

firsthand for safe homes for children in crisis. Through getting to

know a coworker who was a foster parent and the Petty family

(another foster family at Waypoint) foster care began to seem like

a much less threatening idea.

In late 2017, Candace Petty and Megan Klinger (our former

Children’s Ministry Director and a foster care specialist) held an

interest meeting at Waypoint for anyone interested in foster care.

We walked away from that meeting with very different opinions on

whether we should become foster parents! Thankfully at the end

of 2018, we both felt at peace and unified about pursuing the

foster care licensing process in 2019. We had seen other friends

become foster parents and knew that it would possibly take a long

time to be licensed and get a placement.

We went on the Durham County website, found out when the next

interest meeting was, attended it, then went through the process

of signing up for licensing class! 

2. While fostering, how did you manage the tension between

the possibility of reunification and the possibility of


Every case in foster care is a little different. When Jeremiah was

placed with us there was an equal chance of reunification or

adoption becoming his primary goal. We were chosen as his

placement because of our willingness to adopt. Within a few

months of being placed with us, the judge moved his primary goal

to adoption with us. This is somewhat unusual, as many foster

families have children placed with them for months or years

before their case is heard or a goal is potentially changed to


Although on paper Jeremiah’s case was changed to adoption

early on in his time with us, it would be almost 2 years before the

adoption was finalized and we were officially his parents. There is

a saying, “nothing in foster care is official till it is actually

happening” There was a period of time where we were told that

his goal might be changed again and we would never be able to

fully adopt Jeremiah. The tension we experienced was knowing

that while we would most likely become his official parents at

some point, legally we couldn’t make many decisions for him for

those 2 years he was in what felt like limbo. It was difficult to see

God’s care during the delays when there were aspects of his life

during that limbo period that were under the court’s jurisdiction

that felt harmful to Jeremiah. We had to continually seek God and

His grace and mercy, even when we didn’t understand His


3. What have been some of the challenges of your adoption


Again, in our case, adoption was established as the primary goal

early on, however we still had to advocate as best we could for

Jeremiah to be adopted in a reasonable time frame. For an

adoption to move forward, certain court hearings need to happen

every few months and there was a whole year where Jeremiah’s

case wasn’t even heard in court due to delays.  

Before becoming foster parents, someone warned us that

unfortunately, not everyone in the court system has the best

interest of the foster children at heart. While we couldn’t fully

understand how that could be possible at first, we saw that

statement evidenced firsthand in how our case played out over

two years. Trying to navigate the brokenness of the court system

while advocating for the best interest of the child can feel

extremely discouraging and frustrating.

4. What have been some of the blessings?

The biggest blessing in becoming foster parents has been being

Jeremiah‘s parents. Our lives will never be the same and we love

him so much. We are so thankful to be the ones he calls mom

and dad. 

In addition, an unknown blessing was the community we would

find with other foster parents. There are currently four foster

families in our small group and many others who have served as

guardian ad litems or a respite support. To know that there are

other members of our church that fully understand the complexity

and difficulties brings an incredible sense of relief and


Another unexpected blessing that came through our adoption is

our friendship with Jeremiah’s birth mom. A huge part of being a

foster parent is working to do shared parenting with the foster

child’s birth family. This can play out many different ways and

looks different for each case. Due to COVID restrictions during

Jeremiah’s time with us, we were able to spend a lot of time

getting to know her. We hope that we can continue this friendship

with her throughout his life.

5. What would you say to someone contemplating fostering

or adoption? 

Simply put, there is a huge need. It is time consuming, hard, and

very heavy, however there are so many children of all ages in

desperate need of a safe place right here in our city.

While we’ve only had one kind of experience in foster care so far,

we have seen amazing foster parents who have poured into

numerous children’s lives and created deep relationships with

birth families or kinship placements. As a foster parent you aren’t

just changing the life of a child, but potentially an entire family. In

our case adoption kept us from experiencing reunification, but in

the right circumstance we have learned it can be a beautiful


Opening your home can be the first good night of sleep a child will

receive in their life. Having them at your table could be one of the

most secure food settings they will ever experience. And bringing

them into your life will forever change how they grow as a


Don’t become a foster parent to save children, become a foster

parent because the one who saved you has given you everything

you need to share his love with the children of our city and their


6. What would you say to someone who doesn't feel

personally called or able to foster or adopt, yet wants to

support at risk children and families as well as foster and

adoptive parents? 

That is wonderful! You can support foster children and families

through so many different ways. If you don’t know a foster or

adoptive family personally you can get involved with two local

organizations: Safe families & The village who are working to

prevent children from entering the foster care system by

supporting vulnerable families. Becoming a GAL is another way to

work directly with children in foster care and have a voice on how

their cases are determined in court.

An easy way to support foster families and parents in our church

community is through serving in Waypoint kids! There is a strong

chance that you’ll have a child in foster care or an adopted child in

your class.

On a more personal level, ask a foster or adoptive family how you

can be praying for them, ask them how things are going, and be

okay listening if it is sounds like things are going really badly.

Invite foster and adoptive families over (no matter their child’s

behavior!) and just get to know them. 

There are also numerous meetings, appointments, and visits to

keep track of, so you can come beside foster families and children

and offer a meal to be dropped off or maybe take other children in

the home to the playground during a zoom call discussing the

foster child’s case. 

We have felt so much love from friends, family, neighbors, and

our church community through this process.

7. How can we be praying for your family?  

Please pray with us for patience in parenting our two boys and

discernment as we are potentially considering our family’s

capacity to open our home up to another foster child in the new


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