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
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
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
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
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