KUTTAWA, Ky. (BP) — Since the beginning of their marriage 16 years ago, a Kentucky Baptist pastor and his wife had always wanted lots of children.
Bryan and Krista Grigg’s hopes were fulfilled earlier this month with the adoption of three additional kids through Sunrise Children’s Services, the Kentucky Baptist ministry that, at last count, was serving more than 1,200 abused and neglected children.
The Griggs’ child count now stands at six — three of them biological.
It was while scrolling through Facebook that Krista came across a post from the Kentucky Baptist Convention promoting an initiative to recruit Christian families and their churches into foster care.
As Krista and Bryan read about the need, they were both moved to tears. They say it was in that moment they realized that this was the route God would use to grow their family.
As senior pastor of Macedonia Baptist Church in Lyon County, Bryan invited Sunrise representatives to conduct training in their church, after which the Griggs agreed to become foster parents.
“We were commanded in God’s Word to care for the orphans,” Krista said about their decision, “so it wasn’t something we needed to pray about long.”
Once the Griggs took this leap of faith, it wasn’t long before three biological siblings — children they would later adopt — came into their home as foster children.
“We first met the children on March 26, 2015, when they pulled in the driveway with the Department of Community Based Services,” Bryan said.
Bryan, Krista, and their biological children — Luke, 13, Elijah, 9, and Samuel, 9 — quickly came to love the three foster children — Jed, 7; Abby Grace, 4; and Zeke, 2.
Being foster parents gave the Griggs an opportunity to “love the least of these” with actions instead of just words. And when given the chance to adopt the three siblings, the family of five made the decision to become a family of eight.
“I could not bear the thought of them leaving us,” Bryan said.
The adoption became final on May 8.
“While we were standing before the judge, I was holding our youngest,” Krista recalled. “He had his arm around my neck. Bryan was standing next to me and he reached over and grabbed Bryan’s neck pulling us together.”
Krista said it was a moment that signaled to her that even their newly adopted 2-year-old understood the significance of the occasion — that they truly became a family, and not just legally.
Macedonia Baptist Church hopes to have adopted eight children into homes by the end of this year through Sunrise, which provides care and hope for hurting families and children through Christ-centered ministries. So far, four families from Macedonia Baptist Church have become foster parents through Sunrise.
Bryan and Krista say they believe the foster care system in Kentucky could be radically changed if every church encouraged their members to get involved.
The Griggs have a message to anyone considering foster care or adoption:
“Go for it,” Bryan said. “Children need someone to be committed to them and love them unconditionally and without any strings attached.”
Krista noted that fostering and adoption is also a wonderful way to be a Godly example to your biological children.
“Don’t just be a Christian mom who says ‘I want you to love the least of these,’ but actually take your kids and go love them,” she said. “As a Christian, you have something they need. They need the love of Jesus Christ.”
For more information, contact Sunrise Children’s Services at (800)456-1386.