All in the family

Foster parenting, adoption is in the DNA of Grigg family

By Chip Hutcheson

Published: January 1, 2021

KUTTAWA — It didn't take long for Bryan and Krista Grigg to learn that foster parenting can have its share of surprises.

After having three biological children, the Griggs began working with Sunrise Children's Services about 41/2 years ago to become foster parents.

One day, two children were placed in their home for respite care. The following day, a sibling group of three was placed in their home. Although the first two children were there for only a couple of days, the Griggs went from a household with three children to eight children.

"We only had the respite children about 48 hours, but it was a crazy 48 hours," concedes Grigg, who has pastored Macedonia Baptist Church the past 15 years. On top of five children coming into their home in that short span, Bryan was in the midst of planning a major fundraising effort for his church's upcoming mission trip, plus he came down with a stomach bug. "It was quite a weekend," he said as an understatement.

The Grigg couple, who celebrated their 20th anniversary earlier this month, have biological children that are now teenagers — a 17-year-old and 13-year-old twins. A sibling group of three — ages 5, 2 and 4 months at the time — were adopted into the family after being in their home for just over a year.

Their next venture was taking in two teenage girls who were close to aging out of the foster care system. Those girls were in their home for six months until reaching age 18, but the Griggs were still involved in the continuation of their care.

The rewarding yet daunting challenge of foster parenting was far from over for the family.

In an unusual turn of events, three more children were placed in their home. The Griggs knew the children — they had attended the church with their parents several times years ago — but "the parents made bad choices, so we took them in as well," Bryan said. Those children are now 8, 11 and 15.

For the Grigg family, Sunrise has been a blessing to work with.

"It's been a great situation," said Bryan. "What I really appreciate is working with a Christian organization. It's an agency of the Kentucky Baptist Convention," said Bryan, who has served previously on the KBC Mission Board.

"I appreciate working with a Christian worker, which you have at Sunrise. I've been encouraging others to go through Sunrise. You can work with a secular organization or with a Baptist organization — to me, it's a no-brainer."

Sunrise describes itself as "a different kind of foster care agency … a Christ-centered foster care ministry that has a commitment to produce and maintain strong, quality therapeutic foster homes." Its mission is to "help families grow to be confident and competent foster parents for the children and youth served."

Bryan pointed out that his wife has played a crucial role in fostering and adopting children. "We could never do this if I didn't have a good wife. She's a go-getter, she has tenacity — she can plan a thousand things at a time and keeps us all going."

The example set by the Grigg family has resulted in other members at Macedonia showing their love for children by foster parenting and adopting.

The Griggs plus four other families in the church were recognized by Sunrise in late 2019 for their work in adopting children. Those five families provided 11 children with a forever family through adoption.

Earlier that year, Bryan, Krista and Macedonia Baptist Church were presented Sunrise's inaugural "Be the One" Ambassador Award, recognizing the culture of foster and adoptive care that had been exhibited over the previous five years.

For more information about Sunrise, go to www.sunrise.org.