Tyler Finds His Super Family
July 13, 2016
Mandy and Brad Childres always wanted to be foster parents. They had talked for years before moving to Virginia from North Carolina. “It was something we’d had on our hearts for the last eight years,” says Brad, “but it wasn’t until one of our friends went to work for UMFS that we found the right opportunity.”
UMFS recruiter Leanne Hill introduced the Childres’ possibility of fostering. The Childres’ prayed about it and felt inspired to bring a child into their home. “Brad and I felt like this was the route God wanted us to go,” says Mandy.
While Mandy and Brad were in the process of training and certification to become foster parents, Leanne approached them and asked them if they’d be willing to consider the next step – adoption. Leanne was confident the child she knew needed a home was a good fit for the Childres family. “Just trust me,” Leanne told them.
The first time Mandy and Brad met eight-year-old Tyler, they took him fishing. “Leanne was right – we loved him immediately. We just did not want to let him go,” says Mandy.
After finalizing Tyler’s adoption, the Childres’ celebrated with a super hero-themed adoption party attended by extended family, Tyler’s classmates and kids from church. “We wanted Tyler to know that this day is almost like a birthday for him,” says Brad.
UMFS Social Worker Ralph Branch, who helped arrange the adoption, also attended the party. “Tyler could not stop smiling and laughing while playing games and being social with his family and friends,” Ralph says. “This is more than a feel-good story of a child finding a forever home – it’s a story of a child finding a forever family.”