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Family grows with addition of Kaylin and Hunter


With their two sons Joshua and Jackson in high school and planning for college, Kristy and Jason Huddle looked to fulfill a life-long dream. It wasn’t early retirement, taking long trips to far away exotic places, or just basking in the thought of being empty nesters. No, they decided to become foster parents. 

“I always wanted to foster,” Kristy says. “When it seemed we would not be able to have children after we married, we thought fostering would be the way to build our family.” 

The college sweethearts have been married 28 years. The weekend after graduation, they pledged their lives to each other on May 18, 1996. They struggled to conceive. Wanting to start a family and being told they would not be able to have children only brought anxiety.

Three years into their marriage, the couple welcomed their first miracle, Joshua. Jackson was born in 2003. Family life was all the couple had dreamed. Fostering was placed in the back of their minds, but not forgotten.

“We were 45 years old when we became licensed foster parents,” Jason says. “We believed it was time to help other children. We believed our home could be a harbor for kids to find healing.”

The couple were optimistic but also keenly aware of the challenges. They made a deal that as they went through the process to be licensed and if either one doubted moving forward, “the deal was off.” But it never happened. They kept moving forward and officially became a Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH) foster family in 2019.

Through the EVERY CHILD Foster & Adopt partnership with NC Baptists, BCH recruits and trains Christian families to become licensed foster care families. Families commit to care for and love a child for a brief or extended period of time with the goal of the child returning to their biological families. When reunification is not possible, the focus shifts towards finding a permanent home for the children. The ultimate goal then becomes adoption.

“Our goal was to be whatever was needed for a child,” Jason says. “Fostering was our goal. Adoption was never our endgame.” The Huddles knew their experiences from raising teenage sons would help them. They turned their attention to fostering older children between the ages of six and 12.

With Jason’s work schedule and the possible need to quickly respond to accepting a child into their home, they decided that Kristy could consent to a placement. A call from BCH’s foster care trainer/licenser made the request for an immediate placement. It was a girl. They were looking for a home that would keep her forever.

“The words just came out of my mouth, ‘We’ll do it,’” Kristy admits. “I just knew.”

There were supposed to be three visits for child and foster family to see if they would be a match. The little girl thought they were respite visits. But the Huddles knew there was so much more at stake.

“It was immediate,” Jason recalls. “We knew that first visit. I didn’t want her to go anywhere else.”

Nine-year-old Kaylin moved in September 2019—after the first visit. By November, Kristy and Jason were talking about adoption. Kaylin thrived. Her trauma play therapist noted after coming into the Huddle’s home, the little girl skipped into her office. She had never witnessed it before and declared, “She is home!” Not long after, Kaylin’s adoption was finalized in 2020.

“We were open to fostering another girl,” Kristy says, “She could share a room with Kaylin. Well, a call came again. We were told about a boy who had just lost his father.”

The couple would need a separate room for the 13-year-old boy. Jackson offered to give the boy his room. He would settle into the den. They decided to meet Hunter.

“He is a great kid,” Kristy says. “There was never a worry about him and Kaylin getting along.”

Hunter moved in December 18, 2020. Two months later, Hunter came to Kristy and Jason with a request: “Will you adopt me?”

“We weren’t expecting it,” Jason remembers. “During the weeks he had lived with us, Hunter only referred to us using pronouns—he, she, him, her.”

The Huddles took Hunter to dinner, just the three of them. Jason told Hunter for them to move forward with adoption, their relationship needed to move forward. Hunter needed to call them something. It didn’t need to be Mom and Dad, but something respectful. Hunter took it to heart, researching the next day, Googling prospective names, and proposed: May May and Chief. It

was a breakthrough. The couple adopted Hunter in June 2021.

Kaylin is now 13 and Hunter is 17. Kaylin is a tumbler and competes nationally on two cheer teams. Hunter is an exceptional bowler, trains regularly, and plays in local leagues. Last year, he bowled two perfect games, averages 200, and last fall discussed playing on the collegiate level.

Kristy and Jason believe their decision to become foster parents was a response to God’s call. It has been affirmed not only in their hearts, but in the lives of Kaylin and Hunter. Adopting older children and offering a path to a brighter future have been life changing.

There's more to the Huddle's story! Read Kaylin's personal story in part 2 and then part 3 to read about a new connection made between Kaylin and her biological mother brings about healing.

NOTE: There are more than 10,000 children in the NC foster care system. Learn how you and your church can be the answer to this incredible need through the EVERY CHILD foster and adopt partnership between Baptist Children's Homes and NC Baptists.  

Written by Jim Edminson, Editor of Charity & Children

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