Williams/Kingston Story

Williams/Kingston Story

Surrounding vulnerable children, and the families who support them, with caring communities.

Scott Kingston and his wife Carrie have two biological sons, David (15) and Sam (13), and an adopted daughter, Keyvalin (11). After adopting Keyvalin from Guatemala in 2007, Scott and Carrie had the opportunity to return there on multiple medical outreach trips with their church. Carrie also had the opportunity to be a part of missions teams to Peru and Kenya. These trips had a life-changing impact on both of them, and they began to pray about and consider long-term missions opportunities. In 2012, they began their journey and eventually worked in leadership roles at two orphanages in Guatemala. While great work was being done with children at both of these orphanages, it became clear that even the best orphanage is a poor substitute for growing up in a family. Scott and Carrie began to re-orient their work towards making the orphanage a more transitional living arrangement for the children, with an emphasis on foster care until family reunification became a possibility, and adoption where reunification was not a possibility. The goal was to work with organizations that were engaging churches in Guatemala to be part of the solution by raising up and supporting foster and adoptive families. As they were beginning this shift in ministry focus, extended family health issues led to them to make the decision to return home. Upon returning to the United States, they moved to Wild Rose, WI (population 720) because they had a cabin there and Scott’s work afforded him the opportunity to live anywhere in the state. Even though they were no longer in Guatemala, Scott and Carrie continued to feel the tug of their calling to work with vulnerable children.

Bruce Williams and his wife Stephanie have two biological sons, Caleb (15) and Cavan (14), and an adopted daughter, Clare (11). After adopting Clare from Guatemala in 2006, they considered growing their family again through international adoption, but after years of prayer and consideration decided that God was calling them to become licensed as foster-to-adopt parents through the special needs adoption program in Wisconsin. In 2014 Bruce and Stephanie met Emmanuel (14) who at the time was in foster care in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. About one year later the Williams family received a call from a caseworker in Milwaukee informing them that the placement of Emmanuel’s two younger biological brothers had been disrupted, Elijah (12) and Jonah (11). Their family continued to grow about a year later when they received a similar phone about the boys’ older biological brother (16) who joined the family in 2016. In addition to this already unique family make-up, Bruce and Stephanie also have opened their home to a senior student within the school district who needed a place to live during his final semesters in high school. In June of 2017 The Williams Family officially became larger when the adoptions of Emmanuel, Elijah, and Jonah were finalized.

About a month after moving to Wild Rose, Scott and Carrie met Stephanie, who was David’s teacher, at school orientation. They had an immediate connection because of their adopted daughters’ shared age and heritage. Over the course of the year, the Kingstons and Williams got to know one another and had multiple conversations about their mutual passion for vulnerable children. The Williams’ experience over the previous three years was incredibly challenging, and they came to understand why many licensed foster parents only foster once and then are done.

Scott and Bruce began to explore ways that they could help foster children. Their goal was to try to find the area of greatest need. They spoke to foster families, caseworkers and many Christian organizations around the country that work in foster care. Many of these organizations focus on recruiting foster families. However, it became clear that the biggest need was to support existing families to keep them fostering longer. Over 50% of foster families stop fostering after their first placement, and many request that placements be terminated. These families are often unprepared and unsupported, which puts the foster children at tremendous risk for disrupted placements.

They were eventually connected with two ministries in metro Atlanta that focus on supporting foster families – Fostering Together at North Point Community Church and Live The Promise from Promise686. These ministries surround foster families with a Care Community and they’ve seen tremendous success keeping families fostering stronger, achieving positive permanency for children! Since 2013, Live The Promise has been establishing a network of churches throughout Georgia and surrounding states; beginning with ten churches and now 120 churches strong. Scott and Bruce have twice been to Atlanta to learn from these leaders and receive formal training from Live The Promise. They are affiliated with Live The Promise in order to utilize their proven model of church engagement and their educational materials.