After 5 years in foster care, Whessyn has a family of his own

His adoptive father says Whessyn has been a great addition to the family, and they recently took a vacation to California and a few other states.
Published: Aug. 2, 2023 at 9:33 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) When we first met Whessyn more than two years ago, he was belting out bars of raps he wrote himself. This funny and creative teenager loves music and spent more than five years in foster care. “Two thousand one hundred thirty-four days,” he said.

Not all of it was great. In fact, it was pretty tough at times if you ask Whessyn. But now he is looking past that. “Happy, relieved that you’re not in DCS anymore. You are finally home.” Now he has a new family to call his own, a creative bunch that made him feel right at home.

“I remember being at pastor and leader school in Dream City Church in Phoenix,” Mikel Swank said. He’s Whessyn’s new adoptive father and the creative director at C3 Church in Cottonwood. While at pastor leadership school, Swank learned about foster care and the great need for good foster and adoptive parents in Arizona.

“They had this whole presentation on foster care, and I knew right then God was calling me to do that; to get off my butt and to get this done,” Swank said. He took his classes and got certified through the state, eventually adopting a son and then James and Eymyn, Whessyn’s new brothers.

When Whessyn and Mikel met through adoption recruiters, the two found they had a lot in common. “He likes creativity, theater, church and music and all of that,” Whessyn said.

Mikel said Whessyn has been a great addition to the family, and they recently took a vacation to California and a few other states. He also says adoption is worth it, even through tough times with teenagers who have spent years in group homes or with negligent parents.

“They are still building that trust,” he said. “Thinking you’re going to give me up, ‘I’ve been in foster care, I’m just waiting for it to happen again.’ It just takes this consistency and that non-stop love.”

Whessyn said he is building that trust, and he is also tapping into his creative side here at the church. He, along with his brothers, has been an integral part of a large number of musical productions Mikel produces.

Whessyn said he is getting used to his new surroundings but added having a consistent and safe place to call home means a lot. The same goes for calling the people around him family.

“It felt good to know I could call him dad,” he said. “And he actually sees ... and I can mean it, and he knows I mean it.”

To find out about other Arizona foster children waiting for a safe and loving home, contact Aid to Adoption of Special Kids at (602) 930-4900 or email You can also visit the Children’s Heart Gallery.

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