Matthias is 12 years old, he is at his third school and doesn’t know any of his classmates.

He had to go to the doctor for a physical and, even though he is 12 and a little big for his age, he was a little scared to go because he didn’t know the doctor. Matthias is in foster care.

So, he is sleeping in a new bed, has to remember where his new address is and, as a pre-teen, he has to try and make friends quickly. On the good side of his story are the Parkers. A family in Fairmont with two kids of their own but just enough space in their home for Mattias. I could stop there, but here is some more information for you. The last two times he has seen his mom has been at court hearings. He has not seen his little sister Sarah since June 2015.

For a child in foster care, when families like the Parkers open up their home, sometimes families don’t understand why the foster child just doesn’t “fit in” or why, even though they feed and clothe the child “something’s just not right.”

Here is some of what I have learned about foster children. Many of them do not understand why they have to leave their parents, even when their parents have abused them, neglected them or even abandoned them.

So, they show up at a stranger’s house, with a few little things from home and they, because of their parents’ actions, have their lives turned upside down. I cannot imagine going to a different school, have to live by a stranger’s rules and adapt to new surroundings while in the back of your mind you wonder “what did I do wrong?” “When is my mom coming to get me?” “Why can’t I just go home?”

While I encourage you to feel bad for them, I do not want you to count them out. Because they have champions in their corners. They have amazing folks like the Parkers! They have folks who have gone through background checks, taken classes to learn how to work through some of the issues they are about to face bringing a foster child into their homes and believe me, people like the Parkers, they are ready to help in every way they can.

I know some people are cringing at the thought of bringing someone else’s child into your home. Maybe you are thinking “I’d love to help, but I don’t know where to start.”

Well, I have good news! There are agencies, right here in Marion County, that can answer your questions and if you get brave enough to try it, they can lead you through the process.

Here is a list of the agencies in our area:

Blueprints: 304-363-5863

1800 Locust Ave.

Fairmont, WV 26554

Necco Foster Care: 681-404-3777

503 Morgantown Ave. Suite 205

Fairmont, WV 26554

WV Youth Advocate Program: 304-366-5832

909 Morgantown Ave.

Fairmont, WV 26554

Don’t worry that you may not have enough room in your house for a foster child. Worry if you have a big enough heart to overcome the problems they face.”

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