Local family advocates for foster care involvement

ASHLAND, Ky. (KT) – Rose Hill Baptist Church Pastor Matt Shamblin is proud to be host for the Uniting Kentucky event that focuses on the more than 9,500 children across the state who are in out-of-home care.

Shamblin and wife Chrissy, who have been foster parents to 10 children, understand the need – and the absolute joy – that comes with it.

Even before they knew each other, the Shamblins knew they wanted to be adoptive parents.

“We got married and wanted biological children and adoptive children,” he said. “We started having trouble getting pregnant. It was really not a major deal because we knew we wanted to adopt too. It was always Plan A for us. Then we found out the massive cost of adoption.”

Shamblin said they later learned “in a very casual conversation” that you can adopt at no cost through foster care.

A man at a church where they were serving who was the former CEO of a hospital in West Virginia had fostered more than 200 children. “He became a mentor for us through foster care,” Shamblin said. “Foster care is a great need.”

The mission of Kentucky first lady Glenna Bevin’s initiative is to bring churches, people of faith and community partners together to better understand the issue and become involved. Her plan has three main goals:

–Recruiting quality foster parents to care for the needs of children in care.

–Enlisting adoptive parents for children in need of a forever family.

–Calling on communities to come together with foster children and foster parents with support.

Shamblin, a former state director for evangelism in West Virginia, said he invited West Virginia Mission, a foster care organization, with him when he spoke at churches. They set up a display showing the needs of children who can be adopted …

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