Thousands of W.Va. children will spend Thanksgiving without a forever home

Published: Nov. 19, 2016 at 10:35 PM EST
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SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va (WSAZ) -- Less than a week until the Thanksgiving holiday, families from across the state gathered at the South Charleston Memorial Ice Arena to celebrate adoption. The families were brought together by the WV Recruitment and Retention Collaborative (R&R).

Saturday is National Adoption Day, and November is National Adoption Month.

The event was designed to recognize families from across West Virginia, who have opened their homes and their hearts to children in foster care and made permanent additions to their families.

"When you hear that the need is so big in the state that convinced us that we really just needed to take the chance," says Rachel Kinder. She works for Mission WV, Inc. and just recently adopted a little boy she and her husband were fostering.

Last year, the couple began fostering the nine month old little boy, who soon after became in need of a permanent family. The adoption process was finalized in October. During the process, Kinder became pregnant with a little girl.

"We went from having no kids to having two kids under two. They're fourteen months apart, so life changed pretty fast," she says.

The couple says their family is now complete but know there are thousands more children across the state in need of a temporary and/or permanent home.

"There are now more than 5,000 children in West Virginia's foster care system," says Kelly Thompson, Associate Director for Mission West Virginia, in a press release.

Mission WV says the need continues to grow for foster parents, especially as the drug problem worsens.

"Every county needs foster parents very badly," Kinder says.

At Saturday's event, families could ice skate and enjoy pizza, snacks and hot chocolate free of charge.

If you are interested in fostering or adoption, Mission WV, Inc. suggests you reach out to them. They can be reached at 1-866-CALL-MWV. You can find their website by clicking on the featured link.