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RICHMOND, Ky. (WTVQ) – In the bluegrass state there are over 8,000 children in foster care and 800 currently up for adoption. There is always a need for foster parents and that’s why the Kentucky Foster and Adoptive Care Association brought caregivers and families together in Richmond.

Being a foster parent is about more than being a caregiver it’s about changing a childs life. Mason Jessie says he is the person he is today because of his foster parents.

Jessie says he hasn’t seen his foster mom Melinda McGuire in over 20 years. Today, he saw her when people in Richmond are celebrating the importance of foster families.

“It is always there, again, you give a part of your heart and that goes with them and its amazing to know that we did our job in making him comfortable and felling like he was home.”

Growing up, Jessie says he and his sister were put in the system after a bad custody battle between his parents. He says when he was 15, his mother killed his sister, then herself.

“You know I already had years of experience of not being able to be a child, so I unloaded all this baggage on him and he was in a relationship at the time and they weren’t emotionally ready to deal with what I had to offer.”

He said the McGuire’s gave him the best gift a kid could have.

“Because I cherish it, it was a grand time, for the first time in my life I got to be excatly what i was, a kid.”

Now, because of that gift, he’s able to show the woman who changed his life just what he has to thank her for.

“Just to know what a great young man he has turned out to be.”

If you would like to learn more about becoming a foster parent you can visit www.kfaca1988.org.

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