By Matthew Saari

In but a few short days it will be Mother’s Day, and everyone will be taking mom out to breakfast or lunch, perhaps gifting her a flower and a present, all for the purpose of celebrating the woman who brought us into this world and cared for us throughout childhood.
But what about those children who are separated from their mother due to unfortunate circumstances; who do they have to thank and recognize?
Wendi Klobknock.
A resident of Granville, she has been a foster parent for 15 years, a mom for 50 or more children in foster care.
And by all accounts, she’s doing a stellar job.
“She’s an excellent foster parent, she’s been doing it for years,” said Kelly Talback, home-finder for Berkshire Farm Center and Services for Youth, the organization that’s contracted by Washington County Social Services to place children in foster care.
Klobknock’s reasoning for getting involved in foster care is simple, straightforward and pure.
“My mom always said to give back,” she said. “I was amazed at how many kids are out there that need good homes.”
While some people may find it difficult to provide love and care to a child not their own, Klobknock said she can relate to their difficulties, having grown up in a rough neighborhood in Yonkers.
Not only has Klobknock fostered more than four dozen children, she’s adopted two into her household and is on her way to adopting a third child.
Perhaps the most important and convincing testimony of Klobknock’s care and support as a foster parent is that even if the children weren’t adopted, several have continued to stay in touch and correspond with Klobknock and her husband, Michael.
Talback said that not only has Klobknock been caring for kids for more than a decade, she’s completely willing to accept pre-teen and teenage boys, something of a rarity in the foster parent community.
“A lot of people don’t want to take in teenagers,” said Talback. “I think when they get involved in foster care, they think of younger children and babies.”
Klobknock was kind enough to share not only why she’s so successful with the kids but also why she’s willing to go where most foster parents aren’t willing to go.
“I like the challenge and I can relate to some of their issues,” she said. “I try to talk to them…I don’t judge and I don’t look down on them.”
Although some of the days are admittedly tough, Klobknock said when she’s finally able to make the kids see what’s available in life, it’s more than worth it.
“I don’t like to give up and I don’t give up easily,” she said. “When you manage to reach them and show them there’s better out there…once they learn they can change…it’s amazing.”
Unfortunately there is always a need for foster parents throughout the county, with many of the foster homes at maximum capacity, Talback said.
Anyone interested in becoming a foster parent can contact Talback at 380-3992 or via email at [email protected] or visit www.berkshirefarm.org for further information.
But at least Klobknock has no intention of retiring any time soon.
“I’ll do it as long as I possibly can,” she said.

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