WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A Wichita man is using his difficult past to inspire other people’s futures.
“You can have happiness in your life and really life is what you put into it,” said Clint Parker.
Parker, 46, did not have an ideal childhood.
“My mom was a single mom. She had two boys working two jobs, so she didn’t really have anywhere for us to go,” Parker said.
Parker’s dad was not in the picture.
“He was an alcoholic,” he said.
Parker and his brother spent the majority of their time at a neighbor’s house. The neighboring family eventually took the two kids in when they were toddlers.
“We didn’t really know that anything was different other than that we knew our mom and dad wasn’t around much,” he said.
Parker lived with his neighbors until he was in the 7th grade.
“At that time, started rebelling a little bit,” Parker said. “Started getting into drugs. Just hanging out with friends on the streets. I decided that I wanted to move in with my mom because I had more freedom with her, so I did. Then, I started getting into trouble.”
At just 13 years old, Parker was arrested.
“Found myself getting arrested multiple times,” he said. “One night we were in an abandoned home, guns pointed at us because the cops didn’t know who we were, what we were doing.”
After several arrests, Parker said he was given a choice: go to juvenile detention or go to a children’s home in Nebraska. He chose to go to Cornhuskers Christian Children’s Home.
“It was actually a relief for me because I didn’t have that structure that I wanted and that I needed, so for me, I was in a good place there,” Parker said.
The children’s home housed about two-dozen boys and girls. Parker lived with several foster families during his time on the ranch.
“We ate dinner together. We did activities together,” he said.
Parker said he credits the children’s home and his multiple foster families for having a positive influence on his life.
“That right there saved me tremendously, gave me the faith that I have, the foundation that I have,” he said.
At age 17, Parker moved in with his father in Oklahoma and graduated from an area high school. Not long after that, Parker’s life was flipped upside down.
“At 18, he set me down and he told me he wasn’t my biological dad,” Parker explained.
Parker did not meet his biological father until he was 28 years old.
“He thought at the time it was better that he stay away also,” Parker explained.
Parker went on to have a family of his own. He started a business and found success. Now, he is working full time while writing a book inspired by his childhood.
“I just want someone to read it and say, ‘OK, he understands what I am going through, so I’ve got that hope that I can make something happen,'” he said.
Parker is about halfway done with his book. He recently sent it to an editor to go through. He hopes to have a publishing date set toon.
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