Posted on Aug 14, 2014
By Ellie Laks, Founder of The Gentle Barn
This week, we had forty-five foster children brought in by The Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS), who have been in the system for a while and are hoping for forever homes. They came to The Gentle Barn to have their picture taken in the hopes that the pictures will help them get adopted. They were all so beautiful!
These children had so much in common with our animals and related to the animals’ stories of being abandoned, abused, neglected, and homeless. The children got to hug the cows and feel unconditional love, feed the horses and feel the confidence of overcoming their trepidations, cuddle with the pigs and feel warmth and acceptance, and hang out with the sheep and goats and make new friends.
All the animals at The Gentle Barn came from horrible circumstances and have gotten a second chance at life and now have a family and a home with us. This week, the animals served as inspiration to the kids that they, too, can have second chances, a home, and a family. As one of the visiting boys cuddled with our cow, Faith, who was taken away from her mom when she was born, he said: “Just because your mom and dad can't be there for you doesn't mean someone else can't help you!”
Over the years of doing this work, we have learned that there are needy animals and people everywhere, and there are also miracles every day. It is up to us to be kind and gentle! We can be heroes every day, wherever we go. We can do big things like adopt a child or an animal, but we can also put food out for a homeless cat, or stop when we see a dog in the road and help, or give some change to a homeless person, or just offer a smile to someone we pass by on the street. Of course, one of the biggest ways we can make a difference and be a hero is to adopt a plant based diet which saves an acre of trees and 198 animals every year. We must be the peace we wish to see in the world. It starts with us!
Written by Ellie Laks
Founder, The Gentle Barn