|The doctors said he wasn’t a viable pregnancy.They weren’t sure if he would ever walk.Or if his body would ever tolerate any good by mouth.The school system said he couldn’t learn to read. He has proven them all wrong.Saturday we get to help him with yet another 1st.His first true birthday party.He is turning 8. This boy, his education, his life, his birthday.The animals who help him and other kids like him see that their stories, their diagnosis’s, the things that make them different… those things have power, they are worthy, they can help them change the world. Watching Caleb talk to his friends about Peaches, our bulldog with swimmers syndrome and underdeveloped hips/back legs, who understands what it is like to not be able to keep up with friends, is heartwarming.Watching him help feed Thomas, our 8 month old Great Dane puppy, who shares a diagnosis and takes the same medicine as him is inspiring.But last week, in the midst of a second grade field trip of over 100 kids, I walked up to check on him and heard words that brought me to tears, “I’m in second grade too, but I go to farm school, normal school wasn’t safe for me, but everyone here makes sure I can stay safe. Just like they do for all our animals, even this baby, Izzy, she’s six weeks old and blind, she wouldn’t be safe with other baby cows, but she’s safe here, like me. We’re friends. The animals will be your friends too!”|
|There are some moments around here where the entire world feels like it stops spinning.I was wiping away tears.Holding space for this young lady and her feelings. Watching as she reached out to touch Penny, our pregnant potbelly pig, rescued less than two months ago with a wire coming out of her snot. Brought to us starving and scared by our friends, the trappers. We were unsure if the babies would make it, but from the looks of her growing belly they are thriving. “Penny wants me here. I can tell.” She said, through tears of her own. “I don’t know if anyone has ever wanted me before. Not when I’m like this.” Her arms covered in scars from self harming.Later I would find out she started cutting at age seven, as a way to redirect the excruciating pain she was feeling inside to something concrete.The abuse had started at four.She really didn’t know anything different. Watching her sit with Penny was moving.Calmly, with her hand on her belly, feeling the babies growing inside of her.Knowing she needed to gain her trust, so that when the babies came, she could help. “I don’t have to do anything but sit with her. I can cry or talk. Tell her my secrets or say nothing at all. But she is just glad I’m here. That she’s not alone. Right here, doing nothing, I matter.”|
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