Blog written by Sarah Klapstein
Tomorrow is adoption day. One that is always bittersweet for me, this one especially. This one was a year in the making.
If you don't know Renata's story, I'll make a long story as short as I can. A year ago I received a text from one of the dairies we work with about a mom and her two boys, just one week old. The ligaments in her udder had given out after years of breeding and milking and she could no longer be milked. Our farms were full, so full, but one of our fosters agreed to take her and the boys in. As soon as Barbara picked her up she called me and said she couldn't go to the foster, she needed more TLC and medical attention than we thought so she and her babies were coming to Baby Goat Central. Not only did she have a dropped udder, she had an infected growth in one of her feet, she was incredibly thin and one of her babies had been sick. It was clear, she needed us far more than we knew. When they pulled into BGC and I opened the truck, I was in love. Train wreck that she was, I was in love.
Renata trusted me immediately, something she doesn't do easily I have learned this past year. Her and I developed a bond, one that would prove to be so important to get her through all she has been through this past year, recovering from all she has endured, including a toe amputation Dr. P had to do earlier this year. Her boys, Duke & Duncan are as friendly as bottle babies. At almost a year old they still nurse from their Mama and still think they are lap babies. We say they are Great Danes who think they are Chihuahuas. Everyone falls head over heels for Duke & Duncan. Every volunteer at BGC. Every potential adopter. I have always said I wanted a home for Renata that loved the family for her. A home where it was about her and her kids were a bonus. Not a home where it was about the boys and she was the sidekick that had to come along. I knew finding that home wouldn't be easy.
This past winter a lovely family expressed interest in Renata & the boys and made a long drive to meet them and all of our adoptable goats to add to their farm family. A very sweet, generous and rescue minded family that has a number of rescued animals who have found sanctuary at their big, beautiful farm. But when they made the trip to visit, it was clear to us all, it was not Renata & the boys time. They instead adopted 7 goat kids, a sheep and a turkey! In the weeks that followed we made the decision to have Renata's toe amputated as we could not get the infection in it to go away. A few other families were interested in them in the months that followed but I always got the feeling it wasn't their time yet. They weren't the right homes.
Even with Renata physically finally ready for a forever home, it wasn't until recently that I got that unexplainable feeling that they were ready, it was their time. She has been my biggest recovery project here at Baby Goat Central. It has been a year of one thing after another and she has been such a trooper. The past few weeks I have finally felt that my job is done. It's time for their next chapter. Renata has recovered from every procedure, she has gained a lot of weight and a shiny, healthy coat. She has learned that bananas are the best treat ever. She has learned and responds to her name as well as her nickname "Big Mama". She perfectly stands for her frequent hoof trims to keep her walking as best as possible now that she is minus one toe. She adores her boys and me and her favorite volunteers who bring her bananas. She is healthy, she is happy and she has embraced the fact that she is now free to just be and live her life with her boys. My job is done.
We've stayed in touch with this family and when the need arose for them to re-home two sheep with us (more on that tomorrow) they had room to adopt some more goats, something they had been thinking about doing for awhile. They asked about Renata. Kate hadn't forgotten about her. I knew, without a doubt, that this is the forever home they were meant to have. When it all became official, there were tears, happy tears. A year after they arrived, my job was done and the next chapter was ready to be written.
As hard as it is for me to say goodbye and as different as BGC will feel after tomorrow, I could not be happier about their new home. This is what I have wanted for this family all along. Words can not express my gratitude to Kate & her family for adding Renata & her little family to theirs. I know they will love them just as much as I do.
It has been a long road this past year but it has led to a truly amazing home with a truly wonderful family. Now to go get in some more snuggles with the family tonight, they have a big day ahead tomorrow!