"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened" -Dr. Seuss
Things are a lot quieter at Baby Goat Central these days. Most of the 2016 rescued babies have found their forever homes. The ones still here have been weaned and are now living as one herd with Nicky and Nitro. They're learning to be big kids and growing up fast. The bottle feeding supplies and baby playgrounds are all in storage for the winter and the quiet, I'll admit, it's hard to get used to. It certainly isn't boring around here, Nicky and Nitro make sure of that but it's certainly calmer. We have a routine, something you simply just can't establish for more than a few days at a time during baby season. Change is the name of the game all spring and summer. Now, we get a bit of a "break" before it all starts again in a few short months. But the goings here, they're getting harder. Everyone always asks how I can let them go? How do I do it? Raise these little ones from days, if not hours old and then let them go? There are times, like this morning, I wonder that too.
Today, two of Baby Goat Central's favorite kids of the year were off to their forever home. I always hate to use the word favorite, because I truly love every little one that comes through BGC but there are some I get more attached to than others. P&B, I was very, very attached to and most of BGC's volunteers will tell you, P&B were their favorites. How could you not fall in love with these sweet little lamanchas with the most amazing eyelashes? How could you not be charmed by Petrie's head tilt when you talked to him or by Beaker's excited tail wag every time you touched him? As the BGC herd has gotten smaller, P&B came into their own, their personality's flourished. They started mimicking Nicky and Nitro in all their goofy ways, I always say "Lamancha see, Lamancha do." It was so true with these kids. They loved to snuggle and play and were defiently "mama's boys."
As one of BGC's volunteers says, we're selfishly sad. She is so right. I am sad for me, that I don't get to be greeted by their bright eyes and wagging tails each morning, that I won't get Beaker snuggles to start every day, that this little farm just won't feel the same without them. That Nicky and Nitro won't have their playmates anymore. Watch out baby Obers, you're next in line for that role! But just as I was for all the others that have left, I am so happy that they have a home all their own and such an amazing one at that. As soon as we met their new family and saw the amazing home they've created for them, we knew, this was P&B's home. It was their turn.
It is hard to see them go. It's as simple as that. From the time they arrive, I become mom. They are my babies. But there are so many more babies that need saving and that time starts again in just a few short months. So yes, I shed some tears today but mostly, I smiled because my life and the life of BGC was so much better because P&B got to be raised here. I drove 6 hours round trip shortly after they were born to save their lives and mine has been so much better for it. Now, I get to share that love and happiness with another family.
Among all the comings and goings there is one constant, Nicky and Nitro, aka "The Minis." Part of why I love having adopted these two crazy lamanchas last year is that there are two here that will never leave. "The Minis" thrive on all the activity here, they are the perfect Lamancha ambassadors when adopters visit and I would say they have fully embraced their big brother role. For me, I need those two as much as they need me. They make days like these a little easier.
So how do we do it? Happy endings like the one that happened today. Amazing, loving, invested and excited families adopting our babies and giving them a loving forever home. By placing all of the lives we save each year, we get to save that many more the next year. Every baby that leaves takes a little piece of my heart but seeing how happy their new family was today, makes my heart so full.
Today was bittersweet, adoption days always are. Days like this, it's good to be reminded of the wise words of Dr. Seuss and smile because it happened.