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Brooke and Micha Foster

We all know someone whose life has been impacted by drugs. Parents going crazy trying to change a young person’s life around. They continue to hang out with the folks that got them there in the first place. I have had parents tell me they wish they could send their troubled youth to a special school or rehab, but they are just barely making it, and there is no extra money for the help that might surely turn a life around.

Unfortunately, sometimes, because a parent loves their child so much, they can’t see the forest for the trees. It is heartbreaking to see a life wasted. I remember a teacher, whose opinion I value telling me, “Did you see the young man on the front page of the paper? I had him in my class. He was very bright, and charismatic. The other kids would follow him, down the right path, or the wrong one. Unfortunately, he chose the wrong path. Now he is going to prison.”

Some parents have enough money that they can send their young person to a rehab place in another state. They bite the bullet financially, spend a lot of money, and ask you for prayers. In all cases, the desperation the adults face is painful to watch. I had a friend tell me, “Oh, my son would never do drugs.” Oh yeah? Try heroin. The drugs that are available for kids now are nothing we older folks ever had to deal with. Lord knows the schools are constantly harping and warning the kids to stay off drugs. Some kids listen, some just flush themselves down the toilet with drugs.

There’s some hope on the horizon. Plans are underway to develop Fostering Life Youth Ranch. Micha and Brooke Foster believe they can make a difference. They have plenty of experience, they have seven kids total, five are adopted. They got plenty of training through the Children’s Youth and Family Department. They have spent six years with adopted children.

They have ended up homeschooling their kids. Their oldest daughter begged mom to home school for two years before Brooke finally gave in to her daughters wishes. In dealing with young people, they have noticed that the outdoors has a calming effect on all of us. The Foster’s have a plan to create a ranch with plenty of emphasis on the outdoors. Hiking, camping, gardening, caring for animals, are all things that will build self confidence and a sense of purpose. Scientific studies have shown that physical health and fitness have a beneficial effect on mental wellbeing.

There will be an emphasis on the Gospel. A licensed therapist will help young people look at their lives, see how they got there and figure out what will help them deal with the difficulties in life. Some of the life skills that will be taught are, gardening, budgeting, renting apartments, and how to maintain healthy relationships. Job skill building will consist of gardening, cooking and food preparation plus commercial kitchen job skills and customer relations. Since Micha and Brooke run Puppy Kuts Pet Boutique, the young people will be allowed to volunteer and be involved in a business.

Other aspects of health and training will involve exercise and yoga and cardio, nutrition and cooking classes, whole food diet, western and holistic medicine and my favorite, animal assisted therapy and equine therapy.

The plans for this ranch include cattle, ducks, chickens, pigs and bee hives. They will grow their own food and donate or sell the excess, all the while, young people developing life skills and learning the joy of a drug free world. Recreation will be hiking, camping, trails, and excursions to national monuments.

Micha and Brooke Foster are striving to provide a service very much needed in Artesia. Micha has had his own personal experience with drugs… but that’s for another Sunday paper.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Contact Kathy Kolt at [email protected])