Testimonials from our Families
I could not have chosen a better match in mentors. Nick has amazing patience and a calm demeanor that is perfect for Thomas. Nick always brings new things to try and makes their time fun and engaging. Having one more strong male role model in Thomas’ life has been great! ~ Natalie Hagen
Her listening skills are slowly improving! Working with others and being able to slow down and not run off to other interests has improved! She has nearly no fear and often that can be a struggle, so helping her learn when to slow down and be careful is wonderful! She is opening up and talking more with others, and being involved with Stable Moments has helped her with this! ~Rachel Beasley
❝Our daughter was experiencing nightmares due to the unresolved emotions surrounding her time in foster care. Her love for horses encouraged us to look into equine therapy. Her nightmares have drastically decreased from almost daily to once every few weeks at most! We have also noticed a reduction in her “big emotional” moments where she’s talking things out more instead of just letting her emotions get away from her. She counts down the days between sessions.”
– Becky Borgia
Stable Moments™ has been a blessing to our children from hard places as well as to our entire family. Our two children who work weekly with their committed and caring volunteers are learning they have a place where people and their animals count on their relationship in return. Our family has learned the back stories of these animals’ histories which look a lot like our childrens’ past. They have come to know the deep friendships horses have toward one another which keep their heads above their struggles and how trust, pouring themselves into another, and time all come together in building solid foundations for their own identity and relationships. We love the freedom each of our children (foster, adopted, and biological) all have at the farm. They each are driven toward their interests and have the choice to explore with their time, with gentle guidance and structure. Their volunteers have gone above and beyond offering of themselves, learning our children’s personalities, interests, and needs to further foster a bond they can implement as they naturally end in a place of restoration.
– Steve and Kelly Hopkins
We were looking for an alternative therapeutic program. We specifically wanted something with animals because Shane’s connection with animals was evident. Shane was also obsessed with horses and had loaned every horse book from the school library.
Since joining Stable Moments, Shane has been calmer and more regulated at home. Stable Moments gives him something to look forward to throughout the week. The boys and I feel at home here, understood and accepted. It is so valuable that the staff has knowledge of and understands foster and adoptive children’s trauma and struggles.
– Susan Gage
Our Adoption Story
Ryanne and her brother Grant came to live with us five years ago this October through a private foster situation. They had moved every six months between family members since their birth and unfortunately there were no sober family members left. When they came we knew right away that the children had experienced significant trauma. We promptly began therapy with a local child psychologist. After five months the paternal great-grandparents stepped forward and petitioned to have the children placed with them. We were supportive of family placement but after seven months the great-grandparents asked us to take the children back and adopt them as neither birth parent was working their case plan and the children were spiraling out of control. During the time the children were with the great-grandparents Ryanne’s emotional and behavioral outbursts got significantly worse. She had a psychologist coming to the house three times a week as were social workers. She was completely unstable and violent. Once we got her back we promptly placed her with her previous therapist but there continued to be regression. Soon after she started kindergarten and things got even worse as she became violent with other students and even her teacher. We were able to get her behavior under control at home but as soon as she left our sight she was another person. In July of 2013 we were able to finalize the adoption of her and her brother and hoped the stability would help level her out but we were fearful for her future.
Finding Stable Moments
Once she had had enough school infractions the school took action and threatened to send her to an EBD (emotional/behavioral disorder) classroom which would isolate her from the rest of the school and place stigma on her as a student. We didn’t know what to do. We heard about this program over a year and a half ago from a fellow adoptive friend who also had kids from hard places and felt the program was already benefiting her children. Since we were desperate and traditional therapy methods were ineffective we thought, “Well, what’s the worst that could happen?”
Within a few weeks of joining Stable Moments we noticed a calming in Ryanne. She wasn’t aggressive and seemed to have a longer fuse than before. After a few more weeks the school (which was just three weeks away from placing her in an EBD classroom) reported she was completely obedient in her classroom and had had no infractions. After a few more weeks the school decided to retract the EBD placement and allow her to stay in the mainstream classroom on a probational basis. After school was over and we went through the summer we were concerned that the lack of structure through the summer would trigger her in the new school year. We prepped her new teacher and braced for impact. Here it is nine months later and she hasn’t had a single behavioral incident at school-period. She has maintained straight A’s throughout the year and has also been on the dean’s list consistently for excellence. Ryanne has turned her life around completely since joining Stable Moments and we are forever grateful for Rebecca and Becky for their time, energy and passion for kids from hard places!
I love seeing Ryanne connect with the horses in such a delicate and tender manor. As an adult I find horses very intimidating but seeing the kids walk right up to them and engage with them in friendship and connection is absolutely beautiful! I also love the responsibility they are learning providing care for another creature. I feel this valuable lesson has spilled over into her relationships with friends and family members. Lastly I love seeing the care and time Becky takes in preparing for and facilitating a session with Ryanne. She goes out of her way to bring her special items to work with her horse (hair bows, brushes, hair clips) and also the patience and care in dealing with her. Nothing makes a mother’s heart melt more than seeing her broken children heal in the presence of adults and animals and learn to love again! Thanks Becky for the difference you are making in my little girl’s life!!!
– Laurie C.
We became a foster family for the very first time in the spring of 2013. We still have our very first placement, two little boys ages 3 1/2 and 5 1/2. Upon the boys’ arrival into our home, I immediately saw the need to advocate for healing and assisting the boys to catch up in their developmental milestones. Along our journey, I came across Stable Moments, which immediately jumped out to me because I have witnessed such healing through hippotherapy (equine therapy) for our oldest foster son. Hippotherapy can be used to address a variety of therapeutic needs including physical and occupational therapy. Our little boy loves to take care of his horse in the beginning of each lesson. It’s his favorite part: getting to groom, pet and provide treats. He’s very intrigued by the overall care of the horse and learning about him. He is also drawn to the dogs and mini horses at the barn.
I first learned about Stable Moments in the fall. Perhaps my favorite part was meeting with Rebecca Miller, the director. She immediately understood my desire to advocate for the boys. Her professional background as a Post Adoption Case Manager, working with children adopted out of states custody and their adoptive parents combined with her knowledge of horses, is a perfect fit for Stable Moments. I have also learned a lot about caring for our boys through the very process of learning to observe and connect with a horse. It’s all nonverbal and it takes patience on the part of the boys to observe first, before other interactions. My first instinct is to always jump in and “fix” as a mom. It’s a new tool in my tool box to help our boys.
We have been a part of Stable Moments for three months. Our boys are provided with an opportunity to take care of animals. It’s their favorite part. It’s an additional opportunity to learn about trusting adults. Arriving at Stable Moments each week is a wonderful chance for the boys to feel a part of something special. They are called by name and welcomed. Belonging matters to these boys and this is one very important place to them.
Along the way, I have gotten to personally know the founders and leaders invested in the success of Stable Moments. They bring a knowledge of children and of the natural way they are designed to learn. Additionally they bring a variety of experiences of working with children who come from hard places. Our oldest foster son will talk for days after visits about his conversations of nocturnal animals or the way a spider weaves it’s web. He tells me he learns it from his volunteer.
My daughter has gone with us each week too. She is 10 years old and has also been really drawn to learning about horses and animals you find on a farm. She looks forward to being old enough to be trained as volunteer for Stable Moments. As a family of 7 with a busy suburban life, the drive to and visiting the farm is a great time to rest and be with each other. It provides great opportunities for us to talk and enjoy each other’s company. There is a little something for everyone even if it’s just enjoying watching the way the sun sets. It’s important for us to find ways to connect with other families on a similar journey and friends who understand. Everyone wants to feel like they belong. It really matters. We all feel like we belong at Stable Moments!