What folks become adoptive parents for our vulnerable babies – and what does that mean?
We birth a large number of lambs on pasture every year (nearly 1400 in the past couple of years). With all those babies, there are inevitably troubles. We ‘rescue’ from our own flock those who just won’t thrive:
• Smallest of triplets
• Mud-puddle babies
• Hypothermic lambs whose moms just can’t cope
• An occasional ‘reject’ neglected by its mom
We invite members of the public to do a virtual adoption. For only $50 they choose a name, receive birth announcements and photos and are welcomed to visit and cuddle while that lamb is with us, before it retires to its more permanent home near Kingston.
Our adoptive parents range in age from 3 to 84 years old
People give a gift of the adoption option for bridal showers, for wedding anniversaries, a wedding gift and for a child’s birthday. It was a surprise gift for the director of Loving Spoonful in Kingston, and as an auction item to help that group raise funds. Lambs have been adopted by Holt Renfrew staff, school groups, knitting stores like Yarns Untangled, and craft clubs. (“Darn it Purl” club was named after our first adopted lamb 2 years ago.)
The lambs in turn have helped burned out teachers, a person struggling with Chemo treatment effects, and a child with advanced physical ailments. People with special needs – in wheelchairs, or who are vision or hearing impaired are often the most sensitive visitors. The lambs tune in beautifully to those who are autistic, have C.P. or other challenges.
The names have been chosen in tribute to a departed loved one, for loved grandkids, and for the playful, joyful sound of it. We’ve had Arabic, Icelandic, French, Hungarian and Spanish names.
A couple of our favourite names? Llama, Dolly Lamba, Lambert and Wooliam.
A loving dad purchased the first adoption for his 10-year-old daughter last September, even though the lambs aren’t due until the second week of May, because he knew how happy it would make her.
We number each adoption until it receives its name, and crochet a different coloured chest and belly band, so each lamb can be easily identified. Our blackboard helps our staff keep track of who is who. The bands are made from our own pure wool coloured yarns.
One endearing 8-year-old has adopted lamb #14 with his own earned $50. He has written several times asking good questions. While waiting to meet his lamb, he’s learned to knit with our yarn. Families encourage the farm by discovering the wool bedding and sheepskin treasures available in our Wool Shed.
The generous adoptive parents who support our foster lambs enable us to nurture and save these, the most vulnerable of our flock. A few parents have returned each year for three years. We’re grateful.
Topsy Farms, Connect to the Land