american cowgirl #17neenah thomas - louisianaour cowgirl ambassadorfor foster care & adoption
Photo image selected for the painting
american cowgirl #17neenah thomas - louisianarolling t ranch
the painting “ American cowgirl #17 - neenah thomas - louisiana ”
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photo & canvas IMAGES ofamerican cowgirl #17
american cowgirl #17neenah thomas - louisiana
Neenah and her husband Vernon, own and manage their Rolling T Ranch just outside of Amite, Louisiana. Here they breedand raise performance Quarter Horses, specializing in proven barrel horse bloodlines. They stand Firen Bugs, a palomino grandsonof Firewater Flit out of a Bugs Alive in 75 mare.
I grew up in Robert, Louisiana, a small town an hour north of New Orleans. I guess you could say horses are in my blood. My grandfather was a Mounted Marshal of Grand Isle, Louisiana, and later moved to Robert, Louisiana, where he boarded racehorses. My dad grew up helping run this family business..
By the time I came along my grandfather was elderly, and the big barn was empty, but it was a wonderful playground, and it fueled my dreams. I was in love with horses as farback as I can remember, and after begging my parents for my own horse for years, Ifinally got one at the age of ten.
That began a lifelong love of horses and the western lifestyle. I developed a passion for barrel racing, and after getting married, my husband and I began breeding and training our own horses. We now stand a stallion as well as raise and sell foals.
I’m now a full time wife, mother, foster mom as well as ranch manager, bookkeeper,ranch hand, driver, cleaning lady, and sometimes cook. When time allows, I still love to barrel race. I feel so blessed to live this life!
When my daughter started kindergarten, she made friends with a little boy which led to our families becoming very good friends. Little did we know, they had adopted him through foster care as an infant. About 5 years later, the state unexpectedly contacted our friends because their son’s little brother had come into state custody and despite being an infant, there were no available foster homes.
This led them on a very rough journey that spanned several years but ended happily with them adopting their second son. Our eyes were opened to the great need for foster parents in our state and our country.
In January of 2019, I felt a very strong sense of urgency to go ahead and become a certified foster parent. Not knowing why I felt this, my husband and I obeyed. We went through the process of becoming certified foster parents and began praying for the child that would be placed with us. That summer we received a call to place an infant with us who had been born drug addicted. The list of problems that baby endured while in the NICU is long and very serious, BUT GOD!
Since we brought him home, he has been amazingly healthy and has brought so much joy to our lives. The foster care system is nowhere near perfect, but the role foster parents play in a child’s life is so important. These children are only removed from their biological parents for the most serious forms of abuse and neglect because the system is very overloaded. A positive influence, love and stability from foster parents may be the first they’ve known and has a scientifically proven, positive impact on their futures.
There are over 400,000 foster children in the United States and not nearly enough loving people willing to foster them. Over 100,000 have already had their parental rights terminated due to extreme circumstances and are in need of adoptive families. Through no fault of their own, these children are placed in state custody and many have endured things most of us can hardly stand to imagine. While foster care and adoption through foster care is full of unknowns and many ups and downs, so is life. At the end of the day, they are just children desperately in need of safe, loving homes.
WHY I BELIEVE
NEENAH THOMAS was on-boarded into the line-up as American Cowgirl #17 on may 28, 2015. PHOTOSHOOT DATESLOCATIONS August 21, 2016ROLLIN’ T RANCH - AMITE, LOUISIANA August 22 2016 ROLLIN’ T RANCH - AMITE, LOUISIANA August 23, 2016 ROLLIN’ T RANCH - AMITE, LOUISIANAThe actual image which was THE inspiration for NEENAH’s painting was taken at the ROLLIN’ T Ranch, AMITE, LOUISIANA.
neenah shares whowas the inspiration inher cowgirl way of life