In the town of Meeker in Northwest Colorado, a Project 1.27 family is making a huge impact in the foster care and adoption world. Rich and Beth Ford started their family with four biological girls. They looked into becoming foster parents while living in Elizabeth, CO but realized quickly it wasn’t the time or season. Several years later, they moved to Meeker, Beth’s hometown. Rich had grown up in nearby Craig, and Northwest Colorado felt like home to them both. Almost empty nesters at this point, they were walking around their new home one day, and Beth thought, “Wouldn’t this be a great place for kids to grow up?”
Fourteen days later, the Fords received a phone call asking if they would take care of their great-nephews, who were 2.5 and 18 months at the time. Beth and Rich said yes to the kinship placement. The boys’ mother was pregnant at the time, so eight months later, the third boy came to live with them, too. Two years later, they finalized the adoption of the three boys.
After welcoming other children into their home, including a sibling set of five, the Fords decided to encourage others to get involved. “We realized there was a huge need right in our own backyard,” Rich remembers. Children were being placed with families as far as Sterling, Montrose, Alamosa, and Grand Junction because there weren’t enough homes available in Rio Blanco County.
In 2019, the Fords went through Project 1.27 training to recertify as foster parents, and this time, they brought five families from the church they pastor with them. They have since received approval from Rio Blanco County to recruit and train foster parents using Project 1.27’s curriculum.
The Ford family is excited to offer connections and personal experiences to future foster families in their county. They also hope to bring FamiliesCare to their area so they can support families at every level. Beth shared, “Especially in smaller communities, everyone is tied together. A lot of times, we already know [the biological family] and are a part of the family and involved early on.” Because of this, FamiliesCare, supporting biological families before kids are removed, is a natural addition to the work the Fords are already doing in Rio Blanco County.
Two of Beth and Rich’s biological daughters have gone through Project 1.27 training and are currently foster parents. Beth’s brother and sister, both members of their church, have fostered and adopted, too. In their small church of 100 people, there are currently 19 adopted children. Besides pastoring their church and training foster parents, the Ford family owns a Meeker restaurant. “All of our children love to help and work at the family business. We love that everyone can be a part of it and help build something together."
Beth and Rich continue to encourage people to get involved in foster care. “James 1.27 is for everyone,” Rich stated. “Even if you can’t foster, you can support families, and you can give financially. Everyone can do something, even if you’re not called to open your home.”
By Jenny Watson, Director of Communication and Events
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