There are two grandmothers we know at Rainbow Acres. One has lived for many years within a few miles of here, while the other lives in Oklahoma. Each of these kind-hearted women has worked hard during her life, planned ahead and provided for retirement.

Each of these women had a grandson in October of 1992. The grandsons were loved and cherished by their grandmothers as they grew into toddlers and little boys.

Then each of these strong and capable women saw the heart-breaking effects of the stress of caring for children with developmental disabilities taking its toll on her children and their families. Eventually, these women each stepped in to relieve the struggle and make life better for their respective grandsons.

They each became the legal guardian for their grandson, putting both emotional and financial stress on themselves while ensuring a stable and caring environment for those two very special young boys.

School was always an enigma to Charles. He caught on to many concepts very quickly, and was reading at an adult level in sixth grade, but limited social skills and trouble with transitions and change made junior high and high school painful and difficult.

For Austin, special education classes felt safe, but outside on the campus was a whirlwind of confusion and bullying that left him tense and angry and made him retreat into a sullen shell. He often acted out through non-compliance and other behaviors.

Young adults with developmental delays reach an age where public schools no longer accept them in classes. They receive a diploma, but sometimes they are unable to successfully live on their own.

What could these grandmothers do? Charles didn’t thrive without regular emotional support and structure in his life. Austin’s grandmother was still working to pay the bills and couldn’t leave him at home without supervision.

Great faith was something these grandmothers had in common. They each prayed as they looked for answers, and they each found Rainbow Acres.

Charles came from Oklahoma a few months after his twentieth birthday. Since then, our Life Skills classes provided the knowledge and confidence to allow Charles to live in one of our Rainbow Apartments, while our Vocational Program has given him support and training to work in an off-site job, where he has become a crew leader.

Charles, vista

In the photo at left, Charles enjoy a moment alone in the Red Rocks near Sedona with the Rancher Hiking Club.

Austin at Bumblebee

Austin participates as a Transitional Rancher, spending weekdays enjoying the programs and friendships offered in our Christian community, and nights and weekends at home with his grandmother. It’s a more affordable option for her limited means, and gives Austin the supervision and activities he requires to stay happy and healthy. In the right-hand photo, Austin is on a day-long Rancher outing at nearby Bumblebee Ranch.

These two grandmothers now enjoy peace of mind knowing that their loved ones’ needs are met and they are safe.

“Homes With Heart” and “Promising Futures” are much more than mottoes or taglines to parents and guardians of Rainbow Acres Ranchers!