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I’m at the end of my first week as executive director of Good Shepherd and it’s felt like the first day of school after a long summer away from my pals. I began my career here in 2005 and served as a case manager, therapist, and finally as director of treatment services before briefly leaving for another opportunity. Coming back has been like coming home.

As I was preparing for this new role, I kept being drawn to the idea of family and how the different ones I’m a part of have shaped me.

There is, of course, my personal family. We walked the emotional path of adoptive parents as we waited for “the call.” By the grace of God and the loving decision of birth parents, I am a mom of two sons, ages five and seven.

There is my work family. (I have joked that there is a strong, magnetic force at 1340 Partridge Avenue with a firm hold on me.) The warm welcome I felt as I reconnected with the team tells me this is where I belong. I’m so excited to stand alongside them as we fulfill our mission.

There is the family I feel within the community, both where I live and my church. We recently moved, but I will always be a St. Ferdinand in Florrisant girl at heart!

Finally, there is God’s family. This new position allows me  to live out my faith in my work in a really exciting way. It also reminds me that the idea of family is not only about who you birth… it’s who He puts into your life. I am so honored to be a part of helping children and families find one another, of keeping families together throughout their most difficult times, and providing safe shelter for Moms with no other place to call home.  The search committee asked why I wanted this job; it’s because I don’t know of any more important or meaningful work than to build strong and healthy families. I can’t wait to share our inspiring stories with you all.

– Kathy Fowler, Executive Director