Jack Schneider drove his beaten blue Ford pickup down an Osseo, Wisconsin country road. He sneaked glances at the autumnal trees and fields of crops as he steered up a narrow dirt path and stopped beside the mailbox. He climbed out and pulled the door open and peered inside. There were a couple of envelopes, which he examined as he returned to his truck and continued down the path.

He eventually came to a two-story farmhouse with peeled ivory paint and crimson trim. There were fields and crops behind the house, as well as an apple orchard and woods. A border collie scampered out the front door to greet him as he slammed his truck door and strode into the house.

"Ma," he called. Perdita Schneider raised her eyes from a crocheting project from where she sat in her rocking chair in the den. She was a rather plump woman with brown waves down her back and dark blue eyes.


Jack raised an envelope. "You got mail from a foster agency. What is that about?"

"Ooh, give that to me," she leaned toward him in her chair and snatched it out of his hand.

Jack awaited her answer as she ripped open the envelope and scanned the contents with a smile.

"I have had an inspiration from God," she said with excitement. "Since your father died, we have both been stretched beyond our strength with the crops and all. I also have been remembering how much I wanted several children when David and I first married, but that was not possible. And then I heard that call from God – scatter out seeds and some will grow. I have sought out the possibility of fostering several children, primarily boys, who really need love. They will be loved and invited to stay with us. I pray that the seeds of our love will take root and grow in them, so that they will stay."

Jack removed his Packers hat, revealing his short golden hair, and dropped it on the table as he sat down in a recliner.

"You really want to do this?"

Perdita smiled at him. "Oh, yes."