Cheryl and Carole met in 1978. At that time, Cheryl was a special education teacher and had already adopted Andy in 1973. Carole was a stay at home mom with Geoffrey, whom she and her husband adopted in 1971, and their two biological children; Jessica and Ben.
In 1989, both Carole and Cheryl were teaching in special education and were contemplating the idea of opening a group home. They visited a house in Gilroy, CA not being aware that the owners were thinking of retiring and were looking for someone to take over their group home with its eight children. Over the next few months, the two teachers were persuaded to purchase the home, and to become licensed to operate a group home.
Finally in April of 1990, Cheryl and Carole established Country House, Inc. and suddenly their responsibilities included caring for eight special needs children as well as their own children. Over the next five years, Carole and Cheryl opened four more homes specializing in non-ambulatory children who were in long term placements. Their goal was to give these children a safe place to grow up and to establish some happy childhood memories for them.
The decision to retire and leave Country House in 2001 was agonizing. They would be disrupting the lives of over 30 children, many of whom would have to be placed elsewhere. After selling their five homes in Santa Clara County and transferring operation of Country House, Inc., Carole and Cheryl moved to Sonora, CA with what they believed to be enough money to provide for their family for the remainder of their lives. When they moved to the Sierra foothills, the Kohler-Crowe family included Andy, Geoffrey, Jessica, Ben, Brianne, Michelle, Jeffrey and Gina. Joshua and Annika's adoptions were pending. The family grew to include Kyle in 2004.
The economic crisis that began in 2008 changed everything and now the family struggles to make ends meet each month. Keeping the family together is Cheryl and Carole's highest priority.
Carole and Cheryl Kohler-Crowe