Reaching beyond business as usual
Monday, January 15, 2018
After adopting five children through the foster care system, Angel and Karl Gutha moved to the St. Croix Valley and opened a small business in an effort to teach the kids life lessons.
As a young couple hoping to start a family in Lincoln, Nebraska, Karl and Angel Gutha never imagined themselves moving to the St. Croix Valley and founding a small business. But plans change.
Last March, alongside their five adopted children, the Guthas opened the doors to Marine & Auto Custom Interiors on Highway 8. It was but another milepost on a journey for which there is no map. Still, they have trusted their hearts as one would a compass.
“We don’t have any biological children of our own,” Mrs. Gutha begins by way of explanation. “That was kind of the plan. But I’m a child of adoption and my husband was in the foster system growing up. We felt like it was being put on our hearts to do something more with our lives than what we were doing.”
They decided to help other families as foster parents.
“The goal was never really to adopt,” Gutha said. “Our goal was just to come alongside other families and help. But one of the first things they ask you is whether you would consider adoption. Again, it was put on our hearts that we need to be completely open.”
When the Guthas got their first call to foster two children, the agent told them it would be an easy placement. The kids had been visiting their parents in anticipation of returning home. Again, plans change.
“That wasn’t what ended up happening,” said Gutha.
The visits started to decrease as the children’s biological mother failed to step in as she was supposed to.
“We went on that journey with them and it was sad and scary,” said Gutha. “Slowly the permanency goal was no longer reunification, it was adoption.”