“About 16 years ago,” Julie Bulloch remembers, “a young lady that had been part of our lives was having a lot of stress at home and she was just going to move out. I wasn’t comfortable with that and I went to her mama and said, ‘You know we have an extra bedroom, could she just move in?’ So we had their blessing. She came and stayed with us.” Julie didn’t know it then, but that young woman was just the first of many young people—more than 25 so far—who would become part of their extended family.
“It seemed like there was always a kid out there that needed a helping hand,” Julie says. “They haven’t all been street kids; they haven’t all been homeless [although] we have had those. We’ve had kids we’ve gotten right out of jail; we’ve also had preacher’s kids. God always blessed us with having the room. Never a palace or anything, but we had room. Just the basics. Just the heart to open our doors.”
Now Julie and her husband Rusty are opening their doors to television viewers in a new UP original series, Bulloch Family Ranch. The uplifting, unscripted series chronicles the everyday adventures of the Bullochs and their current “kids”; their two biological children plus two troubled youths who have been given a second chance and a home at the ranch. “We never take in more than two living with us at any given time,” Julie explains. “Because of the attention they would need it’s not fair and we’re not a facility. But it’s not unusual for me to be cooking for 10-12 extra kids at night because their friends would come over.”
What’s it like to have a film crew recording your everyday life? Julie says “They weren’t in your face; it’s not that type of show. It’s not like they’re trying to get you angry. It covers our life with the kids. Is there drama? Yes. There’s drama in every family.” Still, when it came to putting themselves ‘out there’ on TV, Julie confessed they were worried. “Does the producer see what we are? Does he see our heart? What we wanted to get across to America was there are still families that have good values; that sit down and eat supper as a family; that live by the Golden Rule; that take the Ten Commandments seriously. We were really having doubts, having second thoughts. Should we do this? Should we put our life out there for people? You’re going to have criticism . . . but God was in control and He worked it out in His perfect plan. You can’t argue with that!”
Julie believes her family is not the only ones who can make a difference. “You don’t have to have a lot of money to do what we do. You might not be able to have a young person come into your home to live but you can find time,” she urges. “The majority of the time it is not money these kids need. It’s attention. It’s structure. It’s knowing there’s someone out there that loves them and cares for them.”
See Julie and her family put their love of kids in action on Bulloch Family Ranch, premiering Wednesday, July 17 at 10pm (ET) on UP. UP can be seen in more than 62 million homes on major cable systems including Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications and Charter Communications, as well as DIRECTTV (channel 338), DISH Network (channel 188), and Verizon FiOS (channel 224).
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