God planted the dream to adopt initially through tragedy. To make a long story short, when my second born son Christian was 4 weeks old, a friend who was holding him lost her grip when he thrust his head backward and she dropped him. His little head hit a table on one side of his skull and the floor on the other. He was left with a fracture on both sides of his skull. Remarkably, he was seen by a doctor and released to go home. There were MANY sleepless nights as we had to wake him up and make sure he would eat every 2 hours nonstop for 12 weeks. It was 1996.
Our sweet baby girl, Rachel, was born 14 short months later in 1998. She was the biggest and best surprise of my life and was born on Valentine's Day! I was a crazy person concerning her safety. If I was walking down the stairs I would picture her falling over and over. If I saw a young child holding a baby I would get nauseous and sometime dizzy (I still to this day turn away. It was not a child who dropped my baby, but I saw the lack of control of a child carrying a baby.). I struggled to let anyone hold my baby. I was totally captive to fear.
I decided I would not purposely become pregnant again.
But I wanted more children.
I began to think about adoption. There were so many children who needed a family and I wanted more children. My plan was to adopt a child in the toddler or preschool stage, past the point of being carried and potentially dropped.
About that time we sold our 750 square foot house and moved into another house double the size of our old house. This was 2001. It is only a 3 bedroom house but 2 of the bedrooms are quite large. I remember thinking and saying to my husband, "Do you have any idea how many kids we could fit in this house if we bought bunk beds???" It was a moment when I was joking but dead serious all at once!
I *convinced* my husband to attend a foster care licensing class. It made sense to me. I didn't think we could *afford* international adoption. I was unaware of how domestic adoption worked. I knew there were many kids in my state needing homes. I knew it was very affordable.
I say I *convinced* my husband, because he had some misgivings. He had just stepped down from pastorate before we moved where we had counselled a family through their kids being taken unjustly by DHS. Tens of thousands of dollars later in legal fees, they got their children back. But there was much damage done to their children while they were in foster care. My husband had testified on their behalf and the state lawyer accused him of preaching in favor of abuse from the pulpit. Nothing could have been further from the truth. He was understandably hesitant to get involved with the state foster care system. But he was *willing* to take the class in order to gain information to see if this could be the right fit for us.
So in 2002, with our son Tyler being almost 9, Christian being 5 and Rachel having recently turned 4, we headed off to Foster Care licensing class...