Part1 :: Part 2 :: Part 3 :: Part 4 ::
Wow, it has been a loooong time since I started these posts.Â Finally I’ve found some time to write more!Â Â Â Ok, where did we leave off?Â I think it was Jan 2, 2001 – J1’s sixth birthday.Â J2 was 4 and we were living in Reedsport, OR.Â We were planning a birthday party for J1 and the phone rang.Â It was a social worker up in Portland telling us the boys had a new sibling born.Â We didn’t know too much other than it was a boy, he’d been born before Christmas, had some health issues and was in a medical foster home in Portland.
We had really thought two boys was our family. But we were excited to keep these siblings together. Â We had the chance to talk to his foster parents a few times, we did our best to prepare J1 & J2 and I took an infant massage class while we waited.
May 25, 2001 – was our first chance to meet J3! Â He was 5 mos old. We went up to Portland and just Eric and I visited the first day. Â Bob & Vicki gave us the scoop on his routine and needs. Â I remember thinking he was a little butter ball of a kiddo – little did I know that he’d grow up to be our biggest kiddo – taller than Dad now! Â The second day of our visit, we took him back to my aunt & uncle’s house and introduced him to the boys and Grammy who was visiting from California.
May 27, 2001 was his visit church visit – lots of fun family pictures from that day! But after that day, my scrapbooks go dark for a few years. Â In the Fall of 2001 I found out I was pregnant. Â To be completely honest I wasn’t happy about it. Â I had my family through adoption and I didn’t want to have any distinction between who was a biological child and who was adopted. Â Plus I ended up on bed-rest with very active boys and a baby who needed therapies weekly. Â I was overwhelmed. Â And I felt very alone. I didn’t have anyone in my life who understood my children or their needs. I didn’t understand them! And now I had guilt over not being more excited about another child. Â Joshua was born May 29, 2002. Â J1 was 7, J2 was 5 and J3 was 17 mos old. Â A week after Josh was born, Eric resigned as pastor. Â We had decided to move home. Â We needed the support of our family and we were tired of being alone.
However, J3’s adoption was not finalized and it was a bit scary for a few weeks when we weren’t sure if we could go or not. Â But we did and in August 2002 we moved back to Woodland, CA. Â We lived with my mom and Eric started to work in whatever capacity he could. Â He was a director of a local non profit, worked at the local university, and substituted in the local schools. Not all at once of course.
We lost Joshua on February 22, 2003. Â It was shocking. I think I was in a state of permanent shock for quite some time. Â I got out of bed every day, but I was just marking time. I don’t remember much of those years. Â For our kids it was another trauma and now their mom was not really present – another trauma.
Eric started teaching 4th grade at a local Christian school. Â I was still homeschooling but J1 was defiant and J2 was struggling. Â We sent J1 to school with dad, I homeschooled J2 and we put J3 in a local preschool so he could continue to get services. Â Eventually he started at the Christian school too. Â The school was and is a balm to our hurting hearts. Good people!
Our hands and our home was full. Â Our oldest – who had been in foster care the longest – had a few other losses that lead to some acting out that was just overwhelming. Â I wish I had understood trauma and loss then, but I didn’t and I’m afraid we made things worse. Â We were living with diagnosis of adhd, ODD, RAD, anxiety, depression and more. Â Maybe someday I’ll write a post about those years but for now I’ll just say it was hard. It can still be hard but at least we understand it a big more now.
In the midst of those hard days, we got another phone call.