Wow, it has been a loooong time since I started these posts. Finally I’ve found some time to write more! Ok, where did we leave off? I think it was Jan 2, 2001 – J1’s sixth birthday. J2 was 4 and we were living in Reedsport, OR. We were planning a birthday party for J1 and the phone rang. It was a social worker up in Portland telling us the boys had a new sibling born. 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. 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! He was 5 mos old. We went up to Portland and just Eric and I visited the first day. Bob & Vicki gave us the scoop on his routine and needs. 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! 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. In the Fall of 2001 I found out I was pregnant. To be completely honest I wasn’t happy about it. 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. Plus I ended up on bed-rest with very active boys and a baby who needed therapies weekly. I was overwhelmed. 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. Joshua was born May 29, 2002. J1 was 7, J2 was 5 and J3 was 17 mos old. A week after Josh was born, Eric resigned as pastor. We had decided to move home. 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. But we did and in August 2002 we moved back to Woodland, CA. We lived with my mom and Eric started to work in whatever capacity he could. 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. It was shocking. I think I was in a state of permanent shock for quite some time. I got out of bed every day, but I was just marking time. I don’t remember much of those years. 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. I was still homeschooling but J1 was defiant and J2 was struggling. 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. Eventually he started at the Christian school too. The school was and is a balm to our hurting hearts. Good people!
Our hands and our home was full. 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. I wish I had understood trauma and loss then, but I didn’t and I’m afraid we made things worse. We were living with diagnosis of adhd, ODD, RAD, anxiety, depression and more. 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.