Adoption/Foster Care

Although both my husband and I come from families of only 3 children, we always wanted a large family.  God has taken us down a long, windy and twisted road to our family and we are so thankful.  These are our children so far and this is our story.

Samuel is our oldest at 10 years old.  He was born to us after a very traumatic delivery and several years of not being able to conceive or carry a baby full term.  What a blessing he was and truly the easiest baby.  This was a blessing in many ways, especially since both Tobin and I were just starting our masters degrees at Andrews University Seminary.

Samuel has always been very receptive to spiritual things and has always loved Jesus. Recently he has understood and accepted Jesus as his savior and submitted to his commitment through baptism.
Recently he has understood and accepted Jesus as his savior and submitted to his commitment through baptism.
What an honor for Tobin to baptize his first-born son.

I was 8 months pregnant with Isaac when I  waddled down the very long aisle of the Pioneer Memorial church to receive my master’s degree diploma.  It is interesting to  note that it was during this very graduation that the full conviction of being a stay at home mom took firm root.  It would take us another year to see that through but that is another story for another post.  Isaac was born a little over a month later and true to the meaning of his name he has brought laughter to our lives.

We have the privilege of working with horses this year. Everyone love it. But Isaac has a special gift with horses. Here he is riding his favorite horse, Spirit, a friesen mix breed.

We were very  happy with our little family of 4 and thankful for God’s blessings.  Especially since we had been told that we would never have children.  Then after two very hard labors that both ended in emergency c-sections we made a very hard decision.  With the encouragement of doctors and the pressure of family we decided that I would have a tubal ligation immediately following the second c-section surgery.  My dreams of having a large family were smashed.  But what was a terrible, regrettable decision for us turned out to be the most amazing blessing.  Because God turned a sad end into the most amazing beginning, I now have the privilege of introducing you to the next 4 members of our family.

As much prayer and planning went into their addition to our family as the first 2 children.  We have had the privilege of adopting 4 children and it was a lot easier than you may think.  You see Samuel was 7 and Isaac was 5 and we had not been able to adopt through private agencies.  There were roadblocks and problems everywhere we turned and I am not even talking about the price tag–ouch!!!  Then some friends suggested foster care.  The thought had never crossed my mind but as I began to research about it we immediately got sucked in.  In a matter of months we had gone through the training, the paperwork, the homestudy and just after the new year 2008 we got a call about 2 little girls–sisters, who needed a home.

Beautiful happy little girls

All it took was looking into those big dark brown eyes and see those curly black mops and it was love at first sight.  What was truly amazing was the very first night, all 4 children in their pj’s, all piled on Samuel’s bed, only having met a few hours earlier, listening to Samuel read a bible bedtime story.  And so Alexis Grace and Olivya Faith entered our lives and our hearts.

The day they became official Dodge’s

We were 4 months into adjusting to life with 4 children when we got the call about a 3 month old baby boy.  Paul was a little ball with fuzzy hair.  Every waking hour his first 3 months with us he was in a sling attached to my hip.  My friends would tease me anytime they saw me without him because it was such a rare thing.  To see him today you would never know that he was diagnosed with RAD.  Because we had developed a relatively close relationship with the birth mother, when she became pregnant with her second child, she asked that he come to our home.  11 months after Paul came to live with us, Malachi entered our lives with 2 hour feedings, very fussy times and sweet little baby times.  Now that he is 18 months old I can laugh because I lived to tell about it.

Paul is thoughtful, with a ready smile and a mischievous twinkle in his eye.
Chi has the cutest smile that you almost forget that he has gotten himself into so much trouble.
December 2010

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