When Toni and Jim Hoy adopted their son Daniel through the foster care system, he was an affectionate toddler. They did not plan to give him back to the state of Illinois, ever.
“Danny was this cute, lovable little blond-haired, blue-eyed baby,” Jim says.
Toni recalls times Daniel would reach over, put his hands on her face and squish her cheeks. “And he would go, ‘You pretty, Mom,’ ” Toni says. “Oh my gosh, he just melted my heart when he would say these very loving, endearing things to me.”
But as Daniel grew older, he changed. He began to show signs of serious mental illness that eventually manifested in violent outbursts and nearly a dozen psychiatric hospitalizations, starting at age 10. Doctors said he needed intensive, specialized care away from home — institutional services that cost at least $100,000 a year.