GREELEY, Colo. — When Greeley firefighters found a newborn baby outside the Station 7 door one September afternoon in 2006, it was a day of mixed emotions.
“The baby was wrapped inside two towels inside the tackle box. The umbilical cord was still there — about 4 to 5 inches long where it had been cut,” said firefighter Bill Boyd.
Now, nearly 13 years later, that baby boy is a 12-year-old named Tyler Dodd.
“He can’t fit in the little tackle box anymore, but he loves to fish, so that’s a good thing,” said Christy Dodd.
Christy thought it was interesting when she saw an article in the local paper saying a baby was dropped off at a fire station in a tackle box. She was already looking into becoming a foster mom. As fate would have it, she ended up fostering the baby and adopting him a year later. She named him Tyler.
“And now I have what I want to say is a better life, is way better than I think I could have had,” Tyler said.
Tyler was left outside the station as part of Colorado’s Safe Haven law, in which parents can leave infants up to 72 hours old with firefighters or hospital staff, no questions asked. Since it was adopted in 2000, more than 50 children like Tyler have been released to the state.
“Whoever that mom was, she made a really hard decision, but she made a decision that was going to be best for my son,” Christy said. “I want her to know if she’s around that he is amazing, and I want to thank her because, wow, I am so lucky.”
Now nearly 13, Tyler loves the outdoors, between camping, fishing, swimming and hunting. He has ambitions to pay it forward when he grows up.
“I’ve always wanted to go make lives better for adoption, for kids in foster care, kids growing up without knowing who their real parents are,” Tyler said.