Journey to the Son chronicles Carla A. Carlisle's eight-year battle to protect the child of her heart from enduring trauma caused by his birth mother, who herself suffers from prolonged physical, emotional and mental abuse. For years Carlisle appeared to have it all: a loving husband, a successful career, a beautiful house and two dogs. Privately, she longed to be a mother and struggled to have children due to infertility. Carlisle and her husband spent thousands on fertility treatments and several hope-filled weeks listening to a heartbeat until it stopped. Their numerous attempts grew exhausting and expensive then ultimately became futile. The quest to get pregnant ruined their four-year marriage and ended Carlisle's desire to give birth – but not her desire to be a mother. In 2010, Carlisle became a foster parent to a boy born two months prematurely. However, six months later a flawed system returned him to his mentally ill, drug-addicted birth mother. Carlisle knew this custody arrangement would endanger his life and set out to protect him at all costs.