“A life of servitude is what we choose.”
This is the moto our family lives by. My husband (Ben) and I grew up in a small community in Rusk County Wisconsin. We met in 7th grade and have pretty much been connected at the hip since. We graduated together and because of alphabetic order even walked together for the ceremony in 2003. We were married in 2005 and a few months later welcomed our first child Lillian. Twenty 23 short months later along came Benny. We dreamed of having a large biological family, but the good Lord had other plans for us. Within a year of our 2nd child’s birth, we conceived twice and heaven received our unborn angels. We named them Jessi and Jackson. A few years later, right before Christmas, we were surprised to find out we were expecting twins! On New Years Eve, Joseph and Josephine made their journey to heaven. We found comfort in knowing that our 4 Angel’s never felt any of the pain and grief this world has, but only warmth and love. We emptied our saving working, unsuccessfully, with fertility experts to grow our family. For a long time we grieved the loss of the large biological family we would never have.
My grandparents were foster parents for 33 years and raised over 40 teenage boys! Having grown up around it, I always knew it was something I wanted to do. Ben and I eventually realized that God gave us the ability to love lots of children without the ability to produce them for a reason. We decided to become licensed treatment level foster parents. It has been interesting since, to say the least. We have had several children go through our home and one, Maria, even asked us to adopt her after she aged out of the system. She still lives with us with her 2 year old son, Ezra, and is expecting her first daughter in October.
Ben works 12 hour shifts at 2 jobs to provide for us. Between appts., visits from social works and court appearances both of us working isn’t realistic. The state does “pay” us when we have placements, but the payments come once a month and are never enough to cover the costs of raising a child. Not to mention we don’t even get our first payment until after the child has been placed with us for a month. They usually come with nothing but the clothes on their back, so we end up providing everything for them from our own pockets initially.
We own a 4 bedroom home that we owe less then $12,000 on. Our house was built in the 50’s. The bedrooms are small and we only have one bathroom. Our adopted daughter has the smallest room to herself as there really isn’t room for anyone else and she is 19. Our daughter Lilly, has a room with bunk beds and our son Benny shares a room with our grandson Ezra. We do have a full basement and would like to build more bedrooms, an office, a second bathroom (legally needed for more members in the household) and a rec. room for the kids; but it leaks and for legal bedrooms we would have to install egress windows. We consulted a contractor and to fix the leaking we need our entire driveway dug up and an extensive amount of sealing and landscaping to fix it. (Not to mention we would need a new driveway) We have a 2001 Ford Excusion for transporting the kids, but have had to take a loan against it to make ends meet through this difficult time. My husband drives a 2003 Lincoln Continental, that to be honest needs to be retired, just to work.
Last summer I unexpectedly had to have 2 major surgeries only 3 weeks apart and then my husband had to have an unplanned surgery. His recover didn’t go as planned and he ended up being off work twice as long as expected. You can imagine what that did to our financial situation. Suddenly we were months behind on bills and and drowning in medical debt.
We have dedicated our lives to helping and raising children but just don’t have adequate room or finances to make more room to do it on our own.
We want to continue to serve our country by being treatment level foster parents, but we need help to get things back on track and we need more space that we frankly cant afford to build on our own. We are humbly asking for help to get out from under our debt and improve our home so we can continue to serve by taking in children in need. We are asking for $100,000 to accomplish this. We are fully aware of the magnitude of the amount, but we are not asking because we want someone else to take care of us but because “A life of servitude is what we choose” and we need some help to do that right now.
Thank you for your consideration!