We've had a number of people asking how they can help us out during this time, and I've been reluctant to accept help, but at some point you realize that if God puts people in your life who are willing and kind enough to help out, that you should just be grateful.. and not be too proud to accept it. Especially when its needed the most.
We are currently living on Adam's unemployment benefit of $290 a week. For 4 weeks prior to that we had no income at all due to a clerical error at the unemployment office and Adam was in a mandatory apprenticeship school so he was unable to work. We got behind on our bills and the $290 a week that we are now getting is nowhere near enough to live on now, let alone catch up.
The girls have been crying daily that they miss me - we've never been apart like this. Due to the circumstances with my C-section recovery, Adam is not able to go home and go back to work, since I need 24/7 care and am still in a wheelchair (and will be for some time it seems). We decided that if we are both going to be here, that we should just move the girls back down here with us so that at least we can all be together.
We are waiting on an opening at the Ronald McDonald house, but so far we've had no luck. They are extremely busy and its always on a waiting list. We are staying with my cousins who have so graciously opened their home to us.
These are just a few of our expenses:
Breast pump rental; $75/month plus supplies such as breast pads, bottles, storage bags, etc.
Wheelchair rental: $60. The hospital has wheelchairs for us to use when we are here, but its impossible for me to go anywhere else right now because I'm not strong enough to walk anyplace. This limits where we can eat, the things we can do with the kids. We need to be able to rent a wheelchair so I can spend time with my family.
Gas: We've been driving 30 minutes each way to the hospital from where we are staying. Our van has already made 4 trips back and forth from Cincinnati in the past 2 weeks, when Adam has gone home and the kids have come down to visit. Gas is probably our biggest money waste right now, it feels like we are getting gas every couple of days and its almost $4.00/gallon here.
Food: We don't have any place to store groceries, so we are stuck eating fast food/hospital food everyday. We've been averaging almost $30 a day on food alone.
Clothes: We came down here with just the clothes on our backs, expecting a one day trip. My parents brought us a couple items, but we've had to go out and purchase things that couldn't wait, like underwear, a warm sweater, and pants that don't rub on my incision.
Ronald McDonald house: We are expected to contribute a donation of $10-25 dollars a day to RMH. This can be waived for those who can't pay, but because its an important cause for families like ours, we really feel that this isn't where we cut money. If everyone did that, it wouldn't be possible for them to help as many people like us as they do.
Now that the girls are moving down here, there will be babysitter costs. Due to it being flu season, no one under 15 is allowed in the NICU. I am still in a wheelchair and can't get myself to and from the hospital, so one of us staying back with them is not viable. We are going to need to hire someone to watch the girls whenever we are at the NICU.
This is all on top of all of our normal bills...which we've already been struggling to pay due to Adam's school keeping him from being able to work the past few weeks. So to those who are able or willing to help, please know that we truly, truly, appreciate your kindness during this difficult time for our family. I know one day we will be in a position to pay it forward, and believe me, when that day comes, we will open our hearts to give as fully as we can. People have been so generous and thoughtful to us throughout the past year of struggles with Addison and my faith is continuously replenished in the way God has found ways to provide for us, especially through complete strangers.
Adam was buying me a sweater from Old Navy today when a woman behind him tapped him on the shoulder and offered us a 30% off discount card. These are those great little reminders that God is watching and finding ways to make sure we are taken care of.
"Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ ..... for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things."
To those who have offered to help, I will be editing this post to add an amazon wish list of a few things we are in need of and information to make a donation of gas/grocery gift cards or cash. If anyone is near the Cincinnati area and knows of someone who would be willing to help us out with childcare, I would really appreciate if you would pass on their information.
Thanks again for your kindness during this tough time in our lives. I am so anxious to put this behind us and be able to get back on our feet again.
Love, Kim, Adam, Brooklyn, Lily, Addison and Baby Audrina