Hi, I’m Krista and my significant other is Freddie. Together, we have three small children: Laelyn is 5, Enzo is 2 and Allie is 2 months old. Laelyn loves unicorns and rainbows, Enzo loves toy cars and Mickey Mouse and Allie loves pacifiers and napping. And Me? I love loving them and being their mother.
Our Family has been struggling financially and barely getting by for a little over one year now. We have lost more in the past thirteen months than anyone should have to lose in a lifetime but we always had each other and that was enough… until we lost that too.
One year ago, we were evicted from our home and were only able to bring with us what we could carry in our car. We lost nearly all of our belongings: furniture, appliances, important documents, our children’s toys, clothing, etc. We moved into a very small apartment and spent the next few months making just enough to pay our monthly rent and provide food for our children. Every time we thought things couldn’t possibly get worse, they did: our car insurance was canceled, our vehicle broke down often and after using the last of our money to repair it, our vehicle was impounded. Freddie, no longer able to get to and from work, lost his job. Each day the vehicle was held at the tow yard, the amount needed in order to get it out grew larger until we had no choice but to accept that we would never see our vehicle again. Within weeks of Freddie losing his job, the Governor announced that all non-essential workers were to stay home. Finding a new job at this time, though he tried, began to feel impossible. He accepted any side work that came his way, building and repairing computers.
I wanted to be the hero my children needed me to be. I sought help from outside services. I frequented local food pantries and charities. Anything of value that I did not need, I sold. We did what we could, with what we had. Our children were always clothed, fed, clean and cared for. When the country entered quarantine, I felt we'd already been living in quarantine for six months. Losing our vehicle and living in the "middle of nowhere" - we had become something of an expert at staying home; only ever leaving for food and necessities. I found creative ways to have fun together. Our children were blissfully unaware of our struggles. They smiled every day.
Fast forward to two months ago: our third child was born: a daughter, Alessandra. We call her Allie. We now had three small children and every day was a struggle. When Allie was born, she needed to stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for two weeks. The day before her discharge, a hospital representative visited our home to make sure we had everything we needed for our baby. We did and we brought our baby girl home the following day.
However, while our apartment is tiny - it is only one of many more - all located inside a very large, very old farmhouse, built in the 1800s. Our landlord does not keep the home in good repair. The hospital representative expressed concern that the home was very old and may not be structurally sound. This was the beginning of the end. My very worst nightmare was about to come true and I didn’t even see it coming.
A building inspector was called and the house failed the inspection. Lead paint was not banned from use until 1978. The farmhouse was built in the 1800s and had lead paint throughout, which could be seen chipping in various places of the home. I was told my children were at risk of lead poisoning and the home was deemed unsafe and unfit for them to remain in. I was given just twenty four hours to relocate my family. Being that we do not have any family nearby capable or willing to take our three children into their home and we do not have the money to simply move somewhere else, Child Protective Services knocked on our door, accompanied by two police officers, and told me my children were temporarily being removed from our home and taken into state custody. It was right before bed time, we were in pajamas and getting ready to start a movie. One moment, I was cozy with my children in bed - and in the next moment, a stranger was taking my newborn out of my arms. The sights and sounds of my children, so terrified, as they were taken out of my arms and removed from our home - I will never forget. I could not protect them. I felt helpless and defeated. I could not sleep or eat for three days. This has traumatized my children and our family. On November 20, 2020 my children were taken from me and there wasn’t a thing I could do about it.
Four weeks ago I would have told you I’d lost nearly everything but as I write this, I truly have nothing left to lose. In order to bring my babies home, we need to have a home. I have found myself in a hole I can not get out of on my own.
Please help me bring my babies home. Because of the pandemic, the visits I am able to have with my children went from in-person visits one hour a week, to virtual visits only - right before Christmas. I need to bring my children home. They need me and I need them. I have been facing this alone and would be so grateful for any help at all. There are no words to express what it would mean to my family. Donations would be used to put a down payment on a new rental house, replace the furniture we lost and help us get back on level ground.
Thank you for taking the time to read our story.
- Lisa Wang
- Samantha Peters
- Gail Nagle
- Breigh Garulli
Organizer and beneficiary
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