Let's Love Bomb Ariel & Chris

$6,320 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 56 people in 25 months
Sarah Joy Martin
on behalf of Ariel Esposito-Bernard
 FLUSHING, NY
[6/15/17 Edited to add: We thought it was a stretch goal to make it to $5000 but we crushed that within a few days! Wow! They could really use as much as we are willing to donate. Thank you all so much!]

Ariel posted this on her Facebook and so many of you responded that you wanted to help them out so I set up this page for them. 

I'm copying and pasting her recent post so you can read what happened in her own words. 

Those of us who know Ariel and Chris know that they are pretty much the most generous people around. They've always taken care of us; it's our turn to take care of them. Let's LOVE BOMB them so big that they won't know what hit them!!! Please be as generous as you can and help them rebuild.

Thank you so much! You guys rock!

From Ariel:
A week and a half later
I am waking up from the fog of this nightmare we've been living.

While vacuuming last week I saw a bug on my kids carpet. Horrified, I scooped it into a baggie and stared at it, praying fervently that God turn it into a grasshopper, a spider, a centipede...really anything except what it was, a bed bug.

Fast forward through a friend coming over to lock herself and our kids in the kitchen for hours while Chris and I haul out our couches from our 3 floor walkup. Showering and leaving for my parents on Long Island with the clothes on our bodies. Coming back night after night, pulling an all nighter, throwing away every single thing that could not be boiled or washed and dried on high heat. Hours at the laundry mat, hundreds of dollars later. Melted curtains added to the pile of garbage for the dump. It's all gone.

I would like to say I was unaffected as I tossed my records, books, kids toys, furniture, shoes, cards, the kids library, rugs, beds, cribs, bookshelves etc in the trash because in the end, it is just stuff. But I was. I sobbed over my sons trains as I tried to boil them and melted the entire pot. Chuggingtons mixed with Thomas all melted together, salted with my tears. I sobbed as I tossed the books I spent hours reading the boys. I have oscillated between losing it and reminding myself it's just stuff. My family is healthy and intact. Besides some bites, although pretty painful and itchy, everyone is okay. We have incredible parents who have taken us into their space and made us feel welcome. An awesome brother and sister in law who have lent Chris their car to spend 5 hours a day driving back and forth to work. Amazing friends who have watched our boys on their only day off as a family so we could clean more out. It is a season. It is a season. It. Is. A. Season. It wasn't the books or those specific toys we played with that made them feel loved. It wasn't the exact crib we laid the boys in that made them feel safe. It was us. It was our time, our attention and our love that made our home. We will start over. We will build a new home. And in the meantime we'll enjoy the sunset here on Eatons Neck and thank God we are healthy, safe and loved.

#startingover #tears #nightmare #bedbugs #healthysafeloved
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Update from Ariel: My bones are tired, my actual bones. Not just tired from sleeping on a blow up toddler mattress the last few weeks, but a deep tiredness that sometimes feels like taking a step forward actually may or may not be accomplished. How has it only been a little more than two months since this whole ordeal? So much has changed...everything has changed.

We moved last week from my parent's place on Long Island into the same co op we previously lived in when we first moved from San Diego. Celebrating our 11 year wedding anniversary we sat on the dirty floor of our new apartment and ate takeout. Shedding our nomad name, this time we own it; our first Home. (insert deep sigh) So many feels. There's a finality to the closing, to the owning, to the permanence of not being able to get up and go, to take your family and run. And so, here we are. Life savings poured into the purchase. Bed bugs hopefully in our rearview mirror, we are a few boxes and bins.

Two weeks ago we started scraping away the previous owner's grit. The mouse infested stove, what once was white, turned yellow as the grease caked walls of the kitchen screamed for attention through my eyes and nostrils. Lord, what have we done. See the potential, I quietly pray. See your Home, I repeat. Don't give up now when it's right here...

Stop. Today I was reminded to stop in the moment, these moments. The kids dancing on boxes and decorating themselves with sleeves of stamps. These moments are what life is mostly made of, it's simply my choice on what the interpretation will be. My bones may be tired, my mind battling fear, but when my heart is overwhelmed, You will lead me to the rock that is higher than myself. I stopped today and left. I left the mess, the unopened boxes and bins. The mess of closets full of holes, the worn toilet seat that has sat a billion bottoms and we went outside. Laughing on the hot slide at the playground and drawing chalk hearts on the pavement, this is Life, this is Home. We may never finish the tasks at hand but that is actually okay because we are living the ride.
#liveyourride
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Chris calls me at work with panic dripping from his voice, "Did you see the email?!" Overwhelmed with the seemingly constant barrage of things that need to be handled I snap back, "I just can't take anymore. I am at work, I will deal with whatever it is when I leave." Calmly and lovingly I hear, "No babe, check your email."
Good morning,
Our move-outs department has allowed you to break your lease without penalty. Please confirm your move out date so that we can process it.
Thank you.
Monika
My body reacted with tears, laughter, and disbelief. Right there in my office with everyone hustling and bustling around dealing with the second week of camp, I lost it. What was happening? What? WHAT? And as if it was all a dream, 4 minutes later I get another email stating that we must return all of our keys by 5pm that day or we would be charged for July. It was as if Monika was overtaken by an angel who wrote and sent the first email. Upon waking up and realizing she had sent it, she immediately made the task almost impossible, however, she gave us out an out and we were taking it. I was at work on LI with Hunter in camp, Sawyer at my parents, Chris in Long Island City and 3 hours to do this. Camp aftercare, parents watching Sawyer longer, Chris and I both leaving work early and....GO!
I finished what I immediately needed to and raced out of work (thank you Ben!). Driving an hour and a half through NYC traffic from LI I kept saying over and over again to anyone who would pick up their phone, "It's a miracle! They let us out of our lease! THEY LET US OUT OF OUR LEASE WITHOUT PENALTY!! AHHHHHH!!!!!"
Getting to the office was the easy part. I stood and listened to the manager explain to a man who had just signed his lease that he couldn't help him. He had signed the lease with the apartment 'as is' and if the windows were screwed shut there wasn't anything he could do. 'As is' means 'as is'. "Lord, help us in our time of need" I prayed for that man.
The lady behind the desk said she wouldn't take my keys because they weren't a complete set. No matter how much I explained that their agent had the front door key to show the place, she wouldn't budge. I slid my keys across the desk, looked her in the eye and quietly said, 'You will take these keys and I will be done with this place."
As the door closed behind me, I breathed in and out deeply: Abba, I belong to You.
#next #movingon #anotheranswertoprayer
***We are still in shock and very grateful we do not have to go to court. We received an email the same day with our closing date!! We will be closing on Monday, July 17th and moving on Saturday, July 22nd. If anyone would like to help us move either on the Northport side or the Queens side that would be great! We only have a 10x5 storage locker to move and no furniture :)
The whole fam on Independence Day!
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UPDATE:
It's been 40 days since we left our apartment with our two little ones in tow due to nasty bed bugs. 40 days since we upended my parents lives and took over their fridge and living space. In these 40 days I have cried thousands of tears as daily I am reminded of God's love as it pours out of the people surrounding us; healing buckets drowning us in love just in case we somehow started to feel alone.

The rest of the story is still unfolding to what's next for us. After 11 years of bouncing from state to state, home to home, we had chosen a fixer upper apartment in queens as our resting spot and made an offer before the bugs occurred. Part of the fear and sadness that overtook me as we tossed our memories and belonging was that there was nothing left to start over. We had thrown our hat in the ring and it was full of everything we had saved for the purchase. We would have a roof but our home would be empty.

It's been 40 days since we left the apartment and we have been gifted thousands of dollars, beautiful books, toys, notes, cards, healing hugs and encouragement from everyone we have ever met it seems. We will be creating our new home together as a village. Your support will pay for the beds our kids will dream on, the books they will learn to imagine and read with, the table we will break bread with you and the couch we will build friendships as we sit and talk. Our doors will be open, our home a place for you to lay your weary head; to find prayer and belly laughter. Food will abound, rest for your soul and healing mercies we pray you find as you enter. This is your invitation. #thankyouvillage #prayersstillneeded #notoveryet #allarewelcome #exceptforbugs #nobugsallowed #comehungry

***We are still waiting for our closing date but it should be in the next few weeks. Pray our complex lets us out of our lease and we can move on peacefully.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
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Read a Previous Update
Jennie Graham
25 months ago

Omg Ariel. I am so sorry. I can't imagine! I pray you and Chris teach your goal. I wish I could give more. ❤️

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$6,320 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 56 people in 25 months
Created June 9, 2017
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YS
$50
Yukie S
20 months ago
$100
Anonymous
25 months ago
$77
Anonymous
25 months ago
JC
$500
Joseph Calvacca
25 months ago
$25
Isaiah Fasoldt
25 months ago

Love you guys and miss you!

$200
Deanna Calvacca
25 months ago

Love you cuz

JF
$25
Jeana Ferraro
25 months ago
KH
$50
Kristin Ho
25 months ago

So sorry to hear you guys are going through this. Hang tough it will get better.

Jennie Graham
25 months ago

Omg Ariel. I am so sorry. I can't imagine! I pray you and Chris teach your goal. I wish I could give more. ❤️

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