So this is what life is

So I haven’t been updating as I should. So much has been happening. I haven’t even told most of the people I know and it isn’t discussed on Facebook. However this is starting to have a big impact on my boys and some decisions I have made. So since this blog is supposed to be about my boys and our lives, it is time to speak up.

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In march of 2013 I moved into the house we live in now. It is amazing. On 3 acres of trees with a creek and room to live. Eph has a huge yard to play in. We were able to finally accomplish some dreams. Get a dog to train to help Eph and raise chickens. The landlord was OK with me having chickens and rabbits and goats. Luckily I never went past chickens.

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Moving out of the apartment and into the house changed our lives. My health improved quickly. Eph loves having the space to run and play in the yard. I enroll the boys into an amazing new school.

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Lewis River Academy, is an interesting school. It is an online basis. The little guy has the K12 curriculum we do at home. if we need help he has a teacher in a building we can talk to. Plus every Wednesday they have a science class with other kids in their grade group.  The school also has outings and parties so there is opportunity for socializing. River attends the same school. He is using the APEX program at home online. He too has a teacher to help him when he doesn’t understand things. He was able to attend school in person 3 days a week with other high-schoolers.

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This school made everything change for us. If you have read any of my previous posts you would see what I mean. Through this school my children have made friends for the first time in their lives. Ephraim has been having sleepovers and we go to his friends house for dinners and we go out and do things together. Ephraim has never been so happy.  River has friends. This year he had an amazing birthday party and has had people come to the house to hang out with him. He has made so much progress and growth that would never have happened if we hadn’t found this home and this school.

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Even I have made some wonderful new relationships through these connections. Friends who have become very supportive and mean so much to me. This house has changed so much for us. Now it may be changing things again in a not so great way.

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The house is an old white farmhouse with a red tin roof. Built in 1925. So yes it is old and has had some problems. When we moved in we were promised a few things. The house doesn’t have doorknobs on most of the interior doors. Those were to be fixed before move on. and  we still don’t have working doorknobs. not even on the bathroom. I installed eye hooks for that one. I was promised a wood stove insert for the fireplace. She said they had it and would be bringing it out and installing it.

When October came around and things started to get cold, I called to ask about the wood stove. The next day she calls to tell me it appears someone stole the brand new wood stove.

Yeah, OK.

So she says she will find one for me asap. I mention that the fridge leaks water on the floor and she jumps on that and 3 days later I have a new fridge. A couple of weeks later the toilet backs up into the tub. I call her and let her know. I also mention the oven and dishwasher don’t work. So she sends out a friend. He pulls out the dishwasher and says it isn’t hooked up right, pushes it back in and does nothing else. He doesn’t look at the oven. Crawls under the house and says “well I think she needs a plumber”. OK. The plumber comes out, Runs his snake through the pipe and voila flushing toilet. No one ever comes back to address the oven or dishwasher and still no wood stove.

January comes along and our kitchen pipes freeze. Yay for a week without water. I mention that it is costing me over 300 bucks a month to heat the house and ask about the wood stove. She says sorry I haven’t found one yet. I remind her about the dishwasher, doorknobs, and oven and she says she will get back to me. Someone comes out and checks the pipes which thawed over the wait time.

February smacks into town and my kitchen pipes not only freeze, they burst. Someone comes and fixes it. Still no door knobs, wood stove, oven or dishwasher. Honestly, I am being really patient and chill because I don’t want to be a bad tenant and I love the house.

March 2014 rolls in and we sign the lease for another year. I again mention the doorknobs, dishwasher and oven. I have given up on the wood stove and figure I will buy my own. I am just glad we have another year to live in this house we all love so much.

The first week of May, the toilet backs up into the tub. We can’t flush or run any water. Even using the kitchen sink makes sewage fill the bath tub. A plumber comes out next day and says the tank needs pumped and recommends someone. They send a plumber out the next day who say that it is a water flow issue and they dig a trench  to divert rain from gathering in a certain area. They also send out someone to pump the tank the next day. So that Saturday we happily clean the tub and we can again shower. Everything is good for 3 days and then it backs up again.

So apparently the problem is the drain field needs to be replaced. Landlord calls me and says she cant get anyone to fix the tank and field because of the age and the whole thing will need to be replaced. Luckily we have a camper we can use for bathroom needs. It is a big inconvenience but I am trying to be understanding.

A few days later she says a contractor will be coming out to inspect and get blueprints and all this stuff by the end of June. Now this is mid May. But hey work can go slow sometimes and she swears she is on it. June 27, my patience has worn out. I call the landlord, no answer. June 28, I call the landlord, no answer. June 30, I call the landlord, no answer. July 1st I get home and have a voice mail on my land line. It is the landlord.  I will write exactly what she said.

“Hi Domoni this is ******, I’m getting back to you in regards to the septic. Um, unfortunately I’m having to put the house up on the market because I’m not able to get any assistance in getting it fixed. It’s a pretty major operation where it’s costing alot of money so I’m, I’m still searching for some assistance I wasn’t able to get it. Unfortunately I can’t have somebody in the house. Um it has to be owner occupied, that’s another blocked wall I am running into. Also, I can;t have you guys in there ya know health wise. So I um am gonna have to give you guys a 30 day notice. Um, i will try back again Um it’s been a long month trying to get this resolved. Give me a call back, I don’t have good reception on my phone here sometimes so if I miss your call I will give you a call back. Bye. ”

So yeah, firstly I have a year lease till March. I don’t think she can just decide to sell the house and not fix it and give me 30 days notice. But this is devastating to me. I am going to try and fight this. But even if I do and win we will lose this home eventually.

Finding a place to live won’t be hard. Finding a place to live like this will be impossible. We are accepting that we will have to get rid of the chickens.  Probably the cats and at least one of the two dogs. Well I am accepting that will probably have to happen. My kids though, not so much.  Ephraim has been in massive meltdown mode lately and River isn’t doing so great either.

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Telling an autistic child they have to move again sucks period. Tell them they have to leave a place they love this much is awful. Telling them on top of that they will probably lose their animals is beyond heartbreaking. Ephraim screams and cries and begs me to promise him that he can keep them. How can I promise him that when we have such limited options.

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I am beyond poor. I can’t work. My 18 year old cant be home alone for more then 2 hours. Ephraim could never handle going to a daycare. And what daycare places would even take an almost 10 year old who still wears diapers and becomes violent towards himself when he is upset. So we live off the small amount of SSI I get for River and the inconstant measly child support the state takes from little dudes dad. Add in a mom who does more then she should to keep us going and we have gotten by. When I finish school things will turn around I know. But that is 4-5 years from now. And right now, I need a place to raise my kids.

We live in a small area and there is very little available here. The apartments are only two bedrooms and we need 3. Most wont allow the one dog I refuse to give up because she will be Ephraims lifeline. If we have to leave our area, it will be devastating.

Moving away from t he kids friends will break their hearts. They have never had friends before and I hate the thought of doing that. Plus we have good Doctors here and that is actually a big deal. And the school. That is the big thing. I have to be close enough to continue using this school.

Right now, I have so much anger. What kind of person would just say sorry you and your kids have to get out. You didn’t do anything wrong but I am going to illegally evict you. Over a friggen voicemail no less. She knew we wanted a long term home. I dreamed of buying this place myself. There is no way I could do that now with how limited our finances are. I mean I can barely keep our utilities on an am scrambling to get my electric paid again this month.

Underneath that anger is an extreme fear. Having to find a home is hard enough. Knowing how hurt your kids are by it is awful. Watching your child already slip and start to regress from the ordeal is cruel. I had really thought we could turn our lives around. And now I am at a loss.

So, because I can’t even fathom the idea of it working, I have taken down all the Lego Land fundraiser stuff. It wasn’t working anyhow. We used the original donations for his birthday party and I don’t feel as though I will be able to get it going better. The people who helped us, I thank you. You all gave River a birthday he will never forget and that was fantastic.

Now I have to focus on how to fight what is happening and find a new place to live. Maybe that powerball ticket will go my way, but that is never going to be my luck. This is just the way life goes. I am waiting to hear back from a lawyer about what my rights are. The reality though is that my heart is breaking for my sons, for our dreams and for the first place we all ever felt was our home. I am barely holding it together right now and I hate that these things keep getting thrown at us. I am just doing my best to not fall apart in front of the kids. Trying to keep myself positive for them, but that is not easy.

So if you are a praying person, we wouldn’t hate having extra love thrown our way.

Always Love,

Domi

You can learn more about us and what we are doing athttps://www.facebook.com/Riosdreams

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Painful reflections can highlight today’s joy.

Today was an odd day. I was looking for a legal form so started going through all of my files. I started to find old evaluation papers for the boys and that is always hard for me to deal with. I started to get visibly upset and River noticed. (people who say autism means no empathy are idiots btw) So he is asking me why I am upset and I tell him that sometimes it is hard for me to remember just how hard it has been for him.

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It is hard.

It is hard to remember the first day I found out there was a problem. The day his 1st grade principle calls to tell me that he is missing. That he got upset and ran out of class and they couldn’t find him. TO be told that this was not the first time this had happened and no one had ever told me that. The panic I felt as I raced to that school and the anger that this place where he was supposed to be safe had misplaced my child. I found him myself, hiding in the bathroom stall, curled up in a ball with his coat over his head. He was unable to talk, unable to move. I carried him in this ball out of that school and took him home and sat with him for 2 hours while he decompressed. I still to this day don’t know how many times that had happened before this incident.

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It is hard to remember the struggles, How in second grade he had another shut down episode where I had to come in and find my child curled up on the floor with his coat over him rocking himself and unable to talk. How after 15 minutes of me soothing him I was able to get him to stand and walk in to the principles office. How the principle then informed him that if he didn’t start behaving at school he would get in trouble and maybe the police would take him away from his mommy. Of the storm of panic in his face when she said those words. Of how I had to hold myself together so that the police wouldn’t be taking me away from him after I severely beat her. He never returned to that school.

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How in the 3rd grade right after his brother was born, the school promised the perfect placement in a classroom specifically for kids like my baby. A place where we all talked about his needs and set up a plan for how to deal with his problems. A place where a disturbed aid who didn’t care for children provoked my son. How she cornered him in the room and when he pushed past her she decided to press charges on him for assault. How she had the 300 lb school liaison officer come in and handle him instead of calling me. I remember the panic when they call me to say he is being arrested. The fear as I wait 2 hours for them to let me pick him up. The devastation when I got my baby home and see the bruises on his arms, a hand print clearly marked out on his shoulder. The abrasions and his fear. That was the worst moment of my life.

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I watch him now and am so proud of where he is. He has learned so much about himself. He is aware of who he is and where he struggles. We had to talk today about what will happen when he is 18. How I will have to file for POA and declare him unfit. How I didn’t want him to think that meant anything was wrong and that he just needed more time to grow. He was actually way cooler with it then I am. He said he knows he isn’t ready to be an adult. He knows he can’t manage himself and that he isn’t in a rush to be an adult.

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I am so proud of the young man he is becoming and having to relive the pain of the past hurts but also helps me see just how very far he has come. I want to give him the world. I want him to never have to have the pain he has dealt with again. This child is my biggest hero and whenever I feel like I can’t continue a fight I remember how hard he has had to fight. I want to be like him.

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Always Love,

Domi

You can learn more about us and what we are doing at

https://www.facebook.com/Riosdreams

donations can be made at:

http://www.youcaring.com/other/building-blocks-for-birthday-dreams/151773

and purchases can be made at:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/RiosBdayDreams

Building Blocks for Birthday Dreams

I started a facebook page to try and raise money to take the boys to Lego Land for River’s birthday. I have updated it with some personal stories and was encouraged to start a blog about all of it. Some people say I can write pretty words. 😉 I do enjoy writing and some days it helps to get it out there. Some days are very rough. Some days are amazing. This is the bit about how it all started.Image

 

River was diagnosed with asperger’s when he was 8. This diagnosis came after a very rough couple of years where he was kicked out of 3 schools for attempting to elope and hiding. That all culminated in a horrific traumatizing event where he ended up being arrested and I decided that was the end of public school.

This June my son River will turn 18. If you know River you will know he is the sweetest kindest 17year old boy who dotes on the younger kids and loves pokemon and lego. He is working hard to make friends. However, he is not 17 as most boys would be. He relates well with his 9 year old brother (who is also autistic) and the other kids about that age. I love the childlike innocence in him. 

River has really struggled with his asperger’s syndrome. When he was younger, it took over his life. He didn’t know how to make friends. Sounds and lights terrified him. Crowds were torture. Tastes and textures were traumatic. He was happiest living his life alone in his bedroom with his legos. It was very hard to reach him.

Years have passed and River has grown. He is learning how to handle himself. He can go shopping without losing his head. Though sounds still bother him he can tolerate them. He is going to a school with other students now that he is learning to interact with. He is finally really engaged in the world around him.

Between the struggles River has had and my own health issues I haven’t been able to work outside of the home for many years. We have struggled financially and I haven’t been able to do alot of things for my sons that kids dream about. River has never complained or begged and always seemed to understand.

A few months ago he brought an advertisement for LegoLand to me and asked if we could go. It broke my heart when I had to say that was something I couldn’t do for him. He understood and didn’t complain. He just said ok well maybe someday and went back to creating his fancy lego creatures.

I have been working hard to make life better and get on our feet, I have started my business and am pushing to move that forward but these things take time.

I want to give my son a wonderful childhood memory while he is still a child.

I run my own business where I make soaps and other items. I will be listing Building block and mini fig soaps and magnets online to be purchased in the hopes I can raise enough funds to take my kids to Lego Land for Rivers 18th birthday. I will also be listing a page to accept donations if anyone would be willing to help.

Asking for help is not my strong point. My son has had a really rough life, I just want to give him something good that he will always cherish. ALL funds raised, even if it isn’t enough for the dream trip, will go to giving him the best 18th birthday we possibly can.

 

So that is the story of that, if you want to help that page is:

donations can be made at:

http://www.youcaring.com/other/building-blocks-for-birthday-dreams/151773

and purchases can be made at:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/RiosBdayDreams

 

So I will do this blog, and I will talk about our lives. I will open us up to your eyes and opinions. Please be nice.

 

Always Love,

Domi