Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Making no more plans

"If you want to make God laugh tell him about your plans." - Woody Allen

I honestly don't think that God laughs at my misfortune or when things don't work out. My God is an awesome God and only wants the best for me. I do think however that if your plans are destroyed he helps you find the light and leads you to the right path, if you listen.

I lost my way many times, had my doubts, question my life and his power and each time I take a step back and see that he's still there for me, has not abandoned me and I'm a stronger person for it. This post isn't about my religion but I felt the need to say this, so when I read this back to myself I remember to go to him. What this post is about is this path that I'm taking full of bumps on the way, distractions and at times utter chaos. 

In 1998 I graduated high school, I went off to Kean University to study Physical Therapy. This has been my plan since I assisted in my grandmother's therapy session and saw that the sessions involved playing with balloons, dancing, hopscotch, and a number of other games. In 2000, I lost my Angel and moved back home, I was supposed to take a year off and then return to school however my mom and stepdad separate at that time and my mother was struggling along with my little sisters so I couldn't go. I stayed and helped my family get through this bump. 

In 2001 I joined the military I went off to basic training in Fort Leonard Wood Missouri. I had an awful reaction to one of the many injections I received to the point that I wasn't healing fast enough. After 7 weeks away I was sent home to heal, because I had a mandatory return date and would have to complete basic at a later time. I came back home in June 2001, I did my one weekend a month with a great reserve unit in Philadelphia. In September the twin towers fell and slowly during each of our weekend sessions they were preparing our unit for activation. In June 2002, 2 weeks before I was suppose to return to finish basic training I got into a horrible car accident. My doctors, chiropractors, and therapists would not sign my medical release stating that leaving for such demanding physical training would hinder my healing process. My contract was voided due to my injuries and 3 months later my unit was activated. 

In 2002 my fiancé and I separated. He had been my only real boyfriend for 5 years and I didn't know how to be single started a new relationship shortly after.

Still in 2002 I started taking classes at my local community college towards my Physical Therapy Assistant degree. After a year of prerequisites I applied and got accepted into the program. A few weeks before the new semester was to start I received a letter from the college stating that the program would be put on hold for a year. A whole year with nothing to do was upsetting to me. At work I told a friend who recommended the LPN program. She stated it was a year long and after I was finish I could work as a LPN while I went to school for my PT degree. I went and was accepted into the program. I went to school and worked as a home health aide, I loved both the personal experience and school. A year later when I finished I was no longer interested in becoming a physical therapist, I wanted to be a nurse, that was my true calling. 
In 2006 I got engaged and my fiancĂ© and I started making plans for our wedding. In 2007, after 5 years in a relationship and 2 months prior to our wedding our relationship crumbled. I was left with the task of canceling the wedding, sending out uninvitation cards and being in a awful funk. 

In 2007 I decided to move to Philadelphia and start fresh. My job at the Hospital of the University of Philadelphia was amazing and offered free tuition to any school. I was accepted into La Salle University and started taking classes towards my BSN.

In 2008 I was in a good place, working during the day, going to school some evenings and in a great relationship. At this time I learned that my aunt was trying to get custody of one of my niece that was in foster care however due to a medical condition she wasn't able to. My other uncle and his wife had considered it however were in the process of a divorce. I felt compelled to step forward and with the encouragement of my boyfriend I started the process to take custody and started weekly visits with this precious child.  The process was lagging and finally one of our social worker informed me that it was taking longer because we lived in a different state. It didn't take me long to pack and move back to Jersey and before the year was up I officially became the guardian of a preschooler! 

In 2009 after spending almost a year commuting the hour to and from work and school I decided to put school on hold and get a job in New Jersey to spend more time with my new child and get use to being a mom. On a whim I looked into a job at an agency. I started working with Maxim Health Care and after a while found out how much I truly enjoyed my new job. 

Again things were looking good 2010 Kenny received his kidney transplant and I was finally able to officially adopt Tiffany. 2011 I started taking classes at a local school. 

In 2012, after being engaged to twice before I decided to propose to a stunned Kenny on leap day. He said yes and we started our plans for a wedding. These plans were put on hold when I found out I was pregnant, though in shock because we didn't think we would be able to have biological children without assistance, we were both thrilled. We moved to a new town with more space for all of us plus a great school for Tiffany. Unfortunately the pregnancy was a difficult one. I went on maternity leave a lot sooner than expected and because my disability payments were so low we had to dig into our savings just to stay afloat. By the end of 2012 we were in the negative, in the process of a short sale and no saving. But the birth of our beautiful healthy baby boy somehow made it all worth it. 

I was happy to return to work in 2013 after a 6 months hiatus. Though I missed not being able to see my son every day I was fortunate to have my mom, aunt and his daddy Kenny take turns watching him. We spent 2013 adjusting to being the parents of two children and getting our budget back in the positive.

In 2014 our landlord passed away, shortly after we started receiving letters from the bank to him and though we couldn't open them and his widow didn't answer our calls or letters we found out that the condo was in foreclosure. Fearing being kicked out into the streets with 2 kids we moved...again this time right across the street so no change in the school my daughter attended. Kenny and I also decided that we would let go of the traditional wedding and plan a destination wedding in Mexico. The plans were fun and exciting and I couldn't wait to share with our family members about it and then have a big BBQ to celebrate with the rest of our love ones when we returned to the states. The problem was that out of the 25 people we wanted to be there only about 10 could actually afford to go. This put our plans on hold again but only for a while. We decided on a whim to have a small ceremony in the park and a champagne brunch with 80 of our closest friends and family members. It was simple, beautiful and perfect because we made it happen. 

In 2015 we found out that I was pregnant again with our honeymoon baby. The joys of being pregnant were a little distracting with the fear that I would again have a difficult pregnancy and this time we wouldn't have savings to fall back on. We hated the feeling of always having to catch up. We wanted to buy a house, a car, and both of us wanted to be able to finish school but life was getting in the way of our future. Financially we couldn't make it work and not knowing how much longer I had until I wasn't able to work anymore made our fears unbearable. That's when it happened, we put a thought of into the universe and I ran with it. Let's move to Nevada! The cost of living was cheaper and surprisingly both Kenny and I could have jobs making the same amount of money. We could afford going back to school since that was cheaper too, and the best thing I had a handful of relatives which includes 2 sisters, a few cousins, aunts and uncles. We did the research, visited our new home and made the final decision. At the end of the school year and after the baby comes we are heading out! This was a decision with many different emotions but overall I knew it was the best one for our family.

June 11,2015; Kenny takes the day off so he is able to come with me to my 36 weeks ultrasound. Due to scheduling conflicts he was never able to come to one, not with KJ or baby J. I was super excited for this and it was finally here. I knew it wasn't a typical ultrasound, the tech brought in a perinatologist who after looking for a while brought in a colleague. KJ grew impatient and he and daddy went to take a walk. They decided to perform a slightly more invasive procedure to get a better look at the baby's brain.  I was in the room with 3 strangers discussing the test in lots of clutter medical terminology that I couldn't recall from my text books. What I did pick up was when the doctor would say things like, "...this is where we would see the blah blah, and it isn't visible here."  After the test the doctors explained what they were discussing in as simple terms as possible. I was devastated by the news and also optimistic about the possibility of it being all wrong. Since then our plans are on pause. We don't know what to do or where to go. We pray, our family and friends pray, even strangers pray for the best outcome.

I don't think God is laughing at our plans, I think he's trying to help us along this new road. I'm praying that I'm strong enough to deal with yet another detour. 

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