Angels Among Us – Meet Molly

Angels Among Us – Meet Molly

Choosing love for her child over living in a nice home, Molly knew it was the right
thing to do when facing a decision to get the special needs child insurance. The story
took the Omaha-area duo on a path of challenges before finally finding a home they
helped build through perseverance and a little sweat.

Molly befriended her adopted daughter’s mother around 1995 when the 14-year-old
learned she was about six months pregnant. The teen, who smoked and drank, didn’t
receive prenatal care. simcity 5 crackeado 2019 To exacerbate things, the teenage girl’s grandmother, who
was the parental role model, died.

Julie was born in 1995. Soon afterward, she and her mother moved to Texas.
Working as a prostitute, it became apparent the mother couldn’t take care of Julie.
She turned to Molly for help.

Molly obtained legal custody of the baby, and they’ve been a family since.

Their life together hasn’t been a bowl of cherries. Julie was diagnosed as autistic with
Pervasive Development Disorder, which impacts the development of socialization
and communication skills, Molly said. PDD is usually detected when a child is three,
but Julie was diagnosed at age two.

Molly loved Julie from early on and wanted her as her legal daughter, so she
adopted her in 1998. Unfortunately, Molly made too much money for Julie to qualify
for state assistance, including insurance. With medical and other assistance
necessary for Julie’s care and development, Molly faced a difficult decision.

“I had a beautiful house,” Molly said. “But, it came down to either having a nice
house or getting Julie insurance.”

So, while she dreaded surrendering her home, Molly realized it was just a building.
Her love for Julie, arevo uninstaller pro crackeado 2019nd the help she needed and deserved, overrode her dream
home. They could live anywhere together.

Off they went, living in a variety of apartments for the next several years. Because of
Julie’s developmental issues, her behavior was seen by outsiders as possible abuse.

“It was a challenge caring for her,” Molly said. “People called Child Protective
Services when she had meltdowns.”

Having to find new places to live, the family bounced around, calling 5-7 apartments
home over the years.

Tired of regular moves, Molly wanted to again have a house that they could call
theirs. In what she believes was a miracle from God, Molly learned about Habitat for
Humanity, and was encourfraps downloadaged to apply. She thought it was a long shot, but
dreamed of living in their own, permanent home.

Having to move apartments once again, Molly pretty much gave up on the Habitat for
Humanity house. But, as miracles often happen, by chance she was finally
contacted, they’d been looking for her, but didn’t have her new address.

Molly was pre-approved for a house. She rushed to meet the deadline for her

After putting in 250 hours – along with a friend volunteering another 250 – Molly and
Julie received the keys to their home. Since 2014, the family hasn’t worried about a
roof over their heads.

“Ever since then, it’s been one blessing after another blessing,” Molly said.

She looks at Asha’s House as one of those blessings. When in need of additional
care, or a break in her own caregiving, she knows she can turn to Asha’s House.

A talented writer, Julie prefers working independently. Asha’s House will be able to
assist with that. In fact, Sharon believes that Julie could write a play that others could
perform as part of her experience.

Asha’s House plans to recruit volunteers, who can help with computer programming,
writing, and other skills required of a script writer. Julie loves writing scripts and
would enjoy such a program, Molly said.

Asha’s House seeks to offer a variety of programs that can serve a broad segment of
young people with special needs.

Angels Among Us – Meet Mandy

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome creates innocent victims whose lives are permanently challenged in a variety of ways. For Mandy and her husband, the family embraced caring for a young girl with FAS, as well as a younger sister with fetal alcohol symptoms.

The Omaha family welcomed LeeAnn, then two years old, and her younger sister, into their home while their mother tried to find a home and job. But, after running into legal problems, their young biological mother asked Mandy to care for the children.

The young mother’s legal problems led to a prison sentence, and she eventually lost her parental rights. The children’s father, also in prison, relinquished his rights.

After caring for them for a couple of years, the Omaha couple, with three biological children of their own, adopted LeeAnn, then five, and her four-year-old sister. They had no idea of the challenges that awaited them.

As LeeAnn matured, her mental capacities trailed children of the same age, Mandy said. Tests at Munroe-Meyer Institute revealed she had Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

As LeeAnn started school, she was placed in special education classes, and was about five years behind in development, compared with children her age, Mandy said.

In addition to academic issues, LeeAnn had incidents related to her temper and often spoke out loud to voices in her head, Mandy said. All related to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

As she matured, other issues arose, Mandy said. Romantic relationships could be challenging, as she wasn’t psychologically or sexually mature, and had boundary issues. The family paid close attention to her relationships.

“She’s a pretty girl and is very loving,” Mandy said.

After receiving a modified high school diploma, school counselors suggested LeeAnn participated in a government program to be trained in a trade. allavsoft crackeado Training to be a caregiver, she didn’t receive her state certification because she wasn’t able to understand test questions, Mandy said.

LeeAnn met her future husband, Mason, at that school. After the young couple married, Mandy and her husband found a mobile home for them to live, about two miles from the parents.

While Mason is high functioning on the spectrum, his mental development includes temper issues, which have caused him to lose jobs, Mandy said.

While Mandy and her husband strive to have a life separate from daily caring for their adult children, it’s been a challenge, as LeeAnn requires daily follow-up. She’ll call her mother several times a day – up to 20, Mandy said.

“It’s physically challenging because you’re not getting sleep,” Mandy said. “She’s always on and always requires supervision. We don’t feel like we can go or do anything because they were so abusive with the people we’d leave them with. She gets it in her head that someone has wronged hyoutube by click crackeado 2019er and she’ll lock herself in her room, and she won’t go to work. You’re standing outside her room, trying to get her to go. It’s emotionally draining.”

Even though LeeAnn and Mason are adults, in their early 20s, Asha’s House can offer Mandy’s family relief with overnight stays. As Mandy and her husband spend time together, relaxing or maybe enjoying a date night, Asha’s House staff can work as a team in supervising LeeAnn and Mason, including activities, dinner, and other fun events. If the couple need special attention or supervision, Asha’lumion 11 crackeados House will be staffed with several people, who can help with that.

Security at Asha’s House will include an iron fence, so, if someone leaves the house, they won’t be able to leave the grounds.

So, for Mandy’s family, Asha’s House answers prayers for assistance, and a little alone time.

“I’d give anything to have had Asha’s House before,” Mandy said.

Angels Among Us – Meet the Baum Family

Claire loves school. She’s a social person, who loves being around others. Smiling. Visiting with fellow students. But, Claire isn’t your typical sixth-grader in the Papillion-LaVista Community School District. The 11-year-old has Down Syndrome and is a Type 1 (Juvenile) diabetic. Along with the smiles and socializing, come medical concerns.

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“She requires a lot of specialized care, no matter where she’s at,” said Jeremy Baum, Claire’s father. “People have to have some medical knowledge and know how to treat diabetes. The school’s been great, but we still have to train them each school year. She has to have someone with her all the time, such as a teacher or a para-professional.”

Claire loves being at school, and around people. Being in the classroom helps meet the goals her parents and teachers set each year. But, it’s fellow students that drive her enthusiasm.

“She has this sense about her. Her level of empathy towards other people is off the charts,” said Claire’s mom, Laura. “She’s been able to sense when people are sad and need a hug. It’s one of her gifts.”

She’s a strong reader, Jeremy said. Her favorite classes are music and PE, he added.

“She’s really made a lot of progress in reading, and her reading comprehension,” Laura said. “She’s really striving now.”

Math, on the other hand, is one subject Claire would enjoy leaving behind, her mom joked.

While Claire prefers in-school attendance, the pandemic challenges the Baums because of her special needs.

“Covid is tricky, with Down Syndrome and her diabetes, but, especially Down Syndrome, with muscle weakness and a smaller breathing pathway,” Laura said. “And, then, with diabetes, it opens you to more autoimmune diseases, if she were to get Covid.

“I think we’ve been very careful with social distancing, and she’s very receptive with wearing a mask when she’s in school and out in the public. But, for the last year, we did remote learning, with she and I at home together. But, that social piece was missing for her. When she returned to in-class learning this year, you can see just how much more she’s thriving in that environment.”

While returning to school has been successful, the Baums have limited Claire’s extracurricular activities. A bowler with Special Olympics, Claire hasn’t participated with others yet this year, Laura said. They also do track and field, and the family hopes to get her involved with activities during the spring. The Papillion-LaVista school district is planning a unified kickball game for students, and they hope that they can have Claire participate, Laura said.

“I do think it’s important for her to be around her peers and develop relationships with people within that group,” Laura said.

Claire has also attended week-long day camps at Munroe-Meyer Institute, where she has participated in theater groups, Laura said. The sixth-grader has also played soccer with a local program, Laura said

Like other families with children with special needs, the Baums rely on others for support in case they both need to be away from home.

“We both have parents nearby, and they have gone through training (to help care for Claire),” Jeremy said. “But, they’re getting on in age, and memory issues can come into play, so, outside of our parents, support is somewhat limited. Laura has a brother in town, but the rest of our siblings are out of town.”

Former teachers have helped, but as their lives move on, and they have children, their help also naturally becomes limited, he said.

The Baums’ eldest daughter, Grace, also helps care for Claire. The high school freshman is involved with a lot of school activities, but helps when needed, Laura said. She is well-versed in diabetes care and knows how to manage situations if the parents are busy at home or need to leave for a while, Laura said.

The family is involved with the Down Syndrome Alliance of the Midlands, a local advocacy and support group. The Alliance steps in to assist parents as soon as a diagnosis of Down Syndrome has been made, Laura said. The group also offers activities for children, including boxing and a running club, as well as cooking classes, she said.

Asha’s House will offer overnight respite for the Baums, and other families. With seven specially-themed bedrooms, children can stay up to seven nights. Asha’s House will also include classes and programs, such as cooking and art, to keep young adults engaged during their visit. Other programs include social skills, etiquette classes, gardening, and skill learning opportunities. The House’s staff will include on-duty nurses, as well as paid and volunteer attendants and caregivers.

Guests can spend time on their own, away from others, but always will have an attendant on hand. If a visitor wants to work on school assignments or personal projects, there will be space for that.

Asha’s House will provide additional support that families need.

Angels Among Us – Meet the Westside Family

Heather and Mitchell knew they wanted more children, but emergency surgery following the birth of their daughter Celina, nicknamed CeCe, prevented that from happening. Surgeons had to perform an emergency hysterectomy. But it didn’t deter the couple from welcoming more children into their family; it merely altered the path.

The couple, who moved to Omaha from the Grand Island area after their marriage, thought becoming foster parents would allow them to bring more children under their roof in the Westside area. The opportunity to be foster parents for children with disabilities sort of fell into their lap, Heather said.

After talking with a friend about foster care, she learned about “G,” who was facing being moved into a nursing home for care after her older sister could no longer provide the in-home care G required. Heather jumped into “Tiger Mom” mode.

“I couldn’t see a 12-year-old forced into a nursing home,” she said.

She and Mitch discussed what was required to immediately become foster parents. They welcomed 12-year-old G to their home shortly afterward.

Two years later, the couple are permanent guardians for the teenager. As a result of cerebral palsy, G is non-verbal and non-mobile, and uses a wheel chair.

Non-verbal doesn’t mean non-communicative. G uses a Tobii Dynavox device to communicate with her eyes. About the size of an electronic tablet, a camera follows her eyes to choose a subject or word, such as “Hi,” “Yes” and “No.” She enjoys playing an underwater fish game on the app.

The foster parents have expanded G’s social scene, as she attends a day care program at J.P. Lord, as well as participating in cheerleading and the “Miss Amazing” pageant. G smiled as Heather put her tiara on top of her head and showed off G’s trophy.

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With five siblings, G maintains a relationship with her biological family. Her biological mother died, and one of her older sisters – G is the youngest in the family – cared for her until it became too difficult. Rather than move into a nursing facility, Heather and Mitchell stepped in to help.

The couple have welcomed about 10 foster children into their home over the past two years. Not all have been special needs, Mitchell said. They seem to be drawn to children who may need more care. Part of that may be Heather’s career as a nurse. As a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), she has worked in hospitals and understands the care required of people with special medical needs.

Their affection for children with special needs continued when they welcomed two-year-old  “Chris” (not her real name) to their home in 2020. The child has a progressive genetic neuromuscular disorder, as well as scoliosis. She is also non-verbal.

When she arrived, the two-year-old wasn’t walking. Two years later, Chris is a speed demon, quickly moving from one spot to another, keeping her foster parents on their toes, Heather said.

With three girls in the house, the couple, who have been married about seven years, seem blissful.

However, just like any other parents, Heather and Mitchell appreciate their alone time. The couple have been fortunate to have their own “village” to help care for the children, including her mom, who is also a medical professional. The couple enjoy date nights once in a while, allowing them to recharge their batteries and refocus on the care of their children.

While they know they’ve been blessed with a great support system, they understand the need for an overnight respite program, such as Asha’s House, can offer to them and others.