If you missed the previous posts in this series you can find them all right HERE!
I left off last time describing our adoption of Emalee. What a blessing it was to finally have her home. Most of 2007 was spent adjusting to having a new child in the family. I can't really think of any major events during this time.
Financially, we were a mess! We had received a couple of adoption grants to help with our adoption expenses, but they didn't cover the entire cost. So, we took out a Home Equity Loan on our house to help pay the remaining expenses. Somehow (by the grace of God I think) we were able to still make our payments.
In January of 2008 I took on a babysitting job to help with expenses, but it didn't last long. The parents of that child were traveling pretty far to come to me and they found another sitter that was closer. Soon after that I started babysitting another baby. I kept her until school was out. Her father is a teacher so he was able to stay home with her in the summer time. My intention was to watch her again once school started up, but my sister-in-laws (Kara) health has steadily declining and I chose to not babysit in case I was needed to help with that.
|David and Jacob ~ Florida|
|David and Emalee enjoying the ocean!|
In the Spring of 2008 we decided to take a vacation to Florida! We were in the mindset that "we deserved a big vacation because we work hard and haven't ever taken a large vacation before." :) Doesn't that just sound like America?!?! :) I will say that it was fun, but instead of taking our stimulus check and putting it toward bills, we decided to fly to Orlando instead!
FYI: It was around this time that I started COUPONING!!! Too bad there wasn't a coupon for the trip to Orlando! :)
|Brian and the kids at Kennedy Space Station|
Kara had already had a lung removed earlier in the year due to her cancer. Things weren't looking good for her. She steadily declined in health the entire year of 2008. She was hospitalized several times due to complications and infections. By Christmas she only weighed around 95 pounds. We were good friends and it was very difficult to watch someone that I loved suffer in this way. Her colon cancer had spread to her lungs and esophagus eventually closing off her airway. She passed away on Valentine's day, 2009, leaving this world behind and entering the arms of Jesus.
|Kara, Corey and the kids at Emalee's Homecoming!|
You may ask...what does this have to do with becoming debt free? There were several weeks before Kara's death where we were running back and forth to the hospital eating out A LOT...or eating at the hospital cafeteria. Even after her death I found myself often in a daze not being able to function as I worked through my grief. We didn't rack up tons of debt here, but I wanted to include in my series that having some money in savings is what got us through this time.