September 2009 we were selling off our things and planning to move in with my mom. Gabriella was to be listed October 15 and we would live at my moms house to wait, that way when the call came we could just pick up and go. We would then move, when she got her heart, to Loma Linda and Paul would commute the treacherous drive from there to Anaheim, daily, for work.
But Gabriella stroked and couldn't be put on the list. Our contract was ending with our rental, and we still had to move. Our family got everything out of our house in one day and into storage or my mom's house, and when Gabriella was released from the hospital (ironically October 15) we came 'home' to Gammy's.
For the past 6 months, we have been living here. Though tight quarters and limited space, we made the best of the cohabitation. The kids shared a room, Paul and I had a room, we split the kitchen and had the living room to ourselves. We were blessed with the opportunity to save the money on rent since me leaving my job had pained our finances deeply. But as time passed, this wasn't an opportunity that was going to last forever. And with the delay of listing Gabriella for her heart, we had to make other plans.
In January, Paul and I had to pray heavily about where God wanted us to go. My mom listed and sold her house, and delayed closing long enough for us all to make plans. (Keep in mind, when we were making plans, Gabriella was still not cleared for transplant and we had no clue when she would be listed). Paul's job, over those 4 months, had become more demanding and important for him to be here in this local branch. We had the options to either: 1- get a place here and when Gabriella got her heart, I'd go with her and he would stay here with PJ and travel on the weekends, 2- move to Southern California and wait there and have Paul transfer branches, or 3- find someone else to move in with while waiting. Because it was such a heavy and important decision, I think Paul and I were both so scared to be comfortable in what God was telling us. It didn't mean we were any less faithful, just unsure of ourselves as flawless humans, and needed God to give us confirmation.
While we were still mulling over options, we decided to feel out local properties. We looked at 1 bedroom apartments online and printed off information to a whole bunch. After visiting 2 places and finding out we could be evicted for having 4 people in a 1 bedroom, we were instructed to start looking at 2 bedrooms. It was scary to think of a 2 bedroom, so we wondered if it was the right thing to even do. We went from a large 4 bedroom house having 2 incomes to one income plus medical bills, and not knowing what we could afford in rent. So we pulled up new spec sheets on 2 bedroom apartments and I started visiting them. I was finding that most 2 bedrooms in this area are about the same price, so it boils down to which property we liked best. I also found, looking at our budget, that we could afford a 2 bedroom if we were smart and strict with our spending. I spent an entire day looking at apartments to get ideas and gather information for Paul.
One place I did not have on my list to look at, I drove past and pulled into anyways. I parked, knowing it was stupid of me to go there because there was no way we could afford it. I went in and spoke with one of the employees. Their office was spectacular and the people were SO nice. He showed me their cheapest 2 bedroom model and I fell in LOVE. For an apartment, it was so open and had so much sunlight. He drafted up an estimate sheet for me, and to my GREAT surprise it was only $5 more than most of the other places I looked at! I got too excited, and took applications to fill out. We returned them later and got approved in a few days time! It felt good, and right. Peace - confirmation.
A week later, Gabriella was approved for transplant and we were on our way to California to get her listed! We have set our plan up for when the call comes, and like previously said, Paul and PJ will stay in Arizona and visit us on weekends after the initial couple weeks are over with and she's stable. (PJ can stay with my in California if there is another adult staying with me as well to care for him when she has her twice a week clinics and any episodes of rejection) The social worker at Loma Linda said this is extremely common, and families just work through it. And the greatest part of all of this is when Gabriella has her new sparkly heart, she has a home to come back to! Much less stress for us, because if we moved to wait, we would be moving into a new place upon return to Arizona along with adjusting to Gabriella's new life.
So we move next week! I have an amazing outpouring of people who want to help us move, and for that I feel blessed. It will be sad to not see Gammy everyday, but nice to have our space also. We have so much faith in God's plan, and know that He led us to this place to live, He will provide us with the financial resources necessary to provide a home for our kids, and will protect us in our times apart from each other.