In early Summer 2021, Karita and Alejandro were happily awaiting the addition of a new baby to their family of three when Alejandro’s company shut down due to Covid-19. Losing his income created an even more stressful situation as they were already struggling to make ends meet. Feeling desperate, they decided to apply for rent assistance from Family Promise of Waukesha County.
As we got to know their situation we recognized that they did not have the resources to pay rent, let alone to create a space for their new baby. In August we worked with Our Savior Lutheran Church, Hartland to provide them with a “baby shower.” Items were collected to make sure they had the needed supplies to care for their soon to be born baby. Karita said, “It is a blessing with all the help and support we have received from Family Promise of Waukesha County.
When things were looking up, their car broke down. Even though Alejandro had returned to work, having lost income and this unexpected expense was too much to sustain. Shortly after this their new baby boy was born on September 2. Unfortunately, Karita had complications for which she was hospitalized. Alejandro lost more time at work. Family Promise continues to provide them support.
It has been a long and challenging year for Karita and Alejandro. Fortunately, Karita is feeling better and on the road to recovery. Recently, she mentioned that without Family Promise, “I wouldn’t be able to focus on my recovery as needed. I want everyone to hear our story and how we are able to still tell it -thanks to Family Promise! For now we are hanging in there. I know [Family Promise] is keeping an eye out [for us.]”
Q&A with Karita
What challenges have you experienced recently?
We have faced many challenges over the past months. The first was Alejandro’s work hours getting cut, on top of that my complications with our pregnancy resulted in the baby being induced. During my epidural a hole was made in my spinal membrane. This is a very dangerous and serious situation. In addition, my dangerously high blood pressure resulted in a prolonged hospital stay after the baby was born. After a week and a half I was finally released.
After being home for about a week my untreated very high blood pressure led to a mini stroke. I was hospitalized 2 more times because my lungs filled up with fluid and my heart was not pumping correctly caused by leakage from a valve. Alejandro needed to stay home with our newborn baby & 11yr old son. All of this led to our inability to pay our rent and utilities.
How has Family Promise of Waukesha County helped you?
Family Promise has helped us financially, mentally and emotionally! They helped us pay our past due rent. They also helped repair our car so that my fiance wouldn't lose his job. Family Promise helped us get completely caught up and back on our feet! This helped me mentally and physically. With their help I was able to focus 100% on my recovery eliminating much stress. I have found new friends in the staff of Family Promise and my old case manager was very easy to talk to. She was there for me when I needed someone the most! They have truly blessed us. When we were unable to afford the expenses of expecting a new baby, Family Promise was there for us and made sure that our family and our new baby had everything we needed.
How has this experience made you stronger?
The experience has taken me out of my routine and has given me the strength to trust others. When you're having a difficult time, it is embarrassing and can make you feel as if you failed in life and as a parent. It is a challenge to explain and tell others about your life when you are in such a vulnerable place. This experience showed me that it takes a strong person to ask and accept help!!
What gives you hope?
What gives me hope are my kids, and family! No matter how bad and disappointing this world can become, there are still good and genuine people like the staff at Family Promise. These are people who will not judge you, or make you feel like a bad person. They let you know you’re not alone and that things happen. A difficult experience doesn't take away the great person you are inside or that you strive every day to be the best mom or dad. They make you feel comfortable and like you're a part of their family. That's what gives me hope!