Friday, April 22, 2011

The Reality of Life in Milan

I think when most people think of Italy, and Milan, they get a romanticized vision of everything. Cobblestone streets, gorgeous architecture, stunning scenery, blue skies, shops galore, street side cafe's and walking hand in hand. It all sounds lovely and if you find a place like that let me know, because I could use a break.

That is far from the reality here and financially, I don't think anybody, unless they have had to up and MOVE (not visit, not travel through, not vacation) to a foreign country with 4 kids and 3 adults can begin to make assumptions about what it "should" be like for us here. In addition to the overwhelming fear of our daily lives when it comes to our children, we have had to navigate life in another country, where we don't know the language, where life simply does not resemble anything you know as life in Midwest America...or America at all. The US Dollar is barely worth the paper it is printed on here. And, if you did not realize, Milan is the 15th most expensive city for expats in the world. To put that in perspective...I know many in the midwest who would cringe if they had to move to New York City because of cost of living. New York City is 27th on the list.

I am not one to ever post much about what ISN'T great if it isn't necessary, like the trials faced with Giovanni's treatment. I don't like to complain, I try to focus on the positive. I didn't post about my locker being gone through at the hospital and then left unlocked for all of my stuff to be taken overnight. I did not post about the people in the building reporting us for not recycling properly because it was never explained to us that you need to separate EVERYTHING...even food or even where we were supposed to take it each day. I did not post about navigating around piles of dog poop on the sidewalks because few people pick it up here, or the big fight at the train station that was because of us and our stroller trying to get on the hospital train. The locals all came to our defense against the much disliked "transit man" who came out of his booth to confront them all when our train arrived (this was after a shouting match on the train with him over the loud speaker).

I know that those posts would make for a good read once in a while but unless I have a big reason to address something negative...a passion, a defense of my family, a concern for someone else...I won't usually focus much on that stuff with the public. Right now is one of those times I feel, as my family has been misrepresented and someone out there thinks that we are doing things here and living it up on donations and nothing could be farther from the truth. And, this again makes Mama Bear come out.

Before I get into the "exciting" details of our time here in Milan I did want to point out that we are currently waiting on a fraud investigation on our account. There is a charge for $1000 some odd dollars that is not ours. I do not know how long to expect the investigation to go on but we certainly hope that it will be resolved soon. We fell victims to this charge (which appeared once before and then disappeared) and I acted as quickly as possible with not way of actually phoning Wells Fargo from here to get the next steps to file a report. The report was filed by Jen Hendrickson in Omaha (who is also on the account) and we hope for a quick resolution for all of us affected by the charge.

Ok...picture this. We are 7 people, 4 kids and 3 adults, living in a 2 bedroom flat. Homes and apartments in America are quite palatial compared to homes in Milan. Except for the bathrooms here, things are quite small (they like big bathrooms). Those 7 people, have just 4 beds and my 6'9 husband is sleeping on a 6'0 cot (that he insists is shaped like a banana). This is likely the reason he has had his back out for the last week and limps around like Grandpa.. I feel bad for him but we tried to find different configurations for sleeping for a while and that was what worked best for everyone. Being the loving wife that I am, I reminded him that I slept in a baby crib for 60 days so he needed to learn to love his banana cot.

We moved to this flat, in a village outside of the city in Mid-February after living in a hotel with 7 people for a month. I say we, but in reality, it was Brad, Tarah, Aria, Miles and Liviana because I was in "the box" for 6 straight days as Giovanni started his chemotherapy. Remember when you were getting ready to start college and your mom took you to Target or Wal-mart to get everything for your room. All you had to start with was a bed, desk and very basic furniture items. That is pretty much what we faced except it is for 7 people. We needed towels, sheets, pillows, comforters, kitchen items like dish towels, bowels, cups, glasses, trash cans, brooms, mops, cleaning supplies, toiletries beyond the 3 oz. containers we had, plug converters, hangers, blankets and other small miscellaneous things. There were a few things in the kitchen, which helped but I had to get inventive when I made Lasagna last week when I realized we did not have a casserole type dish. With each day you realize more things you miss and need from home. We take for granted having a home full of things when we need them. The power has gone out several times at night...where are the candles and lighter until it is restored. We still don't even have a rack to hang our laundry that doesn't take 2 days for it to dry. That can back things up with 7 people and 4 kids who go through clothes quicker than we do. There aren't dryers here so people hang things outside. We will probably find one when it is close to time for us to leave. We have lightbulbs burned out in the flat and have yet to figure out where to buy them to match. There isn't an ACE hardware on the corner and what they have at the market isn't even remotely close to the same kind.

Being outside of Milan and not in the hotel anymore means that we have to take the train to the hospital. We can see the top of the hospital from our village train station but it is a 1/2 hour to 45 minute train ride one-way depending on the time of day and a 1 mile walk from our flat to the train station. In the month of March we turned in over 240Euro in train tickets for reimbursement and that was not all of them, as I had some in my bag as well...I would say with all of them it was probably slightly over 300Euro The hospital has not reimbursed us for those. Each time I left the hospital I waited on trains, switched trains and made my 1 mile walk back to the flat. For about 2 weeks those walks were in the rain. I know, I know..."I walked up hill in the snow when I was a kid" point is...that is life without a nice vehicle to jump into and go home.

Food....ahhh food. This is where most of all of our expenses go. I would say easily...93% of finances is on feeding all of us. Forget all about bulk shopping, going to the store every other week of even once a week. The culture here around grocery shopping is very far from America. Refrigerators are small and freezers even smaller. Meat expires usually the day you are buying it, as they don't "stock up" on food here to have for the week. You buy for each day or each two days. Our kids go through 7 -9 boxes of cereal a WEEK and 5 gallons of milk. When I first went to the market when we were living in the hotel I thought...WOW...this is cheap. It took me getting back and realizing the horror of the currency exchange to know that it is not cheap for us and when were at the hotel I was stocking a hotel sized tiny fridge. I added up in 14 days at the beginning of March we spent 320.91 Euro on groceries. That comes out to $469.00 US dollars. See....that hurts! There really is no choice though. I am the master of creative cooking with what I have but that is easier when you are in an established kitchen with a variety of items for random, not everyday use. I don't have the luxury of going to the store and getting all of those useful items. Not only would it not make sense to fully stock a kitchen we will be leaving in a little over a month but we have to walk to market. It is about 1/2 a mile away and we can only buy what we can pull home in our pull cart or carry. Another reason we have to go each day or every other day.

The grocery market is also closed 3 hours during the day, each day and closes for the night at 7pm and is not open on Sunday. When were still in the hotel we ran out of diapers on Sunday and had not learned the Italian system yet so Brad had to take a taxi 45 minutes away to the one open Sunday market for diapers. Again...don't take for granted being able to get whatever you want, when you want it in America.

We are reimbursed by the hospital for $500. That is all! Few people realize that and some that still do think that we still should be fine on that I guess. When we moved further away from the hospital we added the train expense that cuts into our food money even more. We have to wait and wait and wait on reimbursements and when we do get them they may or may not be we wait some more. We are currently waiting and it is bank holiday time because of Easter so no office workers from Thursday to Monday.

So..what if we want to head out and about. After all, we have yanked the kids out of school..which they loved and we want them to get something enriching out of this different cultural experience. Surely we are not expected to keep them in the flat all the time. We mostly, probably 98% of the time head out in the village to the local parks and "exploring" as Tarah and the kids call it. We have a few times, but mostly before Giovanni went into the hospital gone into the city to check things out and show the kids the sights. The last few times I came home when Giovanni was in the hospital for our day visits Brad and I took the kids down to some different museums, a natural food store I had hunted down for some non-toxic cleaner (I make no apologies for that) and another time to an open air market to find them some summer clothes (that was a MADHOUSE). Each time we go somewhere it is an 1.5 hour train experience ONE WAY to get there from the time we leave the house from the time we arrive at our destination. Each time we have gone out as a group, we know we will have to eat while we are out. We are far from home, out for hours and no matter what will run into a meal time with cranky, hungry kids and frankly us too after walking and walking and walking in the heat and sun. You may think...why can't you bring food with you? Well, in America, that would work great. Get a cooler (haven't seen one of those here), get some ice (this is Europe, they don't use or sell ice) and pack lunches. I am not sure the people crammed onto the train with us (so crammed we have had to let them go by because we could not all fit, let alone with a stroller) would appreciate a big cooler even if they did sell them and use them here along with the 4 kids, 3 adults and a stroller. I guess we could get ice trays...right?...haven't seen those either and the amount of trays it would take would not fit in our tiny freezer that is divided into drawers. So...we stop at a pizzeria to feed the hungry troops. The prices seem great and cheap but then we realize again the American dollar is the crapper and they don't seem so great anymore. Although...I will admit the quality of food beats the US anytime.

We found out on January 7th that we were indeed accepted to come to Milan and they wanted us here on the 12th. It was an absolute frenzy. I was trying to wrap things up with my business, Aria was in school and we had to ALL go to Minneapolis to get our passports plus we had company from out of state with us that weekend, two days before we left. Packing for 5 months happened the day and night before we left. One checked back per person for 5 months and two seasons. I could have done a better job packing. I managed to pack myself one pair of boots and I wore another pair of boots for the trip...not good thinking. Aria had two pairs of pants (one she has outgrown) because she is a skirt/dress girl plus she wears uniforms during the day. Miles has outgrown two of his pairs of jeans since we arrived, one of them were bought in December and several of his shirts are now cropped tops. They have all grown in 4 months. Liviana's belly is usually hanging out because her shirts are too small and they are all long sleeved. Giovanni..well, he is a giant for his age and most of his pants are high waters. None of the kids have shorts or summer clothes, which is what season we are in here and it feels like it.

I hate that I have to feel guilty for trying to keep my kids clothed and not sweating. I would have to do the same thing if I were at home though. They would need shoes because their summer shoes from last year don't fit them anymore, they would still have outgrown their clothes. I do have clothes for Giovanni and Liviana at home from their siblings outgrown stacks but in those 5 days we had to get ready to leave I failed to remember to get them out and go through them for the season change and if I had it would have put us over our bag limit and cost us an arm and a leg at the airport. I am not one to buy things for myself and what I have bought has been from cheap street markets (summer tops for 8 Euro) or from knock off stores for cheapo. They were just to keep me out of sweaters during those walks in the sun and warm weather and...not to throw Tarah under the bus (she knows I love her) but her laundry skills have turned many of my clothes different colors and two things are now Aria's because they shrunk into tiny tops. Love you Tarah.

Let's see....have I bored you enough? We are boring...we aren't living it up. Brad and I have not spent time alone since early February except for a few walks to the market in the last week. We don't "go out", we don't do fun things accept with and for the kids. If anyone doubts this they can ask our babysitter. About 4 times a week we walk over to the gelato place with the kids. That is one thing that IS cheaper. We get them all a cone or cup of gelato for about 7 Euro. It is double that at home at the e-creamery by our house. They enjoy the simple things and that is pretty much all we have done with them.

I wish it was all more exciting and I wish we were not here for the reasons we are. We have put Giovanni through a life changing experience for more than one reason, we have watched Liviana decline, yet still smile and we have watched Aria and Miles miss home so much that they have stood at the train station in front of a ton of people and yelled, "Train to Omaha Please" was embarrassing but we all agreed with them.

We don't want to be here, we don't even want to ever come back here but we know we have to. We have not partied accept Valentines day with homemade signs, Brad's birthday with homemade signs and the day Giovanni came home. We have spent money on things we mostly needed for the kids, mostly food and a few other things....I have stacks and stacks of receipts if anyone really is THAT bored.

We have photos to take today so I must run. I spotted an awesome spot in town while were on a little free "train" ride during a festival last weekend. Liviana is having an AWESOME day and those are the things I should really be focusing on. See...this is why I don't like to focus on all these details of the reality of our life here. The kids are so, so much more important and it is unfortunate that my attention has been taken away from them to deal with too many questioning people. It is an open book. We save almost all of our receipts for anyone bored enough to go through them when we get home.

Enjoy your weekend. Buona Pasqua!

Hug Your Babies!


Joy said...

I hate that you feel like you have to explain/defend yourself! Anyone who really knows you would NEVER question your situation. Keep your chin up girl and don't let what other people think or say get to you. They obviously have no life and no clue what they are talking about. I am super excited for Mom Prom tonight and are stoked to get as much support for your family as we can.

Bluebonnet's Photography and design said...

Oh Amy, I can not believe how insensitive people are! That is ridiculous! You are there trying to save your baby's life! How can anyone question what you are doing!? I love you dearly and pray for your whole family (including Tarah) and the doctors that are treating G-man and Livi. I also pray for the other people in your lives, the train masters, the financial people at the hospital, you and Brads parents and siblings, your neighbors, just everyone. I hope your last little bit of time in Italy will be much more peaceful and enjoyable! I hug my babies everyday and can only imagine what you have and will go through. I love you to pieces. Laura

Phoebe said...

I don't know or care who is making your lives miserable, but I am inspired and awed by your courage and strength. I wish I had a million dollars to help out, but sadly, that doesn't seem to be in the cards! I was so thrilled for you when the auction raised over $5000! I was so blessed to be a part of that action! You guys hang in there and don't anyone get you down...they would NOT want to be in your shoes! May God's peace be a blessing to you all!

craftytammie said...

Amy I am speechless. People can be trolls, for sure! I have to admit I didn't realize how hard it is for you guys there, it's more than I had imagined. I hope that you can put the mean people out of your head and heart and continue to be the amazing mom and woman that you are, no explanations needed.

Camara Cassin said...
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Lisa said...

For every one negative person there are ten others hoping and praying for you. Pay no attention to them or their negative energy. Do what you know is necessary for your beautiful family.

Anonymous said...

I live here. I know how it is. I gave birth in that hospital and I know about the lockers. :) I shared a room with three women after I gave birth and I know about all of the lack of comforts in that hospital. Granted, I can't begin to compare my "medical situation" to what you are going through.

Please get in touch with me. I have a drying rack you can have/use. I have little boy's clothes that may fit your son. We have an old car in the family that we are not using. I know you are on the downswing with being here and on your way out, but if there's anything I could do to make your time here a little more pleasant, I'm happy to do it even if it's driving you to a grocery store where you can stock up. They do exist! michelle (at)

Emily said...

When I first heard you had to move to Milan, my first reaction was to think, "Ooooo how lucky! How Romantic!" Then I remembered about what life was like when I lived in Guatemala as a regular ol citizen (for 7 months). The street market, no car, lack of food storage options, dead animals in the street (a pig once!), people peeing literally *everywhere*, trying to catch the chicken buses, not hot showers, pollution, etc etc. Yes, romantic cities are really only romantic when you're there on vacation, with enough money to spend just doing vacation-y things. The actual living is a whole other story. I had to take a bus back to the US, a 4 day journey with my then-7 year old in tow, and a couple of boxes. NOT FUN. But I can tell you, the minute I got to my dad's house, I stopped at the store and got some Doritos, went home and took a 45 minute shower, then spent the next two months getting fat and being ecstatic to be an American. lol I've never been so happy to be a member of this retarded country.

So, I've been thinking about your return home, and I've been imagining all the things you guys will get to re-enjoy. I wish I could be there when you get back, to go out to dinner and watch you just revel being back in the land of luxury. For now, you are counting down the days, I'm sure. I pray for you guys every night, and I am so sure that God's hand is over your family. Love from America!! - Emily

Amity said...

Brad and Amy,
People are so cruel!! I don't know who, in their right mind could even find it in themselves to think that you all are having the time of your life and living it up!! I admire you for being so positive in your struggles!! Most people can't find a positive in the every day things of life, let alone when things are hard!! You guys have amazing stength and such a beautiful family!! I can't imagine the struggles you face each day and the hurt inside for what your family is going through!! You all are in my thoughts by day and my prayers at night!!Keep that light shining Amy, for you are an inspiration to us all as mothers!! You are an Amazing Woman and never let anyone make you feel otherwise!! You have no reason to explain yourself to someone out of sheer stupidity!! Sendin Love and Prayers your way!!

Tara O said...

I am sooo sorry that you have to deal with mean people. When you said you were leaving the hospital, I thought to myself "GOOD!!! maybe they can try to ENJOY Italy for a bit!" But, I have never been there, and the first paragraph completely states what I think when I think of Italy. How wrong am I! WOW. I had no idea!! I sat here for over an hour trying to read the one blog post because I had children talking, playing, fighting, hollering and jumping on me, and then when I sent them all upstairs so I could just read it, then DH came in to chat with me. lol I was interested in knowing what it's really like. I think most of us just don't know ANYTHING about being there. KWIM? I would NEVER criticize someone for taking a little time to enjoy being there though! I can't believe how expensive things are! and I can't fathom the frustration you're going through- trying to think of ways to save money, but you can't becase you can't take food with you! We eat our RARELY because it IS expensive, and there are 7 of us too! It's CRAZY! Our eating out is Taco bell for $2 each. lol
Keep your chin up and pay no attention to those who ridicule. They have no clue, and have never been in YOUR shoes. (((((HUGS)))) for all of you.
DD wanted me to read this out loud to her while I was reading, and it was HARD to do that without my jaw quivering and tears welling up.
My friends were in Hondurus for the Peace Corps so I rememeber hearing MANY similar stories about traveling miles to get anywhere, on full busses in the heat, no coolers for shopping, etc. but there were just the 2 of them. I'm sure being there makes you appreciate the states SOOOOOOOOO MUCH. I can't wait til you're able to come back! More (((((HUGS))))

Tricia said...

Living it up? Seriously? I can't believe the insensitivity of whoever has made these accusations. If I had all the money in the world, I would send it to you in great quantities so that you COULD live it up (insofar as that is possible with the issues you are dealing with!) I wish you didn't have to worry about money and could have outings at will!

Whoever has accused you of whatever they're accusing you of should be ashamed of themselves. Truly.

cheryl said...

Shame on any one that would think you are "living it up". I understand some of what you are going thru. Learning a whole new way of living in a differant country where the language is so differant. I sometimes find myself counting the days until our next trip home. Not being able to jump in the car and get to where you need to be is a real problem. But you are doing a wonderful thing for you family and think of the family stories you all will be able to tell. I can't wait until the next auction, shopping on line for Chris's son is one of my favorite things to do. Please contact Michelle and let her help you as much as she can. Prays for the entire family.

Anastasia said...

Amy, I am enraged that you feel like you have to spend your precious time defending yourself. Whoever has suggested that you are doing ANYTHING other than saving your baby's life is a horrible human being indeed. I am so sorry that in addition to everything you have to deal with you have to deal with BS on top of it.

You are a strong and wonderful woman and mother. You inspire me every day, and my only hope is that you will be able to hold your babies close for as long as possible.

All my love and prayers are with you.

HammBone said...

I am so sorry you have to add this crap to your stress. Not exactly what you need right now. Know that you are loved and you are doing the right thing. PS. I absolutely love seeing the pictures of your beautiful family. They are precious, and when I see how big Aria is...i want to CRY. She is so big. I'm going to go hug mine now. Stay strong Amy. We got your back here in KC and love you guys.

Kristen said...

Ugh who on earth would act as if you were 'living it up' Really? Really? Screw them. I wish I had millions of $$$ to send to you all <3

Victoria said...

We have only met once before but i have been following your blog. My son Jack is an Aria's class. I can't even imagine what your whole family is going through. I was appauled that you felt like you had to take valuable time to justify feeding your children. I will make sure and say a special prayer for all of you tonight. I know that Jack will be excited to see Aria when she returns. Victoria Kohout

Janeen said...

(((HUGS))) I have lived in another country and will never do it again. The things we take for granted in the US really hits home when you're overseas. We spent over a year in South Korea and WOW, I was not at all prepared for the reality of living in another country especially when it came to the conversion rates and what it cost for food (in many cases, TWICE as much as it cost here except for fast food which was a bit cheaper over there). Not to mention, people really do not know how it is to be an actual ex-pat and not just a tourist. There is a HUGE difference, especially when you are having to rely on the local economy to live on. I hear you on the shopping multiple times a week (used to send my husband out for groceries almost every single night though we tried to limit it to twice a week), on the expensive prices for things like cereal and basically anything that was a staple at home (used to tell my husband that if he EVER complained about the price of bananas in the US again, I would HIT HIM!), the expensive prices for home goods (we spent 3x more on a SINGLE fitted sheet than we did on the sheet set I bought not too long ago), the difficulties in finding clothes and shoes and how expensive it was for those. And it was just hard in general living over in a country I had never even visited when I had never even ventured outside of the midwest. So I totally feel for you.

If you can, you may want to look into an ex-pat group, especially one with families. I'm not sure if there are many in Italy but I'm sure there are. I found one online in Korea and that really helped me out a lot. Otherwise, the feeling of loneliness and isolation can really get to you (especially when you're cramped into a three room apartment with two other people like I was!).

Again (((HUGS)))! I simply cannot imagine going through what you are going through and it brings tears to my eyes. I think of you often and hope for success for your little boy.

Firejen73 said...

Amy, I believe you did a wonderful thing today posting your daily habits and funding needs. you see i also sit on a board for a nonprofit orginazation, and for everyone who donates their time, energy, or money we have to allow them personal access to all our account information. Joy stated "i hate that you feel like you have to explain/defend yourself"... BUT reality is you should! Anyone who says otherwise it just coating the cake with more frosting and not living the reality, you and i know physically the only difference between your daughter and me is age,,i too will be where she is in the future. It is wonderful for people to know what exsactly and to question all funding accpects as it is a smart deserment to do so. as you question the doctors and challenge them, it is smart for us to question the living habits and spending habits of who we are sending our money too. those who have nothing to hide will bear it all,,which is what you did today and you get a gold star for doing it if their are things that are not revealed, it will come to light and hopefully be fixed. People are not insensitive, it is their funds they are giving up. unfourtuatly i wish i could give more, but i have my own medical bills and my children also. people need to understand that it is OKAY for not everyone to agree with the way you spend the money,, thats human nature,God knows people dont agree with what i do as a profession. And thats what makes the world go around. Just know it is perfect that you have smart knowlegable people questioning, otherwise we would all be screwed by everyone,,dont dwell on the "feelings" rethink, and resmart your life,,, maybe get rid of the $1300 house payment and get a cheaper one, maybe rethink the lord, as he also wants to provide for you. Love on your daughter, kiss her, hug her and know that their are many of us still praying for your family.

Karen said...

As a donor, I too appreciate your openness and honesty with sharing your spending habits and financial needs. I think the best way to dispel any questions would be to ask whoever manages the financial donation accounts to set up a website with itemized reciepts. This would allow us to view all the good that we are contributing to. We will continue to pray for you and your family in your time of need.

Gr8Life said...

Wow! am really surprise that some of you think she has to explain her expenses. If you are giving a gift to someone out of the goodness of your heart it is NONE of your business what that person does with the gift. I don't think it is truly a gift if it has stipulations.
When I give a homeless person money I give them the benefit of the doubt that they will use it for good and to improve themselves but if they don't I don't care. At least I feel good that I gave that person the opporunity to use it for good. If I made a donation to anyone and that person used it to take their family to the movies or if they went and bought a Prada handbag, or went to the grocery store and used the money I don't care. Because I gave it hoping it would be used as it should be.
And everyone's needs are not the same. Some people need to spend time with their friends to unstress others need time to themselves. Some people won't leave the house without their make-up on others never wear makeup.
I live in Phoenix and when my daughter was transplanted in Los Angeles we had to uproot the family and that was a hard thing. I can not even begin to imagin how hard it is to do it in a foreign country. And the exchange rate is such that our money is nothing more than Monopoly money over in europe. There is so many aspects that you have to deal with and figure out how to juggle when you are dealing with not one but to children with medical challenges. We were always arguing with our insurance about paying there share and medicines that they wouldn't pay for. It was nothing for the pharmacy bill to be $2000.00 for only 2 perscriptions that we had to pay for ( and that happened on more than one occasion) and then aruge with our insurance for reimbursement. On top of all the emotional turmoil that you are dealing with.
The only critique I have is that although it's important to stay positive and gratful I do think Amy should share bad as much as the good just because I think it might give others insight into a very different and hard situation that hardly anyone I know has been through and just maybe those people will be grateful that they haven't had to go through such a difficult thing and might become more compassionate toward others who do go through those things.
I really admire you Amy for being so positive and don't think you need to explain yourself because people that care about you & your family know that you are doing the best you can under very difficult circumstances.
God Bless Your Beautiful Family

Harold said...

amy, im so sorry for all you are having to go thru, as always we are praying and praying for you and the kiddos. you are an amazing and strong momma, you are an inspiration as are your kids and brad. we think of you all daily. i cant believe after everything you are having to deal with people being so mean! forget them...they arent worth your time or energy. you have so many other things and people who need you and you dont need the negativity to bring you down.
prayers for you all

Danielle McCann Photography said...
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Anonymous said...

If you people dont want to donate, then DON'T! When you give your money out of the kindness of your heart, then do it and let it go! How could anyone think this family is partying when they have their expenses at home in America to pay as well as this expensive life in Italy?! Did we forget how hard it is to raise a family of 7 on no income all of a sudden?! Gah!


Anonymous said...

Truth --- this post has been removed by author.

Amy AKA "Baba" said...

Posts were deleted at Jen's request. She was embarrassed by the drama post made by "anonymous".

This is a blog dedicated, first to my daughter's first fight for life and now to her and my son's fight for life. I truly have to question the character of someone who would anonymously come here and try to cause problems.

Anonymous said...

Really people you want Amy to itemize her expenses that you donated?!! She has many other things to do! That is the craziest thing I have ever heard. The key word is DONATE! If you want an itemized list of where "your" money is being used, donate to somewhere where they do that sort of thing. Amy, Brad and their family (Tarah too)is trying to save their baby boy's life and are watching their baby girl leave them a little more everyday. I do not want to trade places with them and how many of you would either?Oh beside, having 2 other older children to look after and themselves. There is another autions coming up in May to continue helping this family. I pray that the people DONATING and or the people following the blog are doing so to help them, pray for them, and support this brave family. I want people to know my donation was for them all, as a family, to enjoy one day out with peace and with out worries of their everyday live. So those that question what you are doing with the money, I gave so the kids would enjoy an Italy "vaction-like" day! Again people dont give money or follow Amy's blog if you are not in complete support of this family. I'm praying for a miracle and will continue to do so. But if not a miracle, God's will and the peace to go on. Brad and Amy everytime I read a new blog I am inspired to live better and love more. Don't let a few people's "opinions" get you down. If you believe you are doing what is right for your family, which I think you are, that is all that matters. You are in my prayers. I am sending my love and support to a family that is doing what they feel is correct!

Dede Zimmermann said...

Amy & Brad,

Pay no attention to people wanting you to explain yourselves and what you are doing while trying to save your son's life. You are doing the right thing and I can't imagine the day-to-day sacrifices you are making while living so far from home and your support system. I for one don't want to know how you are spending any money donated, that should never be a question.

The one and only thing I want to know is how you and your family are holding up and that prayers are being heard and answered.

You are wonderful, devoted parents and that is how you should stay.

I really wonder about people sometimes, the pettiness of a few people should be ignored. Focus on all the good people out there that simply want to help make it a bit easier for you to focus on healing your baby.

wilammy said...

It absolutely disgusts me that you even have to justify yourself. UGH!! Love those babies, focus on your family. To hell with the rest of the world.

kara said...

I agree with the statement that when I give a GIFT, it is exactly that. I don't expect a follow-up report. I don't care if it goes to food, housing, clothing, or to buy Liviana a doll. I don't care if it goes to a bottle of wine to relax mom after a rough day. Perhaps if I were gifting $200,000, but clearly none of us are in that position or the account wouldn't have been at $0 to begin with.

Danielle @ Living Out Loud said...

I have just sat over this computer screen, crying a thousand tears for your family, Amy. And to think that someone has caused you to feel like you need to defend yourself is just plain disgusting to me. You are quite incredible... I don't know many people who would be able to function in your circumstances. I wish I had words that would lessen your heartache, but I don't. And so I will do the only thing I know to do... pray for you. For strength, courage, and more of those tiny moments of peace. God Bless!

Danielle (Kuhn) Holtzman in Wichita, KS

P.S. Thank you for reminding me how blessed I am just to be living in the US!

Kate said...

What kind of compassionless soul thought it was the right thing to do to question how you are spending the donated money? My mind is boggled by this. It makes me angry and sad. I wish a had enough money to give to you so that money stress would no longer be on your list of stressors. Money so that you and your family could enjoy your days and kick back a little. So that you could make the happiest memories as possible while there rather than worrying about a taxi ride that costs too much or worrying about justifying every expense. My heart goes out to you that you had to write this and that you wasted precious energy and time thinking about it. Hugs from a stranger.

Melissa said...

I am so sorry people are idiots. I would love to ship you clothes for your children, is shipping to Italy totally unthinkabl? So, so sorry you have to go through this, prayers for you!