8 December 2015
I broke down again today. I would probably still be breaking down if I wasn’t living with family. Family truly is one of the biggest blessings anyone could ask for.
They took everything away. They took everything away from me. I have nothing. I was on food stamps and Medicaid, and they took those away from me. Not only did they take my Medicaid benefits away, but they took Coraleen off too! I do not even qualify for cash assistance in the state of Utah. Why? Because it was not in my plan to be looking for a job to work out of the home when I had a brand new baby. In my mind it does not make sense to try and work outside the home to provide for a baby that will need to be taken care of by someone else, in which they will require large payment. But, students can qualify for cash assistance! Wait, I am currently a student. So, why didn’t I qualify? Apparently students can only qualify for cash assistance when they are just two years from earning their degree while attending an instate school. I am far from two years away, since I have been paying for it myself since I began only a bit over a year ago, one class at a time. Why didn’t I apply for any grants this semester? I am such a novice with this whole school thing. And, I don’t attend an “instate” school, but a university online that is based out of Idaho. Everything I am doing made it impossible for me to qualify for any financial assistance from this conservative state. Just one more thing today that made me upset. I recently moved here from California; about seven months ago. I know it would not have been this difficult to qualify for financial assistance in California. And, the only reason I moved here was because the Lord told me it was where I needed to be. It is hard to keep the faith on days like today…
Anyway, I also applied for child support a while back… I think it makes it a little difficult when your baby’s father is in prison, earning no income. The only thing I am on now is WIC. I am grateful for some assistance, but it really does not do much. I could care less about feeding myself, but my baby needs food! WIC gives me four cans of formula, thirty-two four ounce jars of
baby food, and three small packages of baby cereal a month. What it gives to feed me includes eleven dollars worth of fresh produce, which I have now been using to make and freeze baby food for Coraleen. I have done the math. If I only feed Coraleen two six ounce bottles – one in the morning and one at night – and one jar of baby food with some baby cereal in it, and regular food at all other times, she is able to feel satisfied…or so I thought.
Last night was rough. I am a lucky mom, and my little girl has slept through the night for many a month now. Well, I got spoiled, and when she has a rough night, I get a bit upset. She was more upset last night than she had been in a long time. Even after I gave her twelve ounces of formula, which she downed, she was still so angry. I really wanted to sleep! Obviously I was being selfish in my thought process. Well, I felt impressed that she just needed to lay with me for a while – which is never part of our nighttime or relaxing routine. I think it emotionally helped the both of us, and she was able to go to sleep after that.
Needless to say, today I have been trying to feed her enough, but it takes so long for her to eat “regular food” that I think she just gets fed up. Finally, I started steaming the fresh carrots I picked up with one of my WIC checks the other night, in order to feed her…Well, I recently realized that she enjoys snacking on canned beans, and WIC allows me four cans of beans a month. So, I no longer get refried beans for me, but instead I now get four cans of black beans for her. (It is embarrassing to do this around my family, but food is such a precious commodity right now. If Coraleen drops beans or dry Cheerios on the floor I put them back on her tray to eat…it is a lowly act…) Well, she was getting sick of the black beans while waiting for me to get her carrots steamed and mashed, and I lost it. I broke down. I just picked her up, held her close to me, laid her head on my chest, and cried. I can’t even feed my baby. They took everything away from me. I can’t even feed my baby.
Luckily, my sister walked in the door shortly after, and asked what was wrong. “They took everything away.” I cried “I can’t even feed my baby!” With a big hug and a heart full of understanding she asked what I needed.
“My baby needs food!”
“Okay, we will take care of it. How much?”
…Once again, what a blessing is family. Too bad I was too prideful to just ask! I assumed that since her and her husband were buying a house and she was discussing finances a lot, that they didn’t need me to burden them more. It’s called communication, Tiana. Geez… Anyway, I also have Heavenly Father to thank. I was on my knees begging Him to help me feed my child. It doesn’t matter how He answers our prayers, it just matters that He does. He always does. It only took a couple hours after I asked Him for Him to bless me with what I needed – what my baby needed. Thank You Heavenly Father…thank You. And I thank Thee for blessing me with the cutest and sweetest daughter there is, for her precious spirit gives me joy when I would otherwise have none.
~ Tiana Swank ~