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Posts Tagged ‘finances’

       Surely you have heard the news about the mother in California who gave birth to eight babies this past week; she already has six children; they are all under the age of 8.  The mother, Nadya Suleman, conceived all of her children by invitro fertilization.  She is unemployed and living in a three bedroom home with her parents.  There are so many questions about how an educated woman, could allow herself to get in this position of having 14 children with little or no support.  Many are questioning the ethics involved in allowing a single woman with 6 children and no job to get invitro fertilization in the first place; let alone, get implanted with 8 embryos.

         Part of the conflict is that people are wondering how did she come up with the money for the invitro for any of her pregnancies?  That is not cheap…let alone to have it done so many times.  Also, it is not normal procedure to implant so many embryos for one pregnancy.  Even when 4 or so embryos are implanted…it isn’t expected that all would become viable babies.  That is amazing in itself that all 8 would be viable and born.

        Now, the woman is living in a home with her parents with only three bedrooms.  There are already 6 children in the home.  Where will these babies live when they come home?  Nadya’s father is a contractor who works overseas and probably wont be around to help and the media has been reporting that Nadya’s mother is threatening to leave the home when her daughter comes home from the hospital.  She says that her daughter has been obsessed with having children her whole life; and, at some point received counseling for that obsession. 

     Nadya’s mother is saying that she is leaving.  So, that must be hard for her to even think about…but by staying would that be considered enabling her daughter or supporting her?  At this point, the babies are already here…they have been born.  The mother says that Nadya is out of embryos so that her obsession will have to end.   I think that is a good thing. 

         The question is…if Nadya truly has an obsession…why wasn’t that dealt with before this latest pregnancy?   Will the department of human services get involved to ensure that all 14 children are being cared for properly?  Will a social worker be assigned to the family to co-ordinate some kind of system to make sure that everyone is doing what needs to be done to support this family?  Who will pay for that since Nadya doesn’t work and her parents have filed for bankruptsy within the last couple of years?  The state of California, where she lives, certainly can’t afford to pay for that. 

         The medical expenses alone for this pregnancy will be astronomical.  Babies born prematurely will have huge medical bills from the birth and caregiving alone…not to mention possible life-long disabilities that they could face.  I heard, dont know if it is fact, that one of the older children has possible autistic tendencies.  That too, would be a big financial concern.

         All 14 children were allegedly fathered by the same sperm donor.  Does he bare any legal, financial, or moral responsibility?  Do you think he knows about the children…or do you think it is an annoymous sperm donor?  If he knows about the children…should he be legally forced to help provide physical and financial support?

          News programs were speaking today about the possibility of Nadya selling her “story” to Oprah’s show or maybe even Diane Sawyer for ABC news for something like $2million dollars.  Do you think that is appropriate or inappropriate?

           I at first thought…that is not cool.  She should have to work to provide for those children herself.  But then, reality set in…child care fees alone would take every penny that she makes; and she would still be a drain to the tax payers.  Not to mention…who in their right mind would take the responsibility of providing care for 14 children, all at once?  Another thing, if she was working round the clock to provide for them…she wouldn’t have any time to dedicate to the emotional needs of her children.  If she can’t make money from her “story” then…she would just be another single mother who supported her children from the money the rest of us tax payers pay in…and that is definately not ok with me. 

         As much as I dont like the idea of selling her story to the highest bidder…it is the lessor of two evils.  I dont think the American public (or California tax payers) should foot the financial or medical bills of that family.   Children are a blessing…i do believe in pro-life values.  However, this was a definate abuse of  the system to create a family.  Not the invitro itself…because i think that does provide an avenue for many families who have trouble conceiving children.  However, she already had children…she was not supporting them herself.  That was already a drain on her family and the tax payers assumably.  I do think it was unethical of whatever medical clinic that provided it’s fertility services to her, in her situation. 

         But, on the other hand, once they did enable her to conceive…I heard that she was offered selective termination of some of the fetuses to offer them a better chance of being born without difficulties.  I am glad that she did not terminate any of the babies…because i believe that is murder.  It is a terrible no win situation…but , life is life…and whatever she is able to do to legally support those children should be done.

         I do think if she is indeed offered a large sum of money…she should be court ordered to repay the tax payers for any support or monies that she/her family has received from the tax payers as no one else had the choice about how many children she chose to bring into the world.  I truly would be surprised if some reform or investigation is not performed to question the medical and legal ethics of this situation.  What are your thoughts on this story?

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     Ok, I am going to rant a bit for a minute.  Twice this week the news has hit us with two terrible stories about families that self-destructed through murder-suicide.  Two families that were destroyed.  One family in particular left a suicide note allegedly saying that the reason they were dead was because both the husband and the wife lost their jobs…were in debt…and were rejected by their employers.  The other family’s reasons have not yet been announced.  The family members allegedly say that there was no clues to this tragedy.  What i want to know is…can we stop families from hurting the ones that they love?  Yes we can, encourage them to seek help:  http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/  Each time something like this happens…those who were lost leave behind friends, family members, neighbors, acquaintances and community members who are hurt, confused and saddened.   We have to take care of each other and learn to be more in tune with those around us.  (more…)

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This is the time of year when people make all kinds of resolutions…some are attainable and some are not. Many times people make New Year’s resolutions and set themselves up to fail because they are too big or grand…the promises they make to themselves; or to others, just aren’t realistic. However, I think i have come up with the primo resolution. I want to celebrate the things in life that make me happy! I want to nip things in the bud that hold me back from achieving in the areas of life that I have been afraid to take a chance on.

I resolve to do more of the things in life that make me happy, healthy and that put me in a more financially secure postion. I am going to do less of the things which consume my time, in which I don’t have control over the outcome. I will make more of an effort to be less stressed…more at peace with the choices I make in life, and to do more serviceable types of things for others; not because I have to, but because that makes me happy.

Lord knows there is lots of negativity in the world both outside of my home and inside my head; I am going to work very hard at overcoming negative thoughts that could prevent me from being successful in the things that I decide are important enough to spend my time on. These are all do-able resolutions. They are not a quick fix for any one problem in the world, or in my life but, they are good practices in general. So, it is lifestyle choice…a work in progress.

If I make a mistake and realize it…it doesn’t mean I have to go all negative and stop trying. It simply means that, I am giving myself permission to have a do-over…a start over…a chance to improve. In other words…I resolve to do more of what makes me happy. I have a pretty basic happy nature…but circumstances have the ability to bring anyone down…I am making a decision to allow that to happen less often. What have you resolved to do in 2009?

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     As a Christian I am struggling with the line between fear and faith.  My parents are both cancer survivors.  However, right before Christmas they both had tests done that have come back with suspicious results.

       I listen to my mother say that she is not going to get worked up until she talks with the doctor about the results.  In general, I agree with that.   My mother is pretty much a positive thinker, which is a great thing.

         My father is cut out of a different cloth.  He automatically thinks negatively; he can’t seem to help it.  His mind goes to the worst case scenerio.  It is experience related…he has had the worst case scenerio happen to him before…so he just expects that to be his luck.   Both mom and dad will be meeting up with their respective cancer doctors before the first week of January is over.

          I am a product of both of my parents.  I am at times a positive thinker….and at times, automatically hit the negativity zone.  I don’t like it that that is true; but, it is honest.  I work hard attempting to focus on the positives.

           The problem is…fear.  I fear hearing the situations that they are facing will possibly return them to the medical world of tests, surgeries, treatments, complications, and hospitalizations.  This is a world that is both isolating and overwhelming, with people.  🙂  I realize that that sounds contrary….but, it isn’t.  

     You are surrounded with people in the medical field….this specialist, that oncologist, the anestesiologist (sp?), the radiologist, the pharmacist, the dietician, the family doctor, the nurses, the insurance company…the list goes on and on.  The isolation comes when you must seperate yourself from the general population because of the possibility of infection.  The isolation that the patient feels when heading in for the surgery or the treatment…no-one else can do those things for them.  It is in isolation that fear takes root and does it’s dirty work.  Discouragement can set in…thwarting all of the good and positive things that are at work in the healing process.

     The thing is, once you have been a survivor…your history can limit treatments.  It can also be eye opening to the types of situations you may be facing this time around.  My mother has  developed conditions that can be life threatening, since the last time around.  Both my mother and father had difficult side effects and complications from their various treatments, in the past.

     I am a firm believer that God is in control of everything.  I don’t claim to understand the mind of God.  But, i know that he allows things to happen that are very difficult to go through.  If left to our own devices…most human beings would opt out of the difficult things and shoot straight for the easy path…myself included.  My head knows that much can be learned during these hard moments in life…that God has things for us to gain in those moments.  I know he has things to be accomplished during those moments…he puts people in our path for us to connect with and to share with.  We will do our best to bring glory to his name throughout.  For he is worthy of praise in all things.

        So, I will work at praying that God will have mercy…that he will guide and direct us as we face these additional challenges.  I will ask for wisdom, clarity, patience, faith, courage, strength, healing, financial blessings, and any area of lacking; that we may need to overcome in the face of these trials.  

       What i am thankful for, is that we don’t have to pray for love or sharing; or, willing family members to help out.  We are blessed in those areas.  We are a family that knows how to support one another; and, whoever is in need around us, at the time.   Roomates have often been the recipients of the overflow of our big family.  There have been roomates that had no one to look out for them…they were alone in their journey.  My family is nurturing in nature.   I am thankful for that compassionate part of our family. 

     I am thankful for those in the medical community who also have compassion, skill, knowledge and who are sensitive in the way that they go about promoting healing to their patients and their family members.  They are our allies in the war that has been declared on our loved ones..they are on the front lines of battle trying to help our loved ones to have a full and healthy life; so we pray for all of them who will have contact with us.  We respect their skill and dedication.

     We have so much to be thankful for…and, we are.  Are we greedy to wish for health and financial blessings to meet the demands put on the family as we go thru these things?  I don’t think so.   I know that God has a purpose; I pray that we realize it and make the most of it as he would desire us to do.  I am just selfish enough to wish, as Jesus did on the cross, that this cup would pass from out of our hands; if God so desires. 

         Again…the line blurrs between faith and fear that these medical challenges may not pass from us!

           

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         This is not going to be good.  We are supposed to be getting a series of heavy winter storms.  We are being told we are getting 6-12 inches of snow  by friday evening…then another storm on saturday-sunday with snow-ice mix which could total up to 20 inches of snow…then on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday up to 80% chance of snow.

           For many people on fixed income this kind of weather is devastating.   One thing is staying warm.  This is when we hear many stories of people who die in fires or of people who freeze to death.  Another issue is heart attacks from people trying to remove snow by shoveling.  Then there are all of the car accidents.  Another issue is the extra expense of having to have the snow removed by snow plows & home heating costs. 

          It is a huge concern here in Michigan where people are struggling just to survive financially with all of the job cuts and job losses.  You have to have heat…but, what do you do when you can’t afford to heat your home?  The agencies that help those in trouble are overburdened and are turning people away.  Businesses who supply the fuel for home heating need paid too…but, many can’t afford to pay. 

          I hear all of the time from people in other states who are feeling the financial pinch these days…but are truly surprised when they hear how “depressed and oppressed” Michigan residents are just in the quality of life.  Keep everyone in prayer.  The whole midsection of the US is going to have a very rough weekend of weather…let’s keep everyone prayed up for safety and warmth.

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       People are funny; when things get tight…their fists often get tighter; but not always.  This year, like no other year in recent memory, people are hurting.  They are hurting in many areas financially.  Many have lost their homes, their jobs, their savings…along with medical coverage.  It is a difficult time for many in our nation.

        Most everyone has something that they have been blessed with that they no longer use.  Those things that you have been blessed with and no longer use just might be terribly useful to someone else.  Have extra blankets (or sleeping bags) in the closet or attic that you have no use for?  Someone else has need for them; donate it to a shelter, a church, or an agency that gives to those in need.  Don’t forget places like the Salvation Army or Goodwill.  Let’s challenge ourselves to find ways to have a positive impact on those around us.

         What about checking out deals, when you grocery shop, that make use of buy one get one free…then, donating that extra item to a food pantry?  In fact, things people often run out of and have a hard time replacing are necessities such as laundry soap, shampoos/conditioners, toothpaste, dish soap, toilette paper; when money is limited…having those things donated to a food pantry can really be a big help.  Maybe you have a baby or toddler that has outgrown their diapers or pullups…and you have a partial package left; donate it, don’t let it set on a shelf somewhere unused.  What good are those items doing sitting there collecting dust?

          Do you have warm clothes that either don’t fit, things that aren’t your style; or, perhaps you just have an extra set of clothes that you could pass along?  What about coats or boots, mittens or hats/scarves?  Items such as these are desperately needed in colder temperatures and climates.  The fall and winter weather is unforgiving if a person is not sheltered and dressed appropriately for cold temperatures.  Children and adults are both in need; so, please check your closets and storage areas for things that you are not using.

          Here is another idea; have you had a tree fall on your property that you would like removed?  Offer it to those who heat their homes with wood for free…just for the taking.  Wow…how wonderful to get it removed and bless someone else with the wood who could use it to heat their homes. 

          So you say…you don’t have anything physical to give.  How about donating your time or possibly a service like raking leaves/shoveling snow for an elderly person who you know isn’t able to do it for themselves?  Maybe you could offer to get their mail so they don’t slip on the snow and ice or offer to run some errands for them.  There really are so very many ways to help another person who is in need. 

          Think about the homeless who are living on the streets.  Do you perhaps have a shelter or tent that is not going to be used in the near future?  Can you live without it?  Find an agency or charity that will use it to house those folks who cannot or will not live in a shelter.  We have many veterans and run-aways who live under bridges and tunnels all around this nation.  Is a tent or a shelter from your basement or garage an ideal place to live?  No but, it may just keep someone safer from the extreme elements, temporarily, until they can get back on their feet.

           Are any of these suggestions going to cure the ills our nation is facing; probably not…but, it may just help communicate caring to someone who is feeling desperate and alone.  Think about what you can do to help someone who has it a bit worse than you and yours.  Your donations could mean the difference between life and death for someone; and it doesn’t have to cost you more than a bit of compassion for others!

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        How many of you have ever had knowledge of an emergency situation where someone is bleeding profusely?  Emergency training teaches to apply pressure; or, to use a tourniquiet to temporarily stop the blood loss.  It is no different with our financial crisis; yet, apparently in a move that goes against common sense…we are bleeding green…sending more and more money to problematic areas that are already bleeding out.

           What we need is a check and balance here…someone to triage…find out who we can afford to let go on to their great reward.  We can’t save everyone here financially speaking.  So, if we are going to attempt to try to turn the tide with this financial mess…we need to find the most effective way to pump money back into the economy in a way that is going to repair the situation.  Not prolong the agony.  Those companies that would abuse the help provided them should be held accountable.  The governmental leaders who are in charge should be held accountable if they fail to serve honorably; by not keeping track of the ebb and flow of the bailout plan.  It should be considered a crime to fail at accounting for each and every dime of the bailout money that does not produce a positive outcome on the economy.  It would challenge those who benefit from the rescue plan to strictly monitor the use of such money entrusted to them!

         Americans are angry about this whole situation.  They are struggling and there is no safety net waiting for them when they fail financially…so, their expectations of our leaders who are guiding the ship in regards to the bailout, are high.  Those expectations are not currently being met…and Americans have had their fill of leaders and organizations who abuse their power and influence over our society.  The impact of such irresponsible behavior is what has brought us to this place and time in history; it is unacceptable.

         Allegedly, reports have surfaced, twice now, on AIG as having pricey get-to-gethers since they have come knocking on the government’s door begging for bailouts to keep them from filing for a $150 billion dollar bankruptcy.  This is seen by many as an excessive fly- in- your- face disregard for the sacrifices that tax payers are taking on, by dolling out the $40 billion dollars that the treasury has set aside to help put AIG back in black.

          What is madness is that this kind of behavior seems to go without consequences except to the country as a whole.  We are drowning in poor choices, in excesses that failing business expect others to dig them out of.  If a small business owner took on that kind of attitude…there would be nothing but financial ruin in their future…not a reward of an all expense paid trip to a spa on the taxpayers!

           The average American is drowning as well.  There are no individual life rings being tossed to the middle class taxpayer.  We are being hit from all sides by the economy, taxation, educational funding, rising cost of living bills, home heating costs, gasoline, medical costs; and still, more and more people are loosing their jobs or their investments.  Home foreclosure is at an all time high.

           How in the world are taxpayers going to pay more to bailout anyone when they are barely keeping afloat themselves with the drain on their incomes?  If people don’t have jobs, they can’t pay taxes.  Common sense dictates that we examine closely where all of this bailout money is coming from; and, limit those who are benefitting from the rescue money. If some business or organization is not being fiscally responsible they should not then be given a blank check to continue the party.  

        This is not a free for all…We need someone in a position to regulate the flow of green; apply some pressure.  We are living in an unprecedented time of national debt…it just makes sense to be watching our bottom line.  There is nothing wrong with taking a little time to evaluate the situation and make an informed decision about the best way to tackle this mess.   Remember Russia and the collapse of their union?  Are we looking to make history as the next nation to collapse from the inside out?

          

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