This is an act of courage. This is me, vulnerably stepping into the belief that I am a human being worth investing in. To be clear, this is not a request for charity. This is me offering those who love and wish good things for my family and I, an opportunity to invest in our lives and make those good things possible.
As I venture into this thirty third year of my life journey, I am coming to terms with this wandering, winding old highway called life; with all of its rough roads and sharp turns. There were some lonely times, challenging me beyond what I would have ever imagined I was capable of surviving. But here I stand, with my feet still walking. I offer my deepest gratitude to the divine interventions that have propelled my life forward, and to soul that my body houses for refusing to give up even when it seemed hopeless. Thank you for getting me to this crossroad in life, where I can begin to see the value in myself that you have seen in me. For those who are curious about my unfolding story, I've written extensively about the life experiences I have had and my personal reflections on them. Selections from these writings can be found on my blog athttps://www.worldpulse.com/en/community/users/elmirodrig/posts/60942. Please be informed that some of these writings are deeply personal, written from a state of raw emotion. This blog is also avenue for selections from my academic writings, should you wish to know what it is I am actually studying.
As some of you may know, my inherited life circumstances have made it exceptionally difficult for me to forge a path in this world which leads to economic stability. Without the emotional, logistical, or financial support that folks typically get from family members and co-parents, building a secure and stable life for myself and my children has been grueling and laborious work. I have not always been successful in this endeavor. However, despite numerous major life tragedies and set backs along the way, I have managed to survive, alive.
For the past five years, in an attempt to better the social and economic position of my family lineage, I have been working on becoming a first generation college graduate and am currently pursuing a PhD. My partner Zeus is also currently pursuing his PhD. We have made every effort to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, survive under our own volition, and be in a position in the future to be able to offer our children the support that we have never had. Basic things like paying for their education, and helping them purchase their first home. However, recently, due to an influx in population and overzealous development of the city of Portland, our housing security has become a major barrier to achieving ourgoals. The last few years we have had to move three times due to our homes being sold, and our rents being raised beyond what we as a full time students and parentsof three children can afford to pay. The reality is that we can no longer afford to rent in this city, and are being displaced by rising rent costs. This is a devastating blow when considering that our whole lives are inextricablywoven into this city and predicated upon our residency here. And I am not alone. According to experts, Portland renters are currently in a state of emergency. You can find a detailed report by visiting http://www.portlandmercury.com/portland/a-summer-of-evictions/Content?oi...
So what to do, what to do? As I sat one day in quiet contemplation, trying to figure out how to move forward in this reality, the divine spoke to me and told me it was time to start looking for a permanent home where my children can begin to develop a sense of belonging. Where we can plant our fruit trees, watch them mature, and feed us throughout the seasons of our life. Where we can hone our permaculture skills, tending to and harvesting from our food gardens. A home in which we can focus on completing our PhD's and nurturing our relationships with our children. A place where the constant threat of displacement is eased. Being human, and with a tendency to think rather narrowly at times, I dismissed the message as wishful thinking without any viable options. But this firm yet gentle message would not be dismissed or rationalized away. “It is time” became my heart song, set on repeat, like a tune that you can't get out of your head. So I opened up my heart to the song, opened up that part of me that has never dared to dream about what might be possible; That my family and I may one day have housing security. It occurred to me that my narrow way of thinking about how to buy a home was what was keeping us on the hamster wheel of renting, and in a perpetual mode of packing up and resettling of life. Yes, I know. I am not able to get a conventional loan. Yes, I know. I'm not the benefactor of any inheritance. Yes, I know. I have no savings. No, I do not have anyone to give me a personal loan. No, I can't just ask my parents to help me. Yet, who am I to question the divine when they tell me “It is time”.
I do not know how our permanent home will manifest, or how it will look, but this fundraiser is an act of faith, and an unwavering trust in the gifts that the divine wishes to bestow upon my family if we would just ourselves up to receiving them. For the first time I dare to dream that the weaving is well underway, and our home, however it may manifest, seeks us as much as we seek it.
If you have been looking for a way to support us in our goals of obtaining PhD degrees, and finding a permanent home, this fundraiser is your opportunity. This fundraiser will stay active until we reach our goal of $50,000, which may seem like at large amount, but when you consider the costs of purchasing a conventional home, this is really a meager amount to hope to raise.
For those who think more creatively and want to invest in our family in other ways? Perhaps you have an acre or two of land in Oregon or Washington that you would like to gift us, or give us a lifetime lease to? Hey you never know. We are open to other creative offerings as well! The end goal is a permanent home that can provide stability to our lives so that we may begin to plan for and build our future, and our children's future.
We thank you for reading, contributing to, and sharing this fundraiser with your friends and family who may also wish to dare to dream with us.
Jessica Elmira, Zeus, Lissette, Luis, Lorax.