Ramirez Family – 2016 Pequot Lakes

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By Amber Ramirez

It’s hard for me to write all there is to know about who we are simply because there is so much to tell.  So much that makes us the people we have become. My husband, Scott, and I have four children: Tristan (17), Jacob (16), Amiah (10), and Mason (8).

Scott and I both grew up with single mothers who worked hard to support us. I was born and raised in Arizona; Scott’s from Kansas. Our mothers worked hard to make sure we had everything we needed, and even as much as we wanted, when they could afford it.  Our mothers being strong for us is what made us who we are today!  It certainly made me the mother I am today.

I moved around a lot growing up and I changed schools a lot. It wasn’t until I was in 6th grade that I moved in with my grandparents and the moving around stopped.  My mom tried the best she could to support us but she needed help.  I lived with my grandparents until I graduated high school, and I became a mother at 18. Scott was fortunate to grow up in the same house most of his childhood but they still struggled with making ends meet, especially after his mom was laid off.

When I met Scott, I was a single mother of four and he had no children of his own. We worked together at a steakhouse in Emporia, Kansas. Oh how I HATED him. If you would have told me then that I would be married to him six years later, I would never have believed you!

When we no longer worked together, we started talking and I got to see who he truly was.  After dating for several months, we moved in together.

We moved to Arizona together, and that was a disaster. Scott moved back to Kansas and I stayed to let the kids finish school.  I had just uprooted them and moved them 1200 miles from home and I couldn’t bring myself to do it again till the school year was over. I was doing something to my children that I had hated as a child.

We moved to Minnesota to be closer to my mother and sister. Scott stayed in Kansas for work and because his grandmother was really sick. I found myself raising the kids alone again,  living with my mother in a tiny two-bedroom apartment.

The kids didn’t have a bedroom but they each had a place to sleep that wasn’t on the floor. For that, I was thankful. I have worked two jobs ever since, but I feel that it’s kept me from being there as much as I should for them.

Thankfully my mom helped out when she could. It was almost a year later when Scott moved back with us, but our living arrangements grew even more cramped. Almost everything was in storage.

Scott was able to get a job within the first couple of weeks after he got here. We started saving up and looking for our own place.  The hunt wasn’t very productive since there wasn’t much available in our price range.  Luckily the apartment downstairs from my mom was opening up.  But again, it was only a two-bedroom. I hated that the kids all shared a room. I knew it wasn’t right having a young girl share a room with three boys, but it was our only option. We qualified for a home loan, but it wasn’t enough to purchase a house large enough for our family. We kept our fingers crossed and made the most of what we had.  It wasn’t much, but it was a place we could lay our heads at night.

Where we live now is almost double what we were paying, but we have a little more room. We both work two jobs (I work three) to afford the rent and utilities every month. That means not being home as a family as much as we could be.  I hate having to leave that responsibility on our older two boys. It is one thing to have to watch them every now and again, but they have to do it every day after school.

They make sure they get their homework and chores done, and they make dinner because we both work late.  That makes me feel so guilty. I feel like I am robbing them of their childhoods. I remember having to help raise my sister when I was young. Having to grow up fast, I never wanted that for our kids. My oldest son has been to 8 different schools. Jacob has told me he doesn’t want to move again. That breaks my heart.

This last year has been very stressful to say the least. Scott lost his mother to lung cancer only a few weeks after she was diagnosed with the aggressive disease. We moved everything back to Kansas as soon as we found out about his mom’s cancer. Even after she passed, we kept it there.  It was too much to try and move it all back again.  Scott has lost is rock.

We both want to start fresh and make our lives in Minnesota. After looking into Habitat for Humanity and applying, we knew we had to put faith into the process and pray that things would work out.  To know that we were chosen has been one of the biggest blessings of our lives!

To finally put permanent roots down and be able to give our children a HOME means the world to us. It means:

  • We can provide our children with the stability they need.
  • We’ll have a place that our kids could grow up and where we know that they will be much happier.
  • We will take one more step toward Scott adopting our youngest two children.
  • Knowing that we can afford to live, which opens up so much for us.
  • We will be able to go places and do things together!
  • We will be able to save up for our future.
  • We will know that when we finish up this year we will have made lifelong friends and can continue to help and pay it forward for others.

We are extremely excited to begin our journey with the wonderful people who make such blessings happen.  We look forward to coming years as being part of this great big Habitat family!

100% of your donation today goes towards giving this family a new beginning. https://www.lakesareahabitat.org/donate/ways-to-give/

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