Next month will mark the passing of five years since Chad and I decided to sell our home, quit our jobs, and move to Clarion so he could go to college. I got a notebook out and we sat down and figured out what bills we could eliminate or at least reduce, how we could find a rental (that would accept our three cats), how we would sell our house, when we would move, when he would start and on and on. There was a lot of planning that went into this total life-change. But all of the planning helped to make it go smoothly. We found a dumpy little house across the street from campus...surrounded by other college rentals...so other college "kids". We were a little out of place, but it didn't matter.
And so, at the tender age of 26, Chad began his college career! We lived off of one income for the first year and a half and then Chad got a ten hour a week work-study job which added a little, but still we basically had one income. In the first year of Chad's college our yearly income decreased by more than half of what it had been the previous year, but we were never hungry, cold, or without anything we needed. I worked two jobs and he got all A's.
Chad changed his major quite a few times before settling on computer science, but then he was happy with his final decision. In May of 2009 I stated that I simply could not bear waiting any longer to have a baby. I told Chad how we would be okay after a baby came along and he agreed. Several months later I was pregnant and then on May 20, 2010, Lucille May entered the world and stole our hearts. Chad and I both decided in her first week of life that we could not stand the idea of sending her to a daycare and so we struggled on for a few months with assistance from various areas so I could stay home and take care of her.
And then, out of nowhere, Chad was told about a wonderful internship opportunity. A professor of his told him about it and then also recommended him to the company, which was a pretty big deal. The company was Minitab, Inc. located in State College. It was a well-paid internship and after a phone interview they gave him the position! That was in October of 2010. By the week before Christmas we had found another (dumpy) rental house, that would accept our cats and again uprooted our whole lives, and moved in. We now lived within my miles of my parents, grandparents, and many other family members.
Over the past year and a half, Chad has worked hard to finish his degree by going to work in State College, and then on some days, leaving work to drive to Clarion, about a two hour drive, to go to class. He will finally graduate in a few weeks! So during these years we have been pretty broke at times, been without health insurance (as we are now), struggled to get through days that were long and hard, and then added our beautiful baby to the family who also came with her own challenges. It has been a long, long process with always the hope of a better job in the end than making steel leaf springs, which was the job Chad left when he went to college. And then this past Tuesday Chad was offered a full-time permanent position at Minitab, Inc. effective June 1st! That night I said, "Oh I can't wait to get my teeth cleaned and to get new glasses!"
When he told me about the offer and showed me his contract I cried and cried. I can't even describe how proud I am of him for all that he has done over these past five years. He has received all A's except for one or two in his classes. He was not 18 and often felt out of place I think and dealt with a great deal of anxiety at times, but he persevered! He impressed his professors and employers with his intelligence, competence, and reliable nature. And now, after all of the sacrifices we have made and the risks we have taken, Chad is gainfully employed at an exceptional company. Because of all that he has done, we will never want for anything and we will be able to give Lucy everything she will ever need. He is our hero and we love him so very much!