Monday, June 10, 2013

Diverging DeLeon's

When we first came up with the name Diverging Lives for our blog, many people questioned it.  In this post, I hope to help you understand the name of our blog and get to know us a little better.  

To diverge means to extend in different directions from a common point, or "branch off".  All our lives we have done things differently, aka diverged from mainstream.  It hasn't always been by choice, but it has worked out for the best for our family.  
  • I graduated high school after my sophomore year and received my driver's license and my marriage license on the same day.
  • Daniel was the first of his 5 siblings to graduate from high school. 
  • We married young (Nicole was 16 and Daniel was 20).  We will be celebrating 22 years of marriage this month.
  • Daniel struggled with substance abuse issues for the first 5 years of our marriage.  God granted us a miracle and that is a whole other story.  Needless to say, Daniel will celebrate 17 years of being clean & sober this August.
  • Our first child, DJ, was born on our 10 month anniversary.
  • Our second child, Adriana, was born 2 years later.
For the next 7 years, we followed along the path that everyone was taking.  We were both working full-time, our kids attended public school, played soccer and little league, and we attended church regularly.  Until...
  • I became extremely ill and was in the hospital off and on for several months.  The only thing I could do was lay in bed with my eyes closed due to the severe headache I had.  I couldn't even get up to use the bathroom.  The doctors could not figure out what was wrong with me and finally diagnosed me with aseptic meningitis.  Up until this diagnosis, we were told there was a 95% chance I may have CNS lymphoma.  
This experience definitely made me re-evaluate what was important in my life.

  • I became completely disabled from my occupation as a Medical Assistant.  Daniel was working nights for a local grocery store chain.
  • We decided to begin homeschooling DJ and Adriana. They were in 5th and 3rd grades. 
  • We bought our first home. 
  • We spent more time as a family, going on field trips and discovering together.
  • We became more involved with our church and the recovery ministry.
  • God called us to become foster parents, to be an advocate for those who didn't have one.
  • Daniel opened his own roofing company.  
  • We bought our second home which was twice the size of our first home.  We also traded in our minivan for a 12 passenger van.
  • We went on to adopt all 4 of our foster children, making us a family of 8.
  • When the economy declined, Daniel had to close his roofing business.  He went back to school to get his license to become a Drug and Alcohol Counselor.
Due to our younger children's extra needs, we felt it was best to allow them to access the special education services from our local school district.  However, after navigating the system for about 5 years it wasn't meeting our children's needs and we decided to homeschool again.
  • We have completed 2 years of homeschooling our younger children and it was the best decision we could have made on their behalf.  It is incredibly difficult and time consuming, but the children are doing so much better.  
  • We are now in the process of short selling our house.
  • We are debt free (& after the sale of the house we will truly be debt free).
  • We own a 28 ft. travel trailer and have decided to take a 2 month trip cross-country with our 4 younger children.  There is no better way to learn US History than to experience it. 
Who knows, maybe this will become our new lifestyle.  Make sure you sign up to receive our blog updates by e-mail so you can follow along as we experience the United States this summer.


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