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Connie Mish's Fundraiser:

Re-building A Child's Life

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BENEFITING:

Connie Mish

THE STORY:

Austin is a 13 year old boy whose mother gave up on him. Now his permanent legal guardians, we went from a family of 4 to a family of 5, changing everything!

By way of background, I learned in 2012 that my father had given up on life and subsequently took his own life. He had another daughter that he had not seen since she was 4yrs old and I quickly made every effort I could to seek her out. I flew from east coast to west coast for a weekend of discovering my new sister and meeting her children. What I learned was that she was not in the best of situations and her 12 year old son appeared angry and distraught. I invited Austin to our home on the east coast for a few weeks in the summer. Once here Austin never left; his mother decided that she didn't want him anymore. Austin's father had been in a terrible dirt bike accident and suffered irreversible brain trauma, leaving him unable to care for his son.
Shortly after Austin's arrival we received an e-mail from his mother stating that she would be placing him in a mental hospital upon him return. Please understand that Austin is a perfectly normal adolescent and in the 11 months he has been with us has had no behavioral issues and has been on honor roll the entire year. She then asked if we would consider taking him for a 6 month period. Being a lover of all living things and having children of our own, we fully understand the importance of stability, structure, and love that is needed in raising a healthy child. we accepted no less than full legal guardianship over Austin and with a week we had the legal papers in our hands ready to present to the court.
Knowing that he was never going back to live with his mother again, it took a matter of hours before Austin began to tell the stories of his mistreatment. At this point we understood how important a fully present parent in the household was going to be. I gave up my career and my husband and I completely altered our life plans to do what we knew was right.

I take him to see a therapist every other week and he is showing signs of great improvement in understanding character and the importance of integrity. He has a long way to go and he is off to a great start. One of his dreams is to become an NFL player and I have never seen a kid work so incredibly hard to achieve a goal. He is outside practicing with ankle weights and an agility ladder on a daily basis (weather permitting). When not outside he is watching documentaries on current players to better understand what it takes to achieve his goal.
Currently, we are raising chicks to assist in responsibility and care for life. We're building a chicken coop by hand and a bit of do-it-yourself remodeling in the home to make room for our added family member. We are also participating in raising funds for a cancer walk we are doing as a family in October.

I am raising funds to assist our family in continuing to give Austin what he needs to be a future roll model and a positive influence for himself and those around him as he grows into an adult. Specifically we are unable to obtain a diningroom table that seats 5 (ours currently seats 4), a reliable vehicle that seats 5 (ours currently only seat 4), and manage the mortgage payments.
If you could find it in your heart to assist us in doing the right thing and showing a child that he is wanted and loved in this world, we would greatly appreciate it.

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