Monday, March 29, 2010

Angels With A Van

There are some very good and caring people in this world, and I have been blessed to meet so many of them. I met another of life’s angels this past weekend.

If you checked out the link to the newspaper story about Ronnie coming home last week, you may have noticed that there was a side bar that mentioned our need of a handicapped accessible van. When I knew Ronnie would be joining our family, I began checking out vans, and quickly found that the high price tag was too much for me. Even the used vans with high mileage were still in the $30-40,000 range. I could get a ten year loan for one, but just the thought of paying $500-600 a month for the next ten years made me physically sick. I even doubted that the vans I saw would last 10 years.

What I did instead was install a wheelchair carrier on my car. It’s not an ideal solution, but it also wasn’t a ten year expense. I got a grill cover to bungee over the chair when it rains, and things have worked out so far. But a van would still be a better solution.

After the article appeared in the paper, my social worker received several phone calls from folks who had used vans to sell. Most were like the ones I saw at the van dealers – old and with high mileage. But one was different.

The Tate family called about their van and it sounded perfect. Although it is 10 years old, it only has 30,000 miles on it. The Tates bought it from an older couple who had hoped to travel in the van, but things didn’t work out. Mr. Tate had the original window sticker from the van and it cost $60,000! The Tates bought it, installed a large lift on the rear of the van, and have used it for several years now. But, their circumstances have changed and they are looking for a new van. Mr. Tate called my social worker and said I could have it for the amount of the loan payoff – just $12,000!

The van is a Dodge high top conversion van with leather, heated, and vibrating seats. (Why does someone need vibrating seats in a vehicle?). It has a TV and a VCR, which Chip thinks he can switch to a DVD player. It’s huge and has more than enough space for my family, and the lift on the back of the van could probably lift my whole family standing on it!

I still have to work out financing, and am hopeful my loan request will get approved. If it does, life will get a lot easier for all of us, all thanks to the Tate family!


Just Another Ordinary Miracle said...

Sounds perfect. We are getting to the point where we will need to make some adjustments. I have been picking Ivey's chair up and lifting it into my minivan. My back is killing me. Congratulations!!!

Dalya said...

why did you choose to not take the van from the church? I am just wondering because weren't they giving it for free?

Glad Ronnie is finally home!!


Ashley's Mom said...

Dayla, the first van I wrote about was in very bad condition. It was questionable whether I could even get it home.

This one is old, but still very serviceable. I need a van but I also do not need to have it break down and be unable to get my son out of it.

Dalya said...

I totally get ya!! I had just wondered because you had never explained before! I know you are a good mother and would never do anything to hurt your children or make them uncomfortable PLease know I meant noting bad :) I think you do wonderful things for these children many people push aside!