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Chris Fabry
Married to Andrea since 1982. We have 9 children together and none apart. Our dog's name is Tebow.
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Where We Are Now

After finding and remediating mold twice in our Colorado home, we abandoned ship in October 2008. Because of the high levels of exposure, our entire family was affected. After months of seeing different specialists for all of the problems, we came to Arizona to begin comprehensive treatment to rid our bodies of the toxic buildup. In August 2009 we moved into a larger home, four bedrooms, south of Tucson, north of Mexico. I am doing my daily radio program/ writing from that location. Thanks for praying for us. We really feel it.

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Friday, September 11, 2009
Yesterday our worst fears were realized. The mold plates we put in the new house we had lived in for less than a month have come back positive. Our doctor said there must be remediation in the home or that we should vacate. The problem is the colonies are not isolated, they’re in every room we checked.

After moving in and overcoming the fears we had about the place, we began to nest. We bought a kitchen table that we left outside to off-gas for several days before we brought it in. Andrea found a leather couch and loveseat at Lazy Boy. I made two trips in the Honda Odyssey to bring it back and Ryan helped me move them in. And we bought a TV at Target. It seemed like the horror was dissipating.

Andrea and I had met with representatives of the local school district and the younger kids had begun school in the home. A teacher, Miss Collins, came to our house and taught our sponges—for that’s what they were. They were so eager to learn.

I had cut a hole in the master bedroom wall, into the closet, and put my computers and the ISDN unit in the bedroom while I strung the cords through the wall into the closet. It cut down on the heat and the noise of the computer fans. Things actually felt like they were becoming “normal.” There were nosebleeds and sinus problems, but we had that in the other house that checked out fine. Now, with the mold diagnosis again a reality, the questions came back like a flood. Do we do more testing? Do we spend more money to find out what type of mold it is? Do we leave tonight and get to a hotel? Can we take anything with us?

A mold survivor has all of these questions constantly running through their minds. It is a post-traumatic stress reaction that comes up every time you think about another purchase or another move.

We gathered, all 11 of us, on the couch and loveseat. Andrea cried and the kids tried to comfort her. The enormity of what was happening came at me like a flood. Another change of address. Another ISDN connection. Cleaning computers and equipment. The cost. The upheaval. The loss. The mental anguish. Disconnecting the electric and water. Telling the owner of the house what’s going on. It feels like some curse is following us, some attack from a malevolent demon who cackles as he sprinkles mold on any dwelling we choose.

Erin said to Colin, “Go get everybody and have them come to the living room.”

I was at the kitchen table eating a bowl of chicken soup. When a few came in Erin said, “I think we should pray. Let’s get in a circle on the couch and hold hands and pray.”

Brandon began a halting prayer, with a few giggles around the circle. Soon, the older kids were praying, thanking God that we were all together, thanking him for their parents who were strong and loved them. Asking God to please help us find a safe place. Soon. The kids prayed about their “stuff,” tennis shoes and a foam pillow. But we all agreed that stuff is just stuff and God owns all of it.

The verse that came to me was from 2 Timothy 1. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. I thanked God that he is bigger than mold. I thanked him for bringing us together and keeping us together. I asked him to give us a sound mind about the new direction we need to take.

It was difficult to look around that circle and not weep. No, impossible. But though there is heartbreak, there are still tears of joy. We are perplexed and anguished, but we are not crushed. And we are not without hope.

Thank you for your prayers.
*************
This morning, after several phone calls to people who know more than we do, we've decided we need more information. There is a chance this is outside/inside normal mold. We won't know the severity until we have the tests done, which is exactly what we tell people who call us in crisis, wondering what to do. If we can get the testing done, we'll know the verdict next week.

4 comments:

S. federoff said...

Heard about your plight. My hubby is an admin. in your school district. We have 9 kids too. Maybe this is an opportunity to homeschool for awhile? We do, even though the district is very good. Just started our 12th year! Lots of good Christian homeschool support groups in the area. Love to help you out! :-) Vail isn't really set up for distance education. Shannon Federoff

Martha A. said...

I am sorry! All that upheaval must be really hard!

margie said...

My heart and prayers are with you. margie

Hatfield said...

Chris,
I have been listening to your program on my way back from my lunch break for about the past year (I listen on WGNR 93.1, Anderson IN). So I have been sort of following with you and Andrea and your family as you've dealt with this.

Being in Indiana (read HIGH HUMIDITY USA), this sort of mold issue is sadly more common than many realize. So, while I've not had to deal with this myself, I have seen what the upheaval can do to families. You are correct that its not the things, those belong to God. But the stress of doing this over and over (and maybe over and over...) I am confident is something that can only truly be dealt with leaning on Jesus and each other.

My wife and I might not be there in AZ with you, but know there are people here in Indiana who lift you up in prayer ... usually when we're listening to you from the "Cactus Compound". Be blessed.

Ron Stone
Anderson IN