Hardworking parents dedicated to bettering the life of their child, Luke and Jade look forward to the day when their future Habitat home will provide a safe, stable place for their family.
Jade, originally from Delaware, and Luke, a Texas native, met in Washington State.
“I told her (Jade) I’m going home, and if you want to come, you can,” said Luke.
“I want to travel the world, experience life… so I went with him,” added Jade.
A year later, they found out they were pregnant with their son, Kalei.
“That was a little nerve wracking… we weren’t expecting that. On top of that, going to one of my appointments they found a benign cyst in his head so I got recommended to a specialist,” Jade said. “That’s where we found out that I was a carrier for cystic fibrosis. When he was born, he was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis.”
Cystic fibrosis, defined by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, is a “progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time.” In the lungs, mucus from the genetic mutation clogs the airways and traps germs, like bacteria, leading to infections, inflammation, and other complications. For this reason, having a safe, stable, clean environment is extremely vital for Kalei’s well-being.
The trailer that Luke, Jade, and Kalei lived in when they applied for their Habitat home had issues for the family – Luke was constantly having to fix things that were falling apart and ended up rebuilding the floors and walls, as well as reinstalling insulation. With constant projects and a rodent concern, Luke and Jade knew they needed to find a better solution for Kalei’s health
“I’m a stay-at-home mom. It was hard. I was going through post-partum depression and the trailer that we lived in just made it ten times worse,” added Jade. “I started going on this spiritual journey and looking into natural remedies (for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)… when I started being positive, positive things started happening and then we got called for this (their current home) which is a way better environment, especially for his health (Kalei’s) and I guess my health, too.”
Now four years old, Kalei was just recently diagnosed with autism. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Kalei was in speech and occupational therapy. Luke and Jade are in the process of getting him re-integrated into therapy again.
“He’s a very unique child,” said Jade. “He has his quirks and stuff that I love. With him having cystic fibrosis, you know, it’s a strain sometimes with all the things we have to do. He’s on like five different medications, he has to do a nebulizer and treatment twice a day and they’re 30 to 45 minutes long. If he gets sick, it’s double that. (He sees) five different specialists that we have to go into San Antonio to see them.”
Already familiar with Habitat for Humanity, the couple applied to Comal County Habitat for Humanity’s Home Program in 2019 and were accepted that same year.
When asked about how they felt about their future in their Habitat home, both Luke and Jade spoke about the relief their home will provide for their family.
“Like I said, I have OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and I would have really bad episodes where I was constantly nitpicking because I don’t know… I would always think something was going to happen to (Kalei). I was just having all of these fears,” said Jade. “Just having somewhere stable where we’re not going to constantly have to fix up stuff or have to worry…”
“Even here, just recently I had to re-caulk all the windows because you could almost push the window out of the frame,” added Luke. “So yeah, it definitely gives us something to look forward to where we have like a foundation… Home is a good place to think about whenever you’re away… to come back to… and if your home is not where you want it or is not good for your family, it kind of throws everything out of whack, so (I’ll feel) definitely relieved, for sure.”
When thinking of their future home, Jade daydreams about starting her vegetable garden while Luke looks forward to being able to cook in the kitchen.
“I’m excited to have a little sanctuary where I can go and be if I need to meditate, do some yoga,” said Jade. “I’m so grateful that we’re here (in their rental house) but this is not where I see myself all my life. What’s keeping me motivated is putting Kalei in a better environment.”
“I like to have little projects. I like to work on my car. I like to barbecue on the weekends and whatnot, and I’m just looking forward to having my own space where I can do that,” added Luke. “I think that we’ve already kind of started on the track of getting ourselves to a point where we need to be and I feel like that’s (homeownership) just going to be the next step. I think it’s going to make our lives that much better.”
When asked what home meant to them, Luke and Jade responded with feelings of comfort, love and safety.
“I have a feeling that I feel whenever you say home. For instance, when I was in Washington (state), I always knew that wasn’t my home. I could feel something pulling me back to Texas. It’s like a comfort, I guess you could say… comfort and somewhere you can land, always. It’s somewhere where you can grow a family and feel good about doing it,” said Luke.
“Home to me would be feeling content, feeling worthy, feeling loved. Having a place that’s mine, that’s inviting me there where I can take off my mask and just be who I am and not have to worry about anything. And just somewhere that I feel safe,” added Jade.
Construction begins in early December 2021 on Luke & Jade’s family home. Help build Luke, Jade and Kalei’s home by sponsoring a stud this Stud-A-Thon! Visit here for more information on how you can help.