Three days before our 14th wedding anniversary we found out that we'd have to evacuate our new home (built in 2007) immediately due to Chinese drywall -- the air environment in the home / my office was extremely toxic and the Florida Department of Health environmental inspector deemed our home uninhabitable and told us to get ourselves and the children out as quickly as possible. We are now renting a home in the east Orlando metro area so our boys can remain in their same school.
I have been sick for quite some time not fully knowing why, and why I kept getting worse -- and my children started getting sick toward the end of our time spent in our former home as well. Several of you unfortunately experienced delays in both session scheduling and orders because of all this. The major red flag to us was our children, however. They simply were not "sick children" until we moved into that home. Within a year, they were rarely well. In the weeks before we moved out they developed rashes, vomiting, and a cough it breaks my heart to think of. I'm very happy to report that both boys are nearly back to 100% now. I have not had as easy of a time, however. It's been a summer full of doctor, specialist, neurologist, Urgent Care, and ER / hospital visits for me.
You can read more at my Facebook update here -- expand the first comment, mine, to get the full text of the story.
For those of you unfamiliar with Chinese drywall, homes discovered with it are as much of a loss as if they'd been destroyed by flood or fire. However, because the damage isn't "sudden and immediate", insurance does not cover replacement. The home must be torn down and rebuilt from the slab up in order to be safe, and most builders (ours included, originally bankrupted and now merged with another builder) are not willing to assume responsibility. Homeowners are literally left with nothing, and with no choice but to simply walk away. With the state of our health, we ran. The long legal process is just beginning. All clothing and furniture are considered toxic - anything non-porous will continue to "off-gas" poisonous fumes and would contaminate a new home. Even the very photos on the walls due to the photo paper and wooden frames! In this case, we weren't even left with the clothes on our backs. Those had to be thrown out as well.
The loss was doubly devastating because I lost six years worth of my business -- computer equipment, camera equipment, unassembled albums and cases, boxes, ribbon / bows, studio equipment and backdrops. Even things that should have been safe (metal and plastic) simply were not. Many continued to cause headaches and had to be removed from our new home immediately. On top of that was the loss of my props and costumes including vintage suitcases, baby beds, plush rockers, buckets and baskets, cuddle blankets, hats, blankets, diaper covers, tutus, pettiskirts, tights, wings, headbands, birthday hats, Santa hats, Santa bag... Everything.