By Jennifer Halon Thomas
My name is Jennifer Halon Thomas, I am 29 years old and I live in Indiana. I am married with two children. My daughter is 10 years old and my son will be two years old in May. And I am a stay-at-home mom in the final lap of being a work-at-home mom. I want to share my story with other moms, whether single or married, to let them know that no matter what kind of cards life has dealt you, there is always hope and that you are not alone. You can succeed in almost anything as long as you don't give up!
My story starts while attending high school. High school is supposed to be the best four years of your life, proms, friends, football games, dates etc. Not for me! For four long years, I was tormented by other classmates, made fun of, bullied and always being put down, for reasons to this day, I will never know. My grades suffered and I was afraid to go to school. I was a very smart person all the way until I started high school. I had good grades and lots of friends and then things changed. Instead of preparing to get out into the real world, I was just trying to make it through a day. All this pretty much set up the same pattern for me after graduation.
After graduation other people were going to college while I was hopping from job to job, staying out late and had no ambition in life what so ever. By the age 19, I was pregnant and single. My daughter was born in 1989, with mild cerebral palsy and she was mildly mentally handicapped. I had to go on welfare just to pay the medical bills. My life was turned upside down again.
A year later I had decided to go to Data Processing school in order to get a better job. I graduated from there with honors, but it didn't land me a decent job. The computer industry had upgraded so much in such a short time, that most of the skills I had obtained, where obsolete and to top it all off, the school I had attended had closed down. Now I was back to square one again, hopping from job to job making next to nothing.
My sister, who was a year and a half younger than me, was a great inspiration to me during all my hard times. She was always there for me and always knew the right words to say for encouragement. She became a nurse after high school, and to hear her talk about how she helped people and how it made her feel at the end of the day gave me the inspiration to also go into the medical field, but as a nursing assistant.
I went back to school again, and received a Nursing Assistant certificate and got my first job at a nursing home. It wasn't the best money wise, but my sister was right, I felt great at the end of the day just knowing that I had helped someone else. I felt as if everything in my life was starting to look up and then my world fell apart. My sister who had been the biggest and most important part of my life, died on February 21, 1995 at the age of 23, in an automobile accident.
The next year I continued to work at the nursing home, barely making it through the day, I had lost my ambition once again. Then I received a phone call from a local hospital where my sister had worked as a nurse before she passed away, they were offering me a job as a nursing assistant with much better pay. I had been trying to get in there for a while, and in a strange sort of way I give all the credit to my sister, even though she had passed on she still seemed to be looking out for me. I accepted the position and worked there for the next three years.
In September of 1997, I had got married, in October of the same year, I found out I was pregnant. This pregnancy was very hard. I was sick all the time and made several trips to the emergency room. Finally my son arrived six weeks premature and had to be hospitalized for a few weeks. When he was released he came home on a monitor and had to have home nursing. There was no way I could go back to work.
For the next year I stayed at home with my kids. My son was doing great, you couldn't even tell he was born early. But money was getting tight my husband's work at a local piping company had slowed up. My husband didn't want me to work out of the home and have our kids raised by a babysitter, plus we could not afford to pay a sitter. So, I started doing research on at-home jobs. I came across a school that trains you from home to be a Medical Biller. I loved the medical field, had previous experience, and could do it from home, so I decided to give it a try.
The course only took me eight weeks, now I had to figure out where to get the money to start up my business and how to go about it. I did more research on the internet and found several websites which were helpful like bizymoms and women central. I also found links to such sites as SCORE and the IRS to give me legal guidelines. This all took months with getting the money together and any legal issues which needed to be found out. But as of today I am now the proud owner of MED-FAST BILLING. I just sent out advertisements and business cards to local physicians and I am waiting for clientele. I never thought I would get this far.
For a while I was going to give up. Every once in a while I would come across some negative stories or editorials about medical billing from home and how it is a scam, but I have come to realize that if I don't try how will I know how things are going to turn out.
I think the best part about being able to work from home is the fact that I will always be here for my kids and I won't be missing any valuable moments. They have both been through so much and I am lucky to have them here today. That in itself I would not give up for the world. I can make my own hours which currently I plan on working 20-24hrs a week for now, maybe later I will extend them. I will just be happy in making this a success!!!
I am sure there will be draw backs every now and again, but I am willing to go that extra mile. This is what I want, sure, there will be days when I will feel lonely or trapped, but I will somehow get through it and think about how lucky I am that God has given me several chances to change my life and to make it better for myself and my kids.
I strongly believe in making every minute count and living for today because you don't know what tomorrow is going to bring you. Set your mind to whatever it is you want to do and you can do it!
In closing, I just hope that my story reaches and motivates someone. I never thought I would be where I am today after the events which have taken place in my life, but I am and I am going to make the best of it.
Thank-you and Good Luck to All!