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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Changes That Didn't Happen

I alluded to some possible upcoming changes in one of my last posts.  One of them was the hopeful move to a new house, which I touched on in my last post about my life being paused.

I think the words I used were something like "potentially awesome and exciting, but nothing I could talk about yet."

But, I can talk about them now.

I am sure most of you know that Rainman and I have always been open to more kids, either biologically or by adoption.  The biological pathway seems to have expired with my advanced age.  LOL (although sometimes it doesn't seem so funny!)  Anyway, we have always said we were open to adoption possibilities, but wouldn't seek them out because of the expense involved in most adoptions. (seriously, it can cost between $20,000 and $50,000)

We have often joked about being totally okay if someone would drop a baby off on our doorstep, you know?

Over the years, we have had discreet inquiries from some of our friends about our willingness to adopt a baby from their young acquaintances.  We have always said an emphatic, "Absolutely!"  But, in the end, none of them have ever actually needed us.

The day we put our house on the market, I got another one of those calls from a friend asking if we would be at all interested in adopting twin little boys.  This time, I did not say my usual, "Absolutely!"  I asked if I could call her back after we talked as a family.  Twins are a bigger commitment from the whole family and would involve buy-in, and sacrifices, from everyone, not just Rainman and I.

The discussions between Rainman and I involved the difficulty of taking on twins in our "older" age and the financial burden of adding two more mouths to feed.

We have been taking care of twins for 2 days a week for friends of ours for the last 2 years or so. It is not like having our own set of twins 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but it gave us a taste of some of the blessings and challenges of dealing with two little people, and two sets of stuff, instead of just one at a time.

Ultimately,  Rainman and I decided that we would say yes, because we couldn't just be pro-life when it was easy, convenient and not scary.  We had a meeting with the kids and explained the phone call I had gotten.  There were various levels of excitement about the possibility of adding twin babies to our family.

Even those that weren't completely 100% excited about the possibility understood our reasons for wanting to say yes.

I called my friend back and said that our answer was, in fact, "Absolutely!"  Then, we waited....and waited.....and waited.


Somehow, this time had felt like it was going to be different.  I thought that the timing of getting the phone call the exact day our house was put on the market couldn't possibly be considered a coincidence.

When we were looking at the new house, we started planning for nursery space and how to baby proof the living areas.  The timing felt like it was meant to be.

I told my friend, that my "mommy switch" had gotten turned on and I couldn't stop thinking about those baby boys.  I knew that they were premature and in the hospital and if was going to be their mommy,  I wanted to be there holding them.  But, she hadn't heard anything more after she had passed along our information and told the family a little about our family.

Still nothing.

As time has passed, it has become clear that we were not needed to be the family of those little boys.  I will admit that even though it sounds crazy, I have grieved and cried that I wasn't going to get to be their mom.

My three youngest have been disappointed alongside me.  They love taking care of our little extras during the week, but were really looking forward to having babies around full time again.  V-girl REALLY wants to be a big sister.

Even though the thought of interrupted sleep and rear facing car seats made me pause a bit, I really wanted to love on those baby boys.

I had pictured our new family starting fresh in the new house on the lake.  But, then the second phone call about the babies never came and the phone call came from the realtor telling us that we had lost the lake house.  I was sad.  Deep down....sad.

Some of my "people" that I had shared the possibility of the adoption with understood, but some thought I should feel relieved that we hadn't adopted those babies.  I understood what they were saying and understood their hearts looking out for me, but, I will still admit to being sad.....whether it made sense or not.

It has been a hard winter/spring for me....mental health-wise.  Again though, I know a LOT of people have had it worse than me, but, it has been a tough one  with regard to maintaining my joy.  If that makes sense?

While all my sadness has been looming (under the surface most of the time) A-man, S-girl and V-girl have become obsessed with a song that plays on Christian radio here in Georgia.  It is a very catchy song and I would sing along to the chorus because I just couldn't help myself.  But, I didn't really listen to the words, if you know what I mean.  But, when I say the kids are obsessed, I mean, they listen to it all the time.  When they are having computer time and playing their various games or taking Sporcle quizzes, I would walk by and hear this song coming out of the speakers...or just hear them singing along to it.  They have figured out how to get the song to play on Spotify and they play it over and over.

So, one day I decided to find the official lyric video and see what exactly we were all singing along to.

I sat there amazed and feeling like God had once again used my kids to bring me blessings and speak to my heart.  I needed to hear this message this winter/spring...and maybe even summer.  I thought maybe you would too....

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


I have become one of those infrequent bloggers this year, haven't I?

For the ten of you out there that care, sorry.

It has honestly been so long since I posted, that I had to go back and read my blog to see what I had talked about last time I updated you.

I had told you about accidentally buying a house.

That has changed.  When we were on spring break, we got a call from our realtor that the house we had a contract on, had received another non-contingent offer.    We couldn't remove the contingency from our offer without selling our house.  So, we were done.

I will admit that losing that house definitely put a pall on my enjoyment of our vacation.  Rainman and I though talked things over and decided to just take out a loan and make changes to our house, including putting in a pool that Rainman and the kids have been wanting for the last 4 years (and I will admit that I have also missed having).

When we got home, I went crazy on Pinterest.  I mean, I really let myself dream big.  I pinned design ideas, new cabinet ideas, pools, pool houses, farm tables.  Ooooh, it was fun.  After about a week of dreaming, I mentioned to Rainman that he should call the bank and make sure we could actually get a home improvement loan to do the projects we were interested in doing.  We both sort of chuckled and said something like, "of course they will.....they were going to give us a huge mortgage..."

How naive we were.

The bank said that they could certainly help us out, but we would have to piece together 3 or 4 loans to get to about 50% of what our projected costs were going to be.  We both said, forget that.

That weekend, I headed back over to the MLS listings and started looking again.  One house and its land stood out to me.  The pictures looked pretty good (but we all know how misleading they can be), the price really stood out to me (about $70,000 cheaper than the lake house).  I sent the link to Rainman and asked him if this house "did anything for him".

He said, as expected, "Let's go look at it."

I wanted to look at it as soon as possible, which meant that not all of us could see it.  It was just me, a few of the kids and two of my friends.

As we drove up to the house, I told the kids, "This reminds me of Minnesota."  There were even cows right across the street from the house.  It had a nice, quiet, rural feel.

We walked in and I walked room to room, pointing out things I liked.  It truly just kept getting better and better.  I got to the laundry room and with my realtor and friend standing there, I announced, "I feel like I am going to cry."  Then I sort of did.  LOL

Here are my reasons for being emotional:

  • The laundry room had lockers like I used to have at our Minnesota house 
  • Just about every single thing in this house were things that I had been pinning all week (the cabinets, the beams in the ceiling, the windows, the light airy atmosphere, the layout of the rooms, the storage.
  • I have wanted to have a light blue bedroom for YEARS, but it has never been high on my list of To Do items at my houses, because the main living areas needed my time, money and attention first.  Guess what color the master bedroom is at this house?
Those are just a few of my top reasons.  I texted Rainman and told him he was in trouble because I was in love.  

Eventually, we were all able to go see the house.  We all loved it. 

The only problem is that our house still has not sold.  My realtor was trying to be encouraging and I think tell me it was okay to stay in our current house.  It wasn't a bad house.  She asked me why I wanted to move.  What did I used to love about this house that I had fallen out of love with?

When trying to explain to my realtor my feelings, I had to remember how I felt 4 or so years ago about this house.  I told her that when we first moved to Georgia, we got a really good house.  It was a good house with a great backyard.  But, it was too small for us, it just about every way.  But, still, it was a good house.  Then, we moved to our current house, which was a much better house.  So much space and trees.  (I really love trees).  Better.  But, I have never loved this house.  There were things that I loved (the trees, the porch swing, that there are kids bedrooms near the master, the master on the main level)  But, if I am honest, Rainman and half of the kids had to talk me into this house.  I didn't want this house.  He even did one of his charts showing me the logic of this house. But, I never loved this house.  I didn't hate it.  I saw the definite advantages to this house for a family of our size, but I didn't love it.  I  gave in because they were right, it was definitely a better house for us.

I continued to explain to her that I loved this new house.  I really did.  It felt so much like Minnesota.  The lay out.  The space. The privacy.  I feel like God had closed the door on the lake house, but opened the window on this new house because it was so much more than what I thought I wanted or could have.  Now, looking back, I am kind of embarrassed that I wanted the lake house so badly.  Because even though I really liked the "feel" of the lake house, it had quirks and things that I didn't love and that I knew would need to be changed.  This new house has none of those quirky things.  It is almost a perfect fit.  Does that make sense?

Good.  Better.  Best.

We made an offer that was accepted, and now, we have a pending contract on that house, but still sit here waiting for the right family to want ours.  We have been on the market for about 110 days now.  

It is a frustrating process.  We are not a starter home, which seem to be flying off the market, so there are less people that can afford our house.  We even tried to do a rental/lease purchase, but the first few people who were interested, were scam artists.  I won't go into those details, but it really shakes your view of mankind knowing that these kinds of purposefully deceitful people are out there and out there teaching their children to lie to get what they want.

So, we wait.  Life is still busy.  Kids are still in activities, getting awards, getting jobs.  

But, I honestly feel like my life, in the middle of the swirl, is.....paused.

I don't want to start any projects......because.....what if........

I was even at the point where I didn't even want to take baths, because then I would have to deep clean my tub again.  LOL  I just wanted it to remain pristine for that ever elusive buyer.  Alas, I have given that up and am enjoying my baths again.  I will cross the tub cleaning mountain when I need to.

I don't want the kids to do many crafts or art projects.....because it will make a mess....and what if somebody wants a showing.

Half of our things are already packed.  We don't know where lots of our stuff is because it was packed away months ago thinking that we would be moved by now.  People are starting to get annoyed, with things not being where they "should" be and having to dig through boxes in the basement to try to find them, and with having to keep the house clean(just in case).  In response to my requests for them to get their rooms "show ready" before they leave the house, I get a maddening, "What's the point?"

It has been frustrating, for lack of a better word.  

And, I really do feel.....paused.  I don't even really know what to do about it.  Is this pause just part of life and that is okay?  Should I forge ahead and pretend that I am not waiting to move?  I don't really know how to do that though.  Because, if I do that, things will be messier  (and, of course, that is when someone will want to stop by for a quick showing!) and the brunt of the cleaning/picking up with inevitably fall on me.  That will make me cranky, to say the least.  

I actually told my realtor this last week that my faith is waivering.  I meant it.  It makes me sad.  But, it is what it is. (I also came to the realization that much of being a realtor has nothing to do with the business of selling houses, but, is, in fact, being a sort of psychologist/therapist and holding people's proverbial hands while they freak out on you every other day, right Angela?)

I really want the new house.  I really do.  I love it.  I can picture us there.  Both now and in the future, with grand babies, the future spouses, and when Rainman and I are old.  But, I also remind myself frequently that it is just a house.  Both our current house and the new house.  Just a house.  I can't pin all my happiness on where we live. That would be stupid and wrong.  What matters is that we are all together and healthy and happy.  I know that.  Yet.....I really want to live in that house and unpause our lives.  

I have rambled (whined) enough for today, I think.  I will fill you in on the other "changes" in a future post.