Wowsers two months sure has flown by! I certainly haven't meant to let this much time lapse, but there have been many more priorities than writing. I've honestly got so much on my mind right now that I want to share, but I think I'll do my best to divide my thoughts into separate posts. The first one that deserves credit is the whole moving business.
I expected completely that when we saw God's hand move in such a big way for our house to sell in the way and the timing that it did, and then us to find this amazing house...there would be attack from the enemy. I just know that's how he works. So I was at least mentally prepared...
So we were packing all the things. Since we were doing FSBO (For Sale by Owner) on our house I was doing a lot of document typing, emailing, dealing with lenders, title companies, etc. And I was packing. And did I mention I have five kids? And I homeschool? Mmhmm. So it started getting real. I decided we would take "spring break" early and that it would last more than one week. Advantages of homeschooling right? Plus we were ahead of schedule so I knew we would be okay for a couple of weeks.
I truly felt in the middle of all of that emailing/writing/being-the-middle-woman deal, like I had a job in addition to my regular mom job. I have no regrets about doing FSBO and would do it again in a heartbeat because it saved us mucho thousand dollars, but whew!
So we were supposed to close on both houses somewhere around March 14. The closer we got to that date, the more intense things became. At one point our lender for our new house made me have a heart attack for about five minutes because there was "a problem with our loan." I stopped and prayed and gave it all back to the Lord (because in case you aren't a woman, when the ball starts rolling, your heart gets engaged, and by engaged I mean "all in" and by "all in" I mean, you've already picked out your paint colors and arranged furniture mentally for the new house, so the idea that that might not happen is crushing. Humility at it's finest, but I digress.) and within minutes, it was all resolved again. Moments like that kept reminding me that this was obviously what the Lord wanted.
Mind you we were also waiting on a phone call about a court date to finalize our adoption. That is all we are waiting for...a court date. We've signed tons of papers and waited all the days, and April is our month to adopt these babies!! And then they tell us, maybe even March! Yeah!!
And then...two weeks before we close on our houses, I get a phone call. A phone call from someone who should be telling me that we have a court date! But that's not what happened. The someone told me that there was a problem. And my heart fell all the way to my toes. While I sat in Chickfila with my beautiful family. She told me that because of the way we had phrased something on our original home study (completed two years ago)...something that happened when my husband was a teenager...the judge was concerned. Concerned enough that we needed to write formal letters explaining our explanation of events from that thing that happened as a teenager. Explaining something that had been explained to multiple social workers and people multiple times over the last two years. Something that everyone knew about and no one had a problem with because it happened when he was a teenager. But now it was a problem.
And we're closing on a house in two weeks. And my babies who feel like my babies because they live with me and I take care of them and I deal with all the questions and the looks and the big family and the Walmart craziness and the hair and the fighting and the cuddles...except they aren't really my babies yet and all the wind got sucked out of me. Fear. Lots of fear. Punk Satan.
Praying, praying. We write the letters. Carefully phrasing and considering our words. We ask several friends to proof our letters. Friends who know us and know about all of it. Friends who know "the system." Friends who get it and are wise and listen to Jesus. And they tell us, "Yes! This is good!" and we send the letters. And we wait. And we pray. And I try really hard not to panic. Oh, and we pack and deal with lenders, and title companies, and realtors, and people. And I mother.
The week before closing comes and we are finalizing the moving truck (which I have laboriously researched and price shopped and all that jazz) and our lender says we are good to go for the 14th and our buyers have a few loose ends to tie up, which leaves me stressed because apparently I am just that much Type A and I have all my stuff together and I have five kids, but no big deal right? And we are budgeting within an inch of our life and just going, "God none of this can happen without your hand. You've led us this far. We don't have wiggle room, but we're trying to walk on the water with you and just trust." And it's still stressful, if I'm honest, but I'm pretty sure Peter was peeing his pants on that water, and Jesus loves me still if I pee mine.
And then baby E (who's really toddler E right now, but let's not talk about that) all of a sudden comes down with a cold that rapidly turns into major breathing, choking, gasping for air, end up in the ER ordeal. Like driving 80 down the interstate with five kids in the car by yourself, with your hazard lights on. Like rush into the ER and saying, "She's in respiratory distress!" and they take you smooth back and give her a breathing treatment. And we get to go home, but oh the weariness! (She finally has an asthma diagnosis and is on daily meds now because we've had this ER business several times in the last two years and enough is enough right? She's doing much better now.)
Week of closing, that Monday I find out from the people buying our house that they cashed in an IRA and were waiting on the pay out of that and were not sure when it would happen. And they were depending on that money to close. This was news. Frustrating, stressful news. So we tell our realtor and the people selling their home to us. Praying, praying, praying. "Jesus, You haven't brought us this far for no reason. Jesus help me be patient with our buyers. Jesus give me grace for now." Tuesday comes: still no IRA. Wednesday comes. Our buyers' lender says if the money isn't deposited by Wednesday we may not close till the following Monday. And the trickle down is us closing on our house. And the moving truck. And moving helpers. All riding on us selling our house. Wednesday night, no IRA. Thursday morning, IRA gets deposited but not showing up in the bank account yet. Thursday afternoon, it is showing up but it is less money than they thought, so now they need to wait for a paycheck to deposit that night at midnight. So we won't know if we will close on our houses until Friday, March 14th. The day we are supposed to close.
Do you feel me?!
Friday morning, I started waking up lenders and title company and buyers. Is it there? Is this happening? Buyers' lender says, "Yes it's happening! But I don't know what time." So we start moving forward. Lots of juggling and shifting and gracious be the title company says, "Hey, if you want to close on both houses at one title company, you can do that!" Hallelujah! I will come and kiss your feet now blessed title company lady. So we do close on March 14th. Our new house has the utilities scheduled for disconnect and by God's grace, promise, the gas guy is on his way to disconnect when we call to switch everything over and we don't lose a beat on utilities. Only God.
Moving day is Saturday the 15th. We get up bright and early with all the childrens and go to pick up our moving truck. But they don't have our moving truck, despite the fact that it has been confirmed twice. Twice. No. Moving. Truck. You have GOT to be kidding me! So we drive to another location and--by God's GRACE--are able to get a different truck. A smaller one. That barely fits all our stuff. And God LOVE my daddy and mommy and baby brother who come and move all the things into the moving truck. And God BLESS our sweet church family which brought people we don't really know very well to help unload our moving truck, and then helped put furniture together, and then brought us dinner. Bless You God. Seriously. That was crazy, but Danielle's blueberry cookies made it all right again. The Body is some good stuff yo. Redemption.
And in case you haven't had enough yet, in the throes of unpacking, I get a phone call from "someone" again and someone tells me that the letter we articulated as thoughtfully and completely as we could, agonizingly so, was not enough and the judge wants further evaluation on hubs who dared act like a teenager some millions of years ago.
I. Fell. Apart.
Probably the combination of all the suffocation above but I was hysterical. Double barricaded myself in my bedroom and massive (to me) closet to get away from the little peeps because of course Daddywayne was at work when that phone call went down. Like hiccupping horribleness in the crying. Took three different friends to talk me down. I was so worried about how hubs would handle the news too, and then dude is all like, "It's fine. I had prepared myself for that." Because he's the stuff and God is good, except I was kind of all mad at his calmness when I cried for two hours, but whatev. So we are not finalizing our adoption this month. We are still hopeful it will happen in May. They cannot do his "evaluation" until May, so I'm trying to prepare myself that it will be this summer. And there is a reason for that. And it will be good. And God is faithful. I'm preaching to myself.
Hmm. That's a lot to digest, I know. It's making my heart race to relive it. I honestly haven't shared with very many people what all has happened in the last month because it's just been hard and I'm truthfully still processing so much of it.
I can honestly say I'm totally overwhelmed with God's goodness in this house. This house that feels like peace and where all my people can breathe and the sun is shining and it's warm, and we have space. *happy sigh*
I don't mean to shed too much light on all the darkness. Ooo, or is that exactly what it needs? Yeah! There was a lot of darkness around the move. Oppressive. But is anything worth fighting for if there isn't? I mean there wouldn't be a fight, right? God has big plans for us here. He has big plans for our babies (they are our babies. He has given them to us. I'm claiming that for His glory.). God has been glorified even in all of those hiccups. Even in the weariness. He will be glorified in the unknowns still. I'm firmly convinced of it. He is good and faithful and true and even when my flesh fails, I trust Him.
To prove His love and His nearness, He gave me these scriptures right in the middle of those trials:
"Count it all joy when you suffer trials of many kinds because you know the testing of your faith produces perseverance..." (James 1).
"...rejoice in our sufferings because we know suffering produces perseverance and perseverance, character and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint" (Romans 5:3-5).
"...for our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all" (2 Corinthians 4:17).
Stay tuned for house pictures and projects! And pray for us, if you will.