Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Welcome to the Chaos!

Wow... it's been kind of quiet around here, huh? Sorry to get you all excited and then just disappear! I can't believe it's been a month since my last post. But in my defense, the reason for my lack of blogging is because it's been anything but quiet at our house! Since we shared our wonderful news, it has been pure CHAOS!

The past month went a little something like this...

  • Feb 25 - We were APPROVED to adopt from Thailand through New Beginnings.
  • Feb 26 - We started looking for a Hague agency in Alabama to do our Contract Home Study.
  • Feb 28 - We were pre-qualified for a Home Loan (to buy our first house!)
  • March 1 - We received our Adoption Contract!
  • March 2 - We started house hunting!
  • March 6 - We had a phone meeting with our adoption agency in New York to get some follow up questions answered, and had a phone meeting with someone from Lifeline about a contract home study.
  • March 7 - We had a phone meeting with someone from Villa Hope about a contract home study.
  • March 11 - We signed and mailed in our Adoption Contract with New Beginnings.
  • March 12 - We chose Lifeline for our Contract Home Study and submitted our application.
  • March 13 - After a lot of online searching and driving around looking at houses for sale, a precious friend texted us a "For Sale by Owner" in the lovely historic neighborhood of Crestwood (Birmingham). We got a quick response from the owners and decided to immediately go take a look! This was the first house we went inside, and we instantly fell in love with it!
  • March 15 - We brought my parents down to see the Crestwood house, and to get my Dad's expert opinion (he designed and built our family's house, so he has a very discerning eye!) We couldn't help but wonder if it was "too good to be true", and I honestly expected my Dad to find some glaring problem with it. Instead, they both fell in love with it too! But they agreed we should have a look inside a few more before buying the 1st house we'd seen.
  • March 16 - We, along with my parents, viewed 4 other homes for sale and quickly decided the Crestwood house (yes, the first one we'd seen) was THE HOUSE for us! We knew if we didn't act quickly, that someone else was going to get "our house"!
  • March 17 - We signed the Purchase Agreement for our first home! (Talk about exciting!)
  • March 19 - We signed our mortgage paperwork. (Talk about stressful!)
  • March 20 - We got all the paperwork for our home study. (All 120 pages. Talk about overwhelming!)
  • March 21 - We had our new "home-to-be" inspected.
  • March 22 & 23 - We finished our first stack of paperwork for our home study.

... and now coming up is March 28th - which will be our first home study interview!

WHEW! Are you tired yet? Because typing all that definitely made me realize why we've been just a little bit stressed around here! When we tell people we are running a non-profit, adopting and buying a house all at once, they look at us like we are nuts. We have been making jokes about how we "thrive in chaos" (because lets face it - if you know us at all, then you know that our lives are a little bit crazy!) Others have teased that this will be like "ripping off a bandaid" - because we'll get all this stress (adoption + homebuying) done at one time! The truth is though, these are all really good things. I hate to complain at all, because honestly while we feel some stress we also feel SO BLESSED to finally be able to move forward with our adoption and to buy our first home!

Photos Clockwise :: With our friend and soon to be neighbor Heather (who found the house for us!), 
me and Rusty signing the paperwork, and us out front with Brian and Mike (the sellers and our new friends!)

One thing that makes this timeline really incredible though, is how quickly this house fell into our laps. We expected to be searching for weeks or months - but we knew if we could find a home, close on it, and move in before our Home Study was over (3-4 month period) then we wouldn't have to pay the $500 fee to update it. So when the very first house we looked in happened to be the one we fell in love with, we knew it had God's hand all over it! We also knew it was special when within 5 minutes, I met 3 other young women my age in the neighborhood who are all adopting internationally! And the icing on the cake was that our new across the street neighbor is named KATE! And did I mention the fact that this home is practically "move in ready"? We had been looking at foreclosures and fixer-uppers and were shocked that this gorgeous little cottage was exactly in our price range. We really believe it's God's way of taking care of us - because between this adoption and running The Sound of Hope we do NOT have time for 100 DIY projects!

So all that to say... welcome to the Beautiful Chaos that is our life right now! If I don't blog as much as I should, or I forget to respond to an email, or a look a little frazzled when you see me in person, now you know why! I'm just trying to soak in and keep up with all the blessings God is throwing at us right now! ;)